TEDx Gurgaon 2012 – Ever thought about taking the Road Less Traveled?

Saturday the September 1st, was another day of learnings and experience. After a hectic week of travel and meetings, I really thought it would be difficult to sit through a Saturday and listening to people. But then, I decided to give it shot – Ah! My love for meeting the people – who have believed in themselves and are walking the road less travelled.

The conference began with ‘Chris Anderson’s talk on TEDx and with that we were all set to start the day of learning & networking.

The Opening was by Abhinandan Chatterjee and he spoke about – ‘How to take the road less taken, everyday!’ I have heard him in the last years TEDx meet and I remembered the tiny bits of wisdom he had shared then so I was all ears. Though the theme was little abstract but I simply loved what he had to say about the road less travelled. He just urged everyone to W.A.L.K.

W: What is the worst that could happen?
A: All in the moment.
L: Learn to learn.
K: Keep Happiness ready.

And yes, why can’t we just make it simple. Like they say, if you are ready for the worse – the bad can never affect you. And if we decide to live it all in the moment, we will never be caught in the hassles and worry of what might/will happen? We shall all learn to live in the moment and keep our learning nerves active. And believe me; if we can do it all we have our happiness ready.
I am sure, we got a great message and now we know how significant it is to take a walk, everyday.

The second speaker of the day was Ashish Sachdeva, a young enthusiast who ventured into and established Green Dream Foundation– well we can say that’s how he decided to do his bit for the environment and be an advocate for young & old to empower them for healthier and environment friendly activities. He talked about “Going Green, Just a trend or more”!

He touched the basics for the understanding of the audience and covered why sustainability is a most required and how we are playing ignorant about the same. The video he shared with people reviews on the subject left the audience wondering – where do we stand in the lot?

A simple yet thought evoking session which ended with a sane advice for the audience.

After a refreshing tea break and some connections –the enthralled audience came back with zest to listen to – Aditi Rao who spoke about –”Peace, and possibilities of the poetry in classroom“. Honestly, her talk was abstract and inspiring but a difficult one to understand. She talked about the Drivers of openness and how empowerment is defined as a correct distribution of knowledge and power. And this empowerment so gracefully leads one to creativity and imagination. Why and how peace can only be understood through empathizing.

I specially loved the way she spoke about Metaphors and how vulnerable they can be at times, I am sure the audience could very well resonate on that.

Post this we had a great TED video by Don Tapscott on the “Four Principles for Open World”. Quite an intriguing talk by Don on how he feels his children are turning to prodigy and how technology has changed the world by opening up and how this has made the world a better place.

The conference was reaching lunch hour and we had Mr.Abhijit Bhaduri, his presentation topic caught all the attention and we were on to explore. The subject was ‘It depends on the question’. Wow! A very creative way to present – he had all the slides with sketches and the message was coming straight. Now this wasn’t just learning – he just brought an experience right there on the screen.

His story telling was amazing and how a question leads to answers – sometimes perfect and sometimes weird. The audience loved the way he narrated on how he thought that one has to be reasonable & practical in making choices and the way he thought on it when he got to know that his kid wanted to be ‘Hanuman’. Abhijit had some plain straight messages for everyone that, when you have decided to take the road less travelled one should start ignoring the irrelevant. Irrelevant like, what is everyone doing?

Instead, we should always ponder about things like –
What do I enjoy doing?
What am I good at?
Have I progressively abandoned my hobby?

And then we shall make a choice. And whether it is the road less travelled or not, we must follow the right answers we get as ‘it depends on the question’.

Post lunch there was an intriguing TED Video where Arianna Huffington shared her thoughts on – “How to Suceed? Get some sleep” And her mantra to big ideas was a very small idea – Get some sleep. A humor filled video where she makes us believe that – to lead to better ideas and better decisions in life, all we need is sleep as bragging about sleep deprivation will lead everyone to – nowhere.

A very convincing talk on how sleep can lead to more happiness and better productivity.

In the later part of the session, we had some amazing people to listen to. Certainly, they were different, they stood out and their work, their story speaks for them.
The session began with Dr.Latika Rana’s talk on “Born to be Wild”. We all have heard about campaigns like ‘Save our tigers’ but listening to her was like getting to the root cause of it and living the life from jungle.

I loved it because, I was awed by her decision to work in wildlife conservation. No wonder, she is aptly dubbed as the ‘tiger princess’. Not many could take up this kind of a work, she shared some beautiful memoirs of her stay in jungle for days and to study tigers and how they live, learn, survive. She spoke about and shared pictures of some beautiful jungle inmates like Takdeer and Sita.

Did we actually think of them being named! Well, we saw them and I believe for the first time they weren’t scary. You can explore more on tigers by checking Singinawa Foundation.

Last speaker for the day, was the one – I was most looking forward to. It was the young photographer and now we can proudly call him a photography enthusiast, it was time to listen to Vicky Roy. And he spoke his heart out when he shared his journey from “Delhi to New York”.

Vicky Roy – a young photographer who has captured the WTC reconstruction from ground zero and has exhibited his works in England, South Africa. Honesty and Emotions in his talk filled the auditorium with the sound of claps; they were all with him encouraging him to share his life story. How a kid with dreams in his eyes – decided to ran off from his home at the age of 11 and reached Delhi, and then reached the Salam Baalak Trust which enrolled him to train as a photographer and from then he never looked back.

Vicky Roy believes, though it was his passion to learn and do photography but he always got the right mentors in different phases of life. His story is one of a kind and his modesty was well appreciated. The audience loved him and the organizers were elated to have him receive all the love & encouragement.

He believed that it was God’s grace that he was chosen to take the road less travelled by becoming an example for those underprivileged children who run away and get into wrong habits & company. Vicky is working on bringing together a photography library to make the exemplary examples accessible and also plans to go back to his hometown Purulia in West Bengal, someday in his life.

TEDx Gurgaon has never just finished on that note. Here, we take best care of brains and heart as well. The speakers were just too good and the talks very intriguing, so now it was time for fun, to ease out the nerve cells and to relax so we had the young talent – Jasleen Royal, the semi-finalist from India’s Got Talent-1 play some of the great tracks from Rock on to Beetles and the audience got into groove.

And then was the time for ‘Rangla Punjab’ – who get you back to the weekend mood and inspires you ever more to live life to the fullest. The thoughts which were provoked were made to rest with that but the learning’s stay and that is how I am sharing that all here.

That was TEDx Gurgaon this year and I am sure all the attendees will look forward to another treat next year. Until then….keep walking ????