Boss sent a mail on Friday, saying that there is a TED event which is happening on Sunday, 20th at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. The details said that it’s an audition event. Another line, we have closed the auditions. The other confusing one, we’ve added 500 seats.
Confused, I shot a mail to the organizer Ram, to my surprise he replied in a flash. He said there will be presenters, just come over.
Buddy Vinod said he also have registered for the event and will be going.
Sunday came. Was not sure to go or not. SMS’d Vinod what time is he starting. He replied, ‘not feeling well, so not going today’.
It was 12:30 in the afternoon, at one hand not sure about what’s in store at TED and on the other hand guilt of not being with the family on Sunday. On top of it, Vinod dropped out.
Discussed with Biwi, she first agreed half-heartedly.
I said, “Ok, I will stay back.”
At 1PM, She said, “Go for TED, we’ll be fine.”
I said, “You are the best.”
Took my bike, started towards Mount Carmel College filled with guilt. Constantly haunted by a question, whether I’ve done the right thing?
Reached Mount Carmel.
Blown away by the design of the stage by Shilo Shiv Suleman @shilo1221
So, as I settled in, I came to know that there are 23 speakers who will be talking and the time limit given to each of them will is 6 minutes.
I was like Wow. TED event… in Bangalore …. Free entry… Superb. I never thought, I will be get to see TED ….live.
Now without going through the details of the events, I will chalk down what I learnt from few of the speakers.
@puneet_sahani : He is a Colorful Hitchhiker. Loved his lines.
There is a beauty in being lost!
In India, Gods are corrupt.
Mumbai dabbawallas: I’ve heard about them a lot, seen their talks online. But this is the first time I saw the presentation in person.Truly remarkable to find out that their model is sustainable. During the break, I had a chat with the dabbawala who gave the talk, poked him when is He starting services in Bangalore. He honestly replied, “We can do that in Mumbai because of its well connected Public transport – the local train and the bus.”
Mansukhbhai: Loved his mitti cool (www.mitticool.in) inventions – Water filter, Refrigerator and Non-stick pan, all made of Clay at 1/10th of the cost. The best part is, no electricity required to run the filter or the refrigrator. Great going Mansukhbhai. Chatted with him during the break, He was so humble and open. True son of the soil – Gujarat.
The other invention I loved was by Sushant Patnayak (http://www.susantpattnaik.com), 18 year old boy from Orissa, invented a device to control wheel chair through breathing. Yes, just by sniffing in the sensor, you could control the movements of a Wheel Chair. Bravo kid, way to go.
I was star struck after seeing the gracious Ira trivedi (http://iratrivedi.in/) on stage. Didn’t knew that the author will be presenting today. She spoke on the subject of Love Vs. Arrange marriage. She told us amazing facts that the divorce rate in India is 10% which is less than western countries, but increasing at an alarming rate. She said, “Consider love marriage like a stock, it’s volatile, goes up and down and sometime it goes bust. While Arrange marriage is like a bond, it has a steady pace and…” … “I want a bit of both stocks and bonds.”
Spoke to her during the break and found her extremely beautiful and down to earth.
Enjoyed chatting with the set designer Shilo (I’ve known her through twitter from quite sometime). She not only brings alive the beautiful apsaras (fairies) from Indian Mythology in her work, but she looks and dresses like one. She is an illustrator and have designed magnificent sets, diaries and interestingly an iPad app. Check out her work at www.khoya.in
But the real heroes of the evening were two women
1. Ruma Roka – who works for Noida Deaf Society. She said,
“Deaf doesn’t mean dumb.”
2. Anjali Gopalan – who works with HIV affected children.
Big picture can overwhelm and paralyse….just do your bit.
Anjali has been named one of the Time 100 most influential people in the world.
Had fun talking to the other speaker Aparajita Datta (http://ncf-india.org/) of Nature Conservation Foundation.
Out an out an experience of a life time, to see passionate people talk. So, if viewing one TED talk is like a prayer, the whole event was like a RETREAT or PILGRIMAGE.
Kudos to Lakshmi and Chris Anderson (@TEDChris) – You guys rock.
PS: Some pictures of the event clicked by fellow participants here
PPS: Ignore typos and usage, writing this half-asleep.