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TEDxGurugram was an independently organized TED event, which took place this last Sunday, the 6th of November at The Epicenter Gurgaon. Although “took place” would be the wrong way to describe it – it was more like “made to happen”, because of the sheer effort and patience of the volunteers and organizers and the sweet, petite, hardworking powerhouse that is Antje Pfahl.
When it comes to events around TED in North India, as an avid viewer of TED’s international talks and a subscriber to their TED Radio Hour podcast, my expectations are super low. India is a country of favours and “sucking-up” and many speakers who are invited to speak on stage, are not fit to be there. So, I’ve never been very keen an attending any of these. The only other one that I’ve wanted to attend was TEDxDelhi in 2010, which was great.
At the end of the day, it is about “Ideas Worth Spreading” and I want to learn something new. i want to be made to think about something from a different perspective. And a little bit of entertainment doesn’t hurt. Antje managed to make all of that happen and I was happy to be have been part of the journey.
Please see the TEDxGurugram website for details on all the speakers and the talks. In this blog post, I’m going to be sharing some of my favorite speakers and their talks and of course photographs from the entire days ( including photographs of the installation of my first ever photo exhibition! )
The most moving talk was by Ulrike of Janwaar Castle. Both Bharat and I couldn’t fathom how a simple skateboard could transform an entire village and its residents. I had tears in my eyes every two minutes at the massive shift in culture Ulrike has enabled. I remember pretty much everything she said on stage but it will take me a while to process everything and then I reckon words will not be enough to describe what she has done. Please do go to their website and see for yourself.
The most entertaining talk with a beautiful message was by Jay Kannaiyan who spoke about his Chicken Curry and eudaimonia. How a simple curry that he cooked for strangers along his motorcycle route meant he made friends and reached a level just a little higer than happiness, “human flourishing”. Jay also had all his soft, humorous punchlines in place, much to my delight.
The talk I found most relevant to what it is I do for a living – with a different perspective thrown in for good measure – was by Angad Chowdhry. Again, you had to be there to truly enjoy it – it made me think about what I do, from a larger perspective.
The talk where I saw the profession of farming and agriculture from a different perspective was delivered by Prem Singh. He spoke in Hindi and was a lovely orator to listen to.
There was hula-hoop and capoeira performances as well as art installations that included the photography work of Vicky Roy, paintings and hand-drawn illustrations by Sunayna, a work of art by Rat-Labs, and a display of photographs called #EyesForGurugram by me! ( I will be sharing my work in a separate blog post soon. )
Enjoy the photos below!
Thank you to the volunteers for making this possible. And for taking care of my photo exhibit when I was not around. Thank you Antje, Sajid, Naini and Bharat for making this happen! It was EPIC! And that’s a wrap!
Previous blog posts about TEDxGurugram on Naina.co