Reminiscing TEDx Hyderabad 2015: Unfolding a Vibrant Journey


The Beginning

TEDxHyderabad’s #UnfoldingJourneys on 20th September 2015 has been the most awaited event of the year. Here, I recount this memorable day.

Reached the beautiful, lush green campus of CMC Auditorium, TCS Synergy Park, Gachibowli by 7:45am. Registration was easy and I was given the quintessential TEDx Badge which is truly a Conversation Starter. There was ample time before the Auditorium gates would be open. So I made a couple of new friends and shared my experiences.

Soulful Prayers by Manasi Prasad

The gates were open at 9am and we entered in to a new world of ideas worth spreading. Settling of 500 attendees takes time and the program began at 9:30 am with a soulful rendition of prayers by Manasi Prasad, an Indian Classical Musician and also our first speaker of the day.

Session 1 : The Pragmatic Journey

MANASI PRASAD shares her journey. Being highly educated, she rejected a lucrative job offer to follow her passion of music and become a reputed Indian Classical Musician. She started this Centre of Indian Music Experience in Bangalore, where one can find all types of music instruments, many great musicians on the wall of fame, live experience of recording studio and many more. An inspiring story of a musician doing her bit to give Indian Classic Music, its due share in our lives.

The second speaker was BABU GOGINENI, a secular humanist. His work includes creating awareness against the superstitions. Many people in India still believe in unreasonable superstitions which actually create mess in their lives. In many villages, people are treated inhumanly believing witchcraft and all. He strives to help victims of this inhuman behavior. He inspires us to believe only in the power of Humanity, to treat fellow beings as humans as they really are.

The third of Speaker of the day was ARMSTRONG PAME. The Miracle Man as he is fondly called, is an IAS Officer. He was posted at his village in Nagaland. He is the person behind the ‘People’s Road’, the road from the village connecting to the National Highway, was constructed entirely by the villagers. Every one of the village has contributed to the construction. He shares his journey of commitment and the hardships they faced and how he had taken the help of social media for this noble cause.

The session ends with the First Conversation Break where we are provided with light breakfast.

Session 2 : A Journey of Self Exploration

RAMAN ROY, “Father of Outsourcing and BPOs in India”, shares his journey with a dose of humor. He tells us how the idea was an accident, ofcourse a good one. He brought in so much enegry to us. Thoroughly engaging and funny at times,  his story is surely an inspiration to India.

COLLEN LIGHTBODY, a Life Coach from South Africa uses her passion in Neuroscience and Adventure to mentor people. She shares her struggles in life, how her children give her energy boost to face challenges, etc. Being super willed, she told us that she completed the very difficult Iron Man Triathlon Challenge. She shares us her wisdom of 4 C’s for success in life – Choice, Courage, Control and  Commitment. Being a Neuroscience enthusiast, loved her talk and also will look forward to connect and learn from her.

ANSHUL SINHA, an enthusiastic young mind, who with his camera captures the efforts by some people who do so much for the upliftment of society and yet go unnoticed. His documentaries are eye-opening. He shares his journey of collecting one rupee from each member of his class and college and making films from it. Truly a Change Maker!

PALEM KALYANASUNDARAM could not make it to the event due to health issues. Missed listening him Live but thanks to the Team TEDxHyderabad, they went all the way to Chennai to record his message. He says love is what keeps him and his social service going. He also tell us to contribute atleast 15% of our earnings towards social service. A great man indeed!

We got a break for Lunch. It was delicious. During this break, the TEDxHyderabad Merchandise was on sale by Capricorn Gifting. Everything was so cool and I bought a Tshirt! Yay! And the team kept a table full of crazy stuff..hats, goggles and all which we can try on and pose for pics! And there was Graffiti. My first attempt there and as always, I wrote ‘Shine On!’ and ‘Smile’. It’s Miss Sunshine folks! 😀

Session 3 : Avant-garde!

This session began with a lovely Western Musical performance by JOE KOSTER and his students. He, our first speaker of the session, spoke about his journey of leaving job at Zurich, Switzerland to settle in Hyderabad and introduce here, the Western Classical Music. He started an academy to teach music here. His vision is to create Hyderabad Symphony Orchestra and a music festival. So much love for Music and Hyderabad. We are honoured!

Next comes, LENNY EMANUEL, the fourth generation of Photographers from his family. He gives excerpts from his life journey and shows us some of the very rare photographs of places in Hyderabad. He tells us about his experiences with Mother Teresa, using his thumb as tripod to take panoramic photos and many more. His efforts to save the Heritage Sites of Hyderabad are  note-worthy. Kudos!

G V RAMANJANEYULU (not found in the pic) is an Agriculturist enlightens us about the health hazards of using pesticides in farming. He shares his tough journey creating awareness to farmers on the benefits of organic farming without any help from the government. Today two villages from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have totally embraced the pesticide-free farming and because of his efforts, we are able to drop from 3rd place to 20th in pesticide usage. He started ‘Sahaja Aahara’ in Hyderabad where only the organic and pesticide free produce will be sold and the prices are 20% less than that of the market and 75% of the money will go back to the farmers. (Only 20% of the money goes back to farmers from the markets). Hats Off!

KSHITHIJ MARWAH, a brilliant mind from MIT tell us about his passion in technology and how hardware in India is  not hard afterall. He with a bunch of like-minded people built the first 360º Camera which can be operated by a phone and is totally built from the materials available in India. He also built a camera where the focus can be changed after the photos are taken. He also introduced us to the first 360º Video Recorder and the first video was recorded LIVE there. Awesome! I was so proud to witness ‘Make in India’.

Then comes the Second Conversation Break with High Tea.

Session 4 : A Journey of Legacies

Presenting RITU KARIDHAL, the Deputy Operation Director of Mission On Mars (MOM), ISRO. We were so honoured to have her on the stage. The mission itself was a historic moment for India. She shared with us, the journey of what it takes to create history, the tedious process, the problems involved etc. She also tells us about her personal journey, of being the eldest child of a middle class family, how her parents supported her joining the ISRO and how supportive her husband and children were, during the course of MOM. It was very inspiring to listen to a woman of such stature, softly explaining us the nuances involved.

ZENA EL KHALIL, the renowed artist from the constantly warring zone of Lebanon tells us how she chose Art to convey the messages of struggles at home, harmony she wishes to see and peace which she strives for. She shares her moment in Italy, seeing the Michelangelo’s master piece which made her realise that the sadness on the face of Madonna’s sculpture is what the people of home are experiencing. Then, she resolved that she will become an artist spreading the message of Love to the world. Every year, she will dress up as ‘Pink Bride of Peace’ of the day of Lebanon’s 10k run, giving people little goodies with a message of peace. Her Smile touched my heart. Kudos to this strong yet serene woman!

It’s 5:30pm and the day comes to an end so soon! I wished we got more time. But this was just the beginning!

TEAM TEDxHyderabad led by Viiveck Verma, Anthony Vipin Das and Ekta Viiveck Verma, has done an exemplary job of organising this event. Their commitment and bigger vision are what made this, possible. Everything went on so perfect. Organising is one thing but perfect execution is just a whole new level. Managing 500 attendees is quite a task and the whole team was outstanding. Their efforts paid off and the event was a huge success. Thanks to their warm smiles, we felt at home, the whole day. I can’t tell you enough about them. I thank them with all my heart for this amazing opportunity of being a part of the bigger TEDxHyderabad Community and meet new and wonderful attendees with whom I had a blast of time!

Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did experiencing. And I extend a warm welcome to all you enthusiastic people to come and be a part of TEDxHyderabad Community.


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