India Today Mind Rocks Youth Summit 2013 – Part 1

When a media giant like India Today organizes a youth summit, you expect it to be mind blowing. But when it turns out to be scintillating, power packed and incredible, you know you made the right decision to attend the full day event.

 

The anchors of the show!

MindRocks started on a pretty high note with the performance of the band “antarishk” and the tempo just got better from there.

The very handsome and modest Leander Paes

The first guest to grace the occasion was ace tennis star Leander Paes. He talked about how he was conceived during the Moscow Olympics (it was shut down for 4 days due to a terrorism alert), how his growing up years were and what it still takes to go back on the field every time with the hunger to win even after playing and being at the top of the game for 23 years. Inspiring to say the least. He fielded questions from the audience about his “break up” from the legendary Lee-Hesh jodi. A couple of lucky people from the audience also got signed tennis balls “served” by him.

 

Hard Kaur with RJ Aparshakti Khurana of Oye 104.8 FM!

The next celebrity in waiting to dazzle us with her music and words was the Brit-Indian rapper Hard Kaur. Did you know her parents named her Tarandeep Kaur Dhillon? Her attitude was pretty much like what she pulls off on the stage – reckless and carefree. She shared how it wasn’t easy for an Indian girl to make it big in a space of hard core hip-hop rappers and how it was sheer will and belief that made her a success.

 

Hard Kaur doing a jig for the audiences!

 

Dhruv Shinghi 

Successful entrepreneur Dhruv Shinghi, CEO, yatra.com shared how the idea of starting Yatra was actually conceived during a drinks session with friends on the day he was fired from his job! He also shared his long list of failures before he finally found his calling. Many a budding entrepreneurs in the audience had questions for him

The mother of all sessions waited for us next. The topic of discussion was “Crime, Not Age” and on the panel were Dr. Kiran Bedi, Actor-model Gul Panag, and Nishtha Gautam, Observer Researcher Foundation. Dr. Kiran Bedi educated the audience on the nitty gritties of the Juvenile Justice act, and how it was being misused by “juveniles” to get away with heinous acts. Gul Panag, looking pretty as a picture, had some pretty strong views on women abuse, juvenile justice and gender discrimination

Deep in thoughts: Gul Panag

Some of the audience raised some pretty valid points about how women are always made to second fiddle even when parents say things like “ye to mere bete jaisi hai” or when businesses are named “GopalChand & Sons”. Its high time the betiyaan are accorded their rightful place in the family and businesses are divided equally between the sons and daughters.

Nirbhaya’s parents

The highlight of this session were a couple sitting in the front row. So simple, you wouldn’t give them a second look until someone told you they were Nirbhaya’s or the Dec 16 gangrape victim Jytoi Singh Pandey’s parents. They were quite composed, as opposed to the audience, majority of who had tears in their eyes. They thanked the people for supporting them through the worst time in their lives, and urged them to keep up the battle to bring about a reform in the existing Juvenile Justice Act.

Nirbhaya’s parents with the panel in discussion

After this heavy duty session, it was time to take it a little easy. There was the famous author of the Shiva trilogy Amish Tripathi sharing how it was the story teller inside him that got a “creatively challenged” person like him to pen down 3 complete books, one after the other. Apart from the perseverance he had for following his passion, he advised the young junta to keep their jobs before plunging into their hobby headlong because, after all, if you are not the Tatas or Birlas or Ambanis, you got no rich daddy to pay your bills…right?

Amish Tripathi fielding audiences’ questions

Sheer luck..I also got H’s copy of Immortals of Meluha signed by Amish as a gift for him.:D A day of several firsts!

This session, that happened just before lunch, had more jhatkas than the 440 volts. There was Deepender Singh Huda (member, Congress), Mr. Sanjeev Kaul (member, BJP) and Arvind Kejriwal (member, AAP). The topic of discussion was, of course, the upcoming elections, Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi. Mr. Kejriwal, one to never mince his words, had quite a few endearing words to say to his contemporaries which they neither had the gall to deny and were left royally squirming in their seats.

Rahul Kanwal, introducing the panel members for discussion!

 

Putting his best foot forward!

To be continued….

We love to chat! Why not WeChat?

We Indians love our chats and chaats with equal fervor. We like our gossips to be as spicy and tangy as the golgappe waala’s teekhe waala paani. So what if your motto in life is just “live and let live”? The neighbor waali Mrs. Sharma doesn’t think so. To check what time you reach home at night, what clothes you wear and how many guy friends you have is all her prerogative too. After all, who’s going to take care of the declining ethos of the society, eh?

And so, when I was given the opportunity to be able to connect with any 5 people of my choice, I decided to run a few ticks in my check list. After all, I would be talking/chatting/video calling some of my real favorite people in the world. I decide to send WeChat invites to my favorite 5 people and this is the bhelpuri of a conversation that we had (recreated as honestly as possible ;-))

(Phone beeps)
Apparently THE ShahRukh Khan has accepted my invite and sends me a hello…

SRK: Hello there, young lady!
Moi: H..h..h…h..h hello Sir. It’s such an honour to be chatting with you.
SRK: ha ha ha. Call me SRK. Naam to suna hi hoga

(And I imagine my first true love going all SRKish, opening his arms just for me )

Mrs. Sharma: Hello Sir, I also feel the honour ji. Thank you beta for inviting me into this conversation too.

Moi: No trouble Aunty. (we need someone for entertainment,no?)

SRK: Ghata, you have such a beautiful name. Bollywood has romanticized your name so much. Never thought I would meet someone with the name.

Moi : (blushing) Thanks SRK. I can’t believe you are flirting with me 😉

Mrs. Sharma : (obviously not liking the lack of attention on her): SRK, I heard you are planning another baby. What’s with you and Aamir and Sanju wanting to be dads at 50?

SRK: ha ha ha…pyaar, shaadi aur bacche karne ki koi umar nahi hoti…lekin ye tum kya jaano Mrs. Sharma….ha ha ha!!

(Moi silently enjoying the saucy convo)

phone beeps
(The famous Margaret Mitchell has accepted my invitation too)

MM: Hello there, lady!
Moi: Hello Ma’m. I can’t believe what I am chatting with you right now. I never thought this was possible.
MM : Thank you Ghata!
Mrs. Sharma: But beta, tell me, who is this firangi girl you are talking to?
Moi: Aunty, she’s the author of a bestselling author “Gone with the Wind”. It’s my favorite book. When I first read it, I wanted to kiss the hands and the mind that created it.
MM : Thank you dear. You are very kind.
Mrs. Sharma (obviously not very impressed) : ok, your english books vooks. What do I know? She wrote a tragic love story?
Moi: No aunty, she wrote about how a girl discovered what true love actually meant in between wars and adversities.
Mrs. Sharma : (unimpressed) Ok Ok! Whatever that means..
SRK: MM, Loved your book. By the way, I am SRK. Naam to suna hi hoga….ha ha ha…
MM : Thank you Sir. Pray forgive me for I have never heard of you.
SRK : !!!
Moi : 😛

phone beeps


(Sarah jessica parker has accepted my invitation too)
I let out a whoop of joy!

Moi : Hi Sarah! So excited to be talking to you.
SJP : Thanks honey.
Mrs. Sharma : now who is she? Why couldn’t you invite Anandi from Balika vadhu? Always talking to these foreign girls!!
Moi : Aunty, she is a famous Hollywood actress. She played Carrie Bradshaw in the famous TV series Sex and the City.
mrs. Sharma: What? Sex and what? Your generation and all this talk about s** before marriage and all?

Aunty  goes off on another tangent and talks about our unmoral-ness while …

Moi: So, Sarah, how does it feel to be still remembered as Carrie? Was it difficult playing the part?
SJP: It feels great to be still known as Carrie. People loved the show. Playing the part wasn’t so difficult because it is a little like all the New York girls drifting in and out of relationships.
Moi: But what about being in an affair with Mr. Big knowing that he was married?
SJP: Well, that was Carrie Bradshaw for you and not Sarah. 🙂

Aunty is still mumbling about sex and extra marital affairs…

Moi: You sensationalized the stilettos and high street fashion.
SJP: Thanks a lot girl. I loved being on the show as much as you loved watching it.

phone beeps and Mr. Arvind Kejriwal is on the chat


Moi: hello Sir, an honour to be talking to you.
Mrs. Sharma : Hello Arvind ji. Only you can save the country now. You are doing a great job.
AK: Thank you ladies. But the aam aadmi party needs your support both morally and financially to succeed.
Moi: Absolutely Sir. We will support as much as we can. I am a huge fan. The way you left your high profile cushioned job for the sake of the country is really exemplary.
AK: Thank you. It’s just something I had to do.
Moi: But I am sure it was not easy. Family pressures must have held you back.
AK: Let’s not go there. What’s important is that the youth wants a change and we are trying to bring it. We just need your support.
Mrs. Sharma: Arvind ji, please lead us. We will follow you. Perhaps, after this chat, you could come over to our area to check our heightening electricity bills.
Moi: !!!!!!!

And finally, Sir Ravindra Jadeja decides to accept my invite and join the conversation


Moi: Sir Jadeja, what a performance you have been giving in the Champions Trophy.
SRK: O look, sir Ravindra Jadeja! sir, bahut naam suna hai aapka….its lovely meeting you.
MM: So, you are the Sir Ravindra Jadeja everyone’s been talking about? You must be doing something right! Congratulations..
SJP: O yeah, I heard a lot about you from the Indian media, facebook and twitter. Going great guns dude. Keep it up!
AK : Sir, saare politicians aapki tarah perform karne lage, to everyone can live in peace
Mrs. Sharma: He must be a cricketer. Everyone seems to know him? Was he also involved in match fixing?
Moi: No aunty. But yes, he is a cricketer and is in great form. So Sir RJ, how does it feel to be appreciated by legends all over the world?
Sir RJ : (blushing) well, you know…its nice. I like it. But I just try to play my game. Bowl straight. field well.. Rest all follows.
Moi: I am sure Sir RJ. But don’t you feel offended people make jokes on you?

Sir RJ:I try to keep away from them.People do what they are good at. I try do my act well.

Moi: Looking forward to a great performance from you in the upcoming matches as well.

Sir RJ : I will try my best … (honest smile) 🙂

Mrs. Sharma and I had such an awesome time talking to these great personalities!!All thanks to WeChat for launching this awesome application especially in our country where gossips spread faster than wildfires. If you want to know more about this app(downloadable on your phone), you can read my review here. And if you had fun reading about this saucy, tangy and spicy conversation, you should give WeChat a try too!

This post has been written for the WeChat with Anyone, Anywhere! on Indiblogger