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!|
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.
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….