I feel so happy to blog that we just completed the first edition of TEDx Janpath at The American Centre, New Delhi. I'm delighted to share that speakers from seven countries came all the way down here to share their incredible stories and ideas. It was such an overwhelming, enlightening feeling to witness the coming together of influencers, doers, crusaders and thought leaders from across the world, for a day of dialogue on the theme “Lotus: Journey To Enlightenment”.
The event saw a stellar line-up of speakers from all walks of life — from a thirteen-year-old New York Fashion Week designer, Martial Arts specialist from China and Padma Bhushan recipient from New Delhi to A BAFTA award winning Director—Producer from the UK. These speakers enthralled guests with life-changing experiences, power of meditation, discussions on life sciences and technological innovations, woman power and so much more!! The most impactful moment was the standing ovation for Leslee Udwin's heart wrenching documentary 'India’s Daughter', Sue Chen’s story about how sharks saved her life, Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak on human scavengers and Isabella's story of starting out at 13 in the iconic New Year Fashion Week…
Now, TED is a platform to celebrate thinkers, dreamers and the free-spirited. It brought together an eclectic mix of social crusaders and achievers, who are still on their own little journeys, pulling out all the stops and navigating hurdles. The difference being, their paths are the ones less traveled by. As a perfect analogy, each speaker was like the lotus, who has emerged a winner, standing strong, stemming out of muddy water. Rising and blooming, a lotus has deep significance. Just like the core mission of TED to spread “ideas worth sharing”, this season at TEDxJanpath, we embraced the spirit of this beautiful flower. The beauty of the flower compels us to believe that extraordinary things can have humble origins; it is flaming desire that unlocks inner potential and paves the way to success. In life, we face several stumbling blocks. The real test is when we continue to persevere, unperturbed and unrelenting. The lotus encourages us to gear up, break out of the rut, set our own track of expedition and eventually attain enlightenment.
On a personal note, my exposure and participation in The Fortune Program by the US Embassy and then speaking at TEDx Marunouchi at Tokyo has helped in shaping both who I am and the path I need to follow. Inspired and encouraged by my mentor, at 23, I launched my own venture. Thereafter, on occasions such as these, I’ve met people from all walks of life from almost every part of the world and heard their stories. Along the way, I’ve been influenced by them and found renewed encouragement and passion to pursue my dreams and “Pay It Forward” in my own way. Sometimes, because of varied exposure and real world scenarios that are forever in a flux, I’ve done course alteration and for good measure, learnt from the mistakes of others through events like these, having done enough of my own and that's the reason that through adversity, I’ve been able to come out and pursue my dreams.
My association with TED has been enriching and rewarding. I've drawn amazing energy and positivity from speakers. The audience was generous and gracious with applause and words of appreciation. But what really made this event a great success was constant support from my team. We joined hands as a powerful force to make it a memorable, fruitful day. The event commenced with Padma Bhushan award recipient and founder of Sulabh International, Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak throwing light on how technological innovations has made a difference in the lives of the untouchables. His talk was followed by Patricia Bader-Johnston from Tokyo, Sumit D Chowdhury (author of ‘Rules of the Game’), Isabella Rose Taylor (thirteen-year-old New York Fashion Week designer), Sue Chen (Founder CEO, NOVA Medical Products from LA), Rumaan Kidwai (Independent Filmmaker), Ameera Shah( Managing Director and CEO, Metropolis Healthcare), Master Li Junfeng (Founder of International Sheng Zhen Society), Leslee Udwin (BAFTA award-winning Director—Producer from the UK and Director of India’s Daughter), Tiffany Kelly (Global Head of Innovation for Impact International and Creator of the Global Flourish Initiative UK), Audrey Harris (CEO—Founder, Soubis France), Madiha Sultan Tai (Co-founder and CEO of Lals, Karachi-based Patisserie), Amruda Nair (Joint Managing Director and CEO, Aiana Hotels and Resorts). Lise Moulet, a multifaceted dance artist, choreographer and teacher from France graced the stage with traditional Indian dance.
It was a fest to celebrate the unbending grit of a lotus... its sheer determination to rise out of the muddy marshes and bloom, spreading smiles. Just like our speakers. We not only paid homage to their collective Lotus spirit but ensured that seeds were sown to make this community stronger, bigger and better.