On a beautiful Saturday morning when the Sun was just out I started my journey to the most exciting day I had been waiting for since a fortnight, when I received the first invitation to it "Mind Rocks", the coolest and the most happening of all the events hosted by India Today. I was surprised to see when I reached Sirifort Auditorium at 8:30 that the place was buzzing with young people, students from schools and colleges of Delhi, bloggers like me and fun enthusiasts. I soon forgot it was the lazy weekend. As soon as I collected my cool delegate badge and entered I got my goodie bad with cool stuff, and yay I was looking forward to day that was already "Awesome". We quickly hogged on to our chocolate donuts, sandwiches and amul cool and the RJ started entertaining the crowd, singing songs, making the atmosphere more vibrant. TV reporters buzzed around with mike and camera's trying to capture the delightful mood.
And with a bam! as soon as we found the best possible seats for ourselves in the glamorous Sirifort Auditorium (one of the best ones in Delhi where the greatest of Scientists/Politicians and Artists) have adorned the stage, Antariksh band the winner of MindRocks finale performed. The music energized us for a 12 hour fun filled session lying ahead of us. Kavery Bamzai, editor in chief India Today group gave a warm welcome address. I loved that the highest position of this prestigious organization was occupied by a woman and she was smart, I heard her for the first time and now I am a fan.
Leander Paes one of the greatest athletes began narrating his story. He told that he was conceived during the four days which were the only time in the history of olympics that the games were at halt because of a terrorist attack, thus at the end of every dark night is a brighter day. He gave various examples of hardships from his life and career and how he overcame them. The words that motivated me the most was his statement " Indians can be world- leaders". " You can be anything you want to be, just surround your self with the right kind of quality people". However at the Q& A session he gave very diplomatic answers about only cricket and not other sports being favored in India. I honestly don't appreciate anything but straight from the heart truth and therefore didn't enjoy it much!
The next speaker was the one that buzzed the stage with her "I give a damn" attitude and her hip-hop rap Hard Kaur. It was great to understand that though she was brought up abroad, she had the same set of parents wanting her to be a "typical girl" and she had always been an "outlier" and a smart and successful one at that. Next came Dhruv Shringi, co-founder and CEO Yatra.com. This was a man who had failed in multiple earlier business, lost a lot of his parents savings but emerged like a phoenix. He was a straight from the heart, politically incorrect and my type speaker and an individual there was a lot to learn from. What I loved about him are these words "Things wont happen to you, You have to make them happen". He also believed that the economic slowdown had a positive side to it, the loss of jobs etc, will make people who have one value t more and work well instead of taking it for granted.
Post these sessions came a very serious Panel discussion with Dr. Kiran Bedi, Gul Panag and Nishtha Gautam. They individually presented their views on how the juvenile act is the mode through which crimilas pass off and through many examples that they just grow worse adults, spoiling more lives. The topic arose from the fact that one of the convicts of the "Nirbhaya" or Jyoti Singh Pandey's rape cases has been sentenced just 3 years of imprisonment, he is only months away from being 18. The Indian law however considers age over crime. Dr. Kiran Bedi, the best of all speakers began with explaining what "The Juvenile Act" was and how it came into force and how with time many countries like USA modified it, except for India, but now is the time for a change. Jyoti's parents were present at the event and her mother in a very simple and subtle manner requested the youth to continue helping victims of such incidences. She also voiced that she felt that her daughter or any girl who is raped should hide or feel ashamed, she didn't do anything wrong. Delhi cried with her words. Dr. Kiran Bedi put a beautiful point that Jyoti fought a battle that night and very bravely she did, her picture therefore should be made public for it to find place and respect in peoples heart as we honour the martyrs, her parents had no issues to this request and I really wish Dr. Bedi's words to come true and we do get to see her and remember her always for her courage. Watch some moments here http://indiatoday.intoday.in/video/gul-panag-mind-rocks-youth-summit-2013-uvenile-jusctice-act/1/311041.html
Next session was a talk by a man most of my readers would love to know all about , the author of record breaking success in Indian literary world "The Shiva Trilogy" Amish Tripathi. Amish spoke about self belief and belief in ones work. He advised people not to leave their jobs to follow your passion but cut off everything else in life apart from work that helped you sustain, your family and your passion. That was his mantra for success. My only regret is I didn't get to ask him a question :(.
Post this was hot on plate Politics, just pre-lunch with Deepender Hooda - MP, Sanjay Kaul - spokes Person BJP, and Arvind Kejriwal - founder Aam Aadmi Party. Deepender Hooda just went on and on about 65 years post Independence how India progresses, not at all coming to the point of what did congress do in the past session? His answers were vague, never to the point and the crowd was totally bored. Sanjay Kaul on the other hand spoke well, to the point, ofcourse Narendra Modi's image and Gujarat's growth statistics speak for it all. However the show stealer was Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, well thought, precise , simple and an educated politician. He didn't promise big but a cleaner, corruption free India. He was very well received by the audience who hooted and cheered after most of his statements. He gave his reasons for forming the party and their objectives post coming into power. I loved his simple examples and the opinion polls at the end the sessions clearly showed that AAP is going to win in Delhi. I truly hope so and wish that Mr.Kejriwal can accomplish the humungous task of cleaning India of the corruption. He began and ended with "Bharat Mata ki Jai" and as he moved out, he didn't just walk away but waved with a bright smile to the crowd who gave only him out of the three speakers a standing ovation upon his entry and exit.
After the lunch was filled with the delicious food, we had an amazing session with Lawrene and Salman the winners of Dance India Dance. Lawrene looked lovely and the guys just wanted to be with her on the stage, while the girls wanted to dance with Salman. They performed some cool moves and the audience danced along. Then came the UNICEF awards wherein those children who despite being in immense poverty and with no resources but just the will to become something did something to help people around them live their dreams, were identified and awarded. The winner of the event (I apologize deeply I cant recall her name) was a girl from a small village in UP, who had studied with the help of little educated women in family until UNICEF built schools and educated them. Her spirit was undying. She helped school dropouts join school again and taught other children in her spare time. She made me feel small, she indeed had done a lot at such a young age.
Followed by this entered the stage a man girls wanted to kill themselves for "Virat Kohli". The crowd was just mesmerized to see their hero on stage and the hooting and cheering went on for good 5-7 minutes, which made Viraat conscious. He revealed a lot about how the success did make him get a high and loose track, how he got back on it, how he idolized Sachin Tendulkar and also danced to Gangnam style, watch it right here, right now http://indiatoday.intoday.in/video/the-dressing-room-is-like-a-college-canteen.-no-virat-we-dont-believe-that/1/311145.html. Some lucky people who got to ask him questions he enjoyed got an autographed bat, that is called something now. isn't it?
The session post this was Aditi Rao Hyadri speaking about love and relationships,I frankly feel she had no clue what to speak about, she just repeated the same things again and again. Next came Ajay Bijli, Chairman and MD PVR Cinemas or as my favorite host Kaveri Bamzai put it, the man who chaged the way we spend our weekends. He began talking about his journey with PVR Priya (where I watch most of my movies) to envisioning and building multiplexes. He also revealed that PVR priya will soon be IMAX, how cool is that Delhi-ites? People in other metro cities, you to will soon experience PVR Directors cut, the royal way to watch movies, near you soon!
The last speaker was partly the reason I went to this event Farhan Akhtar, one of the thoughtful film-makers in India. I believe the host Kallie Puri annoyed him a little as she went on and on about Bhaag MilKha Bhaag making 100 crores, rather than really talking about why he dis, what films he wanted to do etc. The whole session lacked quality questions from the host and the audience. So we just got to see him and have some fun moments captured here http://indiatoday.intoday.in/video/farhan-akhtar-bollywood-actor-mind-rocks-youth-summit-2013/1/311101.html. Kaveri Bamzai should have certainly been the host of this session.
Finally Bam again! the evening ended with everyone dancing to the tunes of Hard Kaur and going talli ;). http://indiatoday.intoday.in/video/mind-rocks-2013-finale-concert-by-hard-kaur/1/311057.html. Don't worry we were talli with music and fun with an awesome day with a great combination of fun and experience and I hope everyone reached their homes safely :P.
I knew that day when I woke up that it would be a day I will remember all my life, yes I will and for now I am not gonna shut talking about me unless someone puts a tape on my mouth ;). My Mind is Rocking! Thank you India Today for this great event, hoping to be with you for more! And last but not the least KUDOS! to the organizing team who made it all happen, its you guys who truly ROCK!