So, the last post was just the beginning- India Today Youth Summit rocked the day and how! Getting to listen to so many eminent personalities from various facets of the world was awe-inspiring, to say the least. Ritesh Agarwal, Jayant Sinha, Sonam Kapoor and Sidharth Malhotra inspired everyone to chase their dreams, however unrealistic they seem. Up next was another young student from Delhi, called Krishna aka Naina who had the courage to see through the restrictions imposed by the society and believe in herself.
Krishna, as young as 3 years old, knew there was something wrong, something wasn’t in the right place. He was trapped in the wrong body. As years progressed, he battled depression and a couple of suicide attempts for being a misfit in this world which is so fond of categorizing everything. The realization didn’t come as a surprise one day, but it was a whole process which made Krishna realize that he is a woman’s soul in a man’s body. The mother was present at the event and seeing that the family had happily accepted this truth was a sigh of relief. Krishna, now Naina is preparing for her 12th Boards this year and will be going for surgery after they are over. Such inspiration, I tell ya.
Next up on the stage was YouTube sensation and movie reviewer Biswa. I thought he tried too hard to sound funny. Or maybe, I was too old for the jokes he had in his script, considering that the major audience here was school and college kids. Nevertheless, he talked about movies, reviews, politics and sports and how he dropped out of IIT to pursue comedy. Once again, a small town boy ditches the regular path and does something his heart desires. Real, unadulterated inspiration.
Jaat-setter, as he is commonly called, Randeep Hooda was also there to narrate his story. Apparently, what the audience wanted to listen was not how this ‘Jaat-Boy’ landed into Bollywood but how to propose a girl in Haryanvi. Randeep’s wit charmed me and I could easily say that this was one of my favorite sessions of the summit. He gave very prompt and witty responses, totally unapologetic for the man he is or the films he does, also mentioning that we’ll never see hi doing dancing around the trees.
Seventeen year old Faizal Khan, who has recently won Jhalak Dikhla Ja, after winning DID Little Champs earlier was the next one to come up on stage. This was a fun session with the teenager sharing how he loves dance and is now exploring acting as well. It was very evident from this session that Faizal has bigger dreams than just winning reality shows. They are only a stepping stone to Bollywood and hopefully, the worst part of the struggle is already over. Faizal danced to every little request from the audience and it was wonderful watching this young achiever perform live.
Next it was time for Papon to rock the stage with his music. The audience was awestruck as he held the mike and sung one melody after another. We just didn’t want him to talk, we only wanted him to keep singing. A few tracks and a promise to do a Bihu number later, Papon shared a really amazing story. He narrated that it the popular belief that people from the North East are not given ample chances isn’t completely true. In his case, his journey started from Delhi and he loves coming back and performing there. He narrated how he was never treated any differently than anyone from mainland India and this ignited a ray of hope inside me, that things are going to be fine, someday.
The next session was a very interesting panel discussion with Congressman Jyotiraditya Scindia and BJP’s Kiren Rijiju. Though Rijiju insisted on not wanting to steer the audience towards a political discussion, I guess it is inevitable when two politicians from opposing political parties share the stage. I was mighty impressed with the things Scindia said, and felt that Rijiju had a tough time countering Scindia’s beef politics allegations. Another interesting part of this session was that both these young leaders did push-ups to entice the audience.
And as they say, best was saved for the last. After a presentation by Amrita University, the sponsor came in the superstar Anil Kumble. My heart fell so many emotions at the same time, seeing the man. I have been an ardent fan and it was one session I loved the most. Anil shared stories about his world famous 10 wicket innings and how he felt it was achievable. Impossible dreams also come true.
The super famous rapper Badshah came up next to wrap up the session with his quirky songs and made the audience shake a leg or two with him. This was one star-studded day and I can’t stop bragging about the number of stars I saw in one night. Each of them had stories so inspiring to tell, that one just starts day dreaming about how anything is possible in this world.
I was not in the city to attend the event but I am glad friend AkankshaDureja made the best of it.