“Ordinariness is a disease that no one wants to get associated with these days. It is worse than humiliation, a virus so low that we all are constantly trying to escape it. We do not meet the ordinary, we aspire excellence, in every aspect and sphere of life. We meet at excellence.” – Gian Singh, Secundrabad
A few lines shared by the old man left a deep thought lingering in my head. Who is ordinary in today’s life? Even the most ordinary news is spiced up to an extent that it seems the most appealing to us. No one wants an ordinary job, an ordinary spouse, or an ordinary house! In short, we cannot afford to be ordinary any more.
So, who are we? Travellers in strive to reach excellence? Achievers? Dreamers? Or ordinary people doing extra-ordinary things? In my journey of organizing TEDx seminar, I got the opportunity to meet people who fit the bill of all the following types. Starting from the panel of our speakers, to the team members, to advisors, well-wishers, each person who is convinced about the concept of TED, is a traveller in strive,Or at-least in thought.
To begin with, the “Dreamer”, who works on the philosophy of “Because I dare, I can”, the organizer of TEDx Deccan, a design manager working for Dupont, an architect and designer by education, but a dreamer by profession. Arvind Dutta. His passion lies in the love of his city, of talking about in length about the fabric of culture thriving around us. He deeply admires people who break free from the clutches of self-obsessed greed, and work towards their dreams/ leaders/ entrepreneurs. I think, with this ideology he decided to organize a TED conference within Hyderabad. Arvind wanted a platform wherein ecologists, historians, artists, entrepreneurs, doctors, politicians could meet and share their work, inspirational stories that inspire people to do more for others. To work for the love of working, than the need of work. Infact, Arvind himself is a living example of such philosophy. Coming from a humble background, his single minded devotion and commitment to his work, be it architecture, a university gold medallist, or creating sustainable design models at NID, to creating a niche by design thinking in an American corporate( DuPont), Arvind is driven by passion for excellence and a vision for creating a school of Innovation.
On a similar note, I met another person, Lakshmi Prabhala, a content photographer, capturing the city from her eyes, photographing the history of the Deccan in her memories and her blog. Lakshmi is in love with the city and curious about the heritage. Her constant search of the city within a city, drives her, with camera in hand, to take long walks, strike conversations with local, explore the hidden/ lost stories of Hyderabad. Be is a rick-shaw puller, an IAS officer, a nai, a babu, or a fruit seller, Lakshmi can get talking. As she smiling says, “Hyderabad, is the city : aram se” but the advent of IT boom is fast changing into a form, we yet cannot fathom!
The team also consists of a creative designer from NIFT, Hyderabad, Pankaj. Dressed in a sling bag with trendy crowns, and an arm band, made out of deo bottles, you will definitely notice Pankaj within a crowd. A small built young guy, is using his creativity to recycle. How many of us do that, other than talking about is ofcourse? Pankaj is involved in making bags/ arm bands/ accessories with waste deo bottles/ soda bottle caps/ discarded canvas/ leather etc. He is excited to make a mural/installation for the TEDx Deccan event on the 30th July. What I admire about this individual is that he is a true example about an ordinary person from Patna, doing extra-ordinary work. I reflect in comparison with us-so-called-cosmopolitan-educated-concerned-individuals talking gab about caring about environment, while entering materialist malls, soothing in Air conditioning( read global warming) and buying products from companies, that are royally contributing to poisoning our future.
Atleast, Pankaj, though however small his contribution is trying! And here is wishing to all the success to him!