collaborations, people and deities

Last two days have been quite a learning for me. My first task was to try and get in touch with some suitable sponsors for our event. For the same, I got in touch with a gentleman from Mahindra Satyam. He handles the event & marketing and was very excited to hear our proposal for organizing TEDx Deccan. Our meeting went well, and looking forward to a positive collaboration with Mahindra Satyam, we met some other ex-employees from Satyam, who shared stories of how people from other companies looked them, suspecting them also to be a part of the scam. It was indeed a difficult moment for Satyam employees , especially those who were working for the company for over many decades.
In between, meeting potential sponsors, I also met two inspiring personalities. First amongst them was a soft spoken lady, Ms Dinaz Vervatwala, a fitness expert. Meeting Dinaz was truly an inspirational story of how she transformed the unorganized fitness industry only for women in Hyderabad. 20 years ago, she was a frustrated CA, who knew her heart beat to a different tune. She was well married and blessed with a son, when her sister-in-law who taught fitness to Yemeni women, introduced her to fitness training. This module immediately struck the chord, and Dinaz decided that she should start a fitness training centre of her on! The first 6 months were the most challenging, wherein, often she would find only herself in her one-room-training studio. But that did not dampen her spirit. Soon, she had ladies inquiring about fitness, and now there are more than 5 training centres within the city, Hyderabad, and upcoming in Pune, Delhi.
Dinaz is just not a successful woman entrepreneur but also a survivor of 50% burns from a home fire accident. When doctors had written her off from being able to involve herself in business, she fought back in record time, overcame her injuries and was back in action. She dreams to open a first in its kind Fitness School, that not only teaches people to adopt a healthy lifestyle but also trains people to become fitness experts with correct knowledge about body and nourishment.

The second person I met, is a Kutchipudi dance who is so graceful in his movements that he is more popular in the avtaar of a woman than a man. They say, that to an unknown person, it comes as a shock when they realize that it is a man who is performing. Such is Haleem Shekh, the kutchipuddi dancer. Hyderabad is indeed a true blue mix of cultures and art.
After a hectic day of meeting people, we saw a road full of ganesha’s. Literally mass manufacturing of the deities was happening here. Ganesha Casts being filled with POP, resulting in these captures.

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It is funny to note that most of these ganesha’s do not have hands. It is said that, the hands are put last in the process of idol making, as fingers are the most fragile part of the idol and may break fast. We crossed Ganesha’s of all shapes, sizes and colors, standing outside slum areas. Maybe the saying that “Gods reside in a poor mans hut” is true after all!


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