Tag Archives: Reality

A Cocktail of Ideas & Delight

Overview of India Today Conclave 2010

By: Ankit Gogia

 

Being a part of high profile gathering, niche audience, getting royal treatment, interacting with eminent personalities, experiencing state of art environment, witnessing live and international media coverage, enjoying the limelight has always been in my dreams…

To my surprise it turned out to be true, when I got the opportunity to attend the 9th India Today Conclave at Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi. I was one of the 18 student delegates who were to represent Jaypee Group at the grand event.

I with my other three friends left the JIET campus on 10th March to reach New Delhi. Overflowing with excitement and expectations we reached the next morning. There we were joined by students from JUIT, JIIT and JBS. We were briefed up, instructed and given passes. We were also introduced to two members from Jaypee Group, who was to join us in the event. Now, we were the official delegates from Jaypee Group. I was the youngest among all. This was the greatest privilege I ever got in my life.

This was just the beginning; the next two days had to be very special, I thought.

The big day finally arrived. The morning Sun brought rays of surprise and joy with it. We reached the Taj Palace Hotel. A gentle hospitality and sweet fragrances all through the way welcomed us; soon we were in the conference hall. Elegant and thoughtfully designed interiors astonished us. I was lost in its aroma. It was warm and had a royal factor.

Next on schedule were the most awaited addresses from the top dignitaries. Well it had been a fantastic experience to listen them. I have tried to gather and briefly explained the main points of speeches and discussions in the following ‘Words of Wisdom’. This was the shortest I could make; I couldn’t find any more lines to omit. Each line is special and will actually make you think, judge and act.

Words of Wisdom

India Today Conclave – is an international forum for ideas & debate presented by India Today group. The Conclave has, over the past eight years, established itself as a gathering of the finest minds from government, politics, business, science & technology, religion and academia to sport, the arts & entertainment and has become one of the most sought after international engagements.

The 9th India Toady Conclave 2010 had the theme ‘New Decade: Great Expectations’ and brought best minds across the planet to discuss and debate the new decisive decade and empowered others with their wisdom. The two days event was divided into various sessions, each with a unique topic.

 Day 1

The conclave began with the welcome note from Arun Purie, Editor-in-Chief of India Today Group. He briefly recalled the major events of last decade and said, ‘We are the survivors of the Roller-Coaster Decade’.

The inaugural keynote address was by P.Chidambram, Union Home Minister of India on ‘South Asia: Securing the Future’. Speaking with candour, he said that South Asia is the most difficult place to live in and he spelt out the challenges India faces on the security front. Chidambaram’s articulation and witty remarks earned him much applause.

Next, delivering the address on the topic ‘Dubai 2020’, Sheikh Ahmed, a key member of Dubai royalty said: “India has a special place for the UAE and we have deep-rooted ties which we want to expand”. He also added that vision of both the countries is to focus on people-to-people contacts.

 To debate on ‘Politics of Progress’ , Union Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran and BJP president Nitin Jayaram Gadkari took part in the discussion.

Highlighting India’s progress, Maran said that all those who harboured doubts about the country’s development should travel abroad to see how our country was respected.

“If there is a will there is definitely a way, otherwise it’s just committees, sub-committees and seminars,” Gadkari said, drawing applause from the audience.

“I believe in the revival of the weakest rather than survival of the fittest”, Kamal Nath added. He focused on managing the growth. The overall discussion was pretty interesting which included witty comments.

 “Change is easier when it happens to others than when it does to you. When it happens to us, it makes us uncomfortable,” said John Chambers, chairman and CEO of CISCO. He was addressing the session ‘Enabling Country Transformation through Technology’. He surprised everyone by stepping off the stage and walking through the crowd as he delivered his rapid fire speech that was peppered with humorous asides. India is destined to lead, and once you get moving, your speed will be amazing, Chambers told the audience. He also discussed virtual learning revolution that could take education to every Indian for a dollar a month.

 Everyone present there appreciated his presentation and communication skills. Undoubtedly, he deserves to be listed in Times Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People’.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of Black Swan, philosopher and expert discussed the unpredictable ways in which human history evolves while speaking on ‘Power of the Unknown’. He was provocative and entertaining and discussed his evolving thoughts on how the world can shield itself from Black Swan events.

“Mother nature likes redundancy and likes things to be small so that they don’t impact when they break”, he quoted.

Discussing ‘The world according to Google’, Nikesh Arora, president, Google Inc, spoke on new technology trends that would change the world. “The biggest thing that will change everything is video. Almost 50-60 per cent content will now be consumed digitally”, he said.

Kapil Sibal said while delivering his address ‘The Future of Education’ that he would be bringing in new proposals by enacting a new act that would usher in radical changes in education. He also laid emphasis on intellectual assets, vocational education and Innovation University. “After all, one examination on one day cannot decide your child’s fate”, he said to an applauding audience. He seemed to be determined to make education a game changer India.

Delivering the dinner keynote address ‘Freedom and Dissent’ on the first day Salman Rushdie said, “Freedom is not a tea party. It has to be strongly argued. Disagreement with whoever wants to stifle your freedom has to be strongly fought”.

In his first comment on the Husain affair, he said it was indeed sad that India was showing its closed mind. He demanded better understanding of art and artists.

This was one of the best ever speech that I have heard in my life. Each word he spoke seemed like a jewel with a million dollar worth.

Day 2

The opening session of the second day on ‘Sex & Spirituality’, featuring a celibate guru, Baba Ramdev and an advocate of free sex, Swami Satya Vedant aroused the right degree of passion. Ramdev spoke of sex as creative urge but it must transcend to a spiritual level. “Sex leads to super consciousness and the only antidote to this is to become more meditative”, Vedant said, adding that a satisfactory sexual life is good for the mental well-being of a person. They agreed that Sex is the most misunderstood topic after religion.

The notion of demographic dividend needs to be well appreciated and acknowledged in considering economic growth of a country, David Bloom, Professor of Economics and Demography, Harvard University, said while speaking on ‘India’s Population: Dividend or Disaster’.  He further added, youth will drive Indian growth story. He was flawless in his speech. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi was also seen hearing his speech intently.

Speaking on the ‘Future of Manufacturing’, Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company said manufacturing teams needed the same kind of support and encouragement that a cricket team gets from its fans. “As societies, we have to decide how we consume resources. These are big decisions”, he added.

The question that dominated the first post-lunch session of day two was proactively titled ‘Does Science work against Nature?’ Michael Specter, author on Science & Technology and Suman Sahai, Convenor, Gene Campaign both agreed that Science was the key to all future solutions. “Genetically engineered food is not the answer to food crises, but it is essential weapon in our arsenal against hunger”, said Specter.

Sahai, however, opined that doors should be shut on those ideas where the risk is unknown and therefore not manageable. Sahai lightened the audience by discussing various conflicts of science.

To understand the information revolution taking place in the world, one need to get to the heart of the information, says Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook and former coordinator of My.Barackobama.com who clearly knows the ‘Power of Social Networking’.

 He took the audience through the facebook story and successful Obama campaign. He pointed out how new technology and gadgets are changing the way we live and work. He also cautioned the audience about technology taking our lives. Besides his impressive part of bio-data, his popularity was evident from the houseful turnout at his session.

The event also had a youth forum that consisted of five panellists who spoke on ‘Idealism vs Reality’ – the key ideas to change reality. It included Congress MP Deepender Hooda, actors Ranbir Kapoor and Asin Thottumkal, MD of Everstone Investment Advisors Roopa Purushottam, executive director and president of Godrej Group Tanya A. Dubash and Indian hockey team goalkeeper Adrian D’Souza.

Hooda walked tightrope saying, “I want to believe in an India of equal opportunity where every kid has an opportunity to follow his dream despite his background”.

Ranbir said, “As a representative of ‘Youngistan’, I’d begin by challenging the topic itself. Why can’t idealism become reality?” He said that instance of idealism taking over reality were India winning the T20 Cup & Rahul Gandhi boarding a local train.

“Idealism does exist, that’s why I have made it to the national hockey team. But realism also exits because it won’t be easy to achieve success from this point onwards”, said Adrian.

Asin spoke with candour and spontaneity. “One needs to compromise with ideals… but change comes when you are courageous and minimise compromise”, she added.

Roopa, the young economist said the most fascinating thing about India is the ‘idea of India’ itself. She believes that the success of the Indian story would depend on how well the great idea of India is implemented, and the youth will have a great role to play in it.

Tanya Dubash spoke in general about the conflict between reality and idealism. Underlining her belief in idealism, she said: “If reality forces you to abandon your ideals, change reality”.

For the first time king of Hollywood James Cameron, producer-director-inventor and bollywood icon Aamir Khan shared the same stage at the breathtaking grand finale to the ninth India Today Conclave that saw a full house listening intently as they discussed all things that define the trends in cinema, both present and future. It resembled as if Newton was meeting Einstein, the two intellectual powers of the planet.

While addressing on ‘Future of Cinema’, Cameron took the audience down memory lane especially the decade-long wait to make Avatar and for technology to catch up with his vision of a futuristic script.

Technology will always be a tool for storytelling. But you can’t entertain without telling something relevant in process, Aamir added.

“Technology is not the most important thing. It’s the story, it’s the heart that is the character of the film”, Cameron said, concluding with a line in Na’avi- “May the Great Mother smile on us all”. Unquestionably, none other than Cameron could epitomise the world of cinema.

No Dream Too Big

These two days were like heavy rain that showered the drops of knowledge and soaked me with fun and enjoyment.

The conclave taught me the way to perceive, think, speak, communicate and applaud. More importantly, I learnt the concept to attain, acquire, and aspire more and more.

We all students had a lovely leisure time too. From gossiping, chatting to laughing, giggling, we had everything. We got to know more about each other. We walked together, sat together, ate together. From wide variety of delicious snacks to all range of mouth-watering dishes and sweets served we left none. We became good friends. The way we worked as a team to get autographs of our favourite stars, is unforgettable. It was out of world.

It was a rare lifetime experience and I wonder, ever again in my life I would get such a chance…

I didn’t want to go away from the royalty and luxury of life, the freedom I enjoyed, the knowledge I got, celebrities I met, lovely friends I made. Instead of saying good bye, I wanted to be back again. But what happened next was hard to believe for me, I found my photograph with Salman Rushdie in newspaper. It was clear and well focussed. I was rolling with immense joy and pride; probably it was a planned gift from God to give me a farewell that will always remind me of these two fantastic days of life.  

This grand event and all wonderful sweet memories associated would never die from my heart. Today, I consider myself to be the luckiest and feel highly proud to be a part of Jaypee Group where ‘No Dream is Too Big’!!

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A Date to Remember

A story of a boy who meets his love after a long time. Each minute he spends with her is memorable and dramatic. Catch out the excitement and all the sweet memories.

Read on…You will either love it or hate it…But find difficult to put down.

A Date to Remember

Getting Ready…

The time for which I had been anxiously waiting was here. It was 8.15 am.

I had just 1 hour to implement my plan. I was sweating badly. I wasn’t that nervous even during the viva or T3s and not even my board’s result.

8.30 am :

Ankkiiiittttttt..!!

Pleasantly unpleasant sound came from my father’s room. Well you must be thinking what is pleasantly unpleasant…..It was pleasant coz it was my father’s voice but it seemed to be unpleasant because it made me even more nervous.

I went to my father’s room and he guided me with the usual instructions like having breakfast in time n endless things….

You know parents. They can easily send their children to hostels but when their soon to be engineer sons/daughters come back for holidays they treat them as 3 year young kids.

It was 8:45 now.

Just 45 mins and if my plan wasn’t implemented then…….

Somehow I managed to escape from home. I went straight towards my sexy car DL 2D 3456(brand new silver i20).

I didn’t want to do it but I had no option. I made it look low. I mean I punctured both the rear tyres of my car so that my father could not take it to office.

“Bye Dad” said nervously but excited me..!!

I knew he would come back to home after 5 mins. But he didn’t came back even after 10 mins.

Tension grew. Heartbeat was 100/min.Then suddenly bell rang “Ding Dong-Ding Dong-Ding dong”.

Oh…It was Dad.

“Somebody punctured the tyres…!!” said dad.

“I am going with Taneja uncle in his car. You please get it done but mind that not to move the car even an inch or else….”

“Ok Dad..!!”

It was 10 by now. I had just 2 hours for getting those punctured tyres corrected.

“Shit..!!” I yelled. Dad had forgotten to give me the keys.

I searched for the duplicate keys everywhere. In the end I called up dad. He told me that keys are at Rachna Bua’s place. We had given them the duplicate one’s when we had once parked our car near their home. Rachna Bua lives in the same area but in the other block.

I ran to her place. My cousin opened the door and instead of saying Hi Ankit she said Hi Avantika.

Well Avantika is my girlfriend’s name and this secret was revealed only to my cousin sis.

“Shutup n Gimme the keys of my car. I have to meet Avantika.”

My dumb sis searched for the keys for about half an hour, then finally got them.

It was 11 am.

I had just 1 hour. I rushed to get it repaired from nearby shop.

Mohit whom I knew, worked there. We were of the same age and in the same class but in different schools but he was more experienced than me. He had studied each class atleast 2 times. He was a born mechanic. He was my only hope at this point of time.

“Mohit Bhayi..!! Can U replace these punctured tyres..Its urgent..!!Bhaiyi Plz”. He assured me, he will and started replacing the tyres.

It was 11:30 by now.

I had again started sweating.

Me: Meanwhile you do this I am going to home and will be back in 15 mins.

And I rushed home. I got freshen up and wore my new pink parx shirt with the new Lee jeans. I properly gelled my hair and then again returned to the place where my car was parked.

Me: Have U done it…?

“Ya..” he replied.

Me: Thanks a lot Bro..!!”

Finally I got into my car. While driving many questions came to mind. These are as follows:-

“What will happen if dad gets to know that I have not moved car not only just an inch but driving it all along to CP?”

“What will happen if dad gets to know that I had punctured the tyres?”

“What will happen if someone sees me with Avantika?”

But all these questions didn’t matter when it comes to Avantika.

She is my love, my life, everything.

Things would have been simpler if I that ‘Bet’ wasn’t there. Avantika thought that I could never drive a car because in her view I wasn’t that type of guy. I don’t know what special characteristics a guy should have according to her for learning a car. Well whatever is it. Today was the day when I could show her that I had won the bet.

The wait ends…

Finally I reached CP.

I parked my car and rushed to the metro station…Known as heart of Delhi, CP is famous among youngsters, couples and of course shopping lovers. I am too fascinated with its ecstasy and night light. I reached there at 12:30 pm.

What I saw with my eyes… couldn’t believe.

She was there on time, a rare phenomenon, standing beneath a tree. That’s Avantika, my love.

Today, she was looking gorgeous. She wore light green sleeveless top and blue jeans. She was looking extremely beautiful and her open hairs made her look much prettier.

To describe her, she is a beautiful and talented girl with a good sense of humour.

She is too smart and an excellent salsa dancer. She taught me few steps but found it difficult to digest.

She is pursuing her economic hons. from SRCC(top of all), a thing I am really proud of…girl friend from SRCC…and the reason for all my ‘A+’ gardes in PD subjects in my college.

I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

Suddenly, I collided with the adjoining barrier and bruised my knee. I feel this is one of the harmful effects of having girl friends like her.

I stood in front of her. “Hi ! Avantika….kya baat hai….today on time.

Avantika: Heyaa…dear, you late by 5 mins.

I apologised to her, even for that 5 mins.

She gave a cute smile to that.

Then, she commented on my looks that all girls usually do. I thanked her for that.

We discussed about our lives…college happenings, etc. I asked her the question which I usually ask her whenever we meet i.e. ‘ Dear, what reason this time you gave to your parents to meet me ?’.

Avantika: I told them…I am going to meet some of my old school friends and planning to go for movie or shopping and will be back by 6 pm.

Me: I hope this works well.

She laughed.

I remember, last time she gave an excuse to her parents that she was going to her friend’s house to study. That friend never used to study except the day before exam. She didn’t even inform her. All worse things happen when some good thing is going on. Avantika’s mom called up her friend…then what. But she’s perfectionist in managing all this…after all a SRCC student.

Avantika: Where are you lost… we haven’t even started shopping. What all today you have for me…?

Me: Lots of surprises…let’s have lunch first, its 1.05 pm.


Shopping…

We decided to go to Dominos which was crowded with young boyz n gals who seemed to have bunked their classes. We occupied a table close to a window. I ordered a large cheese burst pizza and two cokes.

While eating we had all the gossips which we missed for a long time…discussed all the funny things.

I noticed small amount of liquid cheese falling from her delicate lips. I wondered how lucky “Mr. Cheese” is…it could stay her soft lips…a chance that I deserved.

She was trying to wipe it out.

Me: Let ‘Mr. Cheese’ also enjoy the rare pleasure…wipe it out later….let it be.

Avantika: Ohhh…..shuuut upp. (in a lovely tone)

We both smiled.

She took my hand in her hands. Song ‘Every day I love you’, was playing in background.

Avantika: Ankit…i really missed you a lot….I love you.

Me: But I didn’t miss you much….thanks to my batch mate Shruti.

The expressions on her face pretended that she was going to hang me upside down.

Me: Just kidding….Whether its Shruti or Ekta…no one can replace you…You are my heart beat….I love you too.

I was trying to be mischievous with her but failed. When it comes to pranks and all those humour… she was bitch, a tough one to compete.

Kismat Connection…

It was 2.00 pm, we started our shopping plan.

I thought to buy some good clothes for her. We went to United Color of Bentton.

Going out for shopping with girls, you need to have a heavy pocket full with money you saved specially for her. This is second harmful effect of a girlfriend. But thank God, it had 40% season sale which didn’t burden my pocket much.

I then selected a stylish ‘Tee’ for her, which she appreciated.

She too bought a shirt for me and I must say her choice of colours and designs is awesome.

Later, we looked out for other shops…did some window shopping and bought some little stuffs.

Avantika: I m tired, can we have a break…?

Me: Of course…let’s have something.

We entered a bakery shop and had black-forest pastries, favourite of both. We relaxed for about half an hour.

It was 3.45 pm, she wanted to buy some art work for her parents, so we bought a one from a handicraft emporium nearby.

On the way we noticed the crowd…heard interesting talks of various girls who were with their boyfriends…discussed about our friends…n gave lots of endless comments to each other.

She made my every minute so lively and memorable.

It is rightly said…destiny plays a game with you.

What I saw then, I never imagined.

It was like a tornado just 200m away or a huge tsunami wave in front of me…like a terrorist aiming a gun shot at me…any horrifying thing of the world. I saw my cousin brothers and sisters with their family outside a shop, where we were standing.

My eyes were wide shut open, I was feeling coldness.

Avantika: What happened…you fine?

A voice echoed in my ears ,‘Run…Run….Save your life !!’.

I clinched Avantika’s arm, probably I was hurting her and entered Cafe Coffee Day which was just 15-20 m away.

Me: Come Avantika….coffeeee…. (rushed inside)

We occupied corner most table which was far away from the main entrance. My heart was pumping at its full pace and I thanked ‘Mr. Fate’ for this narrow escape.

Avantika: Heya…what’s the matter? Tell me now.

Me: Let’s have order first.

I told her all about that. Why I rushed….?

Avantika: Ahaa…my poor guy…love you…(laughed aloud).

She was rolling with laughter and teased me. The bitch didn’t even understand…what went on me.

A walk with her…

It was a lovely evening, cool breeze going all along.

A few strands of hair were falling on her face, she looked too innocent but she wasn’t.

As we walked along the inner foot path of Central Park, tiny sprinkles of water from fountains on us made our day more lovely and memorable. We had sweet talks…naughty gossips…shared our lovely dreams and what not.

Soon I saw three of my classmates Shreya, Pallavi and Trisha and two others whom I didn’t knew.

They too noticed me and I waved my hands to them.

We exchanged greetings and I introduced them to Avantika and her to them. Last time I met them was school get together a year back. After that we just met online.

Pallavi was one of my very good friends and much closer to me. I remember my school days when we used to sit together…help each other…, she is a smart n intelligent girl and ya ravishing too. But now it’s all Avantika.

We all had some interesting words and I was sure that Pallvi would poke me online or through messages about Avantika.

Now I wanted to spend time with her alone.

Me: Let’s go for a drive.

Avantika: On metro…?

Me: In my car.

She was surprised. She had lost the bet.

I was excited on winning the bet and asked for my prize…

Avantika: Let’s go.

Priceless Gift…

We reached the parking. I started driving.

After driving for about 20 mins, I stopped the car at the lonely place beneath the tree and then I said “Avantika I love you…”.

Tears like pearls were twinkling from her eyes.

She is a sensitive girl. I wiped them with my fingers and gave her a hug.

She kissed me on my cheek. I could feel the softness of her lips which was once experienced by ‘Mr. Cheese’.

I too had tears in my eyes. I again gave her a hug….

The song ‘Mohabat Aap Se…’, was playing on stereo and it made the environment warm and soothing.

Our eyes met and then I don’t know what happened and she kissed my lips (that was my prize). It was a soft gentle kiss. I then kissed her forehead. We both laughed.

We then exchanged gifts which we had brought for each other.

We both smiled.

Her smile was priceless.

After dropping her at metro station we said good bye to each other. I kept gazing till she was disappeared. Now, tears were out of my eyes, they too wanted to see her….

I wished she would have never gone and each minute come again and again. I closed my eyes and thought of nothing else.

Suddenly, I heard a disturbing noise.

I opened my eyes.

I was on bed and alarm clock was ringing aloud. It was difficult to believe that it was a dream.

Soon, a there was a beep and glow from my cell phone.

There was a message:

Heya… gud mrng…love you.

When I am seeing you…Avantika

I smiled and rolled with excitement.

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Story By : Ankit Gogia

(Edited by my sweet sister)

Copyrights © Ankit Gogia 2009. All rights reserved.


I want to share with you something.

We all read love stories from IITians and students of IIMs. Well this time its a JIETian and an ex-Salwanian.

The interesting secret behind this fictitious story, is a real story that’s much more interesting than this and inspired me to write this.

Some of you might be thinking of  ‘A+’ grades in PD…A connection between Fiction and Reality….!!

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I welcome your valuable comments.

If you really enjoyed it…share with you friends….!!

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