What I learnt at TEDxBangalore 2016

What’s all the fuzz about?

Hey there! This is Week 10 of my blog series where I keep myself accountable by keeping an online journal of sorts. You can read the beginning of this story — Why I quit my job to study, volunteer and travel.

TEDxBangalore started off their maiden edition with 2014. The “x” represents the fact that the event was organized independently under the licence/guidelines from the global idea sharing platform, TED. I woke up on a lazy Sunday morning to find out that someone was selling their tickets on Facebook. Kicking myself for not knowing about it earlier, I made a mental note to attend the next TEDx.

Once 2015 came around I had also decided that it would be my year of getting out of my “comfort zone” and this was the perfect event to attend. It worked out well for me because I was still working in Bangalore and this fit into the plan well. The speakers were great, I made some good friends and had a positive experience overall, which is why I booked tickets and even convinced a few friends to join me for the 2016 edition on my birthday!!

What all did I learn? Let’s attempt this —

The event always has a theme. 2015 was “All or Nothing” and 2016 was “Be Fluid”. I think they wanted us to be flexible and explore frontiers and things that we hadn't done before. The theme also fit well with what was told by the speakers. What didn’t fit well were the sub-themes. They were total bull-***t and din’t make any sense at all. You can read about it here —

www.tedxbangalore.com on 5th May 2016

Now the speakers and what I learnt from them. You can find out more about their backgrounds on the TEDxBangalore website, if it’s still up.

Sonalde Desai

An academician who collected data from a few hundred thousand people from around 41,000 households, she realised that after all this talk about progress, India’s progress as a nation is still rooted in the relms of the caste system. Her study show that these deep rooted social elements are still very real and that students from lower social or caste strata are still struggling to learn, all things being constant.

Somewhere along the line, our school system is leaving children behind.

What can we do about it? Strive to rise above the disection of the country and ensure that we do our part to rid the country of the archaic system that paralyses it.


The musician / artist duo of Manil and Rohit really hit the message of being fluid home.

They shared their experiences as content creators, then as film-makers and eventually as producers before getting on their own TV Show. What they realized on the way was that, when faced with adversity they were able to overcome it after breaking the barrier in their mind and realizing that they should not be restricted to a particular field of work only.

What can we do about it? Take small steps in life to get out of your comfort zone. Slowly, you will be amazed at what you can do. When you look back, the person who started will be different from the person today.

Ashwini Iyer Tiwari

The director of the movie Nil Battey Sannata (IMDB Rating 8.5/10. Woof!) shared her experience about being a strong woman in an industry dominated by men. The ocean called the Indian Film industry.

“The next time anyone tells you that you cannot do something. Just stare and prove them wrong.” — Ashwini Iyer Tiwari

Ashwini had been more successful than others in shattering the proverbial “glass ceiling” because she was able to overcome the “fact” that she was “just” a woman and never took no for an answer to anything. Once she made up her mind about something, there was no turning back for Ashwini.

She urged listeners to not be bound be stereotypical categories or structures. She was the essence of BeingFluid. :)

Bani J

VJ, actress, fitness freak and overall badass Bani J gave her first TEDx talk at Bangalore. :)

As someone who got her first tattoo when she was 16 and with her mom, she was always different growing up. Off late, that personality has manifested and evolved very well. She urged listeners to listen to themselves, because success is relative and do that we each really want in our hearts. Not what we are “supposed” to do.

She fit the profile of being fluid perfectly because she continuously evolved and fought to be who she visualized irrespective of what society or the next door “ aunty” said.

“Who are you? What defines you? School, nationality, language? Find the answer to that question” — Bani J

Here are some snapshots / tweets from the talk

What can we do? — Listen to your heart. Slow down. Shut down everyone and everything else. Be true to yourself.

What can we do about it? — This is my take on how we can proceed from the ted talk.

Last but not the least, despite my comments and criticisms I understand that putting together a massive show like this entails a large amount of hard work and dedication. I would like to thank the curator Sartaj Anand and his team for bringing this grand event to Bangalore from 2014 and doing it so well. :)

P.S — Still think it is a good idea to include a pen along with the goodie bag, don’t you?

That was part 1 of my TEDxBangalore takeaways. More, next week.

So, how was this week?

  • Turned 26 this 29th of May 2016. Yup, I am officially closer to 30 than 20. That’s reassuring. NOT. Then again, age is just a number. Right? Right!!?
  • Continued studying at 7 hours a day. Now at 80% completion. The end is near. :)
  • Started reaching out to clients for my new Finance Consulting firm. I now have 6 clients! Customer acquisition is a tough nut to crack…
  • Attended TEDxBangalore, that’s what this post is about.
  • Ate a mango everyday! :)
  • Continued to kill it at MMA!

I know I was a day late with the blog. But like somebody told me. I din’t want to blog for the heck of it. I wanted to make it worth the reader’s while. :)

If you found this post interesting or thought provoking, please click on the small ❤ on the bottom right corner to recommend it.

Follow me on this journey on self discovery and know what happens!

Thanks again to all you wonderful people for the love and support.

If you want to say hey, give me feedback or reach out to me for anything, I would love to connect with you — naagasubramanya@gmail.com

Peace and Love. xx

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