I know I am pretty late in posting in my experience at India Today’s Youth Festival, Mindrocks 2013 here but what the heck? Better late than never. I have to share this because in a long long long time I forgot everything around me and soaked in all the words and positive energy that each of the distinguished speakers spoke there about how to keep your passion intact and work hard towards it.
The day began with a little hiccup at the registration counter but the ever attentive people at India Today made sure that everything gets settled well in time and I was allowed to enter the Siri Fort Auditorium premises. The place was buzzing with youngsters and everyone was equally excited to go inside the auditorium and were waiting the back to back sessions roll.
After collecting my goodie bag with some really fantastic stuff in it, I went inside the auditorium where the kind people of India Today had specially reserved the seats for all the bloggers present there. Luckily, I knew some of the bloggers and as soon as we all met, we all got talking and the excitement in our voices was pretty evident.
Before the sessions began, a band called “Free Flowing” released their album on stage and then sang a few songs for us. The crowd went crazy when they sang the title song of my all time favourite movie “Dil Chahta Hai”. I could feel that I took a right decision to be there at that day and thanks to the organisers for having me there.
Then after a welcome speech by Kaveere Bamzai, the editor of India Today magazine, the first session was rolled out and just when Leander Paes, the tennis superstar walked on to the stage, the crowd went absolutely mad. There were cheer and a thundering sound of people clapping that overwhelmed the tennis superstar. Leander got extremely candid with his speech and I enjoyed every bit of what he said. Such an inspiration and role model for everyone he was.
Next session was one of the sessions I was really looking forward to, the session with rapper and hip-hop singer Hard Kaur. She brought an energy of a different level altogether with her and taught me how to be extremely unapologetic about being yourself. Her songs, her raps, her bhangra, her entire session was full of energy and I couldn’t stop tapping my feet when she sang a song for us.
Next up with a session with Dhruv Shringi, co-founder of Yatra.com. He shared how Yatra.com came into existence and how he and his team worked towards achieving what all they have achieved now.
Next session was with Kiran Bedi, Gul Panag and Nishtha Gautam which was about crime, not age. This session made everyone in the auditorium really emotional and I could see almost every person’s eyes glistening with tears when the parents of Delhi Gang Rape’s victim, Jyoti Singh Pandey’s parents came on the stage and asked the youth to come forward to fight for themselves and their safety. Kiran Bedi threw some light on juvenile justice act and spoke in Hindi because “Dil ki baat Hindi mein kaho aur jyada achchi lagti hai” . I have immense respect for Kiran Bedi for the person she is. The crowd welcomed her by cheering and clapping for her for a continuous two minutes.
Next session with the literary rockstar Amish Tripathi, whose The Shiva Trilogy books have made him what he is. He came on the stage and shared his thoughts about his journey. Next session was a session that made me laugh my guts out. It was with Deepender Hooda from Congress, Sanjay Kaul from BJP and Arvind Kejriwal from AAP. All three of them never hesitated in taking digs at each other and their respective political parties but the loudest cheers were received by Arvind Kejriwal after finishing his speech.
I had to miss the next two sessions post lunch with Salman Yusuff Khan and Lauren Gottlieb, the actors and dancers of ABCD (Anybody Can Dance) which I have already watched over some 10 times. Next session that I could attend was with Vice-Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, Virat Kohli. Out of 45 minutes of his session, the crowd didn’t let anyone speak for some 30 minutes. Loud cheers for him and the girls going crazy to be with him on the stage. Virat spoke a little about his journey, interacted with a few members of the audience and when he did Gangnam style, everyone in the house went absolutely crazy.
Next session was with Aditi Rao Hyadri, one of the most beautiful actresses we have in bollywood. Her session was short, cute and everyone in the audience was in awe of her. Next session with Mr. Ajay Bijli was a bit “Thanda” not because of who he is but because the next session was something everyone in the house was looking forward to, the one with Farhan Akhtar. When Farhan came on stage, I couldn’t stop myself from standing up and cheering for him. I have loved everything that he has done w.r.t to movies and his latest movie “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” had made me his fan for the rest of my life.
Hard Kaur’s finale concert at the end of the day was icing on the cake. The day couldn’t have finished in a better way. The entire auditorium was turned into a discotheque and everyone present there were enjoying themselves to the fullest. Hard Kaur really rocked everyone with her wit and songs. Overall, Mindrocks 2013 was a day well spent. One thing that was common in every session that every speaker said is “Work hard towards your goal and there is never a plan B”. I am already looking forward to India Today Mindrocks 2014 and I hope the organisers extend this entire schedule for two days.