Wake me up, when October ends (Part I)

Yes, I make references to songs that have lived their prime and are now ringtones of Popeye shirt wearers who have ‘™ Verified ✔’ suffixed to their Twitter handles. I am extremely cool that way.

Last month, I went for the Mumbai #TedxGateway at ITC, Lower Parel. I was supposed to live-tweet the entire event except for one little problem. ITC had conveniently blocked the wi-fi so every journo and blogger present at the event would have to buy a slower-than-Vijay-Raaz’s-metabolism 128 kbps internet plug in that costs around 1K for the whole day.

Rest assured, PR is not an ITC priority. (Not to mention the dickish “Tobacco is my middle name” thing they have going on.)

"So we'll piss off a hundred something journalists and social media geeks. What's the worst that could happen?"

But despite these glitches (read: colossal douchebaggery by the ITC group), the day was pretty eventful for most. The speakers covered everything from incubators to Dabbawala management strategies to railway-tracks neuroscience to malaria to teaching for slum kids to hollow zombie ants to The Ramones to linguistic patterns to Jackie Shroff’s Sai Baba movie.

Okay, maybe not last thing.

There were several high points throughout the event including Srini Swaminathan’s ‘Teach for India’ initiatives in Dharavi, Richard Gottehrer and Seymour Stein’s reminiscing the glory days of punk & new wave and of course, lunch.
But since this is not a puff piece and I get pissed off at things randomly, I shall now start talking about the low points.

"NOT A PUFF PIECE?! OH NOEZ!!!"

Though some speakers had horrible stage presence, most of them had their hearts in the right place. Under their ribcage and to the upper left part of their torsos. Yes. Despite their inability to grab the audience by their eyeballs, they seemed to be nice people in general.

Except of course, the abomination that was Yugratna Srivastava. Apart from the fact that she looked like the Mini Me to T. Rajendar’s Dr. Evil, she also seemed as concerned about her cause as Yahoomail is about spam-filtering. Her/its cause was supposedly Climate Change – But it could’ve been anything from ‘MY quest for Truth, Justice, the 3rd World Way…’ to ‘A Powerpoint Portrayal of the Most Overly Forwarded Pictures in the World’. After showing the umpteenth picture of starving African children, polar bears on melting blocks of ice and factories emitting smoke to a thoroughly desensitized audience, she proceeded to tell everyone present of ‘her’ exploits in the UN, how ‘she’ talked to officials in South Korea and ‘she’ changed the world in general. All this in a lovely accent that resonated a Hyderabadi tour guide trying impress an American tourist at Golconda Fort.
In a nutshell, your quintessential T. Rajendar lookalike, sucker-upper to teachers with no discernible talent who beats up small animals who no one’s looking.

Actual file photo.

Also, her presentation aptly ended with a picture of a cock crossing a plank. I am *not* making this up.

On a different note, I have debated endlessly with my esteemed peers (they drive Maruti Esteems) over the supremacy of the ‘real’ Ted Talks over the independently organised Tedx Talks. Though both parties have valid arguments over the matter, I have a game-changer of a point in favour of #TedxGateway.

Please tell me you get the reference.

Yes.

(To be continued…if I feel like it)

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3 Responses to “Wake me up, when October ends (Part I)”

  1. I am on wordpress to…! 😀
    Nice one by the way..! 😛

  2. so it looks like you were oppressed, depressed and suppressed by jr TR?

  3. Ted’s ex girlfriend Robin from HIMYM
    Nice blog!

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