November 7, 2012 by Mithil
As I stood nonchalantly in the air-conditioned hallway of a grand hotel in Goa, I felt Lilliputian in comparion to the progressive minds floating around me. Holding the only affordable free mineral water bottle I was overwhelmed by the fact that there are few people among the lot who are legendry in their own line of work. That I was sharing the same breath of air was somehow ridiculously unbelievable for a person like me. In order to not disturb the flow of crowd from the auditorium to hallway I in a hurried manner marched outside the doorway onto the steps and subsequently the green lawns. People from different race, colour were reaching out for a cup of coffee or desi chai as they try to make the most of the 2 min break between sessions. Sipping water I took my place at the small round table, sitting around it were the friends I have made at the event. Some of them were busy discussing the topics of the sessions while others were enquiring about each others whereabouts and goals. The weather was enchanting with cool breeze in-between and bearable sun under the shade of the tree. There I got the real meaning of being at a intellectual event. It’s not about how many pounds of information or facts you accumulate in your brain, it’s not about how much more smarter you are to the guy sitting next to you, rather it’s the socialising one does and various breed of people one gets to see and speak to.
For me THiNK2012 was about experiencing things outside the box without actually stepping out of it. The most awesome and dignified thing about the fest was that it wasn’t dignified to it’s VVIP at all in an Indian way. From where I was sitting, just sitting next to my table were eminent personalities like Javed Akhtar, Prasoon Joshi, Zoya Akhtar etc. Also when I went to get myself a merchandize t-shirt I saw Rajan Mittal standing there waiting for his turn. Such was the level of casualness that it would put it’s own country’s discrimination in hierarchy to shame. Big personalities such as James Randi, Marcus du Sautoy, Christopher Turner, Ben Hammersley were seen mingling with the regular crowd, interacting and occasionally sharing a laugh.
The other most exciting thing happened was that I met and interacted randomly with people from different regions of the country. I was new to such experience and each new story from a different mouth made me believe that there is so much in life we need to do, so many people to meet, so many memories to cherish.
The only thing I want to be corrected is the distance between the loo and main auditorium. It’s arduous to cover up that much amount of distance in such time(2min break). You either need to hold your bladder long enough or devise other ways at the cost of loosing your seat inside the auditorium.