VOICES JUG SURAIYA S VAIDHYASUBRAMANIAM LT GEN (RETD) SYED ATA HASNAIN RAVI SHANKAR GAUTAM CHINTAMANI MATA AMRITANANDAMAYI THE NEW SUNDAY EXPRESS BUFFET MAGAZINE PEOPLE WELLNESS BOOKS FOOD ART & CULTURE ENTERTAINMENT JUNE 23 2019 SUNDAY PAGES 12 J M OT I VAT I O N A L S P E A K E R S Let’s Talk illian Haslam slept on pavements, ate leftovers and endured poverty Born in Kolkata in 1970, she was . the fifth of 12 children. Disease and poverty claimed almost half of her siblings before the family fled in the dead of the night with Naxalites on their heel. In 1989, her luck turned when she moved to Delhi and managed to get a secretarial job. Today this , Slumdog Millionaire is a successful entrepreneur, author, speaker and philanthropist. An UK resident now, this fighter who had to scrounge for food at one time, earns approximately `2.5 crore annually from her motivational talks and is the topic of a Hollywood documentary Filmmaker Jack . Sholder, who directed Nightmare on Elm Street 2, and screenwriter Joshua Russell recently spent four days in Kolkata preparing for the film. It is set for a 2020 release. The competitive climate in Indian cities big and small has led to a crisis of confidence among the youth. Motivational speakers step in with a new world view to address alienation and depression. By MEDHA DUTTA YADAV Vinayak Garg, 35 D I G I TA L M I N D F U L N E S Vinayak’s earliest memory of meditation is of sitting cross-legged at a monastery in McLeodganj. This was as part of a Gurukul fellowship in 2008. Ever since, navigating daily life has become slightly easier for Vinayak. With the advent of smartphones , chaos set in. Vinayak decided to opt out and made a conscious decision to move away from the mindless consumption and chasing an inconsequential online experience. Inspired by the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh, he wanted to share this unique balance of technology and spirituality. TREASURED MEMORY People may be in front of the best monument or in a concert of their favourite singer, but ironically you would find them whipping out their phone and looking at the event, and the beauty only through screen. Many, after attending his sessions, have come forward to tell him that they have made a change. Acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal’s story is also of sheer grit and courage. A 32-year-old man threw acid on her face for rejecting his advances. Laxmi was only 15 at the time. Fighting depression, she pulled herself out of the dark abyss and emerged stronger. Once taunted for her burnt face, today she confidently flaunts it. She has modelled for a clothes line, worked for an NGO, turned anchor, was felicitated in the US with the International Women of Courage Award and is a single mother to a five-year-old girl. Laxmi credits her transformation to her parents and her lawyers, who she says were the guiding force and constantly egged her on. Laxmi, on whom filmmaker Meghna Gulzar is making her next film—Chhapaak—starring Deepika Padukone in the lead, is not afraid to share her story with others and MANTRA People over notifications. Calls over messages. COST PER SESSION For schools, colleges or educational institutes, his sessions are free. Priya Kumar, 45 Bharat Thakur, 47 MANAGEMENT YO G A The business of motivational speaking is akin to good karma for Priya. In her 23-year-long journey, she has worked with over 1,500 multinational corporates across 46 countries and has touched over two million lives. An author, she has won numerous international and national awards. Priya treats life as an adventure, and her love for people and her purpose of empowering them, is her driving force. Someone who ardently believes in the future, it is very difficult to dissuade or discourage her. TREASURED MEMORY When she was writing the book on OP Munjal, who is one of the founders of the Hero Group, she learned that having great relationships is the surest key to success and that if people genuinely admire and respect you, they will protect your legacy and carry it forward. degree course in Arts from Delhi University and giving motivational talks to IAS officers. She also visits educational institutes across the country in an effort to encourage and motivate students. All these people may be as different as chalk and cheese, but there is one common thread that binds them together—the urge to motivate thousands to break the boundaries that they have set for themselves. After finding their own passion and realising that they can make a difference in other people’s lives, they—and many more like them—are going out to share their knowledge, their experience and help others find meaning in life. As urban topography is upgraded constantly the educated youth of , Tier II and Tier III cities prefer to stay home, happy in newly created jobs, businesses and lifestyle. They belong to the small-town middle class whose aspirations grow while skill-sets remain the same. Girls from small cities who marry men from the big metros use new opportunities to grow. Some young men and women from rural and semi-urban areas travel alone to big cities for employment and better educational opportunities but are socially alienated. Motivational speakers and life coaches boost their morale to rediscover their strengths and perform better, The sessions, which cost `1,500 onwards, help them harness their inner strengths to overcome insecurities and While in college, Bharat bagged second prize in a public speaking competition. It made him realise that he could connect with people. It made him want to reach out. Also a self-taught artist, Bharat is decidedly multi-dimensional. He believes his art brings him closer to his yoga practice and spirituality. Motivated by his own search towards why he is here, Bharat’s unique upbringing defines who he is. At the age of four, he was taken to the caves around Gomukh in the higher reaches of the Himalayas and his master took him to the deeper levels of spirituality. MANTRA Happiness is now. Happiness is not tomorrow. TREASURED MEMORY A 42-year-old woman was practicing yoga for three years when she was diagnosed with a three-inch cyst. He put her on a 40-minute routine of certain asanas. Fifteen days later she had some bleeding and an ultrasound showed that the cyst was gone. COST PER SESSION Varies. Nikhil Chandwani, 26 E N T R E P R E N E U R S H I P, H I S T O R Y Reaching out to people and speaking about his life journey was a catalyst in helping him out of loneliness and Nikhil simply wanted his story to be heard. An author at 18, his love for teaching helped him reach out to over one lakh students. Motivated by India’s glorious past, he along with his team is researching to bring to the fore the lost history from the ancient era, with an aim to bring India to the world stage as the capital of arts, religion, and science. TREASURED MEMORY Once after a session at the VIT University in Vellore, a guy approached me at 11 pm at the guest house I was staying in. He was visibly broken and wanted to drop out of college. I spoke to him and asked him to come to my city, Nagpur, which he did. I started mentoring him and today he’s a published author, and no more an escapist. COST PER SESSION `35,000 to `70,000 MANTRA Life is a blessing when passion stands tall. bring hope and strength to those who are on the verge of giving up. “I would like to tell my attacker: You lost, I’m flourishing,” says this indomitable woman. The latest social media sensation, award-winning host, storyteller and viral content creator, UK-based Jay Shetty has only one aim—to change the lives of as many as he can. This 30-something motivational speaker, who has roots in India, rose to fame three years ago and was recently featured on the Ellen DeGeneres show. He was named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2017 for being a game-changer and influencer. Unlike others, who espouse spirituality or even motivation issues, this speaker—who is incidentally one of the highest viewed on YouTube—tackles issues that are closer to the millennial— loneliness, marriage woes, breakup, heartache and more. Then there is Janhavi Panwar. At the age of nine, this Haryana girl was given the title of ‘Wonder Girl of India’. She is 14 now and divides her time pursuing her bachelor’s MANTRA At any point in life just ask yourself: Are you happy? COST PER SESSION Depends from case to case. drawbacks. Many competitive men and women who enter the entertainment industry use their survival skills to reach the top, but do not always succeed. The silo complex has its own gravitational pull, and motivational books and speakers can pull them out of self-imposed isolation and remove their inferiority complex. The Hindi-English gap is a yawning hurdle in Indian cities—a political issue that could change the paradigm of office environments. But employment opportunities in small towns and for the youth working in call centres, healthcare, IT and a host of global-urban fields—contemptuously referred to as vernies—need English to navigate. “We try our best to motivate our students to be globally competent,” says Ajay Kunwar Singh, who runs a residential school in Kotdwar, a small town in Uttarakhand where fly-by-night Turn to page 2
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