January 23, 2011

[Experiences] BIL Bodhi.Insight.Life

An entire day at BIL "Un-conference", Chennai. Many interesting moments. One life-changing one. To me, speakers are maze-makers. They draw you into unknown territory and dynamically gauging your interest, guide you through the intricacies of their experiences. End-result - a satisfying mental workout. There are always other case-points as in "lost in the maze", "too simple a maze", "too convoluted a maze" and "don't want to be in this maze" scenarios. Luckily, most of the mazes here were on the bright end of the spectrum and here's one such that impacted like a meaningful meteorite on my conscience!

In the course of our lives, haven't we all whined about being "too fat", "too thin", "too fair", "too dark", "long nosed", "stub nosed", "small eyed", "huge eyed", and worse still , moaned about microscopic matters such as "my left foot is slighter larger than my right foot", "I have elephant ears", "my eyelashes are so small" and perpetually compared ourselves against our parents, siblings, neighbors, friends and film-stars! Hold that thought for a moment and look at this guy moving onto the dias, his arms flying out in all directions, his legs stumbling on themselves, his face pulled in different directions at the fate of a cerebral condition. But he walked with aura of confidence that not even a perfectly chiseled modern-day-Apollo has. Meet GJ Siddharth, a differently abled man, deeply "unaffected" by a serious condition called cerebral palsy.

Sid bowled us over by asking us a simple favor - to not to call him challenged. He is not physically challenged, he bravely said. Made me think that the ones who are truly physically challenged are us, the whiners I described above. He shared simple everyday experiences, that we take so much for granted and his momentous task in dealing with the same. A small interlude and his best friend walked on stage and shared nuggets of their friendship, how they have fun in spite of everything and everyone around them. Here's my salute to this friend! "You are able to see the dynamic, humorous man that is not visible to the common eyes. You brave others' opinion to be there for him, to give him a chance at normal life. With someone like you to believe and be there, no obstacle is hard crossing."

[Photos by : Karthick Sundar]

At the end of his talk, we all stood there, giving a standing ovation, with tears in some eyes, and a soft glow in most hearts. Made me think of all the moments , I have wasted over inconsequential things; Of the times, when I felt down and depressed for mere trifles. I hope every time a mood swing swings by, my inner voice reminds me of this moment, clapping for this man.

Just here, realized a deep but simple truth about strength and beauty - that being a Goddess Venus/ Venus Williams is more about the contours of the mind rather than the curves of the body!


  1. Though I haven't met this person, just your description makes me stand up and salute him! Awesome folks like Sid also exist in this world. Most of us have to learn from them and lead better lives.Thanks for exposing such folks to an unknown world where people like me live! Good one!

  2. Really a great motivational incident mam. I was down in the dumps due to some incidents happened today but sid and the narration you provided have given me a lot of positive energy and I m very much refreshed now. once again thanks for introducing such a great person to us. I am giving claps and appreciation to this man's confidence from here itself...

  3. Most of us don't know who he is nor have seen him but this man is a boost to everyone's self-esteem. I hope by reading your blog about him I am sure everyone will say kurai onrum illai.

  4. Seek not to change the world,but choose to change your mind about the world.What you see reflects your thinking and your thinking reflects your choice of what you want to see.(this is a qoute from A course in miracles)
    Take a majestic oak tree some may see the tree as gift from God a source of life,energy & shade wrapped in magnificient beauty others see the annoying leaves that will litter their lawn in the fall the roots that could damage their sidewalk & the potential devastation of a single lightening strike.there isn't any difference but people who view it are remarkably different,and their lives will follow the very path of their perceptions.choose to live through optimal vision says Gary Benard.

  5. Thanks all, for your warm and interesting comments.

  6. Nice one!! feeling goose bumps while reading it, Wat an inspiration he is..Thanks for sharing this to us Nandhu