In the growing up years and early career phases one of the challenges I had always been to put my ideas across and to make at least one person be convinced about my ideas or believe in my dreams. Not conforming to the societal norms didn’t come easy but for long, I didn’t even know that there were norms. I went on to live my life rather unaffected by the failures and somewhere believed in my own self more than anyone else ever did. Perhaps somewhere, growing up in India, in a Bollywood and Cricket driven pop culture, especially watching Shah Rukh Khan effortlessly romanticising love on screen, I too, was curious to know that is life all about love and does that wait that gets you everything that your heart desires?

Little did I know that years later, a call from TED / Star Plus on being a part of TED Talks India – Nayi Soch, hosted by Shah Rukh Khan, will make me wake up to the reality that there is no substitute for conviction and that there is no deadline for dreams to materialise. I still remember being excited at that call and agreeing to deliver my first TED talk. What did hold me back was the language. Here, I was, an Indian shying away from speaking in Hindi on stage. Travelling around the world and living in the U.K. for years, did take a toll on my language. Hindi, the language, had taken a back seat somewhere in my brain and I wasn’t convinced that I could convince anyone of anything if I speak in Hindi.

Challenges have never kept me tied to my seat; I am a proponent of believing in yourself, pushing your boundaries in hope and achieving the goals. Rounds and rounds of practicing the TED talk still nurtured that disbelief in me but somewhere hope took over the fact that I was sharing the stage with the man who has build his entire career on the strength of hope and courage. I wasn’t addressing 300 people in the room but few hundred million Indians watching TED’s debut series on TV. Some last minute pep talk by Juliet Blake of TED was calming.

You are always your stern critic but are your worst lover; this is what I have heard about me from my close ones. And when the TED talk did happen, the messages from every single individual known and unknown to me, wiped away the critical deconstruction of me that I had done.

On reflection, perhaps this is what life is! Fear and uncertainties do rise and go to bed with us but if hope stays firm in the curious hearts, achieving anything becomes a success story for all of us. Therefore, nourish the curiosity within with hope and achieve whatever you set out to achieve because this is precisely your life, you be the master of it.

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