I started at 4 am in the morning from home to airport, reached Infosys campus in Mysore at 4 pm. There was a special TED desk set up at Bangalore Airport. I mean that’s just how big TED is, dedicated desk at an international airport. From Bangalore they had arranged for frequent shuttle service to Mysore. So all of us were in a Volvo bus with a police escort navigating through Bangalore traffic. It was weird to some of us, annoying to some other of us. And then there were some like me who were too busy sleeping all the way.
The entrance of Infosys campus looks like a huge Victorian palace. Like really huge. And inside it looks like we are in a mini picture perfect world. The big UFO kind of building, which is like the signature of Infosys campus is called the Multiplex. You can see it from behind trees and buildings and you can tell its a bit of a walk within the campus from your hostel building to the conference area to the food area to the multiplex and so on.
The great thing is the campus has plenty of bi-cycle parked here and there, they are meant for public use, you can just hop on any one of them.
I came to my room, took a shower made some tea for self and then headed for the TED Fellows photo shoot where they took modeling portfolio type of head shots of us fellows. Some of the fellows were then filmed for a short interview. They kind of goofed up at organizing that bit but that’s ok.
The only big thing this evening was the TED community dinner which had a special restricted area for TED Fellows. So in this one floor we were 100s of fellows along with the host fellows, guest fellows and organizers.
Earlier we were given a fellows book which has the profiles of all fellows. I didn’t really read it. And it was so embarassing when people came up to me saying, “I read about you on the book.” I couldn’t say, “oh how sweet, but I didn’t read about you.” So I just stupidly smiled.
Of all the people I met the most remarkable meeting was with this 16 year old boy from West Bengal, Babar Ali who can be called the youngest headmaster of the world. Read about his amazing efforts in educating 800-900 children on this BBC story.
I met Tauheed, my blogger friend from Bangladesh the one who nominated me for fellowship, for the first time today. It was such a joy to see him finally in real life.
The other noteworthy people I met were Tom Rielly, Director, TED Fellows and he called me a fellow queer activist. Nothing can beat that joy. Read his bio here
Met the father of Indonesian bloggers Enda Nasution but couldn’t talk at length. Many more interesting people were there but I can’t remember their names, need to catch up with all of them tomorrow.
The food was great even greater were the lady attendees of TED India. They are all such gorgeous ladies, I tend to feel out of place. The men are not so great, men don’t have it in them anyway. Well there were a few of them that I did take a close look at but let that be classified information for now :P
The real action starts tomorrow, breakfast is at 7.30. Keep following this space, I might live blog a few sessions.
(To be continued to Day 1 of TED India)