The Sponge Effect #TGP2014

3 ‘Mumbaikars’ set out for their first (un)conference experience on Feb 6th …a looooooooong drive. Saving graces: scenic visuals,  crazy ‘disoriented’  conversations and the reggaestar Bob Marley on the boom box for company.

When one visits Goa (the purpose doesn’t matter), all one expects is to have the experience of a lifetime…Eachtime. Everytime. Did #TGP[1]2014 do that?

Once we reached, we weren’t sure what to expect for the next 2 days. It was like throwing ourselves into “the unknown”(literally actually! Because when we entered, we didn’t know anybody).

Two eventful days done and we headed back with a fresher mind and renewed perspective. But, like most reflective humans do, we decided to evaluate “THE EVENT”.Ok who are we kidding? We just wanted to kill time!  Some excerpts below:

Bhakti: Hey, what was one good thing that you think shone out about #TGP2014?

Tarun: I liked the concept of an unconference, where meeting different kinds of people became easy.

Malaika: The venue was brilliant. It provided the much needed calm and ambience to unwind.

Bhakti: For me, it was to find some radically-driven, spontaneous people who thought of crazy things and are just following their passions like I am. I felt right in place.

Tarun: Ok! And what would you pick as one of the things that  could have been  better? Like I thought, they could have started-off on time and utilize all the time allocated to the event to its very best. Especially on the first day when most participants didn’t know what to do after reaching the venue.

Malaika:  A set of on ground ‘identifiable’, enthusiastic volunteers would have been better for those 2 days of the event. All the volunteers looked exhausted and drained out (which I’m sure they were).

Bhakti: Yea, I agree. Randomness and chaos is fine but they should be within certain outer parameters such as a musical tone indicating the start and/or end of a session.

Malaika and Tarun: (Nod in agreement)…Distracted Tarun who is driving has knocked a passerby down :)))

Malaika continues:  So tell me what did #TGP2014 do for you?

Tarun: I’ve been working in a corporate setup for over 12 years now. #TGP2014 made me realize that I am still a student who is excited and willing to learn stuff and seek answers to many a question. I felt young again! 😉

Bhakti: The ‘spaces’ during the event were created brilliantly and they were spread out. Moving from one space to another led me to bumping into different people with whom I could share a laugh, argue like children especially during the workshops, build creative ideas and new theories. There were also some spaces for self-introspection in between sessions, that ended with live music and dance  to fill a vacuum, if any.

Malaika: Yeah ..still recovering from the 3 hour dance last night ..hahaha. Anyway, answering the question.. I never thought conversations and connecting with strangers will come easy to me. Also, I realized that not all intelligent people are interesting and not all interesting people need to be intelligent. But if you find a combination of interesting and intelligent people, BINGO!

Bhakti: hahaha..I’m sure that was a real problem :). So now tell me what were your top 2 sessions?

Malaika: 1) Chasing Dreams and how? by Raghavendra Satish Peri; 2) Design a game, design a fun by Harold Raichur which was the most fun-filled session at #TGP2014. Our group had a laugh riot.

Tarun: 1) Sound energy management and its applications in healthcare by Karan Sajnani; 2) Silent Zone facilitated by Sindhu. Second day I was unwell 😦 Slept it out …came in time for the Jam session though .

Bhakti: 1) Viewing alcoholism through the lens of ghazals by Paras; 2) Rubanomics – The rise of new rural-urban by Madan Padaki.

Tarun, Malaika and Bhakti: Music and dance at the end of the event each day was absolutely ‘Goa-licious’ 😉

So basically, #TGP2014 works well IF:

  1. You have decided in your head to break free from all that you perceive yourself to be
  2. You shed your inhibitions (whether it is walking up to people and making random conversations or grooving to the music on the dance floor like no one’s watching ;))
  3. You take advantage of the level playing field it provides to be able to connect and share your thoughts with people at all levels on topics that you may share in common
  4. You want a break from the monotony of daily work and boost your senses
  5. You seek inspiration from other’s experiences
  6. You can manage to make at least one good connection personally or professionally
  7. You don’t expect too much of order

Goa always screams “Music, Beer and Awesome Company”.  #TGP2014 hit that note Bang On!

I don’t think we’d be wrong to say an event like #TGP2014 suits a Mumbaikar’s’ style of functioning “Method in Chaos”. All you got to do is SOAK IT IN!

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