TEDxDharamshala Blog

TEDxDharamshala aims at inspiring the community to step forward and take action.
Through ideas, we facilitate a conversation between thinkers, doers, change makers.
As a result, we open up avenues for dialogue to expose the local community to future possibilities
of growth in the fields of art, science, technology, business, etc.



Why you will never Read Classics

Classic: A book that people praise but do not read. –Mark Twain

Readers, non-readers, and average readers have all heard the word classics. We know that in the realm of literature there exists a group of books which have to suffer the adjective classic. They’ll be able to tell you why those books are great, what they talk about, and why they were, and are, significant. They can have discussions about the depth of it and can also criticise it. They know the characters and the turns their lives are going to take.

But let’s admit, majority of the readers will be speaking from an un-informed place where they have not read the books they oh, so fondly talk about. Trust me when I say this, it’s a guilty pleasure for most readers. But why? That is the important question to ask.

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Silly, little (but important) reasons to Keep Going

Motivation loves playing hide-and-seek with us. Life gets a little too adamant at times and it can get pretty difficult to find the inspiration to keep going. But what we often forget is that there don’t always have to be big reasons to look forward to another day in life. You don’t have to look forward to surviving another day because of your job or your relationships.

Every now and then, you can look forward to the coming day because you know this is the day you’re going to have pancakes on after a long time or the fact that a good movie is going to be on the TV.

So, here are some silly, little (but just as important) reasons for you to look forward to another day

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Language and Psychological Reality

I speak a language which lets the speakers choose if they want to show respect to someone while talking about them – just by making everything in plural. You want to use a pronoun to refer to them? Make it plural! There’s a verb for that person’s action? Make that plural as well! And Voila! I’ve have paid my due respect! It’s that easy.

Now, the interesting part is, as kids, the speakers of my language were generally taught to speak with such respect-showing forms while talking to or about our fathers, grandfathers, (paternal) uncles, or father’s friends etc. BUT not when it came to our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, (maternal) uncles, or mother’s friends. We learn to refer to them to just like we would refer to our friends or siblings! We learned this as a part of learning how to talk. So, that’s how we learned things to be.

Talk about deep rooted patriarchy!

But, other than that, what instances like these makes us want to believe in, is relativism–the relation between our language and our reality.

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That’s my Home

Home. A place that has such inherent calm to it. Over the years, through movies and books and stories, we have been exposed to so many different ways of defining what home is. I don’t think anyone even looks up the definition of home anymore. And why would one? Home is different for everyone, isn’t it?

The TEDx Dharamshala team asked the tribe to tell us what home was for them and here are the different homes that we have come to know in the past week.

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Introspection Inspired by a Virtual Almighty

24-year-old Swarali Vaidya from Pune shares how reading a sci-fi blog led her to introspect patriarchy.

It is a fact that we live in a patriarchal society. No, I am not an anti-feminist. Yes, things are changing. But they haven’t changed enough just yet to make patriarchy a thing of the past. Turning this patriarchal society (for whatever reasons by whoever wants to change it) into a matriarchal society or an egalitarian one is going to be a long task. And I think that’s because patriarchy is so deep-rooted—at least in our minds.

I was having a well-deserved lazy Sunday scrolling through the 5-inch screen I often hold in my hand when I came across a blog post titled By permission of Almighty by Digant Patil.

My first thought was “okay, something related to Him”. And it was. The blog started by establishing that there was a technical glitch in some heavenly system that controls the universe.

No, it’s not a spiritual blog. I am really not into that kind of stuff. This is more like a sci-fi kind of stuff. So, a part of a blog reads like this:

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Emotional First Aid 101

Even in the 21st century, not a lot of people will tell you to pay heed to your emotional wound. Scratch that. Not a lot of people will accept the existence of emotional wounds. They will understand that people get hurt, that they want to cry over some things for a while but that would be it.

Majority of us use the phrase losing your mind in our everyday speech but when it comes to embracing the literality of it, most of us fail. And that is where the problems begin.



a strong feeling deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationship with others.

Do you notice the use of the word strong in the definition? And the part that says with others? Those are perhaps the two things that make it important to address the emotion, and the pain that comes with it.

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That’s meaningful

All of us humans have been bothered by this question at some point in our lives. What’s the meaning of life? Whether it was on a long rainy night or in the middle of the day, we have all invested our energy and time into answering that question. The TEDx Dharamshala team was amazed at the diversity of answers we got for that question in one room. So, we decided to ask people all over the world to tell us what they thought adds meaning to life.

Here we have, the 30 best responses we got.

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How I give Meaning to My Life

An optimist’s struggle to find worth in life

A 24-year-old woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, shares her struggle to find meaning and worth in life in a conversation with TEDxDharamshala.

Not many people think about a worthy life until they are faced with damaging challenges. As a young adult, there are only numbered times when I have found a satisfying answer to what gives meaning to my life? This question was most often ragged by should have been divorced parents, raging depression, a passion soon losing its vigor, a career that is nowhere to be seen, absolutely zero love interest, and a consuming wish to be dead already.

Now, a couple of years later, when I think about all the days I spent sitting at home to avoid the panic attacks I would get just by being near my college building, I am reminded of the struggle I have endured to find a meaning in my life. The most rudiment was the fear that my anticipations would be judged as nonsensical shenanigans and I would be told to just be happy.

And while there may be some truth to that line, it does not bear the weight of the entire process of standing up again after a fall in life. The conviction to convince your mind to stay happy comes after a series of realizations. And in my case, three things played a crucial role.

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The Era of Start-ups

What was the last app you signed in that made your life easier? Oh! Please don’t say you opened Whatsapp to reply to those good morning texts. I meant the apps that got you doing something productive and save your valuable time.

Right from the moment we wake up, we are under the continuous control of modern-day applications.

How many apps do you think an average person uses every day?

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opinion--can't articulate

I don’t always have an opinion…and that’s okay.

In this day and age, it is not uncommon for us to find out everyone’s opinions. If I were to go through my Facebook feed, or my Twitter, or my Instagram stories, I know that I would, without a doubt, find several statuses and updates about how someone feels about something.

Although, as a millennial toeing some blurred lines, I’ve found it hard to have come to take a certain side and have a “for” or “against” standpoint on things. By “things”, I mean the “this and that” about the “who’s who” that eats through our media time. Most people my age, and younger, tend to have strong opinions on matters of politics, work ethics, gender equality, social stigmas…you get the gist. But I’ve always wondered why it was difficult for me to have the same opinion as majority or, sometimes, have an opinion at all.

So after some introspection and research, I came up with some interesting reasons why I happened to be this way, and why it is okay if you don’t genuinely have Facebook-status-worthy opinions. Here they are:

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