March 10, 2015

How my New Life Starts!

Every time I attend new events and talk/interact or listen to new people, I feel I have started a new life! Each of them are bold steps to refine me and add value to my life! Especially this year, my plate has been full by God’s grace! 

In January month I attended two Literary Fests back to back in Kolkata- The #AKLF- Apeejay Kolkata Literary Fest 2015 and the Tata Steel Kalam 2015. Both these were held in the sprawling and extremely beautiful premises of the Victoria Memorial. I felt rejuvenated! 


Combining both the Fests, listening to stalwarts like Ruskin Bond, Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Ramchandra Guha, Jeet Thayil, Ashwin Sanghi and many more Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian and French writers has given me a wide perspective and tingled my creative cells! I got a copy of ’13 Steps to Bloody Good Luck’ by Ashwin Sanghi signed by the wonderful author himself! 

At Kalam!

All the things that have happened after that- have indeed been lucky! Chapters of the book have deeply impressed me such as- travel more, meet new people, take chances- and you will attract luck! Yes, that is so true! That has happened and is happening- touch wood! You can also read my post on the phenomenal,path-breaking session on women’s sexuality with Ira Trivedi and Shireen-El-Feki. I also submitted my #YesWeCan tweets to the PMO after the Modi-Obama #MannKiBaat. Very glad to say that five of those have been recently published!

After I returned back to my city- Bhubaneswar, I have again been on the move and immensely busy! From 13-15 February, I attended the 3rdInternational Buddhist Conference which indeed has infused a new life in me. It was a life-changing event- especially the site visits to the splendid Buddhist sites of Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri, Udaygiri and Dhauligiri. So much peace, so much wisdom lies embedded in those centuries-old monasteries. The new contacts I made via the Conference- ace administrators, travel and tour operators, teachers, students, NGO heads, monks, reporters and so on, have enriched my experiences like never before. Unfulfilled needs of tourism business in my beautiful and high-potential tourist destination state of Odisha have come to my attention by way of valuable direct experiences. 

After that, I have attended several Cultural Festivals which have portrayed the vibrant folk dances and music culture of various districts of Odisha. I felt that our generation is really missing out the most entertaining, awe-inspiring dances and music from our very own soil and especially the youth must be sensitized on what glorious events they are missing. I’ve made small contributions in this regard by writing posts and putting up youtube links of the fabulous performances:
and lots more in February archives!

Yet another great change came about last week when I went to the National Khadi Utsav in Bhubaneswar, which had started since 26 February and will continue till 18 March, 2015. 

Meeting the young, dynamic President of OKVIB (Odisha Khadi and Village Industries Board) was a revelation and inspiration. My interest in reviving our dying arts, textiles and village industries led to him inviting me to the function celebrating International Women’s Day. This was among the most productive and inspiring events I’ve attended so far, as Odisha’s various Women Entrepreneurs were felicitated!

They shared their stories on how they started a new life and how indeed every woman can #StartANewLife by being determined to create good products which will be in demand by local, national and international consumers. Various stakeholders like bankers, the government and women entrepreneurs came together on the same stage and discussed problems and gaps, and how to overcome them. My summary of the session was well appreciated! It was my first speech in Odia on such a huge platform! Later in the evening, a Khadi fashion show was held, alongwith elegant folk dances.

My friend @TwitOdia had the following to say. By coincidence, he also picked the word *lucky*!

So, a new life all the time is not just about being lucky, but also about hard work and taking some difficulties in our own stride. I did not allow a toe-fracture to stop me! Else, think what I would have missed and moreover- how would you- the World- know about all such rich cultural and entrepreneurial wealth of Odisha?! 

**This is my post for & please watch this optimistic, inspiring video from them too!


  1. Very right. It's more than luck, Amrita.
    "The harder we work, the luckier we get."
    Hope everyone gets a chance to start a new life, fulfill dreams and live happily.
    Best wishes.

  2. Life is a combination of luck and chance. It shapes the way we try to make it. But it goes its own way. I wish if I could have it my way. Good luck to you. Biranchi Mishra

    1. Very well said Mishra Babu! Good luck 2 U too! :)

  3. Lucky you, I have never been to such an event. About life, it's a combination of many many things but if you work hard and give your 100%, you don't regret.

    1. Well said Saru! Giving our 100% 2 everything we do is key! :)


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