After inspirational speeches by Nirmal Dave, Jodi Underhill, Kartik Satyanaraya, Ajay Chaturvedi and Dhruv Viswanath, the afternoon session at SRCC Youth Conference 2014 Day 1 had some comedy and drama with little tadka of inspiration planned for its audience.
#iaskyoutoask – Papa CJ
Visiting SRCC for the second time, Papa CJ was welcomed at YC in a style. When audience was expecting some comedy act by the international stand-up comedian, CJ chose to have an interactive session with the students keeping in mind the motive of his visit of inspiring them and of course making everyone laugh. Declaring theme of his talk as #iaskyoutoask, Papa CJ not even once in his one-hour act allowed silence to make space in the college auditorium. Students were awestruck by his subtle comic timing even while answering extreme serious questions asked.
When asked by a girl-fan, Papa explained why he chose to be referred as a ‘father’ and refused to disclose what CJ stands for.
“When I started stand up in UK, the people there had a problem of looking down upon Indians. Prefixing Papa to the name was my way of telling then that ‘tumhara bhi koi baap hai’. Wherever I perform abroad, I try and project India in a positive light. I am proud to be an Indian.” – Papa CJ
He then went on to talk about his childhood, his dreams, the support from his family and his immense love for his country. In answers to the questions asked, he took everyone through the happiest and most embarrassing moment of his life and how he never lets a bad day or some personal problem overshadow his performance.
“For me my audience is everything. If they don’t laugh, I am not doing my job”, Papa says.
In another funny account he took the case of Sarthak Aggarwal, all India CBSE topper who associated ‘stand-up’ with something vulgar related to the male body. CJ mocked by telling him that not all knowledge is available in the books and gave him a lollipop for the only 0.4% marks he could not score in the board exams. The stand up artist who surprisingly knew a lot about the college continuously talked and joked about P.C Jain, the college principal and asked out a member of faculty for a coffee.
Behind his scenes – Boman Irani
Maamu’ who was dyslexic when he was a kid narrated his life story at the Youth Conference with lot of passion, emotions and of course, drama, as his profession demands. Bringing the much-needed Bollywood flavour to the conference, Boman Irani’s presence got no hands stopping to applaud the inspiring tale of the actor’s life.
All praises for the SRCC organizing committee, Boman appreciated the hard work put up by the prestigious institution. The Parsi man talked about his struggle first at school and then in the outside world. Boman narrated how being a waiter at Taj Mahal hotel he discovered his interests for photography and went on to be the official photographer of the World Boxing Championship.
“If you are willing to take forward your dreams, say good-bye to laziness and do your work honestly, you will get back 10 times of what you expected” – Boman Irani
His definitions of success and failure and his theories inspired students a lot. Boman explained the theory of ‘zero bulb moment’, which is that one moment of failure in everyone’s life that leads to a push, which then invites success.
Anandita Munjal, a fresher who attended Boman’s session says, “Boman really impressed me with his determination and story of life. The way the ‘zero bulb moment’ changed his attitude towards life was too inspiring. I now look up to him as a man who got paid for his hard work.”
“Who says you can’t debut at 44? I did. It is all about how you work and grow. Even after the release of Munna Bhai MBBS, I did not own a formal suit. I got it made a night before Star Screen Awards where I won my first award. Those were the days. Today, I am proudly standing here and delivering a speech for you all. As I say it is all about how you work.” – Maamu
He also explained his journey in the field of acting where he just started as playing Gandhi in the play Mahatma v/s Gandhi, doing short films and then finally striking the right chord with Munna Bhai MBBS. Talking about the importance of relationships in one’s professional life, Irani mentioned about his dear friends. His session ended with a question answer round with the students where he talked about the future of Indian cinema and what gave him courage to debut at an age of 44.
In picture: Papa CJ
Photograph credits: Mehr Gill