Thursday, 17 May 2018




Stage, lights, camera and microphone are synonymous to my being. Nothing new to any theatre artist, I guess! Yet, these days, far more than theatre, there are three distinct reasons I could be on stage performing an act:-

One - Moderating, anchoring, holding literary panel, sessions, reciting poetry or storytelling.


Two -   Holding the show for celebrity interactions, interviews or moderating panels with them


Three - Conducting Corporate Training/Workshops in HR/OB/Leadership modules or as a Speaker in Conferences


There lies, thus, a very thin line of demarcation between my passion for writing and Corporate life. The more I balance my dance on the razor's edge, the happier I go.


Here's a lil look into my life, centrestage:-






Moderating session : Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Author, MP and Speaker


One strong wish from the childhood bucket list finally ticked off tonight --- Sharing the stage with the imitable, Dr. Shashi Tharoor!!
To hold the stage for him, moderate the Q&A and to have him say that I did a brilliant job! Also to host the invincible forces of Salman Anees Soz, Alim Javeri and Ms Ameeta Sinh.





Moderating literary and musical session : Piyush Mishra, Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub, Actors


Moderating a literary session with the invincible, Piyush Mishra, and the charming, Zeeshan Ayyub, both theatre stalwarts. 

This is from Lucknow Literature Festival, 2017. 











Anchoring and holding the stage: Zeenat Aman, Actor



She was the heroine who broke the cult of stereotypes with her bold experiments in Bollywood Movies. Hosting Zeenat Aman was an exploration into what goes behind breaking the traditional frame. 

The event was named "Celebrating celebrity women in Pre-Independence era". 


Year - 2018








Interview and discussion: Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub, Actor


For an avid dramatics student, there cannot be a more humbling experience than moderating panels for theatre stalwarts, such as Zeeshan and his gorgeous wife, Rasika Agashe. This event from a Literature Festival was a huge hit with young boys and girls almost not letting us go off stage. Year - 2017





Anchoring National Theatre Festival - Repertwahr 2017 


Our one-week theatre fiesta got over like a short dream. In past few days, Priyank and I have worked like strivers, putting 48 hours into a day with hardly any sleep. We managed (fulltime) work and play together, without throwing tantrums on our girls like decent parents. What a feat! 
We held the stage for Rajit Kapoor, Manav Kaul, Sumit Vyas, Sudhir Mishra, Neil Bhoopalam, Sheena Khaled, and few other theatre biggies, names to die for. 






Moderating literary session : Nikhil Sachan, Author



Moderating literary session with the author of bestselling Hindi novels, Nikhil Sachan. This one is from Literature Festival.











Moderating literary session : S Y Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner

Moderating literary session with the country fame, S Y Quraishi, Ex- Chief Election Commissioner of India, on Demystifying Elections and Empowering India : A CEC's journey















Anchoring and Moderating Q&A for Giocommo Pirozzi

When he had a chance to mint millions with commercial photography, Giacomo Pirozzi instead chose to capture human emotions in his lens, travelling to torn and bruised lands across 132 countries, where others even dread to tread. Torchbearers of humanism still lead the light somewhere in the dark corners of earth!

Anchoring the Prelude to Lucknow Literature Carnival 2015 for him.










 Speaking on The Power of Poetry 


Kindling tender minds with the touch of poetry and the power of imagination. Workshop conducted at at a leading school. 






Training the CBSE School Principals and Teachers

As a leadership trainer, on special invitation conducted workshop to train CBSE School Principals and Teachers, the true leaders who shape up lives of thousands of young minds over many years. 






Performing at Sahitya Adda, S07

Performing protest poetry at Sahitya Adda and launch of the book, an collection of poems in English, Urdu and Hindi.









Speaking at Pravah -2018




When you get a chance to speak to an audience footfall of 10,000+ students coming from 500+ institutes, what better than to perform a 'protest poetry'. Even if few take back the message, the poetess will have her job rendered.

This is from a National Level Inter College Festival. 








Addressing working women in management at SIDBI


Invited by SIDBI as a guest speaker on International Women's Day and speaking with like-minded working professionals, we deliberated like mad hatters.
Is IWD just about how many discounts we got on beauty products for a day, what sale offers hit the apparel market, how many friends did we tag on facebook, what color we coordinated in theme based kitty get togethers or how many roses or wishes did we receive?








Anchoring an Indo-French Jazz Evening


We began the Mahindra Sanatkada Lucknow Festival with Hindi Studio and wound it up with an Indo-French Jazz evening. The range of creativity around us is so overwhelming, one can never be grateful enough. 














Reciting Nau-Ras of Hindi Kavita

A one of never before experiment with narration of Nau-Ras Hindi poems with jugalbandi on Tabla, unadulterated classical music. Presentation at Sanatkada Festival, with my partner in crime, Priyank.




Reciting protest poetry at Sahitya Adda

Something that I dearly believe in is putting my thoughts into metrical protest poetry. This is from an evening full of words, coffee and guitar at Sahitya Adda. 






Mime Act on Stage


All set for a mime show, excitedly I smudge my face with an over the top makeup and ask ShreeMan my usual one liner - "Hey, how do I look?"

With a deadpan face, he replies "Why? As usual." (Cruelty, thy name is love!)
 

The other story is that I played the protagonist in two mime acts on stage, after long years.  







Guest of Honor and presenting protest poetry

Poems, books, guitar, Lenon, ghazal, hot coffee, shayari, a misty winter evening and some heart stirring snippets to share. That’s the kind of intriguing work Sahitya Adda is doing. To be felicitated as ‘Guest of Honor’ among eminent literature enthusiasts and be even staged in the league of Nilesh Misra (the voice behind ‘Yadon Ka Idiot Box’) is a feeling of strange fulfillment.





Keynote Speaker at The Tea Stories
चाय, चर्चा और कुछ चुहल। 
Glimpses from a Sunday afternoon well spent with "Tea 


Stories". 








Moderating literary session : Shruti, Author


Moderating session with author of Hindi novel, Shruti Singh, who also happens to be a very dear friend.






Poetry session, judging an inter school festival 

Igniting Young Minds with the zest for Poetry. This one is from an inter school literature festival.  








Presenting 'Twilight's Children' on World Autism Day
What better a way to celebrate International Autism Day than to be with the special ones themselves feeling the exponential energy they liberate, to know the struggles of special educators and caregivers who wake up and sleep with selfless giving, and to share with them moments of boisterous laughing. Also, to be getting an opportunity to present them our book "Twilight's Children".








String of Tales, Episode 02, DD-Ka-Blog
When young, enthusiastic minds conduct a show, they do us oldies an unexpected favour. They design our posters making us look like some cool, swanky, rock-star! Not that we mind! We had a string of performances by young talents followed by old-is-gold stories by your familiar 90s girl. 







Moderating Author session with Mukul Kumar

This one is from a moderating session with Mukul Kumar at Lucknow Literature Festival. We also shared each other's book. Write India Short Stories got introduced to Lucknow. 






Moderating Author session with Mukul Kumar



Another unforgettable event is moderating author session with Viveik Pandit for his book 'Rani'at Literature Festival. 

The days when I was known as an avid blogger (still prefer to be called one) and print publication was just a small wish on the list.









Moderating session and Book Launch of 'Kashkol'

A host of literati got together at the launch of 'Kashkol', collectio of poems by Shruti. Moderating the panel was a delight as besides being a talented writer, she happens to be a dear friend too. 







Anchoring Hasya Kavi Sammelan in Hindi



An evening of another level when stalwart Hindi Hasya Kavi hold the stage entire night long. 

Their wit plays through the moon and we can't stop laughing. To match their quick wit and humour on stage, let me tell you, is a challenge one can never go prepared for. 













Anchoring at Sanatkada International Festival 

An opportunity to anchor the show for International Puppeteer at the Sanatkada International Festival.

Year 2017.









Recitations at The Poetry Club


There is something about The Poetry Club, founded by Dr. Siddharth Warrier. The homeliness, encouragement we get from one another and learning tenets of good poetry through sharing, is what got me writing poems after long years. Also, they helped me discover how Hindi Kavita has indpired me and shaped my being.









Storytelling with Children




The beauty of Sanatkada ka Adda is that it is a place that dares to look beyond boundaries of caste, religion, status and other social baggage. 

We, the storytellers, spin yarns, play along and have a real fun time with first-generation enthusiastic learners flocking there. The by-product? It becomes our cleansing therapy.






Corporate Storytelling: Performance Management


As an industry professional whenever I get to interact with Business School students, I don't miss chance to bust the myth of cosmetic glamour spun around HR to let them know how harsh, unadulterated, and yet so beautiful the world of real HR is. 

Coupled with some experiential narratives, the way these management students listen with vivid expressions, they have begun to make me feel like one old HR-granny storytelling forever. At 
Jaipuria Institute of Management. 








Corporate Storytelling: Gender Stereotyping

Sharing stories on gender stereotyping, biases and breaking the frame of glass ceiling. At IIM, conducting MDP for enthusiastic working women from ONGC. 










Corporate Storytelling: Leadership Wisdom



When HR fraternity coming together also become buddies! A full house session to share leadership stories with. Amity University it is. 











Corporate Storytelling: Knowledge and Innovation 

That moment when HR wallahs go unstoppable! Just ask them to talk on knowledge or innovation or competitive sustainability, and watch them harp their music to lead a disarrayed business world. 
This is from the National Conference at IILM, where we chaired the planery session. A long sought breather!






Corporate Storytelling: Bridging the Generation Gap 
Invited to conduct a workshop on bridging generational gap at workplace at BHEL. Training like these in which top to middle management enthusiastically participates is like a treat for us. 






Corporate Storytelling: National HR Summit


Invited as Keynote Speaker at IIIT-B



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