Praful Baweja

Who Drew The Line: A Candid Conversation on Indian Queer Sensitivities, Neurodiversity and Taboos

Who Drew The Line: A Candid Conversation on Indian Queer Sensitivities, Neurodiversity and Taboos

Praful Baweja

Co-Founder, 6 Degrees Diversity Counsel

Praful Baweja

Praful has been narrating stories based on diversity inclusion and strategic brand & marketing communication for corporates, celebrity and social sector clients for almost 2 decades.

Currently, he pursues happiness by including diverse viewpoints of stakeholders, their equity & creating a culture of belonging for various organisations through policies, branding & programs. He has won the Wow Awards Asia Gold for Best Use of Augmented Reality, Silver for Best Use of Virtual Reality & Bronze for Best Use of Interactive Technology for Capgemini Tech Fiesta 2019

Take home these learnings:

1. A Peep Into Indian Queer Sensitivities
2. Childhood Experiences When You Are Different
3. Respect, Not, Fix The Differences
4. How To Develop The Ability To Reframe Vulnerable Stories
5. Be An Ally To People
6. Nuerodiversity is just one aspect of a person

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Episode Transcript:

00:03 Thank you so much Praful, it's such an honor having you here. I've been following up with you, so that I can get this opportunity to have you on the podcast next month. Right. And finally the daisy. Thank you, thank you, like, the very few places where 00:21 one thinks that they will have a meaningful dialogue and xMonks with one of them. So here we are. 00:28 Thank you. And you know that I've been following you on LinkedIn. I loved reading what you post, I love your courage. I love your vulnerability, 00:39 and the kind hearted person that you are. and powerful. I personally believe that our childhood plays a very vital role in helping us become who we are. the family that you're born in the initial journeys that you have traveled, with your parents, with your siblings, 01:01 with the fellow travelers, just curious, how was your childhood shaped you become who you are. 01:09 So my childhood was a lot of contracts and lots of different things together. Right, right. 01:16 On one hand, my grandfather was a high court judge, but we didn't stay with them, right. So they had everything, 01:26 large, palatial, etc. And we stayed in Mumbai, in a very small space and 01:35 in 01:37 search of independence, etc, that used to be unemployed for longest time, because his vocation what he had choosing, 01:46 it was with textile mills and textile mills, were not really doing well, in Mumbai at that point of time. So 01:54 he faced a lot of rejections, he pays a lot of challenges at work. And even as poor five year old, 02:04 you know, I remember that there was very clear (reduce pause) 02:08 sense of that. And it was very clear ownership of that, that I had, obviously, my sister is older, so she would have had more of that. And we, we looked at them work very hard. So we didn't have 02:29 any qualms about talking about it, right, because they were doing their best, no matter what they were doing, and, and whatever was around. So if people looked at it as not enough, and spoke to us in certain manner, etc, that he lived in small homes, you don't pay fees on time you do this, you do that, etc. For me, it was still shrug shoulders, it was very, like, this is the way it is. And there is precious little that we can do immediately to change in this moment. Right? So that that's what was my go to conversation at that moment. And I think I've championed that vulnerability piece. 03:14 Ever since. Because if you don't let it 03:18 damage your break you in a certain manner, always the 03:24 it's alive, and it is still, you know, with you, rather than working on your pressures and working on us. 10,000 other things. So. Yeah. Thank you, thank you for sharing. And, you know, I think that's what it is in case we don't embrace who we are, where we come from, it'll continue to 03:45 show up in our mind, simply continue to feed us a story that's not going to be beneficial for us, that's not going to give us the peace and the harmony that we all deep down I think we all deserve. 03:57 So very early, when you're talking about that, you embrace that vulnerability. And you know, as you mentioned, 04:04 shrug it off. That's how it is. Yeah. 04:09 What do you think? 04:13 How does it still continue to show up in your life today as well? That's one question. Another question that's coming to me is 04:24 what are the different ways that you 04:27 started dealing with those kinds of episodes in your life? 04:32 So 04:34 okay, so what? 04:37 I have vocabulary for now, I didn't have vocabulary back then. Right? Right now you have tools and ways to identify and work around these things and what they call microaggressions. And in a bunch of things like that. And early on, nobody is equipped and if you are not from a privileged background, the access to these things is even less 05:00 So, because these are insights these are, 05:03 these are things that are given after a lot of journey, right? So anybody on periphery does not have it 05:12 to currently, the same vulnerability, I use the awareness of it for myself, and for a few communities that I've worked with, right? 05:23 Socially, it's made me in social justice, and in communicating about these things that people try to brush under the carpet, or look the other way, try very hard to repress, etc. Um, like, rather than repressing, just say that I'm not ready to talk about it right now. And that that does it right. Like, you don't need to run away avoiding and do 10,000 VR things are then saying that, hey, it is too much for me, it extrude might be too much for you, to to tackle and to speak about in moments. And that's absolutely all right for somebody not to be ready to have intense conversations, right. But truths of life are intense. So 06:09 having both having the truth and capacities in mind, that is a daily job. It's a 10 second 06:20 choice that we have, like cognitively, everybody can make a choice in 10 seconds, right? Then next, and then next. And then next. That's how the sequencing works. For each choice each thing, 10 seconds at a time weighing it. And moving ahead is something that I know now, thanks to a few tools of Access Consciousness and few other things that I 06:43 eventually chanced upon. And they've been brilliant, and they've helped me work on a lot of stuff. So yeah, so right now these things are there is pretty much alive. It's pretty much sitting in the room in every room and every conversation and everything. They don't go away or disappear. They just stop controlling. 07:05 you rather know that this the space that I'll hold for this, and this is the spirit that I'll hold for. Yeah, yeah. Perfect. Thank you for bringing that. Just curious, when did you realize that the way you show up the way you perceive things, the way you respond to a situation the way you enact in a particular situation, beat your school beat your college beat your working journey, when you realize that your approach is a little different from majority of the people around you? 07:36 And how did you find comfort for yourself? You know, today, the world is talking about ADHD, the world is talking about gender issues. The world is talking about 07:50 bipolarity the world is talking about neuro divergence. The world is talking about so many things. I'm not sure if those words were available back then as well. So when did you realize that 08:04 just a vocabulary might develop? It will keep on developing till you know, we have 08:10 working mind speech, bunch of things and 08:14 learning will keep happening right? You will, you'll know the new answer period, you'll know new findings in a thing you'll know, 08:22 what's a different way of looking at multiple things always. 08:26 But 08:28 awareness is intrinsic. That feeling inside is something that 08:35 and very early on, I think at the age of 08:39 three, I would have made people run around when they asked me my name and my name. At that point of time was very precious to me, I think that some part of my identity is given away if I give my name. So there would be six feet tall. People asking me my name, and I won't be up to their knees. But I'll say, Hey, give me a reason. What will you get if I tell you my name? And if I like the reason, I'll tell you if I don't like your reason you can try again. And it was simple, playful agency and negotiating. Right, like so. Being aware of the difference. I don't know when I did get aware of it. But I was using it already at three. For sure. I was using it way back then. That Hey, there's a different way of doing things and I enjoy it and that's my way of doing things and there was no other labels except for mine. You know, doesn't mean Me Me, me, me or does this is what resonates with me. So 09:36 if putting on music and painting per hour then not going to a certain 09:42 thing that everybody else is craving for or going ballistic about and and driving the whole space upside down about if I don't have to do it, I want to go down. I don't feel a big deal about it. 09:57 It's not about swimming against the tide a lot 10:00 Do people think that most, you know, people who have ADHD or autism or any of the things on the spectrums 10:09 go out of their way to prove that they are different or to acknowledge their differences, etc? No, and just wired differently. So it operates accordingly. So there is a different space for you to 10:22 just engage yourself. So people are playing cricket, and I'm drawing or I'm reading or I'm dancing, or I'm just sitting and walking at Sky. I'm not missing cricket. I'm definitely not missing cricket. Because I'm doing my thing at that moment, even if they're just walking water, you know, flow. So 10:42 yeah, yeah. How was it for your parents? You know, several times I come across friends several times I come across my relatives who are dealing with 10:54 the same situation in their families. Yeah. And they sound a little depressed concerned. 11:05 How did your parents deal with that? And if you were to share a piece of advice to all those parents who are dealing with something similar? What advice would that be? 11:15 advice, I don't know. A because I can look after plants. I can look after humans. That's where I have drawn the line. Plants I can keep alive with my 11:25 limited efforts. But humans it takes much more. So 11:31 what paints definitely they they were traumatized with their own experiences, my father is one twin 11:41 that, like, his twin sister was 11:46 no early on affected 11:49 with 11:51 a mental growth issue. And that when her brain was chickenpox, it is follow up and all of that very early in life. He was trauma informed. They were the family was pretty distraught about her 12:10 to notice us, which was already so much on the platter. Right. So 12:17 for them to see a bunch of different challenges, it was more about migration from a smaller city to bigger city, it was all about sustaining a certain kind of lifestyle that we would no matter what kind of kid requires a certain 12:34 support, right? So 12:36 for them, those were more pressing 12:39 conversations than the difference. Because no matter how different a child has to begin to child has to be given that was their 12:47 piece, right? So differences didn't have most of the time, they were like, Hey, as long as in, in these rhythms and patterns, there is whatever that can be delivered on grades, whatever, that can be delivered on thing, is he finding his way around things? Is he not getting lost? is he responsible enough? Is he you know, eating food on time eating? Like those basic things were being met in some way or the other. Right? So 13:14 they will find with that they were more grateful that hey, we can provide this match that have been taken that being taken well, it's shaping okay, they were more concerned about my height than my brain. Right? Like and those are the parameters based on which the society value to the height Yeah, the initial initial phase of your growth, how what's your height? And that makes a lot of difference. What's the color of your skin? And yeah, all of what you're talking about? Yeah, all speak Seebohm every year just like I will look for my puppy. They were looking at me as like Hey, is your system enough? Do you have parasites what what what is the GP saying? So they were more concerned about that then all of this because also they did not have that much privilege to understand 13:59 neurodiversity from a very what to say close quarters, advanced perspective, right, like 14:09 informed my 14:11 and 14:13 they were so many experiments for 70 years of her life with her mental health piece 14:21 that I see her only as an experimental piece for most of the family to fix that they tried to do a put in these are all educated people who are principals who are engineers who are who have been serving in ministry is at times etc. These are empowered, educated people who have made mark for themselves in their lives, right like they 14:47 like we are here they were still in a certain community space. So they were supporting each other and doing those things right then. 14:56 They had the success parameters, but how to successfully deal with some 15:00 already, it is almost like out of syllabus question. This was out of syllabus person for them 15:05 within that home, and they just didn't know what to do or do whatever they just didn't. And I think that with her no using coming, no, I said I could gauge that when you use the word they wanted to fix. So the word fix itself is too loud for me to process. Tell me more about this. Medically. 15:28 A lot of people think sexuality can be fixed, a lot of people think gender can be fixed a lot of people think they're fixing because fixing has a notion of something being wrong. 15:37 Not something being different. So understanding how to work with it, right, like you're starting with a judgment of wrongness, and wrongness not 15:50 contributing to life. 15:52 Right, or contributing to growth or contributing to benefits and whatever sense of the word, which is not the case, everybody is right and wrong at multiple things in multiple viewpoints, points. And it contributes to overall scheme of things. Unless you're wrong, you can't be right. Unless you're right, you can be wrong. So when people look at inhaling and exhaling individually, that won't be life, right? 16:18 Similarly, the perspective of pretty limited, 16:21 maybe because they were making life for themselves, they were getting successful and material sense of the world. They were busy, you know, creating life for their children or whatever. But for her, it was difficult for us because we had a bit of space between them and us. 16:39 Majority of effort of 16:43 majority of my childhood effort went in saying that, hey, you're judging my parents for XYZ things and excluding and my parents saying that you're judging our children and excluding for XYZ reason. So our conversation 17:00 was largely about judging, when even orange funny that my 17:05 grandfather was a high court judge. So 17:09 we, we joke that it's in family, it's in blood to, you know, unlike certain men judge other than we joke, so and we also say that it needs undoing, right? Like, you can't be doing that he did not vocation, what are you doing it? 17:25 Health Medicine. On one hand, we have this medical, medically proven 17:33 mental illness challenges. 17:36 On one hand, there are situations which are proved by 17:41 medical theories. 17:44 At the same time, I think society has played a very vital role in creating stress in the lives of the people who are different. 17:53 Okay, so what do you think? 17:57 What do you think the world that you live in, 18:01 has contributed 18:05 a percentage of what you went through, or what you are going through, if it has, 18:12 okay, so I really think the benchmarking is weird. Because what we consider mainstream is barely three to 5%, of human population. 18:23 And by excluding 95% of people 90, like, that's, that's how people function because they try to, they want to fit into this very narrow stereotype. And 18:37 they want to call that success or that beauty or that fitness or that whatever, you know, those benchmarking that have been done, and whatever man or an architect saying only, 18:52 you know, only if you live in a 10 BHK with X kind of sustainability with black kind of energy maintenance and blah, blah, blah, that 19:01 your house is a home 19:04 is 19:06 their way of looking at it for me home is where we can create that space, right and have that component and can run it and be safe. So 19:17 that bit the humane bit is what the society constantly tries to, 19:26 you know, put aside for everybody, not only for me, or anybody who's perceived different it is the humanity that everybody denies at workplaces and classrooms and and you know, playing fields in public spaces, the shore room to be human to or to change to you know, laugh at your own ball set cetera. 19:54 That is something that was 19:59 really 20:00 You can have as thread for by a lot of people, if I'm learning in my own way, if I'm showing up in my own way, it says nothing about them, really. But to take it personally to block it to delay to 20:16 change it. 20:18 All of those attempts have been everyday conversations, right? It's, and they continue. And they continue at various levels. Like my, at workplace, two colleagues will do it, or two interns will do it or two reporting bosses will do it, some client will do at some, some, you know, like, everything, people would like to do it in a certain manner. And I'm like, fine, as long as we can both enjoy it great. If it's only you, and not me, then there's a compromise. So let's figure out 20:51 how is how's it going? So each conversation is that each conversation is a negotiation. 20:59 It is. 21:01 You know, I just love it the way you have developed this capacity to reframe everything in your life. And I remember one of our conversation, you mentioned that 21:11 you have got an immense amount of opportunities in your life. And from that conversation to this conversation, prayerfully I'm not able to wrap my head around that how someone who has dealt with life with so many of things that the world has forbidden 21:28 can look at the world with so much of hope, with so much of keenness with so much of openness. Tell me more about that when you say that you've got so many opportunities in your life. 21:40 Okay, so the more I tried to fit in, the more I try to mask 21:46 the worse I am. Okay, but 21:51 that is 21:54 because you end up looking awkward and funny and and you end up looking 21:58 for space, and it's very visible. 22:02 To me, it is very visible. If I'm 22:06 being nervous is not being awkward, there's a difference, I can be a bit anxious, I can be a bit angsty, I can be a bit restless, I can be awkward. But yeah, I can be that more often than most people because of the attention deficit piece 22:20 to frequency will be more like most people, if they have one hour a day, well, they are 22:27 a bit more restless, I might have three, four, 22:32 where they might require 20 minutes of grounding, I might require two hours. So those requirements, those comfortable those pattern, those things will be there that might only like to sit from a certain kind of cup and certain kind of thing on certain day. And so those patterns are difficult to undo for me. And just acknowledging that they are difficult. So you will do it partially or you're not going to be judgmental if you don't if you're not able to totally do it 23:06 that kindness itself has paved the way for everything, right? It's okay to fail. 23:14 It's okay to 23:17 be bad at something. 23:20 It's okay to 23:25 be 23:27 a hot mess. 23:31 Right? Like 23:33 it is end of the day it is right it it unless you're hurting and harming people and unless it's physically threatening or it is criminal or it is really intense. 23:47 Failures are a good thing 23:52 they are 23:55 and cause him to get up aid is not a mantra it is just a way of being way of cleaning. It just is because 24:08 because how else do you keep 24:12 doing what you do? Like what I do? I can't do it without 24:18 and I like to keep doing it. Yeah, you know, as they say, either you can carry the baggage of your life and continue to walk with that heavy load or continue to let go of that. Unload yourself and then move on. And look at the light the way you would like to look at your life. Prefer your light did not stop there. As I mentioned that everything the world has forbidden. 24:40 I think either you love finding yourself in that space which I have my own reservations. 24:48 Incidentally, you have been pleased in those situations and I'm sure there's a reason for that. And as we grow in our life, we'll get to know that 24:57 in all the things that people find taboo 25:00 The Society talks about behind the rooms behind the doors, you have been surrounded with that beat ADHD or if I can take just one step forward, 25:12 when did you realize about your preferences and How was the journey for you in a society where being a gay person is still considered as a taboo? 25:23 This was at least 25:27 20-22 years back a bit more like that. So, it is half my life back. So, 25:36 Indian sensibilities 25:39 are funny, because the ancient texts say a very different thing. 25:45 If you see, the social structures, the way that they are designed, 25:51 and how intimacy works, 25:56 they say a very different thing. And what supposedly the gatekeepers and in charges of the society and those 26:10 religious texts and religious rituals, etc, say is different. Because peace love, kindness is is very natural for anybody. It is that humanity. Yeah, no gender sexuality conversation says that go beyond peace, love kindness. It doesn't. It's not about that it's perceived to be about that. So, so it's a game of truths and perceptions. It's a game of 26:37 truth and perceptions. I, I realized it at about, 26:42 you know, I went through a phase of understanding finding myself and blah, blah, from 17, to about 20. And where I would have sat on the fence figured out, I thought bisexuality is fluid, blah, blah, blah, had my questions about it. 26:57 And on 20, when I would have figured out that no, disorders, in today's day and age, I'll be called Late Bloomer because it happens 27:06 puberty to most people, but that time back, then avenues are very different information pieces were very different. And how we had access to these conversations was very different. So 27:20 for me to find one book that is not sensationalizing or 27:26 presenting the 27:29 relationship between two men in a non 27:33 total erotic total lusty sexual, blah, blah, blah, or totally hushed. 27:40 You know, read between the lines were a kind of thing was very rare for me to find something that is still, like any other slice of life conversation, like when you come back home and say, What did you have for lunch? What like you have for dinner? Or is it made? Or will you eat after a shower? Will you eat before or sharp? 28:03 Something had come? Would you like to, you know, stay put on the music, should I do this, to the conversations a person has, you don't have anything, 28:12 which is drastically different. There is no rainbow flags being 28:20 pumped in people's faces in there together in a room, 28:24 end of the day, and it is a very boring looking at it, but that the truth. So 28:31 the lived reality of that piece is, right. So being clear, still, you're thinking of adoption, if you will be allowed legally or no, we're still thinking about if you can just foster somebody and give meaning to your own life, if you can mentor if you can do 10 things, you're still thinking those very basic human things, your your food, your clothing, your you know, friends and bones and family and, and basic things you you don't become. 29:03 You don't sprout wings or horns or any of those things. 29:08 So for people to assume that 29:12 a explained for a long time 29:16 when I got rid of a bunch of judgments on myself, and 29:22 gender roles, because a lot of that comes from parents, a lot of that comes from programming. 29:28 That's when I could just laugh at it, and have been laughing at it for at least a decade plus now. Earlier, it was just like, No, no, I'll have a conversation about it. So it started with I'll have a conversation about it. I won't say shocked about it. Went on to understanding what it means to me and what it means to the world. And when I saw what it means to me, and what it means to the world are so different. I could just end up laughing laughing laughing until late I'm laughing at it saying that. Hey, listen, it's ridiculous. How these notions are 29:58 taken 30:00 From one conversation to another how people find reasons to hate and invent such weird reasons to hate and to kill and to do things. 30:10 I'm like, 30:12 do you get sleep doing that? Are you? Are you fine with yourself doing that? Are you? Like, do you even realize what part of you fix catering to hating on other than and belittling others invalidating other holes and, and the kind of calling to the society, the overall like, because it's not one norm because if you're talking about gender, sexuality, if you're thinking that women are less than you will transgender folks or X, Y, Zed, LGBT people, or people with disability or X, people from x kind of country and skin color, or blah, people who stay in remote areas are like this, people who eat a certain food or like this, you know, where that judgment thing will never stop. It's a domino effect, you will lose out on that whole 95% of that life or 98% of that life and you've been given. 31:03 Yeah, and, and you're using 2% of that battery constantly, and not having that 100% experience, who limited you, you. 31:13 And as you said, so called gatekeepers, so called inspectors. And as I was just listening to you, I could actually identify the different parameters based on which I tend to judge others. You know, it took me a long time to be comfortable with a gay person. It took me a long time, there was a time when I had an aversion that I could experience. And today when I come across somebody with a different preference, 31:41 I am as human as he is not he's as human as I am. Can you see the diversity? I am as it is, right? So the reference point is not high. The reference point is him the reference point is whole. And I think that has shifted. And that took me a lot of time by identifying what are the different layers through which I'm evaluating judging people, and who am I to judge them. And as you mentioned, if I continue to judge others based on the color of the skin, what they eat, and the perception that they have, and the nationality that they have, or the religion that they follow, or the God that they follow, or they don't follow, I'll be left with only 2% off, as you mentioned, the battery life. It can be even less people judge each other books, by the music by shoes by by makeup, I colored, but it's never ending. If you want to judge you can keep on judging right now. Yeah. It's just that 32:39 you have a beautiful life in the space of social entrepreneurship as well. Tell me about that. How did you bump into that space? 32:51 So, you know, in corporate language, it's called succession planning. 32:56 Where you see the next level of leadership emerge, you say that will move out of places. So in Mumbai pride, 33:03 in 12 years, we've been able to take it from 800 people attended to about 20,000 people attendance and, and the largest in India, most controversial also at times, but it just 33:16 there's a lot that has been done a lot that will be done in that space. But what's not constant is 33:25 the voices that are at the helm of it. I've had the fortune of supporting the biggest names, being in the same room with Stephen Fry Elliott page 33:38 with a lot of people who came to support the pride events and pride conversations and did a lot of beautiful work. Right and regularly, the person will not fall victim said has left a party 33:56 screaming my name because we spoke about 33:59 the gender sexuality piece. And that was when she 77 piece like which was on its high. It's and I was handling a Book Awards. 34:09 Europe function and I was one of the junior that was not even in Greece when I went and instead of being about a book that they won award for. I said that a book is great for the letter that you wrote about the 77 is greater because it speaks about your personal truths. And bam. 34:27 You know, we can say didn't have an email idea at that point of time. 2008 I guess 2007 2008 time okay. And it used to go to the agent and agent is find a way of putting it across but just that one human conversation. It broke a lot of barriers. So I've seen that happen. So when newer people came in by fifth sixth year of pride, who said web pride is not enough. We have to look at more stuff and find financial inclusion jobs, livelihood pieces networking for 35:00 This is mentorship, buddy systems, a lot of skilling upscaling learning had to happen. So in 2017, we formed something called Six Degrees. 35:11 I'm the founder, I have two other people who identify as queer, 35:15 one gender fluid person in them. 35:18 And we three formed this company. 35:24 We did a job fair in 2019. Without, 35:28 you know, limiting it to Rainbow, exclusive inclusion of rainbow washing or transplant colors everywhere, and just doing that much so that we cashed in on the check. Please know that rainbow capitalism happening there. But 35:44 25% of people who attended that Job Fair for people with disability, 35:50 I had no idea that the job seeker population and the kind of intensity with people with disability look for jobs, I had no idea till then 36:02 my own mental health conversation was born, but I didn't really identify myself as somebody with invisible disability. 36:10 So. 36:13 So 2019, that change will be which is India's first level three job fairs. And you Fortunately, you are supported by a lot of 36:23 firms that believed in our work from the social side, and from the marketing side 36:29 that I couldn't bring on, because I've been part of times you've been discovering, also, you know, a certain 36:36 kind of work language and production, right. So 36:40 they gave us an opportunity, we've been doing that we have a recruitment, training, and tech consultancy. We work with a lot of organizations to create programs to create collaboration opportunities are just peoples of what ever come to a networking meeting, sit with people have a dialogue with anybody who's different from you, and figures out 37:05 differences are not all there is to that piece. So create across the interview desk, be it across, you know, just a cup of coffee and a speed networking event, be it in 37:18 any kind of these environments that we create offline, online, engage, engage with as many different people as you can all kinds of different people and we study it 37:30 a bit of geek there 37:33 maybe we will, fortunate to you know, be trained by great great 37:40 places part of UNDP program Thomson Reuters gave us for being a visionary do a fellowship mentorship. Right now we're doing something in impact measurement we've been selected where faculty from Harvard Business School and University of Chicago Booth will 37:55 train and yeah, so lots of social entrepreneurship stuff happens. And you'll never stop that. You know, interestingly preferable from being on the front pages of magazines and newspapers, you have experienced that at the same time. People call that you might have attention deficit. 38:18 Yeah, you have ADHD you belong to so and so category just curious 38:25 how has been ADHD helped assisted or impacted you in your journey so called entrepreneurial journey 38:38 so okay. 38:41 I because there's an attention deficit I can't do with all of these labels right? I can't keep on looking at people as 38:49 only the only the only Dark only light skinned only South Indian country India 38:56 don't have the bandwidth to do that. Or look at the person or the person in that moment the interaction or interaction right I don't naturally have the possibility either have I developed that muscle have not cared for it? 39:08 I would rather have 39:10 dignity respect and basic equity can a conversation that nobody's stepping on anybody's toes and is fair and and is fine. It is. Okay. You might be CEO, am I 39:23 am I being proper to you? Are you proper to me, that's what my general 39:29 perspective is right. So, 39:33 I remember for our large format 12,000 People event 39:39 this MD of 39:41 large Indian bank, they are number one in microfinance in India. 39:47 So it was 2050 or of 39:50 their organization I was handling a certain piece, 39:54 stage piece and I had done all your certain amount of content etc for them. 40:00 Building gentlemen, he's had an amazing career, he's he's done a lot for a lot of people, yet they know where to expect where not to expect. So there were 70 people console right across and I was handling the stack state is where things were 40:16 falling left, right and center technically, as much as I can see we were but stress and thresholds just running the show. So host knows that he's handling 12,000 People, I'm supplying everything on the fly to them on written cue cards, and things are changing by the minute. Okay, and without computer without technical pieces, it is. 40:38 It's, you're just saving our face somehow, supposedly, that we know, larger audience does not know, even the 14 director and people who are expecting certainly they don't know, technically, there was a 10 second drop in sound. 40:57 And Emily was about to speak about 10 second drop in sound, he looked at me right here 41:05 to fix it. And I'm like 70 people console right there 70 people and your people, and they have taken every aspect your popcorn head is there, everybody's grounded, to make this the biggest event of this bank nationally. 41:20 And you've not looked at them, and met you one and a half times in life. 41:26 And you've just seen me run the show, because for the way that I have done. And you turn to me, 41:34 because in that moment is hyperfocal, Advil is calm, because I'm using my hyper focus to deliver. And I'm using all the attention deficit to go from one task to another to another. 41:45 Right? That navigation and that navigations come after a while after like, being with myself for what 20 years actively working. And that will be that moment that I could deliver that but 41:59 but she wasn't, I know that I shot right back at him and said that, please look ahead, your people will handle that I have other things to do. 10 second drop will be fixed. It's come back now. So by the time that he looked at cetera, I can hear it now. A second. Let's look next time ask there, it was very clear. And it was human to human it was very basic. It is not something that is, you know, major. And the person who was handling it, he has a radio show, he has a television show. He's a good celebrity, the master of ceremony who was there, he sent cake next year to office saying that, hey, because of you, we didn't Paul paste this data. And and those are those relationships. For me, I don't want to know whether this horse is being paid three lakhs today. Tomorrow, they will be paid five and a half lakh for doing the same job. Whether this one is retiring with this kind of Aesop's, I don't care. 42:56 You might be rich, we might be poor, you might be blah, blah, blah, if you're a good person, and know how much space to hold for you how far to go. And I will. And that's what ADHD is done to me. And most of the things that 43:09 that others can't 43:11 pick up on, they get scared or they get weirded by and over by I run into it, do it, then they see the game changing them. They're like, Oh, this was the trick. This was the thing, oh, we just had to be this simple, this basic this human to do this intimate customer data, then people 43:28 pick that piece up, and then they run with it. And which I'm glad to, you know, share things that hey, you can do a beautiful share peripheral. You know, as I'm just reflecting in while I was just listening to you, I was talking about I was talking to myself, and I was wondering 43:46 that tendency that I have to judge my own self without realizing that the downtime that I've been blessed with could be the game changer for me. 43:57 The challenges that I always tend to compare myself with others and saying that, hey, this is what he or she has, and I don't have rather than looking at what I have, do I have the necessary awareness? Do I really 44:10 do I really cherish my so called strengths and so called other strengths, not weaknesses. I think if I can actually look that I'll be able to 44:23 create these for myself. That will help me understand what do you think are the primary expectations and ADHD person would have of others or and a gay person would have of others. The society that we are a part of what's your take on that? 44:43 Look at a complete person don't look at one aspect of them. Because any of these identities are one layer of our personality. Right like it cannot that cannot superpower us that cannot interact with me that is not the person that is not preferred that not preferred at 40 45:00 To the nonprofit about 42, in this room speaking to somebody with a certain thing, it can never contain me, that's a word. 45:07 And interpretation of that word is in your head, and it is individual. And that is not me. And that will never be me. And that will never be any person that so there is no such thing as an ADHD person, there is no such thing as a queer person, there is a person who's queer, the person who has ADHD, the person has bla bla bla and they are gazillion ways of being a person. So 45:34 I think coming back to the identity that we keep one identity over another and then start to evaluate others by so called what we call it the gatekeepers or the inspectors. So the question that I have for myself and all the listeners is, what are those parameters based on which you tend to judge evaluate others? What is the identity that you have kept? At the top of the stack? And what are those identity that you have kept at the lower part of the stack? And what if tomorrow, everything shuffles and reshuffles and reshuffles tomorrow, if humanity is the currency that is going to be most prevalent in the world? How rich or poor? Would you be? What's your take on this before? 46:16 Empathy is what has driven people out of pandemic, right? Whoever's doing well, after pandemic is somebody who has a certain amount of empathy embedded or has developed that muscle. 46:31 Right? Isolation has 46:34 given people a lot of time to, 46:38 you know, just reassess, 46:42 recalibrate, 46:44 just look at life. Because we've lost a lot of people. 46:50 And a 46:52 lot of people 46:55 have 46:57 been isolated during that time when they lost adults, and they lost people in the manner that most people would like to forget. 47:07 But is say you start empathy and not knowing and that, not helplessness, but knowing how vulnerable we have been 47:19 to support others. So once 47:24 this whole piece of you know, being human 47:29 is where you acknowledge certain bits 47:34 and go beyond the label of CXO. 47:39 of 47:41 trainers, coaches, or, 47:44 you know, design the market to have XYZ, and there's always a human behind that label. And there's the light beyond that badges? Well, it is there is a life beyond Yeah, so So before being absolutely negotiating till you, you know, say that, I don't care if you sell your home, I want delivered things like this, this is your penalty clause, as a lawyer, I'm putting this where everything will be mine and nothing will be yours. And before that, as a, you know, anybody as a corporate as anybody that practice comes in, before we put it on paper. Remember, you are humane, it can come to you in in very different manner than that. And I'm not saying karma and I'm not doing this whole fear mongering weirdness. But um, nothing is possible, just 48:33 possible for each of us. So just remember that 48:38 thank you prefer prefer today is first of December. And we have words a say, 48:46 Where does that fit in? In the scheme of things that we have been talking about? I've been talking about gender, we're talking about gender sex, we're talking about ADHD, we're talking about the whole taboo of an individual's preferences, LGBTQ, where does that fit in? And what's your take on that? 49:05 So finally, I'll tell you one simple bit volledige, the 49:10 first major concert that I had 49:16 attended and also be part of producing the MTV is too long, 2030 artists, large format show when I was studying and everybody wanted to be a part of it, because you don't get to see such a great lineup of artists and they used to be stalls, they're talking about, you know, safe sex practices, etc, which nobody would 20 years back do. Right. So that was my first exposure to it. I went on to work in the same company in 2013 2014 as the GM. 49:47 Yesterday day before I had been part of a large format. 49:51 Music Festival we were talking about mental health, and we were running a safe space tent. Right. 49:58 Life comes full circle. Go 50:00 It is a constant reminder for me that it the a lot of friends who are positive and who live without any, any whatsoever ever 50:13 trouble in having a healthy life or healthy job or healthy relationships healthy everything. 50:19 Hmm HIV is not aids AIDS is not HIV. HIV is an infection that can lead to AIDS. AIDS is life threatening, but a person with AIDS is not life threatening. person with HIV is not life threatening. person who's who's got diabetes, and person who's got a lung condition, a person who's got HIV are no different. 50:42 A person who can take a pill and get into your skull to you space, which is undetectable is equal to an transmissible. 50:52 It's same as having a healthy blood sugar level, so that you don't have to walk and check your blood every day. 50:59 The amount of syringes that go for diabetes is diabetic and for HIV are same, but the judgment varies. Most of us try to look at it because of our shame, of sex, and not having comfort, with gender, sex, sexuality, and our own body on our own organs and cells. So if we are so ashamed of ourselves that we are projecting it on others, and we would like and we will be very happy, if others are ashamed of not being careful about their lives, they're not of their own lives, they are at the most risk if they are, 51:36 what are you trying to prove to them? 51:40 If they are, along with the condition, living beautifully, happily, and being a good person? What are you trying to snatch away from them. So while it's this beautiful, beautiful reminder of 51:53 the fact that 51:55 people can live with HIV, there are a lot of people who realize it and need support in a very different capacity. maternal health programs are the spaces where HIV test is mandatory. And where most of the women who are most vulnerable no gender intersection comes here. Right? Most of the women from vulnerable backgrounds, if they are, they're not even therapy correctly, or, or that counseling correctly, that moment, and their HIV results are now to them. What it means for their partner, what it means for their partners, partner or partners, of whatever genders there are. 52:41 If you're not, that's a big, big moment, and it's thrust upon pregnant women with whatever kind of agency of their own body, whatever kind of agency of their own life, whatever kind of socio economic conditions just thrust upon them. Because HIV test is mandatory for 53:02 pregnancy. Yeah, yeah. Thank you. And I just love it. When you asked this question, what are you trying to snatch away from them? And I would add one more question here. Forget about what you're trying to snatch away from them. And the question to ponder on is, what does that tell you about yourself and the way you look at other human beings, just because you are privileged. And also I know of not every HIV positive is because of any act that the person was involved or not involved in, it could be because of any ABC reason 53:38 will be going to a barber who used the same blade, as I'm not fear mongering again. But these are the conditions that I know somebody who want to tattoo with a 53:51 unsanitized needle. 53:56 And they're not indulging in unsafe practices, but it happened. 54:03 Thank you, thank you for sharing your vulnerability. 54:09 sharing your knowledge, sharing your experiences, shelling several chapters of your life. And as you have always told you, I've always find the I've always found you 54:21 extremely, extremely, extremely kind. Thank you so much, my friend for being who you are. 54:29 I'm privileged to have met you two have spoken to you to have exchange notes on several conversation that we've had. And all those conversations have helped me to become a better human being and to look and relocate the judgment through which I am doing the sin of judging others. So shukran stay blessed and take care of yourself. Thank you so much. Thank you

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