On the night of 5th April, 2018 the Tedx event “Tinted” was brimming with a silent energy. Something fundamental was changing within the numerous students spread out over the chess garden and football field of SNU. This involved the breaking of inhibitions and broadening the frames of judgement. How this was happening was not visible, one could only be a part of it and feel it themselves. So I became a part of it and it became one of the highlights of my year at SNU.
The event made use of a novel method to put through an established concept; that people cannot be viewed in set linear patterns and have several shades or ‘tints’ to their personality, of which we are often not familiar with. The participants were organised in random pairs where they sat blindfolded with some pre-prepared questions (provided by the Tedx society) as conversation starters. To peel back the layers of the personality they had different layers to the event as well so there were three rounds. The first round was simple yet daunting. Two questions were provided, ranging from topics as diverse as views on homosexuality, life, personality etc. This was the ice breaker and once the conversation flowed blindfolds came off. The second round was interesting and fun, where one guessed at the personal details of their partner – something as general as their name, hometown and musical preferences to something as intimate as their inner fears and vulnerabilities. Having been done with the first round, the results of such a guessing game with a stranger were better than expected. The activity finally ended with thought provoking questions involving future predictions, crystal balls and most importantly, our views of our partner as the activity progressed. By the end of it, the person had gained a new friend, broken his/her barriers of first impressions and lost their shyness. Not satisfied with one single experience, most people sought out to be exposed to such myriad of differing ideas twice or even thrice!
With the incense sticks burning beside our feet to keep away the bloodsuckers of the night, the experience was almost therapeutic. The anxiety and anticipation of the beginning had given way to lightness and excitement by the end. Only satisfied faces were to be seen as the event ended with the last participants at around 11pm. Everyone knew that though this event might fade away from their memories, the experience of it had already shifted something inside of them permanently.
The success of the event, thus, is evident in the understanding and impact of the concept it left on its participants and the beautiful friendships forged in the process of it. I hope that there are many more such innovative and interactive events to come from TedxShivNadarUniversity in the future.
p.c. Revathy Ayengar