Lessons from living legends

January 30, 2014

What would you do if you were asked to share 3 lessons of your life in 2 minutes? Sounds difficult! But 25 Indians, honoured by the President of India, as living legends did an incredible job. The occasion was the 25th anniversary of NDTV-an Indian TV channel.

 It was enlightening to watch and listen to the life experiences of these living legends. The messages had some common threads: Have a dream and pursue it with passion, work hard, have courage, be open to learning, have an attitude for gratitude and be trust- worthy.

The following ideas have stayed on with me.

 “We never achieve anything by ourselves, we achieve with the help of communities around us,” said the noble laureate Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan. What a wonderful thought! Our achievements are due to the support of people around us. This realization itself will always keep us grounded and success will never get into our heads. Indira Nooyi, CEO, PepsiCO, added,” Just as people have helped us along, it is our job to help others achieve their dreams.” She gave a profound message: Help others rise.

 An elderly advice always helps. Recalling the advice of his father, the film star Amitabh Bachchan said, “It is good to get what you want but it is better not to get what you want. He said it took him a while to understand how is it better not to get what you want until he understood that it is better because you then get something better as per the plan of God. The message is clear: Don’t get disheartened if you don’t get what you aim for. As times passes by, you will realize that you got something better.

Miracles do happen. Is it not a miracle that an ordinary bus conductor like me is here today with such distinguished people,” said another film star Rajnikant, touching all with his humility.

The Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar had an advice for youngsters, “Play a sport. It will help you concentrate better.” Dr. Ventakraman provided another practical tip, “even as you pursue your dreams, keep your options open in case of setbacks. He substantiated this message by sharing examples of setbacks he himself faced in his life.  He did not get admission in the best colleges he had applied for and he was not called for interview despite applying to over 50 positions.

NDTV deserves to be congratulated for planning such a meaningful celebration of its 25th anniversary. The programme can be seen at: