Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Youth Series - Abhinay Renny

I begin the Youth Series with Abhinay. Just to know how the young think. What drives them. Abhinay is a Mechanical Engineer, just finished with his engineering course from VNR VJIET. As 22  year olds go he is different - he is just back from a 10 day Vipassana course, he has written two books while in college and got them published,was the TEDx licensee for VNR VJIET 2016. He made the basketball team of his college and is passionate about the game. Avid learner. listener, romantic, young poet and other hats. So let's get the series rolling with him.
Abhinay Renny shining bright at the TEDx VNR VJIT 

Q. What are your dreams? What do you want to achieve?
AR: The right intent. To think correctly, so the outcome comes out right. I want to help people think correctly. I want to help clarity of thought. I want to increase awareness.
In the long term I would like to be a writer. story teller. Hope to keep writing. That's by the time I am 39-40 years. But overall I see my life in this space - conversations. listening. story telling.
By the end of my career if I make a difference for 25 people I will consider it a job well done.

I want to establish a cultural centre where people can meet. It would have a silence room.

Q. At full potential, what do you think you can do best?
AR: Listen
Write content
Story telling
Teaching in a school

Q. What do you need to fulfill your potential?
AR: I need to fix my routines - about writing, reading. Need a good work place, secluded place,. I will need some money to make my dream of a cultural centre come true. I visualise my centre as a tree covered space, a building with steps leading up. There will be books, a silence room, an amphitheatre. In a land of about 8-9 cents.

Q. What are the barriers to fulfilling your dream?
A: Acceptance of the idea itself, Return on investment, Capital.
But I think it will work because the middle class person cannot get such a space. There is a market.

Q. Would you feel that you are deviating from your academic training?
AR: No. I think all dots get connected finally. Everything is learning and adds up. I love what I do. Should love what I do.

Q. Your thoughts now  - On the education system
AR; It's pathetic. People are using one course to get into the next course. They are not learning for the sake of learning. I would rather they were learners. That there was more purpose to the whole affair.
I would like a better process - an open mind is missing.
Economics has comes into education. As for teachers 25-30 % are responsible teachers. 40% are good teachers. I guess the management is at fault - they are angling for more quantity, money.

Q. If you were the education minister what would you do?
AR: I would start change at root level, I'd provide all round education like the Navodaya schools.
Create spaces where people are open to learning.

Q. On the opportunities available to the youth
AR: I believe I have to make opportunities for myself. But I perceive too many walls to scale.

Q. On today's youth
AR: I feel there is no individuality. They are too easily influenced.
On the plus side they have tremendous potential. If they can access right guidance they can go places but they are not able to approach them.
On the negative side I feel they have an opinion on everything but think that their opinion is the only one that counts. I feel they can't differentiate between fact and falsehood.

Q. Why are the youth easily influenced?
AR: Over protection - at home. But I believe they are also more influenced by gadgets - even more than parents. That is how you grow up if everything is spoon fed.
I guess they are a product of their environment, people around them and their parents mainly.
I also feel that they are very intelligent, not fragile. They do anything to get what they want.

Q. If you had to change something what would you want to change in the youth?
AR: I'd  like them to introspect a lot more. I would like them to reduce their tech addiction.
I feel they miss the context, the larger picture.
There is this huge ego at virtual level, they want to be recognised.

Q. Your view on politics?
AR: Not much into politics. But I feel what should be a facilitating factor has now moved into the centre stage.

Q: Your view on society around you?
AR: I feel its not ready to learn to accept another way. I feel it does not acknowledge that there is another view point. Ignorant.

Q. Your views on religion?
AR: I believe these are tools for upliftment. Instead of using the tools to better their lives people are praying to the tools.

Q. Your views on love?
AR: It's an intense pure emotion to be experienced. I believe one should not search for themselves in others but truly love the others for what they are. I think true love happens.
I believe that if youth fall in love and acknowledge it, the world will experience miracles.
I also believe that a person can fall in love many times. Often confused between love and lust.

Q. Your role models?
AR: I find them everywhere. A.R. Rahman is one. Abdul Kalam is another. RGV makes me think.
I also seek inspirations every day and find someone. One of the people who influenced me a lot was my basket ball captain, I learned about team management from the game.

Q. What are the 3 things to change in society?
AR: Would love to see more peace (there is too much unrest)
Would love to see a learning mindset (I believe we are merely surviving as opposed to learning)
Would love to see more patience (there is a constant lack of time)

Q. Your favorite books?
AR: Ramanujam
APJ Abdul Kalam
Open- Andre Agassi

Q. Your favorite movies?
AR: Shawshank redemption
Dairy of a Nymphomaniac

Q. Favorite places?

Q. The single most impactful moment.
When you said Arundhati Roy wrote just one novel and stopped but Ruskin Bond wrote for a lifetime and created a body of work.

Q. Your favorite music?
Tere bina

Q. What was the most courageous things you ever did?
AR; I hiked 90 kms when in 8th class alone. I lost the money I had and had to travel from Vijayawada to Kadapa. Finally I hitchhiked and took a ride in a lorry from Vijayawada to Kadapa all alone.
I realised people were helpful and kind. The lorry driver was very kind to me. He told me this and that. Once when I traveled from Vellore to Kadapa I was shifting buses and people next to me, random people, asked me to call them after I reached home.

Another time Sushmita my friend gave me her diary and told me not to read it. But I read it and confessed later. She forgave me. Simply, just like that.

Q. Your philosophy?
AR: Learn. Love. Live.

Q. Your most romantic moments?
AR: Talking. Writing poetry. Strolls in nature.

Q. What does success mean for you?
AR: Enjoying the journey

Q. What is your relationship with money?
AR: I never craved for it but wanted more of it when I had an earning chance. Later when I couldn't earn, I was not miserable. I'm not a spendthrift.
Also somewhere my mind is conditioned that many works can be done without money also.
When I hiked from Vijayawada to Kadapa, being without money didn't scare me to death. I thought I could still make my way.

Q. What are your great discomforts?
AR: Right now I am learning a lot about discomfort by coming out of my comfort zone. I'm unable to see what's my great discomfort.
For now, being in a pessimistic environment is my biggest discomfort.

That then is the interview with Abhinay.
There is a lot of idealism, a ton of potential just going by what he has done and attempted. There is the flight of a poet's thought, the high risk- taking approach of a romantic. There is solid action that he can get things done, that he can deal with people and large scale ideas. There is that confidence that says I know I can find my way even if I have no money in my pocket. A good mix of the dreamer and the pragmatic person, of ideals and action.

There is optimism and hope and its all from within. I am sure Abhinay will create the world he envisions as he walks the path. He has this wonderful quality of being like water, mixing easily with people, rallying them around him and growing them actively while just being himself.

Now to sit back and see him in flight. Good luck Abhinay.

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