Itches explored: Discovering the stories of those who dared to go beyond the ordinary

The ITCH Summit had Shubhangi Mishra discovering the itches that drive Neena Gupta, Nitish Tewari and more

Shubhangi MishraUpdated: Saturday, February 29, 2020, 10:10 PM IST
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With a purple coffin lying in front, eight members of the organizing committee of the ITCH Summit said, “We begin this summit by observing a moment of silence for all those people who had the itch to do something, but were shunned out by parents, by relatives or by society.” You know you are in for something very different and unique when a summit starts this way!

The Itch Summit, created by the Founder of The Prahlad Kakar School of Branding and Entrepreneurship - Pratish Nair, featured game changers who had the ITCH to define circumstances and achieve great heights. The speakers delved into their own life story and spoke about what makes them the people they are today.

They defined their ITCH along with what motivates them and makes them go beyond the ordinary and into the extraordinary. The third edition of the ITCH Summit enthralled and engaged the audience for the greater good.

The speaker to commence the summit was actress Neena Gupta, whose portrayal as an older pregnant woman in Badhaai Ho and the mother of a homosexual son in Shubh Managal Zyada Savdhan, won her many accolades and appreciation.

Expressing her journey in the Indian film industry, Neena Gupta told the Free Press Journal how she manages to pick herself up on her bad days and keep her ‘itch’ alive.

She said, “You cannot depend on one profession or one thing in your life otherwise, because if that fails, what do you do? I keep myself busy and occupied and enjoy various things in life, like cooking, reading etc. I used to play tennis as well.”

Following Gupta was the the curator of the Summit himself, Prashant Nair who spoke about his entrepreneurial journey. But one speaker whose journey truly stood as an inspiration to all was that of Mr and Mrs Vijayan, an enterprising and inspiring couple from Kerala who have funded their holidays to different corners of the world by selling tea and coffee.

The couple who have been together for 45 years now, have travelled the world as that is their only desire. Their tea shop may not be overwhelmingly popular in the neighbourhood however their money saving strategy is smart. “We have no workers or employees. We are the workers and managers,” says Vijayan in reference to how they save money.

Through a combination of saving Rs. 300 every day and by drawing bank loans, they fund their dreams and after every trip they spend about three years repaying the loan.

“We have only one lifetime to do everything. You can’t create extra time for it,” said Vijayan who proves that neither age nor monetary factors can come in the way of fulfilling one’s dreams. The couple’s undying love and passion for exploring is what keeps them going.

Another speaker whose talk was quite interesting rather was Anju Kish, sex educator and author of the children’s book on sex, How I got my belly button. Her itch to break the wall of silence on sex and sex education was something that engaged the audience to the fullest. Incidentally, it also happened to be one of the most comfortable and fun talks of the evening. 

Director Nitish Tewari enlightened us on his rather unconventional journey as a filmmaker and the guts it takes to leave a well-paying job and a steady bank balance to pursue your dreams.

Speaking to the FPJ, Nitish tells aspiring filmmakers that you must make a film, only if you really want to make one and not just because you are getting a chance to. “A film is going to take two years of your life, you need to be sure that this is the best possible way to be make it!” he pointed out.

The summit concluded with a dance performance as a tribute to actor Sridevi on the occasion of her second death anniversary. The summit left us with an ITCH that we discovered needs to be scratched!

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