#Turning26 and first time on Instagram live!

Birthdays are always special to me for so many reasons – it helps me to reconnect with my friends and family with their wishes and blessings most importantly, it also helps me to reflect over the progress I’ve made and help me set new goals and bucket list for the upcoming year! It also reminds me of the fact that I am growing old. 😛

But, in my opinion, celebrating birthday in 2020 is a really challenging task! The world is going through a pandemic and face-2-face meetings are not possible at all. But as we get used to the ‘new normal’, there is some scope for enjoying the celebrations in virtual which I leveraged yesterday!

Birthday celebrations last year! #Turning25 With the students of SITE Tadepalligudam, AP.

Do you want wait for the things to happen and then react or do you want to stand up and act?

This was the fundamental question – I kept asking to myself over the past one year, specifically. If we wish to have fun, or feel happy, or aspire for our dreams, it can’t happen by accident – but one needs to take necessary actions by their own efforts to get those things done!

So, thought of trying out to do something ‘new’ this year, I decided do something from my end – for the #Turning26 – doing an Instagram live! Also, the other fact is that so far I have done YouTube live, Facebook live but I’ve never been on an IG live, a social media platform, which I’m quite active on!

The poster I designed and launched the previous day!

So, how did it go?

It turned out to be an amazing experience yesterday. An Instagram live session can be a real fun! The platform is really interactive – you can watch the comments and the reactions live, which is wow (very similar to Facebook, but there’s something unique about IG).

I wanted to share some of my experiences and interesting moments from the past year with them, and also wanted to keep some time for their questions, some unplanned activities, etc.

I was also very happy to note that IG live allows us to add people in the videos, Ashwin ji joined me on live and shared his wishes all the way from Canada.

Some of the stories and experiences I shared as highlights –

  • How #Turning25 started? The celebrations at AP and flying all the way back to Chennai on b’day.
  • How a monkey snatched my specs within milliseconds at Bali, Indonesia! The story of Money Glass 😛
  • The most use(d)less thing of the past year, the passport!
  • Sharing some reflections from the recent books I’ve read – First, Break All The Rules in English and Thanmeetchi in Tamil!
  • The MGA YP award, showed it on the camera for the first time, as I was hoping to get a picture with it at the Sections Congress in Canada, which eventually went virtual.

I also answered some questions around –

  • Who is my role model?
  • Who is my favorite student?
  • How much do I miss the MGR Nagar school?
  • What are my goals and things to do on 26? (which I listed towards the end of the blog)
  • When am I getting married? xD

When it comes to unplanned activities, I ended up singing songs from the different languages, as my friends wanted to do –

  • Samajavaragamana from Telugu (I hope I spelled it right)
  • Vayamoodi summa iru da from Tamil
  • Tera hone laga hoon from Hindi (I killed the song, literally!)
  • Malare from Malayalam

Finally, I shared some of the lessons which I learned from life –

  • Playing long – Life is more like a test Cricket, the more time you stay on the crease, the more it’s good for your team
  • Doing something that’s close to your heart – How I ended up starting ‘EduRise Global along with Abdul
  • How failures can teach you the important lessons!

The whole live session lasted for ~40 minutes, and I also made the video available on IGTV, for people to see later. The recording can definitely not match the live session, but it’s one good memory to look upto!

On an interesting note – one of my junior IEEE volunteer, Vishwa from Hyderabad, called me after the live and told me he had exam on the next day – he was stressed for the whole day studying, and he enjoyed watching the live and felt more calm. Apparently, he joined using his brother’s live, and he is not using he refrained using his own IG, because of exams.

Small feedbacks like this add a lot of value to what you do, and I felt wow!

What else had happened?

Apart from the IG live, there was also a bunch of other interesting things – I received calls and a bunch of messages on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn from many of my friends, I replied to all of them – it was a lovely experience to reconnect with them again! 🙂

An interesting gift from Mahendran sir & Lavanya ma’am! I read the book within 2 days.

A group of my friends from IEEE, Sudharshan, Vinod, Pooja, Saurabh, Sharif, Adarsh, Akhil and Vignesh – prepared an interesting set of videos and showed it to me surprisingly on a video call – it was wonderful to see some old pictures and videos of mine being compiled with some compelling music. Sharing the videos here –

Big thanks to them for taking the efforts to make the day special for me! <3

Things on my bucket list for 26!

When asked about my goals for 26, I shared the following things on the IG live!

  • Hitting the bed at 10 PM everyday!
  • Being more fit and healthy
  • Growing my YouTube channel (please subscirbe).
  • Learning more about Entrepreneurship, innovation and business through action!
  • Doing an IG live at least once in 3 months!

Apparently, I went to bed exactly at 10 PM and had a good sleep! Public bucket lists are always good for a reason.

Gratitude!

Much gratitude to everyone who remembered me and sent me your wishes on the special day. I felt humbled, energized, and motivate to do more things in 26. Thank you once again! <3

On another note – I’m also committing to write more blogs in the upcoming months, let’s see!

Aravindhan

26, passionate and optimistic. Founder, EduRiseGlobal.com | Chair, IEEE Madras Young Professionals | TEDx speaker

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