How most of us are sitting in the wrong classroom ? | Dr. Benny Prasad | TEDxIITKharagpur by TEDx Talks   10 months ago

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The speaker talks about the story of his childhood days, emphasising on his upbringing and schooling. The speaker narrates how he was admitted into a school that followed a highly academic system - a system well-recognized by our society, and a system he just could not adapt to. He suffered miserably due to this, often being ridiculed and severely criticized by his teachers and his own parents. His father, being an aerospace scientist having come from tough financial backgrounds, wanted his son to attain the same. The speaker counters this idea with the quote “you can’t get a Benz car experience from a Maruti 800”

Living in this society, you are compared everywhere, everytime, and with everyone, just for being yourself. The speaker struggled with this, in addition to a congenital asthma condition, and his situation became so worse that by the age of 16, he was only give 6 months to live. Even then, the speaker describes how being treated as a shame to the society and to his family, he had no desire to live one extra day, and was actively contemplating suicide.

The system had deemed him a failure in life. At the lowest point of his life, the speaker claims he heard the voice of Jesus Christ, giving his life a new purpose and a new meaning. It was this moment that created all the difference in his life.

The speaker explains how most of us are “sitting in the wrong classroom”, because of why we do not feel passionate about something or are lazy at putting in efforts for something. In order to place your footprints on the uncharted, you need to have courage; you cannot just follow the system as it is. You need to follow your passions and your dreams.

The speaker displays the bundle of passports that he has garnered, and shows his itinerary around the world en route to becoming the fastest person to travel every nation, breaking 5 other world records along the way. All of this was made possible because he had a vision back in 2002 to travel the entire world by 2010, and he had faith that God will do the needful. He explains his 4 concepts of finance, namely having no debt, having no credit, having no loan, and having no trust on private banks. He also presents his story as a proof that you need more than just an educational degree to achieve your dreams; you need passion and purpose.

The speaker talks about how mental challenges are not addressed well by the system. The speaker decided to do something about it and give back to the society, and came up with his unique Cafe “Chai 3:16”, a 400-seater non-commercial cafe where at present 50-60 students come in everyday and get to speak and listen to each other’s stories and problems. The cafe works as a wonderful solution for fighting depression and preventing suicidal tendencies among the youth. He delivers the message that no matter how big a name you may become, there is no greater joy than investing into someone’s life.

The speaker then describes the huge obstacles he had to face on his first international concert in Russia, when he was deported back to India for refusing to pay a bribe amount to the airport officials. He carries the message with this incident that one should not let the beginning of their story shape the way it ends.
The speaker finally demonstrates the Bentar, a specialized Banjo-Guitar combination that he created for the 2004 Olympic Games, and plays a composition on it for the audience. Dr. Benny Prasad is an instrumental guitarist from India. He designed the Bentar which is the world's first bongo guitar. He also holds the world record for being the fastest man ever to visit all 195 countries in the world. He has traveled all around the world performing to audiences. He has performed before presidents and parliaments, before the crowds of 2007 military world games, 2006 FIFA world cup and the 2004 Olympic games. Benny Prasad has won world-recognition by designing two guitars – the world's first bongo guitar and a 54 string guitar, the bentar. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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