One word, a thousand meanings

What do Serena Williams, Alan Turing, Marilyn Monroe and perhaps your parents have in common? The harsh truth is nothing. But why should it be a sad epiphany?

Human beings tend to derive comfort from familiarity. Routines are reassuring. This is nothing to worry about until it gets disrupted. That’s when our unhealthy obsession with everything familiar comes to the surface.

So how can the same people be expected to welcome differences and challenges that come in human form? Civilizations that have embraced the uniqueness that is humanity have grown through the ages. Whilst the ones that sought to oppress the differently opinionated have perished to the sands of time. Peace at a societal level is only achieved when we realize that we need all different kinds of people equally for its healthy functioning. Any settlement needs a little of every flavor of personalities to be dynamic. Thus, in more than a few ways, our society resembles beach sand- with particles of every size and shape. A more appropriate parallel is mosaic.


All these would have been the turn off thoughts of a philosopher on hearing the word ‘mosaic’. An architect’s musing would probably lead to how they add, not just to the ambiance of the building but also support to the structure. A linguist would probably walk you through the etymological history of the word from Greek to Middle English, thus proving how no matter where we go in life, traces of our past and ties of our ancestry can always be found with ourselves. A retired elder’s perspective and an Eskimo’s brooding on the same word will definitely lead elsewhere. How astounding that such a seemingly insignificant word can bring about such a wide array of tumult of expressions from different people! Imagine all the possibilities, all the hopes, and ideas, this single word can stand in for! We did. Which is exactly why the third and biggest edition yet of TEDxNITTrichy is centered around ‘MOSAIC’.

Having challenged conventions in its maiden edition and exploring the idea of You in a staggering seven billion, TEDxNITTrichy is endeavoring to delve into the mosaics of life. And we plan to achieve it, by bringing in an exotic palette of sui generis speakers who are assured to open up our minds to the unfathomed conceptions in their fields, where we can seldom find higher authorities. Rest assured, a day of growing networks, meaningful conversations and worthy ideas awaits. What is required of you? Show up with a child’s perspective towards mosaic- that it is fascinating, colorful, and has lots of stories to tell.

EP Shanmuga

Volunteer Organizer


Feature image courtesy:

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