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Home » I, Me , My Self Realization: Lenaa Kumar (Transcript)

I, Me , My Self Realization: Lenaa Kumar (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Lenaa Kumar’s talk titled “I, Me , My Self Realization” at TEDxStTeresasCollege 2022 conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


Very good morning to all of you. Thank you TEDxStTeresasCollege for giving me this opportunity and honor of sharing my experiences with this fantastic audience on this esteemed platform.

It was a hot summer afternoon in a non-air-conditioned train coach. I was three years old and very talkative and absolutely enjoying the attention I was getting from everyone around me.

And the old man sitting opposite to us asked me, “What’s your name, little one?” And I said, “Lenaa.” And he said, “Oh wow, what a lovely name, what does it mean?” And I went, I looked at my parents and they didn’t seem to have an answer either.

Oh, I can still feel the awkwardness and the confusion that question created in me at that age. When I came to know that the theme of this event is Elaine, the ray of light, I couldn’t help think about the connection it has with my name, Lenaa. Most people I meet, almost all of them, ask me the meaning of my name since that day. And for the longest time, it was a source of embarrassment and confusion for me.

The Journey of Self-Discovery

And then I came into films and I struggled even more with this uncommon name, uncommon in India that is. And then at the age of 25, my dear friend, I call her Anita aunty, gifted me a keychain with my name and the meaning of my name embedded on it. And lo and behold, I realized that Lenaa means light. What a relief it was for the next time an interviewer asked me the meaning of my name.

Now you all must be wondering if my name, Lenaa, meaning light, is significant enough to be part of a TEDx talk on the theme Elaine, the ray of light. The point in the story I want you to remember is the awkwardness and the confusion one feels at not knowing something so personal as one’s own name’s meaning. That’s all you need to remember really in that story. And I promise you this will make more sense after what we’re just about to do.

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