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The Gandhian route to the Guinness

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Jubilant: Kathiravan M. Pethi with his students after his feat in Bangalore on Monday.
Jubilant: Kathiravan M. Pethi with his students after his feat in Bangalore on Monday.

Staff Reporter

Motivational speaker talks his way to a record attempt

BANGALORE: The main auditorium at the Association of Physicians of India (API) Bhavan resonated with sounds of jubilation as the clock struck three minutes past three on Monday afternoon.

Kathiravan M. Pethi, a motivational speaker, who attempted to break the Guinness record for the “longest lecture,” spoke the final words to 36 of his students. He had commenced his lecture on October 31 in his bid to break the previous record of 73 hours and 37 minutes. With his 78-hour-three-minute lecture, punctuated by five-minute breaks every hour, Mr. Pethi has now staked his claim for that little space in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Mr. Pethi used skits, role plays, self-assessment exercises, video presentations, debates, group discussions, question and answer sessions and intense student interactive techniques in addition to his lectures, with the intent of keeping the students focused on the theme: Gandhi’s vision and mission in life.

The event was organised by the FEEL Foundation, an organisation which aims to help poor children in education.

Mr. Pethi told The Hindu: “My attempt at the world record is to transform the lives of people through the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.”

No doubt the path to fame was painful and just for Mr. Pethi. In his own words: “My voice has grown hoarse and my strength has deteriorated. By the end of the second day, I was losing control over my thought flow and even began to slur. I could not remember the names of the students and began seeing each student as four. The lack of sleep had a drastic affect on me as well as my students. Rajasekhar M., a graduate from the Bangalore School of Business (BSB), started hallucinating while Adarsh Goswami, also a BSB graduate, suffered partial colour blindness, requiring immediate medical attention.”

Manoj Kumar, a first semester MBA student at the Bangalore School of Business, said: “I did not attend the mock attempt organised to train the students for this feat. I was put on a strict diet and given tips on how to sit through the programme. Yet, I kept drifting off to sleep and was woken by an occasional can of Red Bull.”

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