Say ‘Hi’ to a 22-year-old fearless entrepreneur who believes in fantasies and magic. Yes – that’s me! A single child, born and brought up in a nuclear family in a city which sleeps at 10 PM.
It gives me no pleasure in sharing that throughout my entire life, the farthest I had ever been was to Pune (120 kilometres from my hometown Satara). I never got a chance to step out and go see the world beyond this. Neither did I ever feel the need to do so. There’s no one to blame here, because it was a choice and not a decision imposed upon me.
I never realised the importance and beauty of travel until one day, I decided to take a trip to Chennai. There was no reason, no motive behind this. I just had one thought – “I have to go see Chennai.” I remember the terrified look on my parents’ faces wondering what was wrong with me. I didn’t know the answer either. But so far, it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself.
Since my school days, I have always been fond of writing – writing about people, emotions, things that I experience and day-to-day instances which are stored in the form of lessons. But I never nurtured the artist within me. Chennai made me realise that I had an inclination towards art – and stepping out of my comfort zone acted as a fuel to the fire within me. The journey from Pune to Chennai introduced me to my alter-ego who was bold, creative and an art-digger.
I met people from different cultures, age groups, and interests who refined my perceptions towards life. Listening to their stories, exchanging experiences, analysing their gestures and studying their ideas made me grow – as a human and as an artist. That trip, in a way, was me repaying myself. There I was – growing rich with knowledge, experiences and lessons.
I stayed in Chennai for five days where I wandered on the streets, took trips to the beach every evening, randomly initiated conversations with strangers, clicked pictures on my Samsung Galaxy Mega and took notes in my diary. I am not exaggerating, believe me – I lived a lifetime in those five days.
At one point of the trip, I felt like I wouldn’t even go back home. Instead, I felt like discovering places and mapping the entire country in a few months. After all, what was I losing? What was I winning?
One evening, when returning to the place where I was staying, I saw a fellow zooming in and out the pictures he had clicked, ‘n’ number of times, with a coffee mug in the other hand. By that time, I had become an expert at initiating a conversation with strangers. “Share these pictures with me, I will write a story about it,” I said.
And so it began. We both gelled quite well and I started to write about my perceptions of the pictures he would click. Without knowing where we belonged to or what our names were, we bonded just over art. Our background, culture, mother tongue, age or attire was never a concern. We felt like the two missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle in each other’s life.
It’s been eleven months now – and we have both started a community, “Platform For Artists”, where people like us come together to connect, collaborate and create. We initiated this idea for people to experience the beauty of creating collaborative artwork – like we did, by bonding over just three days. Since we could not put that in words, we put it in form of a service which would give others a taste of the experience we had! And every single artist I have come across has made me believe that the idea we are working on is unique in its own way and has the potential to change the lives of many passionate artists.
My decision to take a solo trip initiated me to the travel experiences I have had in the last few months. Manali, Goa, Pondicherry, Udaipur, Agra, Mysore, Bangalore, Delhi – I have put a tick of satisfaction on all these places now. The exposure I got from each journey has made a long-lasting impact on my mind. I have collaborated with artists from diverse backgrounds, and experimenting with new art forms has made me a better person.
I honestly cannot wait to pack my bags and go to a new place with a bunch of strangers who will then eventually turn into a family. Check us on Instagram and Facebook to know how exactly this happens.