Updated: Nov 15, 2019
From a solo travel journey to starting a community.
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 10:00pm.
It gives me no pleasure in sharing that throughout my entire life, the farthest that I had ever been was to Pune (120km from my hometown Satara). I never got a chance or never felt the need to step out and go see the world beyond this. No one to blame here, because it was a choice and not any decision bestowed upon me. I never realized the importance and beauty of travel until one day I decided to take a trip to Chennai. No reason, no motive, just one thought — ‘I have to go see Chennai.’ I remember the terrified look on my parents face wondering what is wrong with me. I did not know the answer either. But so far, it was one of the best decisions I ever made for myself.
Since school days, I was always fond of writing. Writing about people, emotions, things that I experience and day-to-day instances which are stored as lessons in the treasure. But I never nurtured the artist within me. Chennai made me realize 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 perception towards life. Listening to their stories, exchanging experiences, analyzing their gestures and studying their ideas made me grow. Grow as a human, grow as an artist! That trip, in a way, was me repaying myself but there I was the one who grew 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 a conversation 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. There was one point on the trip where I felt I won’t go back home. Instead I would discover places and map the entire country in few months. What was I losing? What was I winning? One evening,while I returned to the place where I was staying, I saw a fellow zooming in & out the pictures he clicked, ‘n’ number of times, with a coffee mug in the other hand. By that time, I was an expert at initiating a conversation with strangers. “Share these pictures with me, I will write a story about it”, I said. And it began. We both jelled up quite well and I used to write about my perception behind the pictures he would click. Without knowing where we belonged to or what our name was, we bonded just over art. Our background, culture, mother tongue, age, attire was never a concern. We felt like the two missing pieces of the jig-saw puzzle in each other’s life.
It’s been eleven months now, we 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 just over a bonding of 3 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 made me believe that the idea we are working on is unique in it’s own way and has potential to change lives of many passionate artists.
My decision to take a solo trip was an initiator 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 and 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.
And I honestly cannot wait to pack my bags and go to a new place with a bunch of strangers who then eventually turn into a family. Check @platformforartists on Instagram and Facebook to know how exactly this happens.