So far, I was under the impression, that I know my country. Well how can I not know it? I’m born and lived here all my life, traveled to major cities and tourist destinations across the country (what if it was a few years back…) and now I am in touch with it through the latest travel shows, news channels, and of course the internet.
Trip to the southern cities of Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram and Pudducherry in December 2015 was pivotal in changing my perspective. It was a strange feeling of connection despite unfamiliar language and unknown terrain but at the same time, being so away from the realities of the locals. It awakened a new thirst in me to travel across country and know the unknown. Hoping that this endeavor will allow me to touch the very core, that has bound a billion people over thousands of years and capture the ‘pinch of India’.
In parallel, I’m starting a new venture called Craftribute, through which I would like to contribute for promoting the dying culture of handicrafts of India. Crafts will survive if they become integral part of our daily lives and not just accessible and affordable to a few. If crafts survive so will the artisans and other tradesmen in the entire ecosystem. While I’m stepping out to work with these artisans who have kept crafts and art forms alive and passed them onto the next generation as their life mission; I’m secretly hoping that through crafts I’ll be able to make some sense of what being Indian means, that is part of me but still so vast and intangible.