Bombay (Mumbai) was the last stop on my year of travelling around the world. The enormous size of this city became clear to me when my bus to Bombay took it’s job literally and dropped me next to the ‘welcome in Bombay’ sign at 4 o’clock at night. Judging from the slum-like surroundings, I figured this was not the area of the Taj Mahal hotel where Bombay’s salvation army manages a budget-hostel. I was lucky to find a capdriver who explained that a drive to my destination would take another hour and cost 6 times the bus fair I just payed my nightbusdriver. Fortunately he could take me to the metro for a considerable lower fare and so, with the sun rising over Bombay, I took the first commuter-packed metro-ride into town.
These last days I spent exploring this city of extremes in search of the 52nd creative talent to feature on the Global Talent Project, while simultaneously reflecting on this last year of digitally promoting creative entrepreneurs. Aside from the general travel-experiences, each encounter with a GTP-talent was filled with small cultural and ethnic extraordinaries that gave me a small insight in their totally unique and different world. At the same time, despite their apparent dissimilarities, they consistently had a few things in common: they all love what they are doing, they are ambitiouse to improve their skills and their life, they are full of energy, they dare to take matters in their own hands and change their ways and are not afraid to experiment with new concepts. Above all, they seem happy with their life.
The last creative entrepreneur of the GTP fits this description perfectly. Apet Pramod not only drew my attention to his beautiful paintings, but I could also relate to the title of his exposition. As my plane was scheduled for the next day to take me back home after a year of travelling, I could only agree: it’s a ‘little world’!
Music by The Malangi’s from Amritsar. Full clip of the song here!
Contact Apet Pramod directly via his website: www.apetpramod.com
That’s it! One year of travelling to discover talent has resulted in a lifetime experience and 52 artists and musicians from various cultural backgrounds all in one place on the internet. I’m working on a plan to continue the GTP in some form or the other, but first my priorities must be with earning a living. Feel free to contact me with ideas or suggestions for the GTP, or follow me in my own quest to earn a living as a creative entrepreneur with flaks.nl.
Diwali is the festival of lights, India’s most important holiday. Like any other festival, when the Indians celebrate, they mean business. Not only literally (on the first day of Diwali all businesses start their financial year), but mainly just by taking it into the extreme. Imagine a combination between Christmass and new years, multiply it by three and add India in the equation and you get what I found in Udaipur, the last city I visited in Rajasthan. Lighted plastick palmtrees, beard competitions, foodstalls, sweets and a lot of fireworks, all under a roof of glittering and gleaming decorations, makes the scene of Indian families visiting their relatives. Since I had no relatives in Udaipur, I decided to start searching for talent. As Udaipur is also known as one of the most romantic cities in India, my quest was aimed for creative expression with love as inspiration.
Meet Sharmila Rathore. There are a few galleries in Udaipur with nice art, but most of them sell more or less copies of the traditional miniature-paintings that you can find anywhere in Rajasthan. Sharmila’s ‘Art Issue’ drew my attention because she makes a fusion between contemporary and traditional art. Next to that, she also has a noticeable style that seems to speak directly from the hart. Her paintings are inspirational, spiritual and what’s more: the subject of many of her paintings… is love!
Music by Shariq Parvez, full version here.
It was the first day of Diwali when I took this video, but fortunately the firecracker war outside had reached some kind of temporary truce. Shariq Parvez, the musician in this video, finds that a temporary truce is sometimes difficult to negotiate when you have two young kids roaming the house. ‘And I do meditations!’. Fortunately we could make this recording in an unguarded moment at his home in Udaipur. Shariq gives meditation classes with his own made Meditation Guitar, a fusion between the slide guitar and the traditional Indian Sarod. Visit www.meditationguitar.in for more information. Contact the GTP to get in touch with Sharmila!
Coincidence is the engine of each adventure. Helmut, an Austrian adventurer I met in Jaisalmer, knows this as no other. At one point in his life, he decided that it was a good idea to take the oldest and cheapest car he could find (8 horsepower) and drive it from Sri Lanka back to Austria. Naturally, he had to dodge any hill that had a slope of more than 5%. This is how he one day found himself in Jaisalmer where coincidence and the desert’s sand made his car brake down right in the middle of some local musicians. Although they most likely didn’t have a song for this particular occasion, they seemed knowledgeable and helped Helmut to find a mechanic. By the time his car was fixed, Helmut’s love for the region and the people had set in motion the events that would change his life. When he got back in Austria, he sold his house and travelled straight back to his friends in Jaisalmer, where he started Artist Hotel. A place to benefit the nomadic musicians who settled here after modernity caught up with their life-style.
The golden city in Rajasthan, Jaisalmer, gets its name from the yellow sandstone by which its giant fort stands out from the desert surrounding it. Highlight in this outpost of the Thar desert is a camel ride through the sand dunes and harsh surroundings that make up the dry border-area of India and Pakistan. When I decided to take a trip for a few days on a camel called Papaya, I realized that traveling through this harsh surroundings (these days filled with windmills) must have been no regular picnic. The troubadours of the desert had the important task of spreading the knowledge which would give people the best chances of survival. While entertaining the people, they educated. By passing it on within their cast, they became a living library of ancient knowledge. Now this cultural heritage is slowly diminishing, if not for the efforts of people like Helmut with places like ‘Artist Hotel’.
The song sang in the video is about how a peacock can predict that you are about to get soaking wet. Just so you know! Contact the Artist Hotel via their website. Lonely Planet review here. Profits go to local educational projects, ad hoc caretaking (e.g. blankets in the winter) and giving the musicians a stage to perform.