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Building a Tribe

When I was a child, my father was transferred to a small town in Himachal. Our living area had large windows. Through them, you could see the vast, never ending apple orchards. However, one day... late at night, a house in the middle of these orchards caught fire. Through the large windows in the living room, my 6-year old self looked on, scared. We had no 101s in the town. But, soon every individual in the town showed up. As they show in films, a human chain. No. Three human chains passing buckets filled with water from the nearby stream! I looked on, excited. Almost patriotic!

I think this moment is when i fell in love with the idea of small towns. Everybody knows everybody. Your florist is your aunt’s best friend. She drops by every morning with the best jasmines for your study, and when he isn’t running around the town supplying eggs, this egg guy is your vendor for fertilizer. You feel a part of this tribe. Everyone is invited for dinner. Everyone stays for it.

At Chalchitra Talks, we are far apart in physical distance. The community is not spread over a few thousand square metres. Yet, I see a tribe building.

You belong here. I belong here. We all belong here.

This tribe comes with an unspoken rule. We are loyal and we are respectful. Over the past one year of contributing to the growth spurt of our baby, I learnt in one of our livestreams, how a kind word will save someone from a downward spiral. And now, when we are building Chalchitra with every little bit of our identity, we are also introducing it to the SUPW workshops we had later in school. This baby is not just about art. We are, with all our hearts, trying to build a community that values everything art entails.

And then there are days when you feel lost, exhausted. On one such particular day, I woke up to a message from my co-founder, Vaibhav. The message spoke of working hard and working with our hearts, "and when we do that," he said, "it always creates something special.

On page 192 of Shoe Dog, Phil Knight says… “I felt spent, but proud. I felt drained, but exhilarated. I felt everything I ever hoped to feel after a day’s work. I felt like an artist, a creator.”

I underlined it once. Twice. Put an asterisk next to it. This is how I want to feel at the end of each day. This is how I feel at Chalchitra Talks.

We are working with all our hearts and i hope our something special will find you too especially through the human chain at Chalchitra Talks. One bucket of water at a time :)

Love, Vaani


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