The INK Conference, in association with TED, set sail on its second journey powered by some great storytelling in the colourful and royal city of Jaipur today. With poet Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken, INK Curator and Host Lakshmi Praturi steered the inaugural session with a call to adventure. “We believe all you people here are our heroes, and our theme ‘Power of the Journey’ aims to explore the hero’s adventures through Joseph Campbell’s ‘The Hero’s Journey’.” She explained that the four days of the conference will explore the different stages of the journey described by Campbell.
The speakers at the first session, ‘Call to adventure’, threw light upon that one moment in everyone’s life which lifts our spirits to follow our bliss.
Julie Taymor, American film, opera and theatre director, through her amazing visual poetry, talked about how being an artist is akin to being a Shaman of contemporary society; the psychologist who connects with her audience through the pieces of art. Using her experiences in Bali, when she spied upon a war dance that was performed without an audience or the time when she climbed a volcano, Julie talked about being true to our inner calling, and getting down to the level of the cat’s vision and follow the line.
The next speaker Amish Tripathi, shifted the scenery from visual poetry to the magic of prose on paper. Banker-turned-author of the Shiva trilogy, ‘The Immortals of Meluha’ and “The Secret of the Nagas’, Amish said such fulfilling was his journey as a writer that had his books not become bestsellers, and had they remained “in my laptop, and my only reader was my long suffering wife, I would still be writing.”
John Hardy, jewellery designer and educator, showed the courage of conviction when he uprooted his family to an unknown land. He went on to set up the extraordinary Green School in Bali.
Claire Kremen presented the bee’s eye view of the food industry. “If we did not have pollinators like the bee, we would be nutrient deficient,” she said.
Smart City expert Ayesha Khanna talked about future of our cities and the idea of a generative city that is inclusive, equitable and citizen centric.
All of 15 years, INK Youth Fellow Aisha Chaudhary, brought a lump in all the throats. A victim of an immune deficiency disorder that predicted a life expectancy of only one year, Aisha talked about her belief in miracles and about living a moment twice – once in the mind and another when it happens for real.
Lyricist Swanand Kirkire and composer Shantanu Moitra dedicated the song “bawara man dekhane chala ek sapna” to Aisha, calling her a rock star.
Geo Strategist Parag Khanna talked about globalization going global, while Turkish artist and author Bedri Baykam took the path of life’s journey for freedom.
As an attendee pointed out, “all the talks were great, but the little girl Aisha shook the ground from beneath our feet.”