This trip gave me an experience that I could have never imagined. It exceeded all my expectations and gave me a whole new outlook to the world itself and most importantly a whole new perspective to the different kinds of people that you can encounter with an open mind. For me India was an eye-opening place to experience that I was missing in my life to further grow as a person and as well grow in my art practice.
Coming back to Toronto I could not stop thinking about the array of different contrasts we have as a Western society compared to India. The biggest comparison I encountered was the different natures of people that exist in the world. I am not talking about race but rather depicting the way we present ourselves towards others. Since coming back from India I could not stop thinking of Toronto as a “grey” and “blue” place while my eyes were still not adjusted from India’s “gold” and “orange” tones. These colours however can describe the two different places accurately in my eyes. Toronto being described as grey and blue portrays our sinister and conceded citizens while gold and orange can describe the warm open hearts and bright smiles the citizens of India have. Of course I cannot draw such drastic conclusions from the kind of people there is however with the factor in mind that even though we were travellers and interesting for them to encounter, they were still sincere when we were greeted warmly. From observing Indian citizens interactions, it is clear that the people are down to earth and knew what was important in life and was not. Indians had an outlook in life that put people’s well-being first and materialistic objects second. I find in our Western culture we lack the integrity to distinguish between what is important and what is not which leads us with an attitude towards life that is not “down to earth” but rather a perception of arrogance. I found coming back to Toronto I had a difficult time adjusting to the ways we interact with others. I was still greeting people with smiles or a nod but of course here in Toronto, I would get confused or sinister looks in return. Our Western society is a place for individualism and lacks the realization that we are all here together in this world. In India, not once did I not feel at home and it was because of the strong sense of community I felt anywhere in India I visited. India cherishes the people the citizens are surrounded by and I hope with my experience I can bring that to our society.
I thought I would come back with a new outlook in my practice as becoming a bit of designer but what I learned was even greater than a few techniques to improve my art with the eyes of a designer. I came back with a feeling of such accomplishment because I realized that the design and art I helped create was not one for myself but for one who needed it more. As a sculptor, I realized my art I created was just for own self. After my experience in India, I was never more proud as an artist of the work my group accomplished and I realized it was because for once it was not for my “Westernized conceded self” but rather for someone that needed the beauty of art in their life more than I did. This was because at the end of the trip I learned to look through the eyes of an Indian citizen with their morals and judgment. Coming back to Toronto I am excited to start creating art for others to improve their well being than just my own.