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“Fluid is About Celebrating Human Fluidity”- Krishan Jagota

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Fluidis a melting pot of like-minded musicians, poets, brand marketers, entertainment entrepreneurs, architects, and people from various walks of life who imbibe different skills from each other, erasing the lines between different creative professions and revelling in the joy of discovering multiple talents within themselves. Krishan Jagota talks about the inception behind ‘Fluid’, a community that creates inspiring experiences through poetry, story-telling, magic, and music, in a tet-e-tet with

Having studied at HTW Berlin and worked at Schlagheck Design in Munich, Krishan Jagota moved to India four years ago, who is presently working as a  Lead Industrial Designer and Brand Strategist at Sideways Consulting, Mumbai. Being inquisitive and doing multiple things at a time were Jagota’s idea of peace, rather than sitting at one place with his eyes closed…and while in the midst of everything he wanted to be an expert at one thing and so emerged ‘Fluid.’

Talking about its inception Jagota said, “Berlin truly exposed me to a lot of experiences in terms of arts, music, graffiti, and experiments in the visual arts, as even the youngsters there inspires me. So, in terms of creating ‘Fluid’, it developed in my mind in a span of past 7 years going back to 2012. But, it was in the last 3 years that I truly conceptualized it to bring together the art community together and started organizing smaller events at my house.

So why ‘Fluid’ as the name, answered Jagota, “I think fluid is the origin of everything, Fluid is the state from which we all start, as we are always forming and reaching somewhere. But, when we define ourselves and think that we have reached our destination, it’s when we stop growing. Thus, fluid is an ongoing process and there is so much to explore in life across multi-dimensions of human existence. We need to get over the limitations like ‘age’ which is just a number, or why people think that they have two left feet, and they can’t dance. So fluid is your own space where people come out of their limitations, relax and explore their creativity. So if you are a doctor or a lawyer and you are unable to give much time to your art, Fluid can be a platform for you, where you come and rekindle your fluidity.

 Talking about the community, Jagota says, “Fluid is a community which is open to people who are inspiring enough to share what they have and are also inspired and fluid to learn. It is all about bringing together people of similar mindsets, who are open to learn and educate. So it’s a conscious decision to keep away from the labels, with which I mean of experts who feel that a particular way is the only right way to do things because then it stops there the process of teaching and learning, which is an ongoing process throughout one’s life… It’s more the nature than the profession so fluid stands for that.

 ‘Eunoia’  presented by ‘Fluid’  in Mumbai at the Ecole Intuit Lab, was indeed a place to aspire and inspire, which saw like-minded seekers, creators, ideators, storytellers and learners who presented creativity at their best through their respective mediums of expression.

Rajeev Raja, Co-Founder, Brandmusiq played a tune on his flute to the audiences, asking them to visualize the sound of his music, putting forward the concept of sonic branding which in this age of Alexa has become an enhancer and an identifier of the Brands, where the sound is getting prominence over the visuals. Raja showcased with a case study of how the Mogo ‘The Music Logo‘ is taking over the brand marketing scene today and said, “Just imagine if we are able to harness the knowledge of sound and the science of creating the sound of music, to map it with the personality of the brands. Thus we create a unique sound fingerprint for a particular brand, which resonates with the values and personality of a brand to create its sonic identity of the brand.

Ashish Manchanda, the renowned Audio Engineer of Coke Studio and MTV Unplugged fame and  an entertainment entrepreneur, talked about the importance of “Awareness” to achieve Success in life stating his real-life examples, said, “When I see people achieve excellence in any stream be it arts, music sports or finance, I see divinity in that, as there is a connection to the divine that happens, when one surrenders without any doubts and has clarity, so it’s like a superhighway to success. You need to have a goal and a milestone which comes instinctively which is constantly within you and that ‘awareness’ is very important. Once you have a power of that, then you can define it and plan your journey to your destination. Thus, to identify your true instinct is a true gift, which someone can help you to identify as a ‘mentor’ or you will have to figure it out yourself. Once you get into the motion, the signals keep coming and the fun is to identify which signals to follow. So how do you prepare yourself comes from the way you think and stay inspired, get motivated and move positively towards what you want to achieve in life because nothing happens by chance!”

Fluid fellow AB Madhav, with his band, Samraag, set up by Alpesh Moharir a multi-musician and a percussionist, along with musicians Shashank Acharya, Hemant Khawalia, Siddhesh Borkar, and Sanchit Mhatre and Carnatic violinist, Sunder Balakrishnan. The band performed a couple of soulful classical and Sufi renditions like ‘Aeri sakhi more piya ghar aaye’, a traditional sufiana bandish of Hazrat Amir Khusro. 

The singer-songwriter Maalavika Manoj inspired the audience with her life experiences and wisdom stressing on the importance of how the artists need a one-pointed focus as she said  “Follow your arrow” , following which she sang and played live on the piano performing her latest piece ‘ Mango Showers’.

Robert Verrijt, the co-founder of Architecture Brio, shared insights and visions on sustainable living, and meaning of physical spaces through his presentation. Sharing his experience at Fluid, Verrijit sad, ” Often architects get to speak to each other but cannot communicate the importance of creating sustainable spaces to the general public and to the artist community like Fluid which has artists, musicians, and designers. I  brought to light some of the big  ecological challenges we face today such as climate change and disappearing resources which eventually appear when we design a property, so my presentation was about what are the different ways to design so that you can leave the ecosystem intact.”

Sarodist Dhrupad Mistry happens to be the disciple of the legendary Sarod Maestro Ustad Amzad Ali Khan Saheb, amalgamated the sound of a Sarod with the heart-wrenching poetry of the poets Mohammed Sadriwala and Rakesh Tiwari which was followed by impromptu jamming with Siddharth Sharma and  Karan Chitra Deshmukh on Tabla. It was an experience in itself how the deep ‘gamakas‘ of Raga Darbari resonated with the depth of the poetic verses which dealt with sensitive social issues. Talking about what Fluid means to him and how fluid was his performance, Dhrupad said “Fluid means going organic, going by the flow, letting the emotions flow and see what comes out. Well, today it was absolutely fluid as we all just met on the stage, all artists from different backgrounds, so I just heard the poetry and just went by the flow and same happened while jamming with Sid and Karan as I just listened to the tune and went on to explore the fluidly.

Fluid was indeed a confluence of artists, languages, and genres as it saw a polish artist Magdalena Slonko attempting to sing a Bollywood song ‘Tinka Tinka’ in collaboration Aki Spadaro on piano and the Indian singers Shubhangi Tiwari and Darshana Menon, who counter attempted singing a polish melody. Talking on the collaboration  and how long it took to prepare the songs Shubhangi Tiwari said, “So, to be honest, all three of us met two days ago for just two and a half hours to decide on the songs, so we decided to do one Hindi song and another a polish melody and then decided to interchange it. So we all had a very short time to prepare the songs in a new language and worked really hard to get them right.

Chhavi Sodhani a composer, lyricist, music producer and a trained Indian classical vocalist showcased her expertise with rhythm and rhyme with her heart touching poetic expression with one relieving virtue of using the  perfect words to maintain the ‘Chand’ the characteristic element of Hindi poetry, which becomes the high point of her poems, revolving around women equality and empowerment. Talking about experimenting with poetry in spite of being a trained classical vocalist Sodhani tells how she moved ahead in spite of all odds with fluidity, “So it just happened that I developed a vocal issue and could barely sing and had to go for voice rest as advised by the doctor. So the world came crashing down, but I decided not to give up and started writing lyrics, composing and that’s how began to write poetry.

The finale of the evening was indeed a crash course on Urdu Adab for the youngsters of today as the poet, storyteller, actor and Theatre Director Danish Hussain gave a brief sketch on the art of storytelling across different mediums be it through language, theatre, cinema or painting. Elaborating on the form of Urdu Shayari called ‘Marsiya’, Hussain explained to the naïve listeners, “Marsiya is a very structured form of Urdu poetry with a Quatrain of four lines followed by a couplet, wherein all are set in a meter which differentiates it with the freestyle poetry. Usually, we find Marsiya’s with 300-400 couplets which were written mostly in the Mughal Era by Meer Anees who was the contemporary of Mirza Ghalib, who recognized Anees as the King of Marsiya while called himself as the King of Ghazals. Marsiya’s were written to commemorate the martyrdom and valour of Hussain ibn Ali and his comrades at the Battle of Karbala. The language of Marsiya in today’s time is little difficult to understand since the language is not spoken much in common, but still one can notice that the Urdu poetry ( Shayari) is in a language which is always idiomatic, which gives the colour to language, which you can always catch.

Hussain recited some soul-stirring verses of the Ustad Shayars Meer Anees and Mirza Ghalib and one of his own ‘Nazm‘ concluding with a humorous short story ‘Kissa’ of ‘Akbar and Birbal’ in his characteristic eloquent style. The idea behind the presentation was to give an overview of the unseen through the art depicting the very fluidity of each form as Hussain said, ‘”Art, poetry, theatre, cinema, storytelling is about creating a vista which is not apparently visible, but to bring out something which is in fluid imagination, these all being the mediums of its expression.

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