The world is changing, and I am proud to say we are part of that change as the Global Indian.
Just under 2 years ago, before working from home was merely a privilege for the chosen few, and a national toilet paper rationing was something left to the wild imagination of writers of satire, there was a hidden change in the air. For many, a simple unconscious blink was enough to miss it. For others the writing was clearly on the wall from the first sign of panic buying.
The message was simple, but life changing. Our concept of identity, personal freedom, and exposure to the deeper aspects of real life was starting to be challenged.
I have no qualms that I too was part of the uninitiated, having just returned to the country and planning the next leg of my trip across Europe. I had no idea Covid-19 was going to be the start of my own special journey, that plunged me deep into the very fabric of how we started to collectively look at this singular event that we call life.
For far too long many of us were in a form of mass hysteria. We lived lives on autopilot and adopted a nonchalant attitude to issues concerning our fellow humans across the globe. Our empathy to events were at an all time low and our fixation with a routine that dislocated us from our own humanness was at an all time high. It was during these times, that I believe many of us started to cast doubt on the way of “life” that seemed to have brought us pie crust contentment before.
Covid forced many to start to break out of a self-made cocoon that was once unintentionally carefully crafted for many years. For some of my dear friends it was a painful process to have to defrag your social understanding. One connected to a form of introspection that cut deeper than any form of regret, for others it was the start of a journey that allowed them to unburden the guilt of lives lost to false hope.
For me it was the start of a remarkable journey that saw me travel less but explore more, using my newfound time to record this phenomenal event of our lives and to follow the natural curiosity of questions and answers that unfolded across the globe.
With the gentle nudging of dear friends Miguel Angel, Kulvinder Ghir and Donald Ramotar, I substituted my notepad for a microphone and called up all the people I had met across my voyages. I decided to enter the digital universe and the Global Indian Series was born – a mooring ground for discussions that has now reshaped our awareness of the subtitles of change, a deep reset in how we view ourselves and others. Our audience began to share their collective support for one another in a child-like curiosity and attention to what makes us human.
I received lengthy emails on how a podcast on autism challenged the way listeners looked at their own stories, shared spine-chilling moments of intrigue when a Caribbean politician opened up about how his single vote plunged his country into a political whirlwind and even had conversations with celebrated personalities on personal issues of love, romance and divorce. These conversations echoed in the reminisce of our everyday lives for weeks after airing and the Global Indian Series received emails penned as sonnets to the guests’ bravery or candidness and how it shaped perspectives.
Early on into this journey, I remember seeing an article by @TejLalvani on requesting people to share the positives from Covid. I remember smiling because I had just called his father who had written a wonderful book about the British and India and was now working on a sequel (a chance that only presented itself due to a mutual friend taking note of the work I was doing). Replying to Tej Lalvani on my positive from Covid would have been strange, but in hindsight, I wish I did.
What started off as a guide to self-exploration on notions of identity, has now turned into a movement of remarkable humans with audiences listening in every week to candid fly-on-the -wall discussions with individuals unafraid to bare their soul regardless of wealth, title or ism, often tackling deep discussions that are typically reserved for the sanctity of one’s own home. Guests include heads of state, ministers, billionaires, royalty, actors, activists, those on the fringes of society and those whose words recorded would unfortunately be their last, like that of H.E Late PM Sir James Michell who joined entrepreneurs Vijay Patel and Vimal Shah, President Donald Ramotar and Senator Rochas Owelle on our Official Unofficial COP26.
During the pandemic, I rekindled old friendships and created more, with over 19 world figures joining me as Ambassadors for the Global Indian Series. My smorgasbord includes a Canadian Dragon’s Den investor, members of the House of Lords, members of Royal families, leading business figures in Malawi, Kenya and Malaysia through to genius minds in Japan, culinary kings in India, musical maestros in Pakistan, hoteliers and advisors in Europe, sporting and performing legends from North America and South Africa, through to activists, ministers and heads of state from the Caribbean to name a few! These successes are a pride in focus for me as it underlines our commitment to each other as a community.
More recently we have taken on a responsibility regarding financial “diplomacy”. Since we aired our conversations on South Africa, many have started to re-question how businesses truly view them and importantly, reanalyse how Governments define FDI and pander in name only to people to people relations.
Our Podcasts and articles on the South African riots and the rise of the anti-Indian origin sentiment reminded many in our community about similar issues in the past with Uganda, Kenya, Fiji, Malaysia through to Guyana.
Consequently, I am proud that we have been cultural custodians to a new brand of globally conscious Indian origin humans, where since the Podcasts in over 9 incidences so far, HNWI audience members have told me that our content has directly educated them on the way they looked at a country and Government, subsequently inspiring them to not invest into particular opportunities, due to the issues being felt by the community there. In other cases, we have been at the forefront in supporting entrepreneurs in discovering new regions that despite geographical distance, share a deep sense of familiarity that they would never have realised. Countries that were once seen as strange lands have now become avenues of positive intent in a world of non-digital boundaries.
As a platform, we have grown to help support our community and help inspire a more compassionate world. I believe that a true change is now emerging. However, like most cases, the governments may take a little while longer than the rest to catch up. The fragility of Covid has taught people to understandably be cautious with where and who they spend their time, energy, cultural capital and sustainable finances with. Emotionally smart companies and destinations will realise that fluff no longer sells and that communities want to be part of opportunities and destinations that make a difference to all.
Covid, despite the grave human challenges of loss, has increased our capital of care. For me the time of Covid is a guide through the greatest moments in our lives where for once, all are equal, momentarily in our understanding of fear, death and living a life of purpose.
Interested in my work? check out www.GlobalIndianSeries.com