When I applied to the The Beachhouse Project early February this year, I had little knowledge of what I was in for. Constantly being bombarded with crappy client briefs, pitches, and mundane office admin work, I was looking for an escape where I could justify leaving my baby (Work). BHX being a residency for creative entrepreneurs gave me just that. I could give no fucks about actually learning something, or even meeting genuine people. The thought of being around 14 other snobbish, egoistic narcissists who thought were changing the world with their creative expression, made me puke in my mouth. Not that I was any different, but yeah who likes people such as ourselves?
So, looking forward to being in a beach house villa for dirt cheap money, I set off. I did have a friend and mentor, Aarohi accompany me, whom I thought would potentially compensate for anything that may absolutely go wrong. Anyway, leaving judgements aside I’ve kind of developed this dislike for entrepreneurs in India, having attended enough start-up meets and conferences.
We arrived at Kochi and were immediately greeted by Jay and Charan, who hosted the BHX and ran it. All was ok till I met my roommates, and asked if they’d like to grab a smoke. We found a few chairs in the verandah and as I lit my first cigarette, a conversation on advertising started, which lead to false advertising, morals & ethics of advertising, to treating people on a film set. The crowd around us grew as it became a heated conversation, and in my language there was some serious content being created right there. I was mother fucking hooked. It took that one feeler to tell me how I’d been a cock blocking asshole, and that every person running their own creative business isn’t an asshole. These conversations became far more intense through the course of the week, and we literally shared all our fears, vulnerabilities, anxieties and what not with each other. I soon became absolutely comfortable with all my discomforts.
Having met people from different creative industries like art, space, furniture, fashion and psychology, I saw myself just learning to be, and hear everyone out. My expectations from the project were trashed by how all these 14 idiots intimidated me. I kind of felt like I needed to be so much more than I was. One of the major drawbacks about my thinking was how I felt that I was invincible and that with all my experiences and knowledge, I’d be a fucking name in the creative world by the time I’m done with it. To be honest, most of them were of my age and most of them seemed to have a great work-life balance. They had clear goals and chalked strategies on where they were going. Maybe that’s what I needed to get my mojo back. We did have a couple of sessions over the seven days, and the best were the hack-sharing and the challenge-sharing ones. I actually spoke about my fears and troubles as a business owner and how it affected my health. Phew!! Who the fuck thought I’d do that given the attitude I’d come in with. But yeah, those hacks these people shared were pretty cool. I think we at The Bold already apply most of them. Biggest one being shutting office at 7PM. We’ve also implemented some changes to the design thinking processes here at The Bold; Kritika Hora is one kick-ass teacher at that.
The Kochi Biennale was another highlight of the whole trip. I got jack out of all that I saw and felt alienated with most of the art work. We did discuss the same with the curator Sudarshan Shetty when he visited us at the house, and then I realised that it’s so biased as an exhibit that it literally is the self expression of the curator himself. So going by that explanation, I’m going to start a bit of reading on art and conceptual art in general. It’s something I don’t get and would love to know a few pointers, so that I can discuss the same with a pretty girl I meet next.
I did take a little workshop myself, which was applauded by quite a few and was meh for the rest. We spoke about judging people. Yes, you heard that right, we spoke about judging people and how we can apply those techniques and understandings to our brands for better positioning in the market. Oh! I almost forgot, we did this in the swimming pool, half naked and full of insecurities, at-least I had my share.
Our nights were filled with music, dancing, dirty jokes, and beers. Every single night we tried to be up for as long as we could just so we could soak up all the vibe. It almost became a competition for us to stay on till the wee hours of the morning.
I also kind of stopped giving two shits about work and office. My iMac crashed back at work when I was at the project, and I was pretty impressed with how I dealt with it (by not dealing with it :P) . I lived for a while, danced without inhibitions, and gave my opinion to almost anyone who wasn’t even asking for it.
We wrote letters to each other before we left, and all of us painstakingly took a lot of effort to share our feelings with each other in writing. I almost cried on my way back when I went through what some of the people wrote. I think it’s a great exercise to actually fucking write and share what you have to say about people.
Now for some credits and brand integration in my blog post, The Experience Co is a kickass company that works on creating experiences for people. They also do a project called The Roadtrip Experience, which let me tell you, is supposed to be the experience of a lifetime for folks looking to experience things. Follow them, share them, like them, do whatever. Experience!
So in conclusion, I think we young fuck-tards need to go chill our tits at times. We generally can’t do that with most people cause we believe they are stupid. So, find people who intimidate you, and go on a fucking holiday with them.