Who says one must reach a certain age or go through the grind of professional life to realise their passion and live it! Some people understand their passion much earlier in life and start working towards making it a reality.
Aditya Bhandari had the option of becoming an engineer and policymaker or follow his passion of poetry and music after college.
The question is subjective with broad ranges of interpretation. For me, these two can be the same, or these two can be 180-degrees different. The important task is to create a dimension where the two merge!
Yes, you guessed it right… he chose his passion for poetry and founded ‘Free the verse’ in 2016. When the passion bug bit him, he started as a spoken word poet, then picked up the harmonica and the guitar right after. He calls himself a social entrepreneur, a software developer, a multidisciplinary artist struggling to become an inventor.’
Free The Verse is my passion project, it started in August 2016. It is a community organization to bridge various art forms and build safe and creative spaces for the art community pan-India. I started it with a wish to bring creative minds together, and vision of sharing bright ideas and discuss pressing issues via the medium of art. It is funny to say this but there were no problems faced. The city needed something like this and we all, back in the day, needed a space to feel free and speak our minds.
The response to the project ‘free the Verse’ has been wilder than a sci-fi script. It has touched thousands of lives, many wonderful artists have graced the platform and shared their powerful work, enlightening number of people in the process. In a short span, Aditya has been called to top universities in India to share his work. Another highlight for the group is to perform at the IPL Live Show. He has graced the TEDx stage multiple times as well as worked with some impactful organizations in the process.
‘Free the Verse’ believes that the society, the community, and the environment can all be helped with bringing like-minded, self-motivated, changemakers together. The group unites people together, joyously, via art and provides a safe and creative space to discuss and collaborate on ideas.
I see my passion project as a full-life commitment rather than a full-time commitment, and as someone who always want to keep his hands dirty, I am always shuttling between a job and my passion project.
Aditya believes in learning new skills and keeping himself updated. In fact, for the past year he has been trying to learn how to program with micro dreams to engineer some creative software and also give “New Media Art” a shot. But before he could implement it, lockdown happened, and everything came to a standstill.
We are a 99% offline community and a 1% online community with the work based on group interactions and crowd engagement. These are testing times for everyone, and we are building a digital media strategy to have an impact going forward.
Aditya and team are working towards zeroing down on select themes to create the dynamic and positive social impact digitally, like they have created in the past. And, that’s a challenge on its own because their project has never been the need of the hour and when all resources for basic needs are dwindling, creativity and passion takes a backseat.
Aditya believes these are tough times, but he has not given hope. Along with rebuilding his creative platform, he is also taking up professional projects of coding and developing to build financial reserves for times to come. He has understood the importance of financial stability to take on the passion full steam.
The lockdown has changed his perspective towards life too tremendously. While everything is in a pause state-of-affairs on work front, he is keeping himself organized, healthy and positive. Staying at home, contributing in household chores, and helping family with mundane things has become part of his passion project currently.
Aditya’s creative passion project ‘Free the Verse’ became a magical area in the past where people who met for the first time went on to do world-changing things together. And the time is not far when such a platform will be required again. The topics and modes of communication may change but platforms for expressions are always needed. Once the initial shock of the lockdown subsides and people start adapting to the ‘new normal’, there will be a need for a platform which has the ability to bring like-minded, highly-motivated people together and push them to collaborate on a pressing social issue to work on. And ‘Free the Verse’ is apt for that.
We wish Aditya Bhandari and his passion project all the success in post-corona era.