Every time I sat across from my friends or relatives and heard their life stories, it left me with a pool of thoughts. How can people who faced so many failures be so brave and ambitious? How can people who faced so much pain be so kind and sweet? How can people who lived such a comfortable life be so unhappy?
There's just something about people’s stories and journeys that intrigues me, be it personal or professional. And so when Rushabh told us about IndiaFOSS 2.0 and suggested we join, I couldn't say no to the opportunity. Even when those were my long-planned vacation days, I was immediately drawn to the idea of meeting new people and getting some cool interviews.
Capturing the stories
At the conference, I spent most of my time interviewing participants, speakers, sponsors, and volunteers. Finding people to interview at first seemed very difficult. I asked Chillar Anand, Vishal, Umair, Mayank, and Vrinda, volunteers at the conference, to send speakers my way and everything from there on was easy and magical.
I felt lucky to meet such energetic enthusiasts and activists in person and more so to be the one to hear the stories firsthand and have the liberty to ask questions. I was especially inspired by Dr. Deepika, Abhas Abhinav, and Piyush Goel. Their intensity of belief in FOSS motivated me to capture more and more stories on camera and felt obligated to introduce these journeys and beliefs to everyone. It was time I played my role in the journey of FOSS and let the community mutually feel the inspiration.
Simple things like Abhas complaining about how the FOSS community doesn't use FOSS for group communication struck a chord with me. I never thought of things in this way. I never realized that being a FOSS enthusiast/supporter could entail using FOSS in our day-to-day activities. I never thought we needed to accept FOSS as a lifestyle choice. There is so much to question still, isn't it?
If you ask me the video I had the most fun editing, it would have to be the ‘Bringing together IndiaFOSS 2.0’ with Vishal Arya. He spoke of how the conference came together and so there was the scope of adding many conference clips to it. Thanks to Sourav, a filmmaker, who made his way to the conference and helped in capturing high-quality interviews and clips, I had the freedom to pick and choose from many B-rolls and add them in this video. This made the video editing super fun and also gives anyone who didn't attend the conference a good idea of what it was like.
I am very grateful to all the interviewees for taking the time to share their perspectives and answer all the questions. You can check out all the stories at IndiaFOSS 2.0 here.
The debates continue
Of all the talks, discussions, and conversations taking place at the conference, there is one discussion that occupied a clear space in my mind. It was the debate between pragmatism and idealism or Kailash and Rushabh. Rushabh played the idealist advocate, and Kailash the pragmatic one.
It was engrossing to witness Kailash Nadh and Rushabh Mehta debate their perspective on art, business, architecture, and life, in general, using their own logical/idealistic lens. Kailash’s logic and ideas sat very well with me. They comforted my thought process and somewhere it made me feel grounded in reality. Whereas Rushabh’s idealistic approach inspired me. They instilled a sense of belief that anything is possible if I am crazy enough. While I stood there wondering how I see the world, the conversation kept leaping to new directions. I had never witnessed a more simple yet complicated debate. One that felt important to ponder on yet easily forgotten. But most of all, I had never seen anyone debate with Rushabh at such length, not lose their patience, and still sound smart and logical at the end of it. Such firsts made the Conference experience very interesting.
It dawned on me that I have new interest areas: philosophies of the world and participating in insightful debates. Though I have a long way to go in being knowledgeable and patient enough for each, I can work on it.
Many people came to the conference to give a talk or listen to other talks or network and talk about their open source products. Everyone's experience at the conference was different, but one takeaway was common, inspiration. And that speaks volumes about the event, IndiaFOSS, and the community present there.
I learned how well I sit with these folks and relate to their ideologies. But most of all I found my love for capturing stories and enabling them to reach the world.