My Gypsy Journey

In the midst of all the usual chitter chatter of a Delhi party,  my friend Ramon Blecua asked me “do you know where all the gypsies in the world come from?” I responded with a blank look! “I’ve never really thought about it” I said. As the conversation progressed, I learnt that gypsies all over the world trace their lineage to India, with a significant wave which migrated from Rajasthan. “Is it a surprise then”, he said, “that even centuries later, the Rajasthani folk music and Spanish Flamenco resonate with common threads?” As Minister Counsellor at the Embassy of Spain in Delhi, he is involved in many projects to build cultural bridges between India & Spain, and his most recent baby was the Jodhpur Flamenco & Gypsy Festival (JFGF) – a project dedicated to bring musicians from Spain, Rajasthan & other Gypsy traditions to collaborate, learn from each other & create beautiful music! In a ‘aha’ moment that followed, he asked me the golden question – would I like to meet the organizers of this global project and perhaps work for JFGF? “You are perfect for it” was the last thing I heard before he walked away to join his partner, the very lovely Nupur, on the dance floor.

Filled with excitement, I couldn’t wait to get home and learn about the gypsies, their music and the festival of course! The more I read, the more interested I became! And then, a week later, I found myself taking a tour of  the spectacular Mehrangarh Fort (organiser and venue of the Jodhpur Flamenco Festival).

When I met Mehrangarh Museum Trust’s Director Karni Jasol and the Festival Director Roberto Nieddu I realised working on this project is going to be exciting ofcourse but also quite challenging. The festival was scheduled in Mid March and we were already in mid-January, with not a single sponsor or partner signed-in.

In the past I have organized private concerts, co-curated music at the famous Kala Ghoda Festival – but at JFGF I have been given an even broader role: my job as Director- VIP Relations and Programming required me to raise funds, critical partnerships and bring the cultural tastemakers from Mumbai and Delhi to the festival! I was terrified but thats always a good sign – because there is nothing more interesting to my person than to step completely out of my comfort zone and make the impossible, possible.

A big cheers to dreaming big, love, life & all things spinning….

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Chanda Chaudhary

Aesthete. Storyteller. Wanderer. Chanda is a lover of design, craftsmanship and individualistic style. She’s best known for hosting long champagne lunches filled with stories and tales of adventure, living life on her own terms and making the ordinary, extraordinary. She lives and works in Goa, India.

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