When we think of a conversation, we picture it in our mind. We imagine sitting in front of a person, looking at her/him and talking. Most of the times, the person we want to have a conversation is a friend or someone we know.
Can we think of having an unbiased conversation with some we don’t know at all? Maybe. Now imagine having a conversation with someone without really knowing who s/he is or what s/he looks like? This was the idea that The Goodwill Tribe, Nagpur Chapter wanted to incorporate in their fourth event, Dialogues UnVeil 1.O.
The main idea behind the event was to bring back the essence of the real human connection that is fading under all the digital influence. It was their attempt to bring back hearty and meaningful conversations, but with a little twist.
The participants were blindfolded as soon as they entered the Shankar Nagar Garden premises. So, no one knew who they were going to talk to, or what their partner looked like. The concept was to unveil the person through a simple dialogue. Through the conversation, the participants could build a mental image of their partner, just like we visualise a character in our brain while reading a book.
That was not it, the identities of the participants and their respective partners were not revealed even after the event. So, everyone went home with an unbiased conversation, a smile on their face and a thought in their head.
The concept of the event was kept a secret, it was only at the event that the participants figured out what the event was. Almost 60 Nagpurkars took a leap of faith and their reactions show that it was all worth it.
“Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I went to a public park. The event, in addition to creating a fun atmosphere for conversations to thrive, also brought back the nostalgia of being in a public park. It was amazing how we all engaged in fruitful conversations with strangers without the fear of being judged by our appearance or revealing too many personal details. I wish to attend more events like this in future,” says Swaroop Bharatiya, one of the attendees.
An unforgettable experience is what the tribe wanted to give their participants.
An ambivert by nature, Kanchan Bharat Ingle never thought he could talk to someone without even knowing her/his name or having anything in common. But he took a leap of faith and decided to understand the real person behind the blindfold.
He says, “For a very long time until Dialogues UnVeil 1.0, I kept believing that I had lost my ability to instantly connect with someone stranger. That it is always better to stay with myself than to open up to other people and risk being judged. Unaware, I was kind of trapped in this mindset. Most of my daily conversations have superficiality attached to it. Moreover, the appearance of a person, their facial expressions, a need for agreeing and so many non-relevant factors affected my ability to express myself.”
For some, the conversations they had were like a detox from the routine life. Budding poet Apoorva Pande says, “Dialogues Unveil 1.0 was a perfect detox for Saturday night hangovers and our mundane routines!”
Talking to a complete stranger can be a very challenging experience for an introvert.
Talking about her experience, Dr. Mohini Dave says, “It was a strange experience for me. For an introvert reserved person, it felt odd to sit and talk with a perfect stranger. And that too blindfolded. Maybe because of the blindfold it was possible to talk. It is in a way a good way of getting to know people because many times our opinions are formed on looks whether we agree or not. This is a nice way to get acquainted with people and trying to assess their thoughts by listening to the voice.”
As the event unfolded, the seemingly empty garden started filling up with pleasant murmurs and participants interacting with each other.
The most common feedback that the tribe received was that it felt good to trust someone! This heartwarming feedback perfectly sums up what Dialogues UnVeil 1.O was all about!
Cover image source: facebook
All pictures sourced from Omkar Dhamangaonkar, Devashish Jalamkar and Himanshu Shegaye