Daniel Nahmod, Anand Sonecha, Ellie Walton & Nimo Patel: Inner Voice, Service and the Creative Process
[These transcripts, as with all aspects of Awakin Calls, are created as a labor of love by an all-volunteer team located around the world. They are a collective offering, born from a shared practice of deep listening and service. Diverse and spontaneous teams emerge week to week to create and offer these calls. See our organizing principles here. Listeners are invited to join our co-creative community here.]
Guest: Anand Sonecha, Ellie Walton, Daniel Nahmod
Host: Deven Shah
Moderator: Nimo Patel
Deven: Namaste, salaam and good morning or good afternoon or good evening, depending on which timezone you are in. My name is Deven and on behalf of Servicespace, I welcome you all for ‘Awakin Talks’. Thank you for joining us today. The purpose of these calls are to plant seeds of kindness and compassion. While, in a way, we are all of us on our inner and outer journeys, but, these calls really allow us to hold space for some guests who are from all walks of life, and they really inspire us by their spirit of service. Behind each of these calls, there is a whole team of volunteers, whose invisible work really allows these calls to manifest.
Today, our guests are singer and musician, Daniel Nahmod, filmmaker and educator, Ellie Walton and architect and designer, Anand Sonecha. And the call will be moderated by our dear brother Nimo. So, we'd like to start the conversation with maybe some silence just to anchor ourselves in the present moment. So, I invite you all to please be in a minute of silence. So welcome again to ‘Awakin Talks’. In conversation with Daniel Nahmod, Ellie Walton and Anand Sonecha and moderator Nimo. In a few minutes, we'll hand over the call to Nimo who will introduce today's panelists and also start a conversation on our theme, which is “inner voice, service and the creative process”.
And during the call, Nimo will also take audience questions and reflections. So anytime during the talk, if you'd like to share any questions for panelists or for Nimo, feel free to share them on the livestream -- there's a chat box on the livestream page. And, each of these, Awakin talks, as I said, are led by a group of volunteers and just a friendly reminder that we are in this virtual space, which has its technology constraints also. Sometimes if things have some glitch or some panelists are logged out, please allow us some time to act. So looking forward to this call and to introduce Nimo, I would like to invite Simran.
Simran: Hello everyone. My name is Simran. Nimo and his music really inspires me and I am so happy to introduce him today. When I first met Nimo in Ahmedabad, I was just five years old. He started singing a song from 'The Lion King' and I liked being with him instantly. Nimo loves kids and kids love Nimo!
For the past 10 years, he has been working with the children, living in the slums, near the Gandhi ashram in Ahmedabad. Using music and theater, he has created shows like Ekatva and Jai Jagat, that tell inspiring stories. The stories are about unity, courage, truth, love and kindness. I learned so much about people like Gandhiji, Vinobaji, Malala and many such inspiring people from these shows. The children from the slums travel the world with Nimo to share these stories.
While doing big things, Nimo cares a lot about small things. For instance, the children coming for rehearsals will keep their chappals and shoes neatly in a line. Nimo will start, and end their practice sessions with a prayer. Around seven years ago, Nimo started sharing his songs with the world as a gift. He calls it ‘empty hands music.’ And communities from around the world invite him to share his music and messages of love, kindness and hope. About two years ago, my classmates and I made a card for Nimo inviting him to visit our school here in Auroville. We were thrilled when he said yes. We all sang his songs in the school and we had so much fun meeting him. I can go on and on. Love you, Nimo! Over to you!
Nimo: Love you Simu. What a blessing to have you be here with us dear. Thank you for sharing. And thank you everyone for joining. We don't know who's here with us but we know at least six, seven of us are here. And thank you everybody for joining today for the Awakin Call. It's a really special and a very humbling opportunity for me to discuss over the next hour with Daniel, Anand and Ellie. And, if I was to give you one honest truth from the bottom of my heart, these are probably three of my favourite artists on this planet. And it has to do a lot with who they are as human beings. And it's just, it's a real privilege to be here. Thank you Daniel, Ellie and Anand Bhai for saying yes to today.
And we look forward to all of your guys’ love, wisdom and experiences to be shared over the next hour. I'll start by doing a brief introduction of each of these amazing souls. And, I'll start with Daniel, a brother, a soul brother, as I always call Ellie my soul sister. Dan and I met in 2012 because of a synchronicity of beautiful events. I don't know if I know too many human beings on this planet personally, that make a living and raise a family because of the words that they write and the melodies they create with those words. And to further deepen that, for that to be your not only your bread and butter, but to have deep, deep rooted impact on the people that listen to those words and those songs because of the messages in them.
So for me, Daniel's a rare DNA, an amazing musician and songwriter. But the way that he shares and expresses his songs, and I've got the blessings to have seen him perform live and virtually with hundreds of people, at least when I've been around, hundreds of thousands actually. And it's just so powerful every time he's on stage, because there's just something that comes from the heart and the whole creative process that eventually comes out of his vocal chords and his heart and it touches people in so many powerful ways. The man has written 23 albums. I struggled, I think, in my whole career to write one. Thousands of songs, and I'm sure, I don't know how many thousands of performances, live performances literally! His music has reached all parts of this planet. Even lots of major television events and shows and the Superbowl, and he's performed at the ‘Parliament of Religions’ as one of the key performers. Just a lot of beauty, and then alongside everything, his message, all of his messages, lie in the soul of humanity. And he also finds his ways, in so many beautiful ways, to serve. And, I look forward to hearing some of that today. He's been my musical inspiration, and when I was pretty much done as a career-musician, after listening to his music, it awoke something in me to start writing music again. So, I just feel blessed to have him as a brother, to have him on this call with us to share. Thank you. Thank you Daniel for joining!
Daniel: Thanks Nimo. Thanks.
Nimo: And, I'll share about my sister, Ellie. Like I said, she's my soul sister. Again, God has his ways and he introduced us miraculously somehow, when she came to India on a Fulbright scholarship. She's a documentary filmmaker by trade and she's done two master's degrees, in Edinburgh and in the UK. But really, she's an activist and educator, a mother, a friend but I think for me, it's just amazing to see her in action because as a filmmaker she's so invisible; and it's more than just not being, not impacting the natural response of the people she's in front of. She does that because she has the capacity, she has developed so much love and trust with the people around her and built relationships such that when she is carrying a camera into any space, it feels like there is nobody there. And that is probably one of the toughest things to do as a documentary filmmaker!
And to be able to have people share their natural presence and being, and be honest and open is more telling of Ellie’s spirit and personality than just her trade. And she has done so many pieces of work on all different themes -- from social justice to education to immigration. I mean so many causes, so many non-profits, so many music videos. And her documentaries have been screened at some of the top documentary film festivals on the planet like NYC Doc or Full Frame or AFI Doc. So it's just amazing to see how grass roots, how committed she is to connecting with the community, with deep purpose, and how much people resonate constantly with what she shares on the screen.
So, she is definitely a magician! And just a nice little titbit is when she was young -- her name was Jupiter -- that was what she called herself. And I have got some little nice secret recordings that I am going to share with you, from when she was eight years old. But love you Ellie, thank you for being here with us!
Ellie: Love you too. I’m excited to be here. Thank you!
Nimo: Our last of the three HeArtists is an amazing architect. Also, I love calling Anandbhai a specifically a ‘Hearchitect’ because he truly imbibes, every cell in his body is connected from his soul to his work, from conceptualisation to execution of an actual project or building. He graduated from IPSA Rajkot. It's amazing -- he had an amazing mentor and now he has become an amazing mentor for many. B. V. Doshi is probably one of the most well renowned architects in the history of India, and he was Anand’s mentor, who Anand studied under, worked under, but also worked with. It's just amazing to see that B. V. Doshi spirit literally flows through the spirit of Anand when he is at work.
I have had the blessing to work on a project with Anand that was very dear to my heart. And it was such a magical experience to work together, for almost two and a half years, very closely. And just what shined for me in working, in creating a theatre with Anand-bhai was not only the skills and research and passion behind every detail of the concept building to execution, but for me the humility involved is just tremendous -- and when you have such talent, but you are so open to hearing, to listening, to bending ideas and listening to the people around you, to make sure that the best product is created -- not just your product. It's just amazing Anandbhai -- the way you embrace each process of each project. So, I really look forward to hearing about some of that today.
And lastly I just think -- I have worked with a lot of young kids over the years, especially those that are closer to me on some of these musical projects. And recently, just a few months ago, one of them who is doing an engineering degree was asking me that because of covid, things have slowed down in college and he wanted to just get an experience. And between him and Anand-bhai is a huge gap of experience and understanding and wisdom and time availability, and when I reached out to Anand-bhai about how we can provide Bhaumik with an experience of engineering, Anand-bhai literally just said -- I will work with him. I will have classes with him virtually one or two times a week. And this is not a graduate of engineering. This is a kid that is aspiring to be a graduate in engineering. And it was just so humbling, Anand Bhai, for you to take that time out in your crazy schedule and be ready, like, here I'll work with him, I'll help him grow and learn. And I might even learn from him. Thank you, brother, for being who you are and look forward to hearing more.
Anand: Thank you so much, Nimo.
Nimo: Yeah, so, I think we have limited time. I think we can probably do like four or five hours with these three souls, but I wanted to start with kind of the early, beginning stages for all of you. What it was like, and maybe in a two minute sound byte, because we want to get through a bunch of things. So, I'm going to try to stay committed to the timeframes for each of us. But growing up, what was your dream and how did it evolve? And, many times it's way different than what we're doing right now, and how did you connect with your art form per se? And what influenced you, what kind of brought you to this direction that you've now walked on over the last decade or maybe actually longer. And so, I'm going to start with Ms. Eleanor Jupiter Walton.
Ellie: Well, I'm not good at sound bytes. Well, let me check. Wow! So, what was my dream? You know, I was thinking the other day, when I was a kid, I remember my mom would throw these parties and I would wait outside with sidewalk chalk and say, “You are not allowed in unless you dance!” And I always think about it -- man, why didn’t I become a dancer?
Even today, how I lose myself is like putting on some tunes and dancing around the kitchen. But I was thinking about how, in some ways, for me, filmmaking is kind of like dancing and how - what do dancers do? I think they listen. They listen to the rhythm and for me, so much of my work is really connecting with communities, and connecting with the rhythm of the neighborhood, connecting with the rhythm of families and, as you said, building that trust and capturing what's unfolding, but in a kind-of dance.
And I think as a kid, growing up in DC in a neighborhood called Mount Pleasant, I would say, the early moments that really kinda set me on this path was actually a moment where there was a shooting in my neighborhood. And a guy who lived in my neighborhood was shot by a police officer. And I think that led to riots in my neighborhood and an uprising. And, as a kid, I was nine, and, I remember walking up right after he was shot and it kind of sat with me. I don't know if I would call it a seed, at that time it felt more like a rock.
And I think though, it made me feel like something isn't right. Like this is a neighborhood that's kind of been raising me and yet, this has happened. Perhaps because people weren't seeing each other, like this guy wasn't seen by this police officer, and I think, you know, that kind of set me to thinking about how can we understand one another, you know? Like how can we actually create spaces where, you know, we're dancing? How can we create spaces where we're understanding and seeing and listening? And I think a number of people along the way kind of showed me how. Storytelling was one way to do that, you know, to gather folks to kind of transcend some of these boxes we get stuck in, and to allow ourselves to feel.
Nimo: That was one, that's a soundbyte! And, actually, while we're on Ellie, as a young girl, I'm going to share a little clip of her, when she was eight years old. So, it's just an audio clip, you can hear it out. And she was being interviewed on a radio station for her activism. Here we go!
Radio Host: Good evening. This is WPFW and this is Sophie's Parlor. My name is Judy Smith and welcome to the parlor. The first person I'd like to introduce who will introduce the rest of the group is Eleanor Walton. Good evening, Ellie.
Radio host: Okay. Glad to have you here. And what we're going to do this evening is several things. First of all, Eleanor is going to give us a little bit of political activism, her viewpoint on saving the rainforest.
So, first of all, back to you, Ellie. What would you like to say about the rainforest?
Ellie: Well, please don't cut the rainforest down, because when I am 60, most of the rainforest will be cut down. And most of the grown-ups will be dead.
Radio host: How old are you now?
Ellie: I am eight, and I am about to turn nine. Don't go to fast food stores because they cut down the rainforests to raise cattle.
Radio host: To raise cattle for the beef, for the fast food? (Ellie chimes in ‘yes’.) And so the more fast food burgers we eat, the more we're helping destroy the rainforest? (Ellie chimes in ‘right’.) Yeah. Okay. Anything else you'd like to say about that?
Ellie: Yeah. And most of the animals in the rainforest, they get killed because they get bulldozed over by those who are cutting down the trees with chainsaws.
Nimo: So it's pretty amazing to see where Ellie's spirit has come from and how things haven't changed in terms of her really contributing to the world in so many beautiful ways. So thank you, Ellie! (Ellie laughs)
I'm going to ask Anand the same question -- just, brother, in your formative years, what were you always envisioning for your life and how did it bring you to design and architecture?
Anand: Thank you so much, Nimo bhai, for this question. My journey had been slightly unusual, because I had no idea about the discipline, initially. But in my family, there are four architects and I’m the fifth one. So, while growing up, I was also seeing my cousins doing unusual work and that's where it got me curious about the profession. And then, when I completed my high school, that's where I was starting to think about what I want to do. And I think that one of my cousins took me to different architects' offices. He showed me how they work. What, what do they do about lives? And I think that it made me excited about the profession.
But, I think that the real difference was when I started learning under Professor Doshi. I feel that that was a significant change, because the way I was envisioning architecture changed completely when I started learning under him -- because what I understood was that architecture is not about just creating buildings. But it has a larger purpose, for our society as a whole, because it directly connects to the life of people and the wellbeing of the people, actually.
So that's where I really got more excited about the possibilities in this discipline because it's not limited to creating buildings. That was something -- a very strong change, in the whole process. And I feel that my undergraduate thesis with him was something, where he used to talk a lot about nature and he used to talk about shelter as a fundamental need for human beings. And that's where something -- it really made me think about so many opportunities. And, of course I met so many good people on the way from whom I learned, and I'm still learning. I'm still very young. And I think that -- they say that ‘architecture is an old man's game’ and I think that I am really looking forward to developing more in this. But yeah, this was, I think the defining place was ‘Sangat’ where I worked for five years, and my graduate thesis with Professor Doshi -- those were really important stages, where it got me excited about the discipline.
Nimo: Right. I love it. I love it. You said it's an old man's game and it's just amazing to see what you've done in the early parts of your career so far. It's so inspiring, and I look forward to sharing some of those visuals with our audience today. Thank you, Anand Bhai.
Dan, buddy, over to you! A similar question -- you know, your journey transitioned quite 180 in a way, so what eventually got you to where you're at, or the direction you went in with music?
Daniel: Well, Anand, I grew up in Chicago and I wanted to be an architect. So I wrote a paper in eighth grade about architecture and used to walk around the streets of Chicago and look at the buildings by Mies van der Rohe and Louis Sullivan, and Holabird and Root, and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. And, you know, there's some of the tallest buildings in the world in Chicago, and also some, at the time anyway, some of the most innovative buildings in the world, and I loved architecture.
And I was also raised to be a professional of some kind. I never went into architecture, but I did go into computer programming. My parents are attorneys or lawyers. My father is a law professor, just recently retired after almost 50 years of teaching. So we were raised, three boys were raised to be more cerebral, not artists, and also more careful and conservative, not artists. We weren't raised to make it up as we go along and play it by ear!
Ironically playing it by ear was a strength that I had in music, since I was born pretty much -- so I was born with a lot of innate musical talent, but absolutely nowhere on the radar was a life making music. Actually that's not true. A life making music -- yes! A living making music -- no, not at all! I never considered a music college. I didn't know a lot of musicians. I never studied any of the things that I do for a living now, not explicitly. I majored in economics in college. And then, because I'd been programming computers for fun, which is true, since I was a little boy, I became a professional computer programmer for five or six years. And the music, the music in my mind never, ever turns off. It's only in the last 10-15 years that I realized that -- even if it isn't playing in a room, there's something musical happening in my brain. But especially if it's in the room, I never stop processing it. Never stop visualizing it, in a way.
I imagine, Anand, that the way you visualize forms that you see, and spaces that you see, and Ellie, the way you visualize imagery of all kinds -- that's the way sounds happen to my mind. They're never out of my consciousness, even in my sleep. So the turn for me came late, in the sense, that at 27, I realized that -- I could be sarcastic and flip about it, but there's no reason to be -- at 27 I realized that I was not born to be a computer programmer. I was born to be a musician.
I had no idea how that worked. I didn't know anything about the business of music, record-making, or music production. I'd never been in a studio. I knew nothing about any of it. If I had, if I have a regret, it would be that, at 17, somebody didn't bonk me over the head and say, “Danny, you're a musician!” But, nobody did. Instead, my parents shepherded their boys to college to be dutiful, good citizens. And who can complain about an upbringing and a college degree, and the capacity to balance... Nimo, you say that I'm an unusual animal for making a living doing what I do. It is no accident. I was raised to make a living. I've never been a starving artist. I dunno if that phrase exists in India, but in America, it's a little perjurious, but it's also, it's also just sort of a fact of an artist's life, very frequently -- a painter, a dancer, a tap dancer, a jazz saxophonist -- it's an uphill battle to make a living. The fees are low and the premise is always that the joy you get from doing the job is its own form of pay, which it absolutely is. But it doesn't even remotely -- you know, sometimes I say, I'll stop charging when my bank starts accepting hugs from me, for a mortgage, because my parents raised me to do that.
So, since I was 27, that guy who was always a musician, but was not raised to be one professionally, I have found what I would like to think of as a middle ground, where I am in fact, making it up as I go along. It is in fact, an unplanned life -- with very very authentic messaging, very true music, but also an entrepreneur's sense of, even in an uneducated way, it's not like I'm particularly good at building a business, but making a living -- I have said it, especially in the last few years, it's already one of the great successes of my life: my son just turned nine and has never been hungry for a day, thanks to my music and the contributions and generosity of people who like it. That is a triumph that I never, not for a day, take for granted. The humanitarian part is something we can talk about, on your next question or whatever, but that message, the humanity message is a different story than that.
Nimo: Right, well I want to share a video of Dan performing now. He's been so loving and giving of his time over the last 8-10 months. He has just shared his love and music, virtually with people. So I'm going to share a few clips from that.
Daniel: (A medley of different songs are played: some song lyrics follow)
“If this is my last song / If this is my final day/ If tomorrow I'll be gone / What do I want to say?”
“We speak so many languages, different clothing, different colours, different names/ But ‘different’ is only dangerous when we forget that in the heart we’re all the same.”
“Then I remember I am the only one, But I am not alone/ I don’t need to do everything, everything oh/ I can right one wrong, I can sing one song/ I don’t need to do everything…”
(An excerpt of a rap song follows)
Don't be threatened, Nimo. I'm just trying to take your job with that one (referring to the rap song)!
Nimo: I love it, man. I want more rap songs by Daniel. Ellie does too -- awesome. Thank you guys for that initial sharing. I actually want to get into some meaty stuff, in the sense of your actual work, because all of you guys have amazing, beautiful work.
And I wanted to start with Anand Bhai, I was so inspired by this concept of a highly talented architect... There is a seed of a thought, that we wanted to build, rebuild the blind school for our kids in Gandhinagar, for our non-profit, Manav Sadhna. And we weren't sure, it was a big project. We needed a lot of funding and we didn't have it yet, but the seed was there. The seed of thought was there and Anand was the one that we approached as the person that would possibly be able to lead that. Even though it wasn't set, that this project was actually going to unfold, he took it as an opportunity to learn and grow. And, then he spent a summer in Boston with his wife, who was at graduate school there and decided to volunteer at the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston, which is the oldest blind school in America. And it was amazing because, when I would talk to Anand bhai about it, he'd be like, “I'm just volunteering at the library today.” And I’d ask, “What does that have to do with architecture?” And he's like, “No, I'm just helping out wherever I can help out.” Literally just serving.
I don't even know, maybe people knew he was an architect or maybe not, but he was just trying to absorb the energy of being in this beautiful space, so that he could eventually translate that into a space for our children in Ahmedabad. And just so inspiring the way he approaches a project, because he wants to make sure he has it in his blood. And, bhai , I just wanted you to share -- this next topic is on the creative process for all three of you. And, we'd love to hear, how do you take something like the blind school, for example, which is under construction right now, it's getting closer little by little, but how do you take a process from the beginning ideas, to completion -- what goes through it? And I want to give again three to four minutes, for response, if that's okay. Thank you guys.
Anand: I will slightly give a brief background about the project first. This will really help to connect the story. Viren bhai from Manav Sadhna -- he sent me to blind school in 2014, just to have a look at the school. And he didn't say that we have to build a new school. He just said that I should just go there and experience the place. So, I went there and I saw a school that was running on the first floor, and the ground floor, the students were living. And I was quite shocked because the students came from very remote villages, small towns, from different parts of Gujarat and heard many stories about how they came and it was, quite, unusual the way the school was running. And I also felt that on the ground floor, the way they were living was not in a good condition. So I thought about it and I went to Viren bhai and I said we could think about how we could make it better.
And, I think that he had some ideas in his mind. He didn't just say that, but he had some ideas. And then, over time, after a lot of process, we came up with this idea that we will build a new school and we will convert the whole existing building into a hostel block, so that they could live well, because it was a cramped situation; in one room, there were fifteen students living on a bunk bed. It was not a good situation. And I travelled in different parts of the country to see how the schools for the blind have been conceived. But I could not come across any school, which was designed particularly for the blind or partially-blind students.
They were always adapting used structures. And except in Mumbai, I was impressed with one school, but that was not something it was designed for, it was an old colonial building. And I felt that, in order to pursue a project of that nature, I think first we need to know the users very well.It's not just to build a building, a school for them, but it's a very different challenge, because the visual sense that we all depend on to navigate and to experience the world and to use spaces, is not there. And how do you conceive architecture which completely depends on the visual sense. So that was something of a very fundamental challenge. And that's where I came across the Perkins School for the blind, which is in Boston, Massachusetts.
And, Hellen Keller, Laura Bridgman, and Anne Sullivan -- these are stalwarts who studied there. And it was the first school in the United States, in 1829, it started, and I think it's one of the most beautiful campuses that I've ever seen. I would even say that it beats the Harvard campus as well, it’s that beautiful. And, there the sole purpose was to just be there and experience how they teach blind students and how blind students navigate spaces or how their structures were conceived, because some of the buildings were designed particularly for the blind children.
And I think that the school has one of the best research facilities in the world. They produce braille machines, they do a lot of research on navigation techniques, which I feel that in India, we are still quite behind, in that way. So, I think that for five months, I just worked there in the library, as well as the toddlers program, where I was assisting a teacher and they were very generous. When they came to know that we are designing the school, they gave all the information, necessary inputs and contexts, and they opened up their archives just for me to learn as much as I can. And I think that was a very important experience for me because it was about understanding the users. And then I also used to show my designs to the teachers and they put me in touch with America's leading researchers about accessibility. So, I used to go with our proposal to show them and they were very generous to help, in all ways. And I learned many lessons from there. And then I came back to India and we adapted so many things that I learned from there. And then of course we also changed the way we were conceiving, architecture and communication, because I also wanted teachers and students to be participants in the design process. I feel that it's not that an architect comes and builds the project, but I feel that the stakeholders are equally important in the design process.
Nimo: Bhai, I'm going to share some of those images while you're talking about it. And if we can finish in one minute now,
Anand: Thank you. So, we did these tactile drawings, 3D printed drawings for the students and teachers so that they could experience the structure. And it was a very collaborative process in that way. And, these are some of the photographs: this is my studio and initially we were working with block models, so that they could experience the built form, but then they were not able to understand the interior spaces, that's where we started doing the tactile drawings, with 3D printing. So this is one of the drawings that students could experience by touch. So it was a very amazing experience for me, also as an architect that we were learning to communicate without visual sense. So far this project is under construction and we have done a lot of trial and errors with the students to make sure that spaces are for them. So, I hope that once this is completely finished, we'll be able to share more details.
Nimo: Thank you bhai, awesome. I know we're so tight on time and I feel like letting you guys all talk for forever, actually.
Dan, I'm going to ask you to share a little about an experience that has touched tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of lives, through your music and the Water Album, which is your twelfth album that you created, but it came from a very unique process. I think you wrote over a hundred songs in a short amount of time in the middle of mother nature, an amazing, inspiring story. And that album is probably one of my favourite albums, of all musicians, of all times. So, I am deeply moved by it. But could you share a little about that journey within a five minute context?
Daniel: I'm going to burn through the first minute saying something that really touches me about Anand, about that process that you just described. It's one thing to design a building or write a song or make a film. That is part of your own process, your own voice, your own feelings, your own life story. We are gonna do that, whether we mean to or not. We're going to tell things about ourselves when we're creating, what Nimo, obviously you too, whatever we're creating is about us, but, the effort, the conscious effort and extra effort that you just described is empathy and kindness in action. The thing is -- that building is not just an architect flexing his muscles and showing his craft. That building, it's stunning. I would love to see that building someday, because it sounds like you didn't take a single decision for granted. That everything about it was through, sorry for the ironic pun, but it was all through someone else's eyes. It was all pure empathy. And in a way that's really impossible for us, seeing people, to fully comprehend. But the first thing I noticed is, for example, that hallway photo has absolutely no obstructions. I assume that's going to continue to be. And it's just that kind of thing -- that is kindness. That's doing your job with kindness.
Similar, by the way, to how Ellie does her job, specifically, I'm talking about the videos that she's done with Nimo for our music. I have had calls and emails how much does Ellie charge to do your videos because they're absolutely spectacular. They're theatre ready. And I say, I'm embarrassed to answer the question you're going to have to ask her, because Ellie is more generous than Nimo and I have been . What with the mastery of her craft that she gives, and actually, Ellie, your story is fascinating -- that you always want, that you saw it as a dance and that you wanted to see everybody's joy come out. And all I want to say is I can tell that you, I can tell from the videos you've made that you love, you love the beauty and the joy in someone's face. It is an emphasis of your work. At least that I've seen from our videos. It is something you like to bring out and my God do you film and show it beautifully. I mean just truly beautifully.
Anyway, so Nimo, I'm sorry, I will abbreviate this story exceptionally. The following is the shortest telling of the story in the history of my life.
Anyway you ready, cause brevity is not my speciality. Seven years of making a living, making music in L.A. -- Los Angeles in the United States is approximately the most crowded, chaotic, least organized, most desperate place. It's pretty unorganized. It's just odd, it's kind of an awful city as cities go.
I've been in some good cities. LA isn't really a beautiful place. It has beaches, the weather is great. Let's just say that. After seven years, I took a leap of faith and went to a little town in Utah called Moab, which is a red rock paradise for outdoors people, cliffs and canyons and arches and national parks, the darkest sky, some of the darkest skies in North America.
And I went in the winter when very very few people were there. And in fact, I had the national parks to myself, literally, the only person in the park several times. And these are parks that get a million visitors a year. And this was in 2006, and I spent three months hiking and laying out under the stars, which I'd never seen really before, I grew up in Chicago and then moved to LA and there are no stars there. In Utah, there are stars by the billions. I'd never seen anything like it. The first time I saw it, I cried. I laid out on the main road, in Arches National Park, in the middle of the night and cried, lying on my back on that road in the winter, in my winter coat, looking at how many stars, looking at the Milky way galaxy.
And out of that time, yes, one hundred twenty six songs I wrote during those three months. I didn't -- the trick of it was that I didn't go to do any of that. I went without an agenda at all and into that void came the scenic beauty. The quiet and a feeling from that natural setting that maybe I was taking myself a little bit too seriously. And maybe I was telling myself that I was in control of things, that I'm not in control of, that my plans will come true. If I work hard enough, that I deserve credit for a yes, blame for a no, that there's some guarantee of immortality or result. Right?
I was kind of living to some extent the message of the Dao, which is a book I stumbled on in the Moab Public Library while I was there, and I have been singing these songs, so the songs that you know Nimo, that's 11 of them that became an album called Water, which might as well be a companion album to the Dao, which annoys me a little, because I thought I was having some great revelation and instead it was written 4000 years ago and I just paraphrased it poorly.
Nimo: I never read the Dao, but I heard your album and it gave me all that.
Daniel: Thank you and the Dao was in public domain, so I don't owe them any royalties, so that's nice. But like the Dao will say something like -- “Be done with knowing and your worries will disappear”. That's a big statement, especially for a child of lawyers -- be done with knowing sounds like you're giving yourself a free pass. Sounds like you're taking the lazy way out. Sounds like you're not doing enough research, right? That's how I go -- be done with knowing?!
But if you think about all the things we tell ourselves, we know very little of it is true. Very few of our plans play out the way we intend them to. And if we do, and Nimo, you've heard me sing it and say it -- if we do today, the thing that feels true today, with maximum kindness, maximum commitment, that can be enough. That is the seed to plant today. Not a five or 10 year plan, nor the pressure of what anyone built me to be, expects me to say or sing, expects me to do, including myself, family, society. Today, if I'm true and kind, then the work I do today is by a very real definition, enough. And tomorrow I do it again. And that was the real revelation of my time in Utah. And that was nowhere near as brief as I thought it was going to be.
Nimo Thank you. Thank you, Dan. I'm gonna play a little soundbite from one of my favorite and most inspiring songs from that album. From his experience in Moab, it's called planting seeds. Daniel's original version, just a sound bite from it. (Audio plays).
Thank you. Thank you, Dan, for gifting us with all this beautiful music, and what an amazing process and journey that you've had on just that process of you going within yourself and how that came out and how that impacted so many of us, known and unknown. So thank you.
I'm going to ask Ellie, to share about... I feel like with Ellie, Dan, you mentioned it -- because of her spirit, kind of wherever you go Ellie, your spirit really carries an opportunity to grasp, and embrace whatever is going on. And I feel like the story of the music video, just like you, is just a magical unfolding of happenings, and I'd love for you to share that process, because it was not planned and it all happened all of a sudden in the middle of a continent that you don't live in, so if you can share a little about that.
Ellie: Yeah. Where to begin? Dan, I love what you said about just being -- that so much beautiful art emerges when there is no agenda. Right?! And I think for me, for my process, which is everything really, you know, like it's never an idea that emerges in my studio somewhere, that I'm going to go to Liberia. No! I think it always begins really with an invitation. I think there's a lot of folks who feel like they want to share their story, you know, like they feel misrepresented. They feel like they're not being seen or heard. And so there was an invitation to come to Liberia. You know, there was a huge stigma about being deaf in that community. Like people felt like they were cursed at birth. And so they invited me, they said, Ellie come, let's figure out a way to share our story. So I showed up and again, you might at that moment think like -- Oh, as a filmmaker, you might write a script. You might like story-map. No, no. I just showed up. Let's do a circle. Let's go around, and let's hear from you. Let's collaborate. I think for me, it's like all about co-creation, you know, it's like recognizing that this is your story. So what do you want to say? Like what matters to you?
Because I feel like art at its best is just like open heart surgery, right? Like, I mean, Dan, your songs open my heart; Nimo, your songs open my heart, looking at those buildings, opens my heart. And like, we need that to connect and we need to do that more than anything, right now, especially. And so I think like for me, that process comes from really seeing folks and that doesn't happen in the editing room.
That happens when you show up and ask folks what they want to say. So you are at the school for the deaf. Eight year olds, 18 year olds, almost every single one of them, there is something connected to dancing or singing or listening, but they're just like... Like how do you hear the music? It's like, well, we feel the vibration. So this is going around.
And then let me back up because there's another part of this story that's really important. So two months earlier, I met this man called Chad Harper, who's an amazing soul at the Gandhi ashram in India, and turns out like, you know, he's from Brooklyn and he runs an amazing organization called Hip Hop Saves Lives. And he just happened to be going to Liberia at the same time I was. So here we are, at the circle and in walks in Chad and people are sharing what music means to them, and that dancing is their superpower. And he is like, I could see his brain sort of like (wheels turning noise), and he starts writing this hook and he's like, okay, let's make a music video.
Like, okay. Yeah! And they were all game, let's make a music video. Well, how do we do that? Well, turns out, there's this hip hop star in Liberia, and we hop on a motorcycle to his bar and we say -- hey, do you want to make a music video with our school? And he said -- Yes! Which is also -- so much of my process and philosophy is that again, ideas don't come out of nowhere. They come from showing up and just like being open. And like, the number one, like the first rule of improv and I'm terrible at improv, but the first rule of improv is “yes, and.” Like, you don’t block; you just say “yes, and.” And what else? So, yes. And we're going to find this hip hop star.
We're on a motorcycle, we're getting him and he's coming. And boom, we stayed up for like three days. And he showed up and we filmed and we captured the song. And you know what, that song that we created together ended up being shared to -- I think it was like the prime minister of Liberia ended up seeing it. And then these people at the school for the deaf would walk down the street and they’d say, “Oh, I saw you in that video.” And again, if I come full circle to why they even invited me there -- it's like, “We weren't being seen. We weren't being heard.” I want to create something. And now there's this video that we're in and we're dancing and people see us now.
Nimo Amazing! Like you said, you just have the capacity because of who you are to show up. I want to show this video because it gives me chills every time, I know we don't have too much time, so I may not be able to go through all of it, but enjoy it. This is what happens when Ellie Walton ends up in Liberia.
Can you guys hear the audio because I can't? (video plays ) "I'm just..."
Did that work? Could everybody hear it properly? Okay. Cause I could not. Thank you Ellie, for sharing your gifts.
Daniel: That Ellie Walton video right there. Stunning right? Just stunning!
Nimo: Right. Very powerful.
Daniel: How much affection and respect comes through. Just beautiful. Yeah.
Nimo: Yeah. How do you guys -- we have limited time, I'm not sure actually, that we can take questions from the audience right now, but I'm going to just keep going on right now, because we only have like 10, 15 minutes left.
How do you guys stay grounded and rooted? I mean, there's so many, so many factors that play a role in our lives. All of you are in, you have family, and what you do requires you to be in a space of, you know, it requires a whole other headspace. What are your practices that keep you grounded? What are your practices that allow you to get into a flow, if we want to call it a creative flow. What advice do you have for others, artists that want to balance the practical elements of life, living, family, and still make and create, whatever beauty that's coming from their heart. Dan?
Daniel: Absolutely no ability to balance. Thank you for asking.
Nimo: I wanted to, I wanted to share, I didn't get to share the intro. Dan is one of the most amazing husbands and fathers. And it is really, it's been a blessing to see how much it means to him to balance his artistry and his family life. So, Dan, I just wanted to share that while you...
Daniel: Well, thank you. That's nice of you. Yes -- Ellie you'll understand -- one of my most successful jokes for the last nine years is that I've been tired since my wife's water broke. You know I don't have any practices. I don't have any spiritual practices that are explicitly like any self-help book would ever tell you to do. I don't know if that's true! My center comes from making -- and this is a very, this is gonna sound like a bumper sticker, very simple list, but it really is true. Sitting next to the dog, holding my wife's hand, hanging out with my little boy, playing a little instrumental piano, singing -- the last nine months has been very rewarding and beautiful -- to build a little community on Facebook of people, for whom I can reasonably feel that showing up for them and with them has made a difference for them. That makes a difference for me.
So I don't sit and pray. I don't read self-help books, but I am, I will say, a particularly grateful person. And I really do, I mean, just, your video brings it out, something that I say to my boy. I've said it many times and we grew up in Orange County. Right now we're in Orange County, California, but I will tell him on occasion, there are homeless children within two or three miles of this beautiful neighborhood, and the fact that we can turn on the tap and have clean drinking water that is not true for millions and millions of people, and the fact that you go to sleep in a quiet beautiful safe bedroom, and you know, your mommy and daddy love you and we kiss you good night and you know we'll be there in the morning. That is tragically not true for every child, far from it. So these are things, there are ways that I stay extremely present in my life, which become the songs.
You know what I mean? It's not, I'm not, I'm not St. Danny, I'm not monk Danny. I'm not praying Danny, and Nimo, you know, this better than anybody because Nimo and I do shows all the time, and I love our music that we've made together, and I love working with you and being on stage with you and I can't help but be a smart ass during our shows and be -- It's the only way I know how to be A, and B, Nimo is just so impressive, so noble, I just can't, part of me can't sell myself as being nearly as good a person as Nimo is. So I'll say yeah, this guy gives away his CDs, and this guy has a kid and a mortgage for God's Sake.
Nimo: So really bad thing, Danny (laughs)
Daniel: Yeah. So I am, I like no BS in my music. I like to be true and real and kind, and that's just the way I do my best to be, and that's my practice.
Nimo: And it shines, it shines Dan. I think it's amazing to watch you perform live because the authenticity of your words is, I mean, for any, I think, musician, when it's authentic, it makes you get the chills and you do that every time for your audiences.
Nimo: Thank you. Anandbhai, similar question. I mean, all three of you have elements of such stillness and grounded-ness in different capacities, but what works for you, to help you? Oh, you're on mute buddy. Sorry,
Anand: Can you hear me now? Okay. I would like to carry forward what Daniel said about many circumstances that we are surrounded with. Just to put in perspective, I think in our context, it is even more evident, Daniel, because I think 70 million people in India are living in informal settlements and they don't have access to proper sanitation and proper drinking water and 90 million people earn less than $1 a day. So that's something, like the big picture of our country.
And coming to our profession, I feel that we are trained, as architects, to serve a very particular segment of society. It's only one or two percent of the entire population of the country, who can afford our services. And that's where as a practitioner, I also have been thinking, because, of course, due to all these opportunities that Manav Sadhana gave and other projects that I'm working on, it has given me a different perspective about the profession. And Nimo Bhai what you were asking about the balance. And when you think that you want to also work for ninety eight percent of the population, it's not easy, because as I was saying that ninety million has only one dollar a day that they are making, and how can they afford architecture services?
So, what we are trying to do is that I try to work on projects of a certain nature, in which needy people need fundamental shelters and such things. At the same time, I teach at the school of architecture, I give lectures, and that's where I balance, somehow balance, my income, because, of course, I get professional fees from various projects, and they're fine. But also I like to work slowly and that's where it's also very hard for me to balance, because -- like, for example, this school for the blind: it took six years to build this project. I mean to conceptualize and to now build, and the kind of money that you get as fees, it is nothing almost; you lose the money, in fact!
But what I feel is that, the kind of satisfaction that you get -- and I think, this is the currency. Your work is the currency. It's not like money but your work is your currency. And I think that's something which is important for me. And I don't know if this is a good move, but at the moment I think, this is what I believe. And I would like to continue working in this way, hopefully more and more and I think that I try to balance academics and practice in a way to make my family, because my wife, Mariana is an architect as well. She also teaches, I also teach, at the school of architectures. We teach in Ahmedabad and the UK. So, that's where we try to balance our work that we are doing. Not to say that we don't want to work professionally. We want to, but also we are trying to find new ways because this is not a very usual way to practice architecture.
Nimo: Definitely unusual because I remember when we were working on the Jai Jagat theatre, we asked Anand bhai, what would be your cost? And he tells me -- Nimo bhai, I just don't want to lose any more money, but you can pay us, pay me, whatever you feel is fair. That was his response to building -- I'll just show you a picture of what he built, because it's just phenomenal. And the spirit of... these are his initial sketches, I'm going to fly through it, because we are out of time. And here's the full layout, this was a two and a half years, and here's the end product, with hundreds of our children and family in the Jai Jagat theatre, in the space that Anand conceptualized and built from his heart and soul, the same place that he says, whatever you want to offer to me for it, that is fine. It's just amazing bhai -- you're saying that it's a need to be a professor because you need to balance it, but you and Mariana are both truly servants of society and are trying to offer your best and trying to sustain yourself, so that you can do that. And it's a true inspiration, with the skill level and the talent that you guys have, and how you're offering it to the ninety eight percent versus the two percent that can afford it. So, thank you bhai for being you.
Ellie, same question, you got Cyprus and Rye and Ryan and your family. And how do you balance everything? I've seen this lady, pregnant, I think, twice, with a camera on her hand, running around. How do you balance it all?
Ellie: Man, a question that I always come back to, especially with my work, is just how do I keep my heart open. Cause like so much of what I do is like asking or witnessing, honouring folks who are opening their hearts to me. So for me, it's, how do I show up and be that as well, and I think it's changed over the years. And so being flexible with myself has been huge.
I remember when I met you Nimo and you Dan, even though I hadn’t met you in person and I was doing the grateful video and I'm forever grateful for that grateful video. ‘Cause it brought us together and we were staying up all night, we were getting people's submissions from all over the world. We were, you were feeding me Bhakri with peanut butter and chocolate, and I am just going at it and just in the flow for days and all night.And like so much of creativity can have that energy that I love, and it is magnetic, and then you let it into the world and you haven’t, you don't know who's going to receive it and you crash!
And then you wake up and start again. And obviously that doesn't always jive with two toddlers. And sometimes, initially I fought against that. It's like, you are going on my back, we're going on a shoot and we're going to skip nap and we're not going to do any of your needs, because we are showing up for these folks that we're filming. And I think as time has gone by and I recognized that actually, no, I don't need to hold onto this idea of what an artist, the artist of my pre-motherhood was. Let me be flexible with me, and let me actually grow with these kiddos of mine, and I mean, I'm late for this shoot, but I’m going to sit on the sidewalk and watch the ants walk by. And let me see what actually that is giving to me in this moment. Because, what I do as a filmmaker is see and I feel my kids have just given me this opportunity to see again, because these kids just are born, as we're all born, with this pure sense of wonder.
I'll never forget going to the zoo, the first time, with Rye. He's like mama, look at that Cardinal. And it’s about the cardinal flying through and not the chimpanzee or the cheetah, It's so rad. I'm like, yes, the Cardinal is so rad. And just two days ago we were collecting, I'm home-schooling right now. My heart goes out to all you parent-artists out there home schooling, and he said, “The leaf, it's brown!” And yeah, the leaf, it's brown and beautiful and look at how it's crinkled! How they see it reminds me how to see. And I think by just being present with them and not pushing up against where I need to be, has allowed my heart to open and then be more present, when I am on a shoot, when I am with people.
And I think too, because motherhood, It’s this universal thing, we all have a mother, and I think it's given me this gift to connect to and I think owning that has really kept me balanced, as opposed to pushing up against it, because it's impossible how to balance. Dan, I don't know how to balance, but I think owning that I'm constantly juggling and dropping balls and that's okay. And connecting to folks, who feel too like that, feeds me and that allows me to connect deeper with the folks that I'm filming with...
Nimo: Thank you to the three of you. It's been a special and very quick hour or hour and a half. And I'm gonna, try to find a question from one of our audience members and connect it to the thought that I want to ask about you as well. We have somebody that wrote: I love a quote that I came across -- ”An artist is not a special kind of person, but every person is a special kind of artist”. Could you speak a bit to that -- any story or advice of how ordinary people can bring creativity and beauty within and without, through their lives?
Now we only have literally, 30 seconds each, type of, time left. So maybe in the spirit of that, thank you for all those people that had shared questions and we apologize that we couldn't get to all of them, but in the spirit of that, from all of your guys's journeys, in the spirit of how all three of you live, which is serving, I see it as serving through your art. You all three are serving deeply and impacting many lives. What would you, what's the feedback you’d give to this beautiful soul who shared this question, to each person, because everybody's a special artist in their own way. What kind of feedback would you give, what advice from your heart on how to share people's passions and arts with others, or just for them to practice it themselves? And feel free to chime in when...
Daniel: I’ll go first. My suggestion is to do the thing that when you're doing it, time moves incredibly quickly and incredibly slowly at the same time, so that you lose track of time because it's so much fun or it's so rewarding, so immersive, and as you do it, surrender, any illusion that, you know, whether it's any good, whether anyone else will like it, whether it will earn you a dollar or a compliment or whether it will even leave the room when you're finished. If you stay entirely in it, you are doing your maximum artistry, as far as I'm concerned. Let everything else come after that.
And,, it's a little cliche to say, but I do sincerely think it's true that as long as you're leaving no victims in the way in your wake, as you do this art form, whatever it is, as long as there are no victims, it is the highest service to humanity to be the truest you. And the truest you is doing something that you'll do whether anybody pays you or not, whether anybody's watching or not, whether anybody notices or not. The three of us, I have no doubt would do some form of what we do, whether anyone cared or noticed or paid, right? It is service to the world and service to ourselves simultaneously.
That's what that kind of immersion and bliss is. Yeah, and it could be skiing. And I mean, I have no judgment about what it is, if there's something. Yeah. Yeah.
Nimo: I love, I love, I love that visual Dan. You guys definitely are the type of human beings that are not doing it for some pat on the back. I feel that. You feel that...
Daniel: Yeah, none of us are trying to get rich off of our work. I mean, really, right? We're not doing this to get rich in any financial sense? Clearly I can say that even though I am that entrepreneur guy, but no, absolutely not in it for the money -- 0%. And obviously that's true about the two of you as well, for the three of you as well. So, yeah.
Nimo: Anand bhai, any thoughts?
Anand: I think that, like in history, it has always been discussed that -- is art needed in a society? And I think that it's a very fundamental question. And I really think that it's very powerful because it's not purely utilitarian. It is something which -- philosophically and spiritually, that is something the society needs.
I think something like poetry, your music or filmmaking or architecture -- I think that they are somehow interrelated. I feel that when both of them were talking and even reading different books, I sometimes feel that music or filmmaking or poetry has an ephemeral quality that, probably, anyone can enjoy sitting anywhere in the place. Experiencing in a very different way, it could touch many people.Whereas architecture, I felt that it is very rooted to the place, the culture and where you are creating it. Also, it touches many people... So, for me, this question -- I also question these things as a professional that what art is about, and what it could do for society?
And I think I don't have much advice. I'm still learning also, but I feel that we should like what we are doing. And we should question things on the way -- how we are being, how the world... not arrogantly questioning, but questioning with a deep commitment, I feel. And I think that's where we find our own paths, different paths by just getting confronted with the situation. And then from that situation, you try to nourish yourself and to grow in many different forms. So, I don't know, I don't have a very straight answer to that. It's a very difficult question, but I think this is some of my thoughts that I felt that I would share.
Nimo: Yeah, thank you, Bhai. And I'll pass it on to Ellie before we close up here.
Ellie: Yeah, I love that quote, man. I definitely believe that we were all just born with this God given gift to create and express and play. And like too young, we are told to stop doing that and, you know, fit in this box and sit in your chair, you know? And I think it is so important to reclaim that because it's in us.
And I just, what you said, Dan, like, you know, if we're going to show up as our best selves, like we gotta understand who we are and how do we do that? Like, we do that by creating. You know, like by playing, like by writing a poem down, like dancing, and it's hard to do that.
And it can feel kind of awkward because we were told to act a certain way. But I think as much as we can all tap back into that place that we all know, because we're all born that way. Like carve that out for yourself and start with you. Like you don't need, I guess, a fancy idea, you just need to begin with yourself and how you feel.
I always come back to that Maya Angelou quote, which, and I'm going to paraphrase, but ‘it's people will forget what you say. People will forget what you do, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ Like that's what art does. It makes people feel. So connect to that space in you and like how you're feeling right now and express that, however it feels true to you, you know? And then we could show up as our full selves and that's what we need right now.
Nimo: Hmm. Thank you guys. It's a blessing to have you three together here on this call. And we're at 10 o'clock, at least my time, which is I think the time that we're supposed to be ending. Before we do a minute of silence together with everybody and close up, I'm just gonna ask, I'm just gonna have a one-liner and have you finish the line, the sentence. And then we can get to a place where we close off tonight's call.
I dream of, or I wish for, let's say, I hope for, let's go with that. I hope for, and you can finish the line, whatever comes to your heart. And whoever feels that call -- I'm not gonna pick somebody. So whoever is ready.
Anand: It's a very difficult one, this one liner... Yesterday, the email that we got, and it said and I was remembering that, I don't know if this makes sense, but I would like to share that. I really like this book, ‘The little prince’ by Antoine Saint Exupery and I occasionally take time to read it again. And, I was reading very recently and, and I always find this one line very profound -- that the fox says to the little prince -- “It is with the heart you see things rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eyes.” So this is the one liner.
Nimo: Love it. Thank you. Elle, “I hope for…” and again, you can go wherever you want with it. You don't have to finish that sentence.
Ellie: Yeah. Okay. I hope for a world where we spend every Saturday morning dancing in the streets together and listening to one another,
Daniel: Well, you know, what comes to mind to be honest, is a little local, for my sake, from my perspective, but I'm gonna say it anyway. At the moment I wish for America to be the country that I always was proud of it being, whether it ever really was that, or not. A place of kindness and justice and compassion and self evaluation and self-improvement and rule of law, sanity.
Yeah. If you ask me that question, in this moment my heart goes, I go to a little broken-heartedness about the state of America, and especially it's unkindness. Especially, or not it's unkindness, but the apparent unkindness of so many. Yeah, that's surprising to me, that's been heartbreaking to me, that would be my wish for you.
Nimo: Yeah, thank you. The three of you are some of the most humble and talented souls that at least I know closely in my life and I am honored and humbled every moment to know I can reach out and just have that friendship and that brotherhood. With all three of you and I love you three deeply, And thank you guys for joining this call and sharing a moment, a glimpse of your life with a few others on this planet.
And may God bless all three of you and everybody that's on this call, the whole world, but may God bless the three of you to keep strong and keep sharing your heart and love with the world, because it truly is a blessing. So thank you all. We're gonna end with a minute of silence. And we want to thank everybody that joined today, and thank Servicespace and our family of volunteers that are constantly behind the scenes, just trying to provide seeds of hope, love, inspiration, connectivity, togetherness, family service. It's just amazing. The amount of love that we have in our family circle around the world. So we bow down to that. Thank you all for joining today. We're just going to do a minute of silence and then Deven bhai will maybe take it from there. Love you all!
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