Two years ago, August 2017, I started my Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Award, a teaching/research award. My experience in India is a perfect example of how art and life constantly inform and nurture one another. It re-confirmed my belief that people around the world, people from different cultures, religions, ethnicities, races, and social classes share more common aspirations and concerns than they have differences. It made clear citizens’ struggles for justice and dignity while perceiving the apathy and greed of the ruling elite. It provided a platform to immerse into the interconnectedness of humanity and the wellbeing of environment. It proved how research and teaching intertwine in a critical dialogue around important artistic, personal, social, religious, and political issues. The timeless is forever timely.
Throughout my travels, I encountered people with palpable goodness, humility, kindness and inner beauty. Their daily life is infused by their faith and beliefs. I understood the peaceful spirit of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Islam and witnessed how similarly they express their devotion and spirituality.