★ This interview was published in VoyageLA on 12 February 2020, Los Angeles, California.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Baisakhi Saha.
Baisakhi, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The river of life flows, writing her story everywhere she goes…
My story is long; like a river initiates her voyage in the glaciers of majestic mountains, flowing across the earth, navigating storms and vicissitudes, eventually merging into the mighty sea, my journey is parallel to this river story. Born in Kolkata, I grew up in different states of India, each with a distinct culture, custom, costume, creed, color, cuisine and courtesy, so it felt as if I was always in a new country! My childhood was thus a preparation for what was to come in adulthood. Still in my teens, I left India, having won full scholarships to study abroad and graduated from the National University of Singapore with a major in Computing and minor equivalent in German. Since then I have not just traveled, but lived in different continents across the globe on various student exchange programs, studying life through myriad mirrors of reality, trying to understand human suffering, dysfunctional belief systems of diverse societies, the root cause of all diseases, what happens after death, and so on.
From Asia to Europe to Africa to South, Central and North America, I have lived with local families, eating their food, adapting to their lifestyles, contributing to their economy, living their culture, navigating extreme realities and belief systems, perceiving varied traditions & religions, scanning the energy of each country I lived, for several years to answer life’s most pertinent questions. From a software graduate to a marketing executive to an English teacher, a German interpreter, a Spanish translator, to now a writer, speaker, dancer, actor, mysterious coincidences have led me from one place to another, contriving me to live out my destiny, my true legacy!
The LA Dream
I had been dreaming of going to LA for the last two years. It started when I was visiting India after many years, where I got the idea of my forthcoming book titled, “Nrit -the dream of finding the self.” The story began as I was having dreams and visions of my recently deceased friend that directly inspired its plot. While writing it, I felt a strong urge to go to LA and find a filmmaker for it. Well, two years hence I found myself in LA interacting with filmmakers and exploring the possibility of turning it into a film. The trip was planned last minute and unable to find a suitable room to rent, I started couchsurfing and Servas hopping. Couchsurfing is an online platform that allows travelers to stay with locals in any country and Servas is an international organization that works towards world peace and also hosts travelers for free. So I spent nearly three months in LA, changing homes and hosts every few days. I ended up staying with 20 different couchsurfers and servas hosts across the length and breadth of the city, which is a story of its own worth sharing. Locals from all over LA opened their homes to me, greeting me with warmth and hospitality, allowing me to share their culture and cuisine, and I returned the favor by cooking delicious Indian meals for most of them, even gifting some of my initial hosts with rich Costa Rican coffee I had taken with me on the trip. And so, having stayed with people of all ethnicities, Blacks, Whites, Browns, Hispanics, Asians, Europeans, Americans; people of Korean, Japanese, Filipino, Indonesian, Jamaican, Nigerian, Swedish, Indian, Italian, Mexican, North American descent, I got a real taste of the city culture with its flavor and diversity. In the end, it looked like not being able to find a room rental turned out to be a true blessing, as I not only got to know the nooks and crannies of the city but stayed for free the entire time I was there, sharing amazing moments with the inhabitants of LA across the San Fernando Valley, North Hollywood, Pasadena. Altadena, Downtown, Inglewood, Hawthorne, Torrance, Sawtelle, Long Beach, Culver City, Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Wilshire Boulevard, Sunset boulevard, Hollywood, UCLA, USC, nearby LACMA, Dodger’s Stadium and more. I also had a chance to attend two Thanksgiving parties with loads of good food, wine and yes turkey with my newfound friends, and explore the cultural city of Pasadena on Halloween, the American way! I already miss LA and I will return to the city very soon to do more events and such.
While there, I attended some events/conferences in alignment with my work, including a Red Carpet Gala, NSA event, AIESEC gathering, TEDx event, Digital Hollywood conference among others. The same time I was going to be in LA, a TEDx event was coming to San Fernando Valley and I was invited to present on the topic: Keep Flowing: The Story of a River where I recited the metaphorical story of the River of Life followed by a dance performance to scintillating music by British singer/songwriter Lindsay Treen. The TEDxResedaBlvd 2019 event was organized by Desiree Duffy, founder of Black Chateau Enterprises, which will recur every year. I also had the good opportunity to meet up with international speaker and bestselling author of ‘Dying to be Me’, Anita Moorjani at Redondo Beach in LA and shared a heart to heart conversation with her about life & living and things in between, which can be found on my YouTube channel.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Life is never a smooth road for anyone. My life has been full of adventure, turbulence, ups and downs, like a roller coaster ride, and at the end of each ride I look back and feel happy, wise as I have become from the experience. Coming from a conservative family background in India, I had to overcome all limitations to fly out of my comfort zones and go in the direction of my dreams. Personally, my biggest success has been finding, or rather crafting my unique life path and the biggest challenges were the belief systems I had to overcome to walk this path. I believe my path chose me!
We’d love to hear more about your work.
I am an international speaker, evolutionary author, performer, teacher and globetrotter. I work towards transcending belief systems and expanding consciousness on the planet through my writing, speaking and the performing arts. With a holistic understanding of life and death, health and diseases, culture and belief systems, energy and matter, time and space, dreams and parallel realities, light and shadow aspects of consciousness, I lecture on a wide range of topics spanning these themes, harnessing the magic of life. Also a TEDx speaker, I have delivered several TEDx talks internationally. My two upcoming books are titled, “Life is Abracadabra -21 magical stories from my travels across the globe that will make you look at life with new eyes” and “Nrit -the dream of finding the self,” based on true events, which I intend to turn into a film post publication. Yet another book in the making, “How to travel the world at the drop of a hat!” inspired one of my recent TEDx talks with the same title. I also recently published an Inspirational Journal in three variations and a Calendar with empowering and evolutionary themes based on my first book, which can be found on Amazon for purchase. For more about my work, please visit baisakhisaha.com.
I run two YouTube channels and a bilingual blog. During my travels across the globe and through my work, books, speeches, lectures, events, performances and media gigs, I have had the opportunity to positively impact thousands of lives across the world in more ways than one. Many of my events, evolutionary videos and media gigs can be found on magicNine TV in English, Spanish, Hindi, Bengali and German.
What were you like growing up?
As a child, I spent most of my time pondering existential questions like, who am I, why am I here, what is god, what happens after death, and such. While I was supposed to focus on school like all other kids and bring home good grades to make my parents happy, I wondered all day, all night, about life and death, what happens beyond this physical life, where do we come from and where do we go, why do we get sick, how could there ever be a time when I wouldn’t exist…? A born empath, I could feel the pain and suffering of others as if they were mine. In my little heart, there was space for everybody, I loved everyone.
When I was a kid, if I were asked what I would like to become when I grew up, I proudly declared: an astronomical scientist! I had read in encyclopedias about wormholes and time tunnels in the fabric of the time-space continuum that fascinated me and even wrote a poem about visiting the tenth planet. I was never fond of the rigorous school routine and felt those long hours of studying were unnecessary when our imaginative faculties could be engaged in more creative pursuits. I was one of those kids who always studied last minute, a day or two before the exam then went ahead and aced it. Hence I spent most of my studying days secretly reading adventure books, romance novels, which my parents did not approve of at all. So I hid the story books inside my school books and lived the grandest adventures of life, all in my mind. Being an empath, I identified with every character in those stories. When the villain died, I cried. When the hero solved a mystery, I cheered. I was mesmerized by this big big world with all the possibilities in it. I loved spending my time daydreaming, pondering, wondering, wandering, meandering through the endless mazes of my mind.
And now, when I look back at my childhood dreams of being an astronomical scientist, I smile because I have already visited many dimensions beyond the space-time continuum in my mind and experienced their wisdom on my journeys across the length and breadth of the planet. Life to me is about interacting with this magical universe all around us and realizing ourselves as co-creators of our own unique destinies.