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Shannon Holman
Creative Writer
Lives in Brooklyn, New York. Came to India for an art-making workshop with Chhaap Foundation for Printmaking Trust. Her experiences in India made her feel like a tourist in Banaras and a resident in Vadodara. Finds the city safe, clean and progressive.
Initially Vadodara felt very closed because it's not a tourist town. While Banaras is easier to navigate, as it's all about people going there on pilgrimages from both inside and outside India.
But then it switched completely. At the end of 6 weeks in Banaras I felt that under the tourist welcome, it was a very closed city, whereas Vadodara really opened up to me. In just 4 weeks I have had some really meaningful interactions with so many beautiful people.
The art scene is so vibrant that it attracts a lot of artists from different states of India, I think there are more artists here than any other city in India. We did our project with 'Koshish Milap', an organisation that brings education and medicines to the slum kids. We talked to local
business owners and they were really eager to help. They were just super generous and someday, I would like to write some article about the 'Vadodara you don't know'. In Vadodara, people can make a good living and be with their families and they are very, very satisfied. I know a fellow who moved his
tech business here, after trying it in Chennai and Mumbai without much success. Then he shifted here, hired a new team and it
was great.
At the beginning of my stay, diverse people told me that Vadodara is a city that grows on you. Initially you'd say I can't connect but after a couple of months, you would never ever want to leave and today I can vouch that this is true.