Jahanvi Dameron Nandan

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Mukul: What is your story?
Jahanvi: Currently I am perfumer; I blend ingredients sometimes 60 to 200 of them to create fine fragrances. In previous lives, I have done other things that culminated to perfumery. I was a classical dancer, I am trained as an architect and right now I have been trying to blend all creative backgrounds that I have had in my perfumery.

Mukul: How were you as a child?
Jahanvi: As a child I think I lived in my imagination all the time and I told a lot of stories. I would always cook things up and these were not lies, these were primarily stories to make me feel interesting, cause I felt like until I was 30 years old that I was very boring, and I was constantly challenging myself to be interesting to myself and then somehow, those stories became true.

Mukul: What’s your idea of home?
Jahanvi: Home? This is a very touchy topic. I am very emotional about it at this moment, because I Iost my home recently. I wouldn’t call myself homeless, I have shelter over my head these days but I don’t have a home and that is what I am really craving for and it is a very touchy topic. If I go in too much detail, I will become extremely emotional about it. One of my closest friends sadly was murdered last year, she was a contemporary artist and she too had a similar issue to mine with her home and her last work is called ‘Build me a nest where I can finally rest’ and I am on that stage as well. It’s in my head everyday, I wake up and I am talking to the world and I am requesting the world to build me a nest where I can finally rest. I think at the moment my home is in my body, that’s it.
Mukul: How has travel changed you or made you the person you are today?
Jahanvi: You know, I am from North India, Indian cultures are nomadic cultures and travelling is how I see life. We have a strange relationship with the materials. We don’t have much care for material things because we always moved, but in contemporary time, it’s different. Travel has given me this gift of languages, which means I can communicate with a lot of people at par with no barrier.

Mukul: What is that one idea that you’d like to share with the world?
Jahanvi: It’s a great question. I met an amazing singer from Ivory coast in Japan, someone from Ivory coast coming in Japan, and an Indian in Japan meet at a party and we were talking about globalization, and she said to me, “you know globalization means that you meet stupid people from all around the world”, I kind of agree with her but I would like to go a bit step further. Often times, very sophisticated conversations at dinners are about differences between people and we are not focused enough about commonalities or similarities. I think we should make a bit more effort to find common things between us rather than our differences between. Differences are all about ego and when you try and surpass that and find common ground, magic happens.

Mukul: That’s beautiful. Who is your favourite poet?
Jahanvi: I read a lot of poetry, it depends on the time of the day, it is a mood thing, it’s atmosphere. I read a lot of Rumi, a lot of it. I think more recently; I’ve been reading Tagore’s poetry and poetry written by black women in United States, because it is an expression of anger and of surpassing bitterness and surpassing anger and creating.

Mukul: Is there anything that you love to eat?
Jahanvi: I have a sweet tooth. I am very fond of macaroons.

Mukul: Sweet, what’s your favourite memory?
Jahanvi: The moments that I have spent with my grandmother, because I have a lot of memory of fragrances related to my grandmother – to her room and her clothes and her everything. I also have very memory of being in the nature, walking in nature, Yeah.

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