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Mandeep Bhathia



Author Christian Dori | Date 15/12/2019

Name:

Mandeep Bhathia

 

Where are you from?

I am really not sure where I am from, who does these days. We have gone far beyond a geographical location or the word from… The more pertinent question would be where are you off? And then I would answer that the blood of the ancient indian runs through me, and I used to live in NYC and would still consider that I would call it a the city of all cities but I also grew up in Boston and lived in LA and now I live in Tulum, so I am of Tulum at the moment. If one really thinks about it that question is sort of moot since we are all kind of searching for a home but it's mostly in our hearts anyway.

 

What do you take care of?

I take care off a lot of things since I am a juggler and a poet but it's mostly a concept to create something that resonates far beyond what is considered the norm of creativity. I'm a cultural curator, and created Radio Tulum that is what I take care of we are much more than a radio station. We've been calling it a production think-tank. It's a way of life , a way of existence to remain at the top of the pyramid of progressive culture, history and forefront of now.

The headquarter of Radio Tulum is the Radio Tulum hotel. A cultural center in the heart of town where local and international artists gather and where we are facilitating cultural and artistic events since 2016. We officially opened our new location at the Tulum Beach. A cultural hub that is home of an art gallery in collaboration with Siete Arte Contemporaneo, a concept store featuring highly curated international high street slow fashion, and our street level radio booth from which we are broadcasting live. Itʼs a multiverse that constantly evolves. I am also writing a book (2nd edition) called the ‘Small Letter Iʼ working on a screenplay and a play and also in the process of starting a band with my girlfriend Marie Moon who is an artist herself.

We are working on a few art projects together beyond the realm of Radio Tulum which is created as an example for the world and then there is the personal stuff that I want to do once Radio Tulum has become an institution.

 

Do you know Ibiza?

Yes of course I know ibiza not from being there as much as just all my friends who go there and you guys, but it's another magical place over run now by progress and commercialization but it still holds its magic and the photos I have seen of the sunsets, its magical and some day I would like to visit but not just as a passer by  perhaps to bridge Radio Tulum with Ibiza somehow.

 

What do you think is the connection between Tulum and Ibiza?

There is a deep link it seems in the recent past of the connection… at a top layer it's the cycle the season finishes in Ibiza and that leads people to Tulum and since the festival circuit has now been solidified people follow this route... They are similar in many ways the two transformative locations but anything that gets so over popular has also a dark sides that match which of course we all know... But the magic of such places as beacons of transformative energy is undeniable and the link is the magic of that grand ocean sky and sand that leaves one in peace after a night of partying (the dark side).

 

Why you moved to tulum ?And why are you still here? When did you move?

I've been coming to the Riviera Maya since 2002, starting in Playa del Carmen with a friend of mine and we drove to Tulum and it was just magical, and that was a time when Playa Del Carmen was small and had a beach that was hundreds of meters, but we never went back to Playa del Carmen and amongst many trips in these about 17 years.

We would always say why are we leaving? Why are we leaving? Why are we leaving?

And about five or actually 6 years ago. At the wedding of my friend,the same that I came to Playa del Carmen the first time. I just decided to say fuck it.

I'm done again with the Western ideal of America for the third time and I knew I didnʼt want to go back. But as a man of purpose without a vision or motive it couldnʼt work for me.

 

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That was the only way I knew that I would not go back and change my mind. So I started looking for people that were activists and had some interest to investigate . I just directed my purpose as I know by creating an opportunity to make record of that time and explore this place and this way I could belong to it. One has to live with intention otherwise ‘wherever you go there you areʼ (Emerson) And the universe brought me this woman named Nancy who was an activist and one of the first divers of the Cenotes 35 years ago, and had these ideas that were unstructured and a lot driven by ego...

She had contacts with the United Nations and UNAM. So “I structured her ideas for documentary mapping the cenotes and speak with some of the leading experts. Within two weeks she had set everything up and we were off to Mexico City — and we were speaking with UN, the head of the anthropology department. 

It was informational and a way in but the documentary didnʼt come to fruition. I came back to Tulum and I started another documentation to keep my feet in the sand sort of speak. 

Called ‘What is Paradiseʼ I started exploring Tulum and the love of it — the life of it - the people of it - and the music of it and I asked a bunch of people on ‘what is the love of Tulum.. and made a CD of the music recorded and that's how I came to be a part of Tulum.

Why did you decide to stay?

Well, again itʼs about giving up the Western ideal- the American identity that permeates and seeps into everything, As an intellectual or philosophical as one can be, it's still very difficult.

 The billboards are still screaming at you and you're one person in a big city of many persons, and I never did I think I would be of a small town, but I needed to just settle and Tulum is sort of the perfect place , metropolitan enough and close enough and far enough and small enough to go back to yourself. What I felt the most in Tulum (especially on that beach ) is to be one with myself and my experiences. Where I could feel the center/axis on which I rotated. 

That beach lets you start to understand how one is a part of it all, similar to it all, I understood the Revolutions of the earth and I was a part of that Revolution as well. The Earth is moving around itself. It's moving around the Sun and and I am also moving through it, with it inside of it. Because of the water underneath our feet is always in motion and itʼs a contention that is rough once you are not just a visitor here and you have to contend with it. 

It asks you ‘to Win her or lose her because that is what the night is forʼ as Leonard Cohen put in Lay Midnight.

 

Describe yourself in few words. 

And then you also wanted to create a more specific radio that give something back to the community and also harnesses what the community has to give.

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Well, those are great words, if you put them in my mouth I couldn't agree with you more. And of course the blood of India runs through me and my mind is one of a poet a writer that seeks for a universal truth and I am quite aware of my responsibility to mankind in general.

There were many reasons, it was as a radio a platform that can really bring people together. another reason was just a create something with a Progressive genuine sincere voice, and in Tulum a lot of people come here to change their identity. You know, so it was to give a sense of oneself. It was for me as an artist to practice constantly while I try to build something and I thought that listening is very important in our culture and not only is for a culture, but also me as a person as a filmmaker I need to, I wanted to listen more rather than see, utilize it as an exercise.  

And then slowly, you know, what happened was within a week or two. 

We had 30 people in my two room apartment and all of a sudden they saw its power, the power of culture, the power of doing something, the power of creating, the power being a force, in order to create with nothing would be with whatever we had Just kind of pushed itself into the culture. 

I think amongst some others, Radio Tulum is responsible for a lot of the Cultural Force that is now Tulum. 

• - I mean you already answered a little bit but talk about the things you have done here. And what is your driving force? 

My driving force is to be the example of the Tulum that I felt that I explained earlier the center of which I rotate the the place where I can find myself and be the stone that brings ripple into the pond because our creative output has to be of a progressive nature. My driving force Is to keep creating on a visceral level, intellectual, psychological level and pushing those boundaries. 

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By being true to my own artistic approach in the process while I give so much of myself to the world around me. To the community, but always giving you know, always trying to capture, retain and inform that generosity of spirit that is what Radio Tulum is built on and I'm trying to attain that trying to maintain that trying to find that when every day is a struggle for a new kind especially here since the roots pride and male energy you have to be of that creative female energy. Interviewer I'm sure you inspired culture because your created conversation around it.

This conversation reminds me of what one of my closest friends said to me once. “Mandeep none of this stuff is what your success is or should be measured by. Your success is that you are having lots of people that came into your life that are an inspiration for you and you for them and that's your great success” I replied - I was just thinking about that in the kitchen as well as, do you know that we have now a Mayan woman and an Argentinian Punk chefs, cooking Indian food? They have prepared real .

Indian food, even better than the 3 chefs that have been in and out of this place...That’s the whole point of our place and our existence- to allow people to catch up to themselves -

Allow growth, allow Evolution, always with a commitment, with a desire and an attitude to learn - 

I don't know -sometimes I’m impatient because most people donʼt realize that they hold the power and the talent if they just commit to it....What was that great quote from the INXS song? “We all have wings but some of us just donʼt know why”

 

Are you night or day?

HMMMM thatʼs a tough question? Since without one the other can not exist …. And I am made of the sun (and I believe that Icarus was not failing as he fell, but just coming to the end of his triumph).But I also reside and come alive in the moonlight since the silence of the night can inflame our consciousness and get to the truth as well as the drama so emotion at its height is informed by the moon where as the calm of the sun makes us blossom.

 

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