harshavardhan sreedhar ~
“I am a visual creature. As an artist I tend to visualize everything and create a mental map of everything.
Being a guide
Guiding Danijel with his blindfold experience was a learning experience. Some things I had to keep in mind were that the blindfolded environment learning process takes some time and that trust building takes some time. Initially, the highly uneven terrain of downhill Dobogókő was a bit of a surprise for us. Danijel held my hand for guidance initially but as soon as we reached a more simpler terrain, I limited my guidance to purely sound based. Danijel learned fast and was soon walking on his own without support. Building trust was an important part of this process. I guided him with a stick where I felt the risk factor was higher.
Watching Danijel succeed with his endeavour, I decided to blindfold myself and explore the project with my body. I was a bit nervous initially that I would fall off the hill. As the world went blank, memories started to visualize themselves in my head. Dobogókő became an imaginary reality and the real world in my head was formed based on what my legs could sense. Rocks and branches formed bits and pieces of this imaginary world. As I began to get nervous, I realised that deep breathing could calm me down and also help me balance myself efficiently. I explored different walking techniques and eventually settled on moving like a frog. This was inspired by my brief training in Tai chi that I had a year ago. I felt like a martial artist in a dark forest working things out forward using his senses and occult powers. Balance, sense of direction and strong alertness were put to test in the body. Since Danijel provided good guidance, the task could be streamlined well and I was capable of approaching the process in a more orderly fashion. Orientation, risk factor and terrain information are three things that I expected from my guide to be available at all times. Another thing to note is that I had some information before the blindfold such as the fact that my barriers were in the form of rocks and branches and these were below the waist at all times. This helped me focus more on the terrain.
Removing the blindfold was an important part of the process and I intend to seek medical advice regarding this. 24 hours down the lane, I can still feel images forming in my head and this experiment proves to me that the human mind is an untrustworthy device.”
April 3, 2016