BENGALURU : In the 2010 movie, Eat Pray Love, Julia Roberts was in Italy when she fell in love with the art of doing nothing. A decade later, when the world is going through a pandemic, people are realising the value of this art which is relevant now more than ever. Whether it’s growing your own vegetables, taking to meditation or spending dedicated time with pets...slow living is the new lifestyle mantra that is catching up with the city’s inhabitants.
Naved Qureshi, a model, explains that slow living is basically enjoying the small pleasures of life. “I am sure hardly anyone would remember the last time they stopped to smell a flower. We are so preoccupied in our lives that we forget to take time off to spend for ourselves, to think or simply do nothing at all,” says Qureshi, who quit his corporate job a couple of months before the lockdown to pursue modelling. Although an avid preacher of conscious living, Qureshi admits he hardly gets time to live his beliefs to the fullest. “I used to meditate before but its is only during the lockdown that I consciously started dedicating 45 minutes towards it. This gives that time I can spend with myself,” he adds.
The reason behind the drastic change in lifestyle is the harsh reality that they came across during Covid. For some of them, even working from home helped reevaluate priorities. For instance, Sohini Bagchi, who works in the retail sector and volunteered for various Covid relief programmes, witnessed the ground reality first-hand which is when she decided that it was time to slow down.
“When migrant workers were returning home, I saw one woman feeding food to streeties. Two kids came running to her, asking for food. When she refused them since it was dog food, the children mentioned that they had not had anything to eat for the past few days and would be happy with any little food that would be available. At that moment, I started being grateful for every morsel of food I eat,” says 40-year-old Bagchi.
She also decided to move to the outskirts of the city to have more space to grow her own vegetables, which would also provide ample space for her pets to play. “Since I work from home, I have dedicated hours that I spend in my garden as well as with my pets. The joy of being part of the journey– from being a seed to fruit – is so much that I don’t mind showing off even if it’s just two chillies that are harvested,” she laughs. According to many, social media is the main reason for losing out on me-time.
Being a public figure, actor Aarohi Narayan is required to spend time on social media, but she took a bold step by getting away from Instagram till the New Year’s and is not regretting at all. “The year 2020 took a huge toll on our mental health with a lot of information, especially negative, coming from everywhere. To detox and cut-off from this constant need to staying updated, I uninstalled Facebook and Instagram in December. Trust me, I haven’t felt better,” says Narayan, who had to make a comeback in January. “But I am hardly active for an hour a day. When I was off social media, I realised how smooth and peaceful life before social media was,” she adds.