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Back to basics

Dr Nandita Iyer’s new book is all about inspiring people to go back to using their hands and make everyday products 

Published: 10th May 2022 11:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th May 2022 07:46 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU : Dr Nandita Iyer is no stranger to those who have been following the social media page SaffronTrail. She’s the author of The Everyday Healthy Vegetarian and Everyday Superfoods and now she’s out with her latest book This Handmade Life: 7 Skills to Enhance and Transform Your Everyday Life, published by Penguin Random House. This book, with seven sections — baking, fermenting, self-care, kitchen gardening, soap-making, spices and stitching — is an attempt to inspire people to take up more handmade projects.

Released earlier this week, Iyer started work on the book during the pandemic. “During the subsequent lockdown, we saw the most unlikely people taking up home projects. That’s when I felt that if the pandemic can make people more self-sufficient, and focus on handmade products, then why not adopt it for the future as well,” she says. From soap-making to gardening and stitching, she has been doing this for more than a decade now. “I find a sense of calm when I work on it and it helps my mental health. So, I’ve included 52 projects in the book which means that there’s a new project to work on every weekend of the year,” she adds.  

While most of us use our hands now to click buttons and scroll on the phone, Iyer feels we need to go back to the basics once again.  “You don’t need to be an expert at everything. The book primarily has stories, recipes, interviews with experts which inspire you to use your hands once again instead of using your phone all the time. We’ve become a generation of instant gratification because everything is easily available. But perhaps, we can learn a new skill and at least know how to make the most used items in our house,” she adds.

Her favourite part of the book is the soap-making section. In fact, during the lockdown, she used to share her soap-making projects on Instagram and was often asked for recipes. “But it’s such an elaborate process — there are many do’s and don’ts, safety precautions and reasons why each ingredient is added to it. I finally had the space to explain all of that in the book and I had so much fun doing it,” explains Iyer.

Each section of the book starts with an interview of an expert in the field. It also has inputs about how to do your market research, promote it on social media and how to turn it into a business. “Every recipe and method shared has been tried and tested by me, so I have the confidence to say it’s something one can make at home,” she says, adding that the book is about meditation in motion. She hopes people will be inspired by reading the book, and will make time to create rather than just consume. “Even if they read my book and try recipes from other sources, I will be happy,” she says.



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