Bangalore Talkies: About resolutions….

 

Bangaloreans are looking back– and forward. We are asking ourselves and others about resolutions and Covid-takeaways. What changed in our lives? What remained constant?

Silk List, an online mailing list, founded in Bangalore had a discussion on this topic. As did many alumni reunions that I attended in person and virtually. I compiled the answers into categories– and directives. Which one resonates with you?

  • Faith and hope restored: Whether it is being awestruck by the frontline workers who showed up day after exhausted day, or the numerous small acts of kindness that we witnessed from our neighbours, all of us felt a twinge of hope at our humanity. People gave to pet causes (migrant workers), charities (vaccine camps), and volunteered in our own way.
  • Personal care: This seems particularly universal. Freed of our commutes, lots of us developed self-care routines. We walked or ran every morning, restarted our yoga, pranayama and meditation practices, learned to cook at home, and got healthier in the process.
  • Family time: Since we were stuck at home, we planned dinner times with family. We had conversations about sexual orientation and silliness, politics and memes with our siblings, friends, nieces and kids. We learned new ways of being.
  • Cloud kitchens: Lots of restaurants became cloud kitchens. Lots of home cooks became caterers. Kappa Chakka Kandari, Go Native, Klaa Kitchen, all sent out comfort food to patrons all over Bangalore.
Shoba Narayan What's your Covid Takeaway
  • Creative collaborations: Artists, dancers and musicians pivoted to the virtual world.  They came up with collaborations and ways to reach their audiences.  Shaale.com (the word means school in Kannada) set up master classes with musicians, mridangists and veena players.  Now, music rasikas could learn kunarkol (chanting the beats of a drum) or the kanjira from the comfort of home.  Many did.
  • Hobbies: We dived into those things that we had been putting off.  Bangalore has a thriving group that chants the Gita, plays bridge, does ikebana, goes bird-watching every week, and does virtual music/antakshari.   
  • Tackling big and deep projects that were put off: With time on hand, people faced their inertia and decided to tackle the big, deep and difficult projects that they had put off forever.  Some set a goal of reading a physical book for an hour a day.  Others took up embroidery and knitting.  Others made time to visit old relatives who they cordially disliked out of compassion. Still others wrote the business plan, launched a start-up, quit a job, joined an NGO, trekked in Kashmir, or learned Kannada.
  • Enjoy small things: We don’t take life, living or breathing for granted any more.  Thanks to enforced constraints, we took pleasure in small things: locally brewed Geist beer, Bengaluru Avarebele mix from Postcard, warm croissants from Zed the Baker coupled with Begum Victoria’s brie cheese, Araku or Kalmane coffee at home.  We created terrace gardens and enjoyed a hot bowl of homemade bisi-bele-bhaath with a nice dollop of Nei Native A2 ghee on top.
  • Splurge: We took the acronyms YOLO (You Only Live Once) and Life is too short to eat/drink/enjoy bad stuff to heart. So we ordered rare orchids and tulips from the Flower Box.  Since we couldn’t travel, we bought expensive Burgundy wines alongside local brands such as Grovers, KRSMA, Early Dark, and SDU.  We finally bought that Sailor fountain pen from William Penn, or that Ganjam ruby earring. We splurged on things we cared about.

Bangaloreans are looking back– and forward. We are asking ourselves and others about resolutions and Covid-takeaways. What changed in our lives? What remained constant?

Silk List, an online mailing list, founded in Bangalore had a discussion on this topic. As did many alumni reunions that I attended in person and virtually. I compiled the answers into categories– and directives. Which one resonates with you?

  • Faith and hope restored: Whether it is being awestruck by the frontline workers who showed up day after exhausted day, or the numerous small acts of kindness that we witnessed from our neighbours, all of us felt a twinge of hope at our humanity. People gave to pet causes (migrant workers), charities (vaccine camps), and volunteered in our own way.
  • Personal care: This seems particularly universal. Freed of our commutes, lots of us developed self-care routines. We walked or ran every morning, restarted our yoga, pranayama and meditation practices, learned to cook at home, and got healthier in the process.
  • Family time: Since we were stuck at home, we planned dinner times with family. We had conversations about sexual orientation and silliness, politics and memes with our siblings, friends, nieces and kids. We learned new ways of being.
  • Cloud kitchens: Lots of restaurants became cloud kitchens. Lots of home cooks became caterers. Kappa Chakka Kandari, Go Native, Klaa Kitchen, all sent out comfort food to patrons all over Bangalore.

Touch, you see, is an underrated comfort.


(Disclosure: I have mentioned artisanal, Bangalore-based brands in this piece. They deserve patronage. As is true with all my work for this column, I have not profited from any of these mentions. No comps, commissions or discounts.)
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