The world has forcibly slowed down. Chasing slow is an art in itself. In the lockdown, people were flying kites, reading books, arranging flowers, gardening. There is a return of slow cooking, home chefs are whipping up recipes that are time-consuming and slow. Everyone is #quarantinebaking. Suddenly, chasing slow is the new fast. Slowing down isn’t hard anymore. It seems easier than juggling the chaos of an overstuffed life. Author Erin Loechner in her book, Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path, gives lessons in how to completely simplify your life, “If you choose to slow your life, to live intentionally, to subtract belongings or schedules or expectations—if you tell the truth about yourself to yourself—you will begin to notice tension around you. We can chase more, in the fast lane. We can chase slow.”
Every cloud has a silver lining, and sometimes, this silver lining is all that we can hold on to in difficult times and keep ourselves positive. Slow Cooking during the coronavirus pandemic is one such silver lining. Sakeena Verma, home culinary queen who lives in Gurgaon, is busy cooking with her teenage daughters these days. They are both baking and cooking slow recipes together. The trick is also to revive an old forgotten recipe and make it viral like #dalgonacoffee. Being a culinary expert at home is highly de-stressing, decorating the dish, taking photographs, putting it up on Instagram, is a creative expression of dealing with stress.
Baking banana bread is instant therapy. That’s the reason so many people are turning to their kitchens. Suddenly, life has slowed everyone down.
Slow gardening is another hobby people are keeping themselves busy with. Photographing their plants and pots in the balcony. Says Pune-based Deepika Taksande, plant influencer, “Upcycling your garden and home decor, is something that everyone is doing at home. Painting pots, decorating walls—the ideas to slow down and DIY is becoming a part of the slowdown.”
Even if slowing down is a forced thing right now, the little discoveries are monumental. Bhavik Vasa, CEO and founder of GetVantage, a revenue-based financing platform, points out how COVID-19 has caused the world to slow-down, even if forcibly. “Learning to embrace this slowness is necessary. As children, our first lesson in morals was that ‘Slow and steady wins the race’. Somehow we forgot this in the fast hustle. This is only a reminder and time to appreciate the “Slow-Movement” (slow-food, slow fashion, slow-cooking). The concept of Wu Wei highlights the importance of ‘non-doing’. Not to be confused with laziness, ‘non-doing’ is the art of swimming with the current rather than against it. For long, humans have “sprinted fast” to change things, fix things, disrupt things. In just a couple of weeks of being submitted into ’non-doing’, we’ve begun to see corrective impact on nature, our own behaviours, and soon business and economy. I think this is a time to Do Nothing, Just Be, and Go with the Flow.”
There are new techniques to learn when you are chasing slow. There’s a rise of infomercial nostalgia, YouTube haircut tutorials and trying to learn the art of eyebrow-shaping with your fingertips. Chasing slow is about
learning things in an old-fashioned slow way. You break out of the faster-better-stronger trap and make small changes to refresh your perspective, renew your priorities.
Chasing slow isn’t an exercise in ‘laid back and lazy’. It’s dynamic and active. It’s how you design your life to savour slowness. Quarantine is the best time to do it! Slowing down is a reverse from always on to the next thing. Squeezing things in. Multi-tasking. Getting things done. This is a time to connect with the self, family and have virtual drinks with friends! Chasing slow is connecting the world with different emotional experiences and stories.