In April, we - Vivita and Avneet, the co-founders of The Wishing Chair, released the "Delights of Distraction" newsletters; a grab-bag of some of our favorite links across the internet that lent some diversion, inspiration and solace during these unsettling times. We hope to continue this weekly correspondence as long as it resonates with you, our readers - our true sources of joy and delight
We hope this email finds you well in the wake of the heatwave that was blistering through our cities, and we hope that rain showers have brought much-needed reprieve. For some of us, this was the time of year we would be holidaying - ordering beach cocktails at a hotel (remember those?) as our shoulders burn in the sun, or taking in the architecture of a new city as ice-cream drips down our cones. This summer we look back on a year that has seen social uprising and protests, a global pandemic, a deadly cyclone, destructive fires, a heat-wave and swarms of locusts. As waves of suffering coarse through this country, we must sometimes turn away from the unsettling news and towards one another. And therefore, we bring to you the serious business of the unserious:
As we're all spending more time indoors, some of you have reached out for advice on how to refresh your space and decorate your homes - so we are here to help. If you would like a sneak peek into The Wishing Chair's design fundamentals, you can access our FREE master-guide on Interior Design 101 here. Let us know how you get on with making your home a little more heavenly :)
And here are some of our favourites from this week:
To Read: Most of us have been sitting on our couches, procrasti-scrolling through our phones - our black palm-sized screens have become our sole window to observing the rest of the world. Nothing quite captures the absurdity and desperation of the current zeitgeist, through its brand of absurd humour and dark comedy, as memes have. From the stranger-than-fiction popularity of Tiger King to the comedic-cries for help of home-schooling moms - memes have been the true quantifiable metric of quarantine life. Here's a taxonomy of the pandemic's greatest hits.
To Marvel: We've been following along the whimsical Nathalie Lete during the pandemic; her Instagram overflows with loveliness as she paints every inch of her walls with gorgeous abandon. The maximalist in you will love feasting on this feed, and maybe hone some ideas for your own spaces:
To Learn: In these superlative times of uncertainty, it's no wonder many of us feel anxious, bereft and prone to melancholy. This is only natural, as there is so much we have no control over, and lack of control can send our mental health careening off the curb. However, there is one thing you do have control over: your habits. If we can find the time to take 15, 10, or even just 5 minutes out of our day to build a regular meditation practice, we may find the mental energy and space to be available for some of the curve-balls life has to throw at us. We have been using the app Insight Timer and its thousands of FREE meditations (across disciplines that range from 5 minutes to an hour ) - that send us into a state of contemplative acceptance. Being in control of your mental space, even if it's just for 5 minutes, is the best mood-lifter out there. Try it here or download it on your phone
To Cook: Remember Dalgona coffee? The fluffy concoction that captured the imagination of home cooks since going viral at the beginning of the lockdown. While it was photogenic for insta-thirsty enthusiasts, we frankly thought it was too sweet, had an uneven flavour, and the overly light and airy texture made it more akin to drinking a glass of foam rather than your favourite brew. We think we've found a better recipe instead, like Dalgona candy, if you will; it has all the deep, sweet, bubbly goodness of a richly flavoured toffee, with an even flavour and delicious crunch. It's what Dalgona coffee always wanted to be - in solid form! Try it here
To Do: Avneet's husband is a dairy farmer and runs MooLaLa Dairyworks. He's got us on the composting bandwagon to create a free natural fertilizer for our plants. It's really simple and environmentally friendly. You can set up a bin in your balcony and use all your kitchen scraps to create mineral-rich soil for your plants. It's the most natural, and easiest method of turning trash into treasure. We have got ourselves an EcoBin to get started, we suggest you jump on the bandwagon too.
To Watch: A Global Film Festival, which will feature over 100 films co-curated by 21 leading festivals, hailing from 35 countries - alongside talks with the creators. This 10-day digital event will celebrate some of the world’s most talented artists, storytellers and curators - while raising funds for organizations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival will run for FREE from May 29 - June 7. Do check it out - especially the films from India curated by Jio MAMI Mumbai, which are especially poignant, relevant and hard-hitting during these times.
And finally, there has been a lot of linguistic creativity during the pandemic to help empower ourselves to explain our new realities. According to the Science - if you can name it, you can talk about it, and if you can talk about it, then you can cope with the difficult situation at hand, ie. Quarantimes. Here are some of our favourites:
Quarantinis: innovative cocktails made with limited ingredients at home with the last of your alcohol to be enjoyed during "virtual happy hour" - or "locktail hour"
zoombombing: hijacking and/or interrupting videoconferencing on the Zoom platform
covidiot:a person behaving irresponsibly in conditions of containment (also called a Morona)
doomscrolling :hypnotic state of endlessly reading grim internet news
Coroanacuts : haircuts carried out at home, especially when less than successful
Quaranqueens : women excelling during lockdown, particularly those excessively cleaning and cooking
Isobaking – home-baking in confinement and/or exchanging recipes
Infodemic – the accelerated spread of disinformation (thanks to the university of Whatsapp)
What expressions, coinages, abbreviations and catchphrases do you share with your friends and family to help come to terms with our new normal? Please share, and we'll add them to our growing lexicon.
That's all for now, as always, stay safe and keep carrying your light
Vivita and Avneet