WOW | Coffee Break

NO LOCKDOWN ON CREATIVITY

Text: Anushka Shrestha

Days have turned to weeks and weeks to months with people alternating between emotions of anxiety, fear, happiness, productivity, laziness and more. WOW asked six individuals what they have been doing to stay connected with their work and creativity and to make the most of this time. Here’s what they had to say…

 PARTICIPANTS:

Itchya Karki, Beauty Educator


Manys Shahi, Founder, Ramp Nepal


Aayusha Karki, Entrepreneur


Soni Shrestha, Fitness Trainer


Raunaq Singh Adhikari, Band Member, The Elements


Dr. Sunita Maleku Amatya, Chairperson, Autism Care Nepal Society


Are you doing anything to stay creatively connected on social media during the lockdown?

Itchya: At the beginning of the lockdown I wasn’t planning to stay active on social media; I was rather looking for a break. Later, I felt the need to engage with my followers. Therefore, I decided to conduct a seven days free online makeup class via Instagram as a means to stay connected as well as to help the ones in need during the lockdown.

Manys: We are trying to connect with people through different ways in this situation. Recently, we did a lookbook campaign. We asked our followers to send us the lookbook video through which we could choose one of the participants for our future lookbook campaign as a brand representative.

Aayusha: As we all are trying our best to stay safe and sane during this unfortunate time, I am trying my best to be productive by doing things I like. Since I’ve always enjoyed cooking and am an avid foodie I am just trying my hands at different cuisines. I have come up with an Instagram page akkooksfor the food lovers. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up with it later but let’s see what happens (laughs).

Soni: I am trying to stay productive during this pandemic by making home workout videos and programs for my followers. They are beginner friendly and do not require any gym equipment. I get a lot of questions regarding the kind of workouts I do, so I thought this would be the best idea to help out. The workout video is similar to my daily workout routine but I have tried to make it less intense for people who are new to exercise.

Raunaq: All three of us are pretty much at home during the lockdown. We are getting more time for ourselves and our families. We feel stuck on certain days, but then realise it is actually okay to go easy on ourselves. We have been finishing work on our unreleased songs that have already been recorded and are prioritising new releases. The lockdown has given us time to reflect more, travel down the memory lane, and appreciate our journey. Recently we did a DIY stay at home project to post on our social media platforms. We recorded a “lockdown version” of our latest release, ‘Putali’. When we entered the third week of the lockdown, we decided to work on a video concept for one of our song ‘Dhaka Topi’. We thought it would be a cool idea to reach out to our friends and listeners and asked them to send in home videos of how they are spending their lockdown, compile them and make a music video for the song. People really got creative and sent in some super humble clips. We are now working on making the video and this will be our next release.

Sunita: COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and no human on this earth has been spared to deal with it. Autism is a spectrum disorder which leads children to have impaired social communication. In this kind of unpredictable situation, life has totally changed right and left and makes these children more stressed, frustrated and anxious. This is mostly due to their impairment in communication leading to various unwanted challenging behaviours.

Autism Care Nepal Society has taken this global pandemic more uniquely from the parents’ perspective. Parents are the sole care givers especially mothers. The changes and challenges of COVID 19 become bigger with the added stress of handling and dealing with issues of children with autism. It can be difficult on the mental health. Besides being in touch with families over the phone, we meet each other virtually. We want our parents to feel cared for and not left alone. We organised a webinar to discuss how to take care of the child in this unpredictable situation. The discussion was also focused on taking care of the primary care giver themselves because most of the time they are neglected and it eventually affects the child’s care. ‘Care For Carers’ was the main goal which we tried to share information through the webinar.

What has the response been?

Itchya: Honestly I thought I wouldn’t get a lot of response for this and my goal was to raise Rs 30,000 but we managed to collect more than Rs 100,000. Through the funds, we were able to feed about 100 families. I didn’t expect makeup to also be a tool to help others on a larger scale.

Manys: We have received couple of lookbook videos and have posted them on our social media. We also managed to find two participants for our future lookbook who will be representing our brand in the coming days.

Aayusha: Not bad at all, many tagged me after they followed my recipes and many requested for more healthy recipes.

Soni: The response was really motivating. I am glad to see people following my workout program and very happy to receive positive feedback from them. They are loving my idea of using props like bags, bottles instead of barbells or dumbbells to increase the intensity.

Raunaq: Some danced to the song, some sang along, some sent in messages they wanted to share with the world. We are so happy that a lot of people made the song their own and had fun with it, which is what we really appreciate. Since most of us are mostly home, we thought this project would allow us to connect with our listeners on a deeper level, and the final product would mirror “Nepali emotions”. Also, as we were writing the lyrics to the song, it made us realise that certain words in our language have over time been misinterpreted by society, and have been stripped off its true meaning. When you listen to the song, this thought might occur to you.

Sunita: It was overwhelming. Many parents joined the webminar and had tons of questions. It was a platform to share and learn. They are now looking forward to online appointments for professional support.

What can we expect next?

Itchya: I would love to share more tips and tricks with my followers through Instagram and my YouTube channel and also host online classes once every 2-3 months.

Manys: For now we are trying to get connected to everyone by sharing the latest news especially related to fashion. We will be posting breaking news on our story and besides that we will be planning some campaigns just like lookbook where everyone can participate and be productive.

Aayusha: I just want to keep up with it even after the lockdown as people are enjoying my recipes.

Soni: I am not able to make more videos because of my work commitment and my classes but I am planning on providing home workout programs everyday for my followers which doesn’t require any professional guidance and are less risky for beginners. And of course I will be back with new videos and new ideas on how they can use different props like sack of rice, water jar, bags etc, safely to increase training intensity.

Raunaq: We can’t wait to be back on stage, playing in live shows. We are excited for the outburst of energy that will be released when things get better. We are always working on new ideas to make things exciting for us and our listeners. We have a handful of songs that we are eager to share with the world. For now, Dhaka Topi is our first priority.

Sunita: We expect to go back to regular life as soon as possible. Though various means of communication and meetings are happening, there is a need to have services and programs the way it used to be. The lesson learnt is that technology has made a lot of thing possible even without physical meetings. People adapt with the needs of the time.