It’s a fast world, and the SLOW life works best

Reema Gupta Left Her Cubicle After Ten Years In Investment Banking To Embrace A Lifestyle That She Says Has Been Hugely Rewarding. Turns Out, The Slow Farm Is The Perfect Pace…

After a decade of working at Barclays and Morgan Stanley in New York, Reema Gupta returned to India with an aim to change the way she leads her life. In SLOW living, she found a way to ensure that her needs are met without exceeding what the environment around her has to offer. Spread across a plot of land in Gulimangala, Reema established The Slow Farm.

“The Slow Farm is a sustainable food and lifestyle brand with a conscious endeavour to grow and consume responsibly. We have four strict principles by which we grow and consume. Sustainability, Local, Organic and Wholesome,” says Reema.

While most of it has to do with food choices, Reema believes that the lifestyle is more than just about what goes into your plate. “Slow Living is finding happiness in nature, being eco-friendly and to us, it’s being able to sustain our needs within the capacity of our environment. Fifty percent of our proceeds go back into the organic soil and that’s the core principle by which we operate.”

With orchards in Uttarakhand and Karnataka, The Slow Farm has about 400 trees on which over 70 varieties of fruits and vegetables are grown organically. In joining hands with local farmers and artisans, Reema says she does not compromise on the principles of organic farming.

“There are challenges with organic farming, because getting access to consumers is very tough for a lot of farmers. I have access to friends, family and social media, but 60% of the population involved in agriculture don’t. By going straight to the farmer, or buying things like lemon or mint from those who sell only that, we sustain them. Organic produce, and direct from farmer to consumer is the best way to help someone in the current scenario.”

A graduate from Colombia University, Reema says that she doesn’t miss the city life, or being swamped with conferences and deadlines. “I’m far happier and more relaxed now. I love being outdoors, so this is a very natural extension of what I enjoy doing. When I was in the corporate world, I had a lot of camaraderie and friends all around. Here I have flowers and birds, and I’m excited by that. SLOW Living is definitely the path that I relate to the most. I’m evolving, I’m learning and I’m trying to impart the learnings I’ve gained, but also apply them to my own life,” she says.

Reema believes that every single person, in one way or another, has already embraced a part of the SLOW lifestyle, sometimes even without knowing it! “A lot of people are already living the SLOW life, subconsciously. It starts from your window sill, if you have a flower or a plant at home, that’s SLOW living. You’re watching something grow around you.”

While she does believe the SLOW lifestyle acts as therapy in many ways, Reema concedes that there are various different types of healing. “Everyone finds their own way, and the outdoors is a common one. It allows people to just sit and unwind and stare at something that’s not a computer screen or a TV screen. But you can also go biking, trekking, you can paint, all these count as healing. Even lighting a small incense stick in your room in the evenings works as a tiny way of therapy. Wherever you find peace, is what it is.”

With the Coronavirus pandemic, Reema says a lot of people have looked around for new ways to find a balance within their lives. While its economic impact has been drastic, she says there is an element of introspection in individuals that has seen many people turn to SLOW living.

“Economically, the country has faced a huge blow. Many jobs and salaries have been cut and a lot of people are now reflecting and thinking about what is important to them. Do they want to order in or cook at home? Do they want to sit and paint or meditate or do they want to watch TV? What are the things that mean most to them? The ones who want to evolve, and care about facing their challenges, are thinking about it now.”

While the conversions are many, Reema says it is especially rewarding with someone tells her that the SLOW lifestyle has provided a positive effect in their lives. “I get a lot of emails saying that what I do is beautiful, and it’s very reassuring that we are resonating with a lot of people. The thing that makes me happiest is that I find myself speaking to a lot of young people. I would think they are in their 40s or early 50s but a lot of them are a lot more mature and aware at a younger age. I have heard so many positive messages and that keeps me going.”

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