Paloma at home: Zoom inspired fashion, cat babysitting and Chennai artists we love!

All the fun and quirky bits that Paloma Rao gets up to while in quarantine
Sonali Manavalan
Sonali Manavalan

I came across someone’s Facebook status that read, “Day 117 of stay at home”, and I wondered to myself, could it actually be four months since the very first lockdown? Chatting with people and following the general mood on social media, reveals the ups and downs that everyone is going through. One week it’s Insta stories filled with immunity-boosting drinks, fun workouts and DIYs and the next its long intense passages condemning the times we live in. The slight lull that I think all of us were feeling has now been replaced by people resolving to once again be motivated, focus on the positives and encourage others to do the same.

<em>Zoom-inspired fashion looks</em>
Zoom-inspired fashion looks

For me, personally, life still continues to be from one screen to the next. My virtual office ‘set up’ moves around the house based on the background I require. Hubby dearest by default is my DOP, lighting crew and cat babysitter, all rolled into one. Good luck trying to tell a cat not to ‘meow’ while you’re doing a live interview. And even better luck trying to shoot a video clip featuring one. But that’s a story for another time. Speaking of videos, my other accomplishments for the week include a fun video on Zoom-inspired fashion — ‘A dressy upper half and casual lower half’ and whether these outfits can transition from the virtual world into the real one. You’ll be surprised!

Shirin Watwani
Shirin Watwani

The common suggestion seems to be to ‘create’, in some simple way or the other. It doesn’t have to be something to show the world, it can just be something for you. Take inspiration from two of my favourite Chennai-based artists who I also love to stalk on Instagram — Shirin Watwani (@shirinwatwani) and Sonali Manavalan (@sonxenk). I could happily watch their work in progress all day long. Those might be lofty ideals to aspire to but realistically speaking, whether it’s art and crafts or kitchen window gardening, or even making short videos on your phone, it’s pretty therapeutic. Plus you never know when you’ll stumble upon a hidden talent. My next task is already lined up; to create a dish I’ve never tried before, via an ‘Insta Live’ cooking demo. This should be fun. I’ll let you guys know how it goes. Fingers crossed.

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