Herbal beauty products take root
There is a treasure of herbal remedies and wisdom in our traditions that many of us either ignore, put on the back burner, or often forget. Some, however, like Akansha Modi, not just use it but promote it for the wellness of everyone.
She often remembered her aunt (bua) who advocated herbal products when she was a young girl, and this remained etched in her memory. Akansha herself was very fond of herbal beauty products and used to try them at home in Kolkata. She regularly used to make a mixture of turmeric, rose petals, sandalwood, and other ingredients at home. Though she always knew its merits, she understood its actual potential during a visit to a dermatologist in 2012 for her mother-in-law who had developed an allergic reaction on her skin. While awaiting her turn, Aakansha started talking to the other patients. They started discussing skin issues, and a few said that they had not felt any improvement even after months of trying medicines. Akanksha suggested they try the mixture she made for herself. She was very happy to observe that they saw better results and 80 per cent improvement within a fortnight of applying her remedies.
The women were impressed by the outcome and requested more of the mixtures. Word spread, and the demand for her homemade mixtures increased. One thing led to another, and with just Rs1,000/- as an investment, she launched her enterprise, Roots and Herbs, to make eight products for different skin types. These products were made from natural, quality ingredients and worked very effectively on most people.
The solid and liquid ingredients were provided separately, and clients were told to blend them before use. This method ensured that the products remained fresh and did not require any preservatives or chemicals to prevent them from getting spoilt.
Now, with an offline and online presence on Nykaa, Amazon, and more, she has customers from 45 countries including the USA, the Middle East, and Singapore. She has approvals for being cruelty-free and vegan certifications from AYUSH and Good Manufacturing Practice.
Her mission is to spread awareness about the use of natural, chemical-free products, and looking at her rapid rise, she certainly seems to be succeeding.
Pots of earth for the Earth
People who care for gardening are usually connected to the earth and the environment. A case in point is Prashish from Kolkata, who has always been passionate about the environment. His mother loved to garden, and as he was very close to his mother, he helped her a lot in her gardening efforts.
When COVID struck, his time with her and gardening increased. He realised that clay pots, though environment-friendly, were heavy to handle, and the plastic ones, even if made from recycled plastic, often broke and harmed the environment. He kept thinking that there had to be another option. Is it not said that what we seek sincerely does get answered by the Universe? He got his answer in the form of jute. In July 2021, combining his love for the environment and his passion for entrepreneurship, a start-up, ecomaalee, was born. His siblings were very supportive, and he worked hard to honour their backing.
He started his business by making pots out of jute, which are biodegradable and recyclable. He wanted to provide an alternative for people who would like to grow their plants but have limited access to quality pots. His mission, therefore, is to provide ‘quality products at reasonable prices to make it easy for people to grow their plants in style with the best materials available.’
Additionally, he also started making rugs and other products, again following the same principle of not harming the environment. He and his company want to spread the message that they care about the planet and will stop at nothing to protect it.
His customers are happy that the pots are easy to use and that they are not harming the environment. This once again shows us how people make positive choices when they are available. Kudos, Prashish, for giving us a healthy, eco-friendly option.
Rejuvenating the soul
Zorba, the Buddha in New Delhi organised a four-day relaxation retreat from December 30, 202 to January 2, 2022. Around 40 people from different age groups and walks of life flocked here to be a part of this rejuvenating event. The event comprised two definitive, active, and dynamic meditations like Kundalini and Nadabrahma meditations. Both were quite powerful and had many releasing their pent-up emotions and feeling empty and light by their end. Joy, a technical writer, and a participant shared, “I came to Zorba at a time when I was going through many personal transitions. So far, my experience has been cathartic, I am letting go of the old and allowing the new in my life. The active, dynamic meditations help the monkey mind sit quietly.”
There were many other interesting workshops like, Faster EFT facilitated by Ms. Geet Taneja. The session was very effective as she taught everyone the power of EFT tapping along with saying some powerful affirmations. People felt confident and in control of their lives after learning from Geet.
A participant, Swati, an HR professional said, “I always wanted to explore different ways to celebrate the New Year. I am pleasantly surprised by coming here; I am keeping an open mind to learn from the meditations and workshops. It is wonderful.” Another workshop was on Poetry writing by Ms. Priyanka Parvaz who recited many poems from Harivansh Rai Bacchan’s book Madhushala. She taught everyone about the space of writing creatively and with surrender. In the end, each participant wrote one poem The workshop, Pleasure theatre by Manoj Sharma was very un-inhibiting and fun. In this, participants improvised by playing many characters and enacting scenes. This workshop urged people to be present to other people, really listen to them, and respond truthfully. The last workshop on Jan 2 that the retreat ended with, was Soul dancing by Ms. Ashuma Maya who helped everyone to open fully and express themselves freely through fluid dancing. People let go of the stiffness in the body and just flowed with music. The nights were warmed by lovely pondside bonfire and heartwarming singing and playing of cello, cajon, and flute. This event was full of talented, artsy, and creative people.
To sum it up, 2021 ended on a rather positive and smooth note with this group of people coming together and sharing a delightful experience with each other.
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