LIVING THE i LIFE : ‘After shutdown, I will buy a piece of land and start farming'

The ongoing lockdown has forced many of us to alter the way we go about our daily routine. Chennaites share tales of the changes they have made to adapt to the new ‘normal’ of living and working with limited interaction
LIVING THE i LIFE : ‘After shutdown, I will buy a piece of land and start farming'
Prem Antony (38), Director of retail store Eco Indian


We had closed our zero-waste store till April 15 and reopened after the stocks started reaching Tamil Nadu again. We had a terrible stock issue but that got resolved recently and so we were open for a few days. Many customers approached us and asked us to deliver products to them. We source from small farmers and it is transported through local transport services. But with the roads closed, we were unable to do business. Most of our farmers are self-reliant, so they can produce in large quantities quickly. Delivering stock is the issue. All routes are closed. What we’ve got is from farmers surrounding Chennai, maybe 100 to 200 km from the city. We get tumeric from Erode and honey from Ooty or The Nilgiris. These items are difficult to come by because of transport issues. I was bothered about how our customers would get their produce. I wasn’t frustrated, I was concerned. We are part of a larger system and so we have to manage. Now I’m waiting for the complete shutdown to end so that we can resume business as usual. I’ve always been close to my family. So even now we remain connected. My wife also helps with the business, so we have always been working closely. Our entire routine has changed. The morning is busy connecting to our team through the phone. Post lunch, we attend webinars. A lot of discussion on how to bounce back once this is all done is taking place. We tried our hand with hydroponics and grow microgreens at our home. We’ve wanted to do it for a long time. I failed the first time, so now I’m trying it again. This is the first time we are able to take a pause and think for ourselves. I’ve wanted to get into farming for a long time, so I’m waiting for all this to end so that I can get myself a piece of land and start farming again. Now, with all this, there’s a greater need to be self-sustaining.

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