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    3. The pandemic allowed us to spend precious time with our aged parents: Amrit Pritam

    The pandemic allowed us to spend precious time with our aged parents: Amrit Pritam

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    Amrit Pritam won the National Award for best sound designing along with Resul Pookutty for their work in the Malayalam film Keralavarma Pazhassiraja. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

    Along with all the challenges, the coronavirus pandemic has also given us a chance to nurture our relationships, revisit childhood homes and pursue our passions. Read on to know how this Mumbai-based award winning sound designer and his family are spending their time during the pandemic

    Toddler to Parent
    The pandemic allowed us to spend precious time with our aged parents: Amrit Pritam

    Growing up in Jorhat, Assam, I always loved outdoors, but I came to know about the concept of green and sustainable living once I started living and working in the Mumbai film industry. My wife, Gopa too is passionate about all things eco-friendly and consciously makes an effort to reduce our carbon footprint.

    When the pandemic hit last year, it was a challenging time for everyone. However, amidst all the loss and fear, it also allowed some of us to spend precious time with our aged parents and extended family. Like many others, we too decided to temporarily move back to my home in Assam during the lockdown to spend some time with my mother.

    Grandmom and the grandkid develop a special bond during the lockdown

    Staying in an independent house and mingling with his grandmom and extended family was a whole new experience for my 5-year-old son Agniv. He had grown up in a flat in Mumbai and was not familiar with life outside of its four corners. He was fascinated by the different types of vegetables that grew in our backyard, and the flowers in our garden—his curiosity and fascination for these things often created quite hilarious scenarios.

    Innocent days of childhood

    My son Agniv is enjoying his days close to nature, which is kind of new to him

    Once, we took him to visit a friend who had cows at home. To help my curious son learn how to get milk, I took him to the cowshed and showed him the milking process. He was delighted to know that milk does not come in poly packs!

    Days later, he saw another cow near our house, and he quickly went to the kitchen and got a utensil, all ready to milk the cow. He goaded all of us to go and milk the cow, much to the delight of all the family members! Such is the innocence of a child!

    Pursuing our passions

    We had a good time showing him fruit-bearing trees in our garden

    As parents, my wife and I are trying to channelize our energies to doing what we love/care about — a bit of self-care, I would say. Apart from music and sounds, I love being in nature and gardening. I inherited a green thumb from my mom. As I spent my days in my childhood home, I cleaned and painted pots, potted some new saplings and cleared the garden. My wife, too, took her passion for eco-friendly products one step further and started an e-commerce venture to sell sustainable products made by rural artisans of the Northeast.

    Small steps to change

    We want to do our bit for the environment—segregating garbage at the source is a small step in that direction 

    As a family, we are trying to make a difference in our small ways – we are showing our eldest son and his friends how to segregate and dispose of garbage responsibly.  To our delight, we have discovered that kids learn things fast when parents practice them. In fact, we all learn along the journey. When we welcomed our first baby, like most new parents, we were overwhelmed and gave little thought to finding alternatives to disposable diapers. However, as we read about the harm it can cause to the environment and, more importantly, to our child’s delicate skin, we tried to shift to our traditional cloth diapers or langots.

    By the time we welcomed our second child, our daughter, Aarya, we were pretty pro at handling cloth diapers, so much so that now my wife writes about how to travel with kids in cloth diapers and other issues.

    This is our way to turn negativity around into positivity during the pandemic.

    As spoken by Amrit Pritam to Monali Bordoloi

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