How often have we dreamt about packing up our belongings and taking off on a life-altering adventure? Our hearts long for it but thoughts of stability and sustenance hold us back from stepping on a journey that is an extraordinary celebration of the world. But for some people, a life of the road is the most natural state of being. And such has been the story of our today’s Amrutam Contributor.
Meet Preethi Parthasarathy
Preethi Parthasarathy is a banker turned travel content creator with a fiercely loyal community of over 72,000 followers on Instagram alone. The story of how Preethi found her calling for travelling the world is a fantasy of sorts. She had completed her MBA and was working with a bank in digital marketing. A few years later, amid moments of introspection and self-reflection, she found herself asking questions like: ‘Do I want to do this for the next 35 years of my life?’ The answer was, of course, a resounding no, and in December of 2017, she moved on from her corporate job to do something she describes as ‘more meaningful and satiating that aligned with her creative sensibilities’.
“My initial plan was to backpack across South America, but before that I decided to take a short trip to Pondicherry. There I met with an accident and ended up with a busted knee and head injury, and I began to wonder ‘Is this a sign? Did I make a mistake quitting my job?’ but soon after, my friend convinced me to go to Kashmir with him. By the end of the trip, my friend had a job to come back to and I didn’t, so I thought why was I coming back? It was then that I decided to travel and explore places.”
While Preethi was still a bit unsure about where life was taking her, she decided to go with the flow. “Things changed on the go. By July 2018 I had started creating content online and writing on my blog,” says Preethi. Some time later, she was presented with the opportunity to audition for a show for TLC that involved travelling for a month to eight places across the country. “Initially I thought things wouldn’t work out but then the audition went really well and it landed me a job with them for a whole year.”
A voice for change
Preethi’s travels aren’t rigidly planned; she likes keeping room for unanticipated events. She wakes with the sunrise and spends the first half of her day touring and exploring before the sun gets too high in the sky. “I love to explore on foot,” she adds. By afternoon, she finds herself a cute little café that serves (preferably) healthy food or a local joint for lunch. The remainder of her afternoon is spent in researching, working and planning for the next trip. As evening advances, she sets out to discover the place and the local culture.
Apart from promoting responsible travel, Preethi also uses her voice to address pivotal issues of mental health, body neutrality and wellness. Her own battles with anxiety and body dysmorphia have led her to be a powerful voice of change for thousands of people across the world. She also runs an independent podcast titled Travel, Tales and Takes with Preethi that can be found here.
“I don’t try to make things complicated; I just keep it simple. Mental health as an issue is not spoken about and the only way to normalize it by speaking about it more and treating it like a regular cold and cough because that is normal, right? Anyone with a cold and cough, you wouldn’t look at it with a stigmatised lens but when it comes to a mental health condition or even when someone is not feeling okay mentally, it is stigmatised. So, my goal here is to keep it very simple and not complicate it and that simplicity is what connects me with my audience. They just want to be understood.”
On Rediscovering Self with Amrutam
At Amrutam, Preethi hosts the mental health podcast titled Rediscovering Self with Amrutam that addresses the daily ramblings of the mind and seeks answers to questions that have – at some point of another – turned up in our thoughts. Preethi is effortlessly eloquent and confident, with words pouring out of her mouth swimmingly. She understands talking about sensitive issues like mental health comes with immense responsibility and reliability.
“I met Stuti through a project we did during the lockdown and found out she was a therapist. I realized how vocal she was about mental health so I decided to have her on my own podcast because I am passionate about mental health and wellness, too,” says Preethi. What was meant to be a podcast episode soon turned into a meaningful collaboration. Stuti and Preethi realized the kind of impact a dedicated mental health podcast would make and that’s when Rediscovering Self with Amrutam was born.
I ask Preethi how has her experience been working with Amrutam, and she says:
“Working with Amrutam has put me in touch with some amazing and distinct people. I’ve learned that I love hosting – it could be because of the topic that I am passionate about or the space accommodating it. And as much as I love exploring mental health, my interest also extends to understand things from a wellness perspective and Ayurveda and how humans function in general. I have found creative fulfillment in the kind of work I am doing and it is very satiating.”
On inspiration and being part of #AmrutamFamily
When asked how her loved ones would describe her, she says, “They would describe me as a very independent person who is creatively inclined and likes dreaming and working hard.” What a lot of people may not know about Preethi is that she absolutely loves dancing and knows seven types of dance forms. She is also a kind of bookworm with her nose buried in books whenever she finds the time. Currently, she is devouring Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Forest of Enchantments.
Talking about what inspires and influences her, Preethi believes in finding inspiration in the smallest of things every day. It’s more like a process, she explains. For her, it could be something as small as a comment someone left online about how she inspired them to wear a bikini or as big as a mega influencer talking about their struggles.
I ask Preethi what is it that she loves about Amrutam. She says: “I think the brand has a lot of heart. It is very warm and personal; the brand genuinely believes what it is communicating and I think that is really rare – especially something with that much of substance in it. Besides the fact that is Ayurvedic and completely natural, what I love more is how there is a whole community about it which makes it so much more real. You’re educating people about Ayurveda and have a podcast on mental health, there is so much conversation happening around it and that’s why people should be part of #AmrutamFamily!”
The pandemic has surely brought the world to a halt but it has also caused boundaries to dissolve. Not only has it become more stressful and mentally taxing, it has also caused severe trauma that will take generations to unpack. Preethi concludes with the following words:
“I think one thing people really need to take cognizance of is the fact that we’re all human and we all need to pause and slow down every once in a while. It is okay to do nothing at all, too. An uncle once told me to always have an anchor outside of my work. Always do something that gives you joy and not money because once you do something for the sake of earning money, it becomes your job. Even if you enjoy it, the pressure is inevitable. So, try and have an anchor that helps you disconnect from the world and brings you unadulterated happiness. Take some time off and do something that brings you joy.”
Preethi’s kindness and efforts never cease to inspire us. Her contribution in making the podcast an accessible and safe space for people to understand themselves better is absolutely unparalleled and we are beyond grateful to have her as part of our #AmrutamFamily!
More on Amrutam Contributors
- Mr Ashok Gupta, Amrutam Founding Principal
- Mrs Chandrakanta Gupta, Amrutam Founding Principal
- Chinmay Samnani, Cinematographer at Amrutam
- Maitraiye Sharma, Model at Amrutam
- Garima Manocha, Photographer at Amrutam
- Gaurav Anand, Editorial Videographer at Amrutam
- Gopi Vadsak, Editorial Photographer
- Naina Bajaria, Amrutam Youtube Channel
- Surabhi Natekar, Illustrator & Designer at Amrutam