HANISHA VASWANI, 31 Senior manager for the digital arm of a PR firm
Hanisha Vaswani has stopped using her car to commute between work and home and has cut down on air travel, opting for trains even over long distances. She shops for clothes only once a year. She does not own a cellphone or computer, using only basic versions of these gadgets provided by her office. Having fine-tuned her purchases over the past year, Vaswani is now trimming her consumption further, buying second-hand books or borrowing from libraries rather than ordering books online. She only buys home furnishings once a year, usually restricting her choices to locally made eco-friendly cane and straw items. WHY: Vaswani says that, by her late 20s, as the thrill of being able to spend and buy began to fade, she started to feel like she was losing touch with who she was and what was important to her. “So, I decided to return to a simpler, more meaningful life,” she says. “Most of the time you are just keeping up with others’ expectations. After a certain age and designation, people expect you to drive a car, buy things and always take the plane. I didn’t want to be making my decisions based on peer pressure.” THE IMPACT: “I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off me,” she says. “I am free from always caring about how I am perceived. It is liberating to think that you are being judged purely on your thoughts, ideas and professionalism.”
Vaswani now spends her commute reading on the metro, rather than swearing at the traffic while driving. “I'm even finding more time to talk to my mother on the phone,” she says.