#WFH Diaries: Ria Jatakia of Ogilvy Mumbai

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt lives across the globe, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're coping. Here's an update from Ria Jatakia of Ogilvy Mumbai.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

I am a senior visualizer at Ogilvy, Mumbai, self-proclaimed plant mom and a passionate pigeon hater.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

I am living in Mumbai with my mom, dad, little brother and 30 house plants.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

I have transformed my little skincare corner in my room into my workspace. We have a team call every day, and throughout the day our bosses keep checking in on us for follow-ups, so its been good to have a routine. I have been shuffling from my business casual pajamas to my evening pajamas. Although I would give anything to be back to office, reunited with vending machines, my friends and the great outdoors.

Describe your socializing strategy.

I had a wine-and-whine virtual date with my friend where we painted a still life, a movie night on Netflix Party, and a Tambola session with my entire extended family. The first two weeks of lockdown I overdid the socializing and it drained me. So I have decided to stick to my normal life rule of minimal socializing outside of work on weekdays.

How are you dealing with childcare, if applicable?

I have been a very clingy mother to my plant babies since the lockdown, so now we have set emotional boundaries and I don't overwater them.

What are you reading?

I recently started reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. It has some brilliant insights on human behavior and how we can change by developing and sustaining micro habits and building on them. It also proves how unlearning is just as important as learning. Apart from this, I have been reading and bookmarking a lot of recipes.

What are you watching?

Jumped on the Tiger King bandwagon. I have also been watching two of my favorite shows, This Is Us and Grey's Anatomy, and having good cries. Friends and The Office are my background shows while I am doing chores.

What are you listening to?

I have been listening to The 1975, Nick Murphy and obsessing over the new Weeknd album. Khalid was supposed to do a live show in Mumbai, which obviously got cancelled because of the circumstances. So I am playing his songs on repeat.

How are you staying fit?

I don't know if doing the dishes, mopping and sweating it out in the kitchen counts? Oh and I also have been practicing the shavasana a lot (the corpse yoga pose).

Have you taken up a hobby?

I have been cooking a lot. This period has made me realize how much I love the process of cooking much more than eating. 

Any tips for getting necessities?

We have been avoiding large supermarkets and only buying from local small shops. The frozen and processed foods are the ones that have been hoarded by the public, so I am being creative with my breakfast and snacks every day by using fresh produce.

Also, we just found out that instant coffee is sold out in all of the local stores, so I will have to cut down my daily caffeine intake to just one cup. Or learn how to use the French press.

An awkward moment since all this started.

Realizing that this whole thing is just an endless cycle of doing a sink full of dishes to cook, just to have a sink full of dishes.

Best work email you got since all this started.

A message from my boss saying that the idea we came up with during the lockdown for a reality TV show was picked up by an Indian television channel.

An aha! moment since all this started.

The amount of time and energy I have at my disposal if I don't spend three hours every day taking four modes of transport to work and back home.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

It's pretty obvious that it's going to take a few months for everything to go back to normal. In the meanwhile, all we can do is create more proactively, be there for our loved ones, take extra care of our minds and bodies, and do everything we told ourselves we would do if we had more time. We will all come out of this stronger, kinder, and more appreciative of the small things.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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