The last couple of years have presented somewhat of a debacle for the cultural world and other industries. The first pandemic of this century has been called - “COVID 19”, “SARS CoV 2”- “a global pandemic”, “global karma”, “a human virus”, and many other unmentionable labels - the monikers are countless, but the damage has been universal and common throughout. One has lost and are continuing to lose. The arts have experienced extremely unfortunate disasters and yet… and yet here we are back on our feet proving that one is resilient trying to figure out avenues, “improvise” envisage new opportunities that may exist and continue to exist in the “new normal” amidst limited or sometimes no live concerts, limited museum visitorship, dwindling stage performances, movie shoots being on hold- the laundry list is countless. Inevitably the world has suffered, we have lost - emotionally, physically, economically, socially - the bond (the Rishta) between each is common across the board.
Undoubtedly the socio-economic impact on the arts has been incredibly disheartening with good reason. During any robust, financially stable economy in the world, the artists/ creative arts/arts often experience tremendous growth and receive adequate attention from the socio-political sector of that country. At the other end of the spectrum, one witnesses that during a weakened economy, the ability for the political sector to direct interest in the arts is equally weakened as the arts is essentially seen as a non -priority industry. And so it is that one observes within the new normal, the adapted arts business model globally with all arts professionals (me included) looking at a different art world - with suggestions that one has yet to see the entire length and breadth of damage that has transpired due to the pandemic over the next couple of years.
That said, recently a rather brilliant article by authors Ken Arnold and Danielle Olsen (Wellcome Trust) for the World Economic Forum reflected upon an unusually higher demand for the creative arts this last year owing primarily due to a general attitudinal change towards the arts and suggesting that a variety of creative therapy methods that have indeed alleviated emotional, mental pain via the use of musical, art, mental creative therapy.
Often referred to as Expressive Arts Therapy many psychologists concur those arts, music, dance play a significant role in addressing social, cultural, spiritual, and emotional issues. And so, one witnesses the parallel journey that science and the arts take on and how issues pertaining to mental health, emotional instability, unhappiness can often be resolved to a degree by creative therapy.
In circa 167 AD, Marcus Aurelius’ scripted The Meditations a 12-book compilation of his personal writings. Marcus Aurelius wrote, “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts” - while the quote is known to many and rings home for many, it is wondered how many of us practice the Art of Happiness? Many therapists believe prioritizing others over us does not necessarily deliver happy spirits. We need to nurture ourselves before nurturing and caring for others.
This website Onerishta attempts at doing just that within the realm of a digital platform. Given the strong bond between the arts and general emotional well-being whether it pertains to creative therapeutic approaches, or wellness or developing a stronger sense of being, it is one’s endeavor to deliver a virtual platform where we can collaborate between aspects of the mind body and soul and engage the viewer with stimulating musings, digital classes, podcasts on arts, music, food, travel and over time much more.
- Uma Parameswar