On minimalism (in India)
Bharat Kalluri / 2023-07-29
What it means
minimalism: style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity
Minimalism means a lot of things to different people. For me, its idea of being very cognizant of what we use and optimize to use the least amount possible. So that we can focus on things that matter instead of things. More stuff will not make you more complete.
What it does not mean
This does not mean that we live with less than some arbitrary number (like 100) of things or throw away things which are dear and have a lot of emotional value. It just means that if something is not being used, don’t keep that around and instead donate or sell.
A lot of quotes come to mind when I start thinking about minimalism
A man is rich in proportion to the things he can live without - Henry David Thoreau
We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like. ― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
Minimalism and India
It’s very interesting that there is not a lot of content talking about minimalism in India. I could not find many blog posts / videos on this topic.
Obviously, to be minimal is a privilege and you can only be minimal if you have the capacity to not be and are consciously thinking about cutting down, which is a luxury.
Another side of me thinks that minimalism is a counter intuitive cultural idea in India which is status driven and money usually goes with fanfare and grandiose exhibition.
All the philosophy aside, we do have some great home grown brands and being a minimalist is fun in India.
Tenets of minimalism
According to me, there are a couple of fundamental tenets
- Replace instead of buy, if possible
- Quality over quantity, even if that comes at a premium
- Prefer digital over physical
- Emotional value is real value, never discard / replace something which holds real value in service of a philosophy. At the end, all this is done in an effort to improve and be more happier.
- Experiences > Things
- Optimize for utility. If one item can satisfy multiple requirements well with higher quality, then that’s a better buy than a item with a singular utility
This is a evolving section. The idea is to tag and recommend companies which I personally vet and think make high quality and durable products.
- Apple ecosystem is great. Its cohesive and the products last for long.
- Rager multi device wireless charger charges my iPhone, watch and air pods in one shot (albeit slightly slowly)
- Stuffcool has a 4 in one cable which I use to connect everything to everything. It supports type C, USB and lightning. Until apple moves entirely to type C, this would be needed. This is still better than multiple cables flying around.
- Check out march, they are expensive but are very high quality. Never regretted buying anything from them.