Far from the madding crowd

More people are growing sick at heart of the urban rat race and leaving for the hills and verdant countryside. Of growing tired of the crowds, the mad rush of artificially urgent schedules, of toxic air and chemically-altered foods, of an overwhelming sense that life is rootless and meaningless.

May 10, 2015 02:31 am | Updated May 17, 2015 03:03 am IST

A few years ago, Vineeth Iyer, 36, was living with his wife and twins in a four-bedroom bungalow with a chauffeured car. He headed HR for a multinational. You would have thought life couldn’t get better. Vineeth thought it could. He first began to volunteer for Gandhi Ashram; then quit his job to head an NGO in Mumbai. And now he says, by next year, he will quit the city altogether and move to a remote village in the Konkan hills.

On one side, malls are getting bigger, pubs slicker, and cars faster. On the other, more and more people are growing sick at heart of the urban rat race and leaving for the hills and verdant countryside.


>Puja Anand, 49

For six years, Puja Anand was CEO of a learning solutions company in Singapore. Now, she teaches conversational English to adults and has also adopted a school where she teaches children.

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> Nachiappan Ramanathan, 27

Freelance artist Nachiappan Ramanathan used to make sculptures and design interactive art installations before he chose to return to his family’s farmland.

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>Karpagam and Sriram, 40

Five years ago, a top-ranking executive in a shipping company and an IIT-IIM graduate quit their lives in Bombay to take up farming.

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> Navarino Narah, 28

He gave up his promising sports journalism career and went to study graphic design. A year later, he came back to Shillong as a school teacher. Today, Navarino is a tour guide.

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>Sugandha Das, 27

With degrees from St. Stephens College and Jawaharlal Nehru University, Sugandha has worked as a mountain guide, copy editor and a social media manager. Now, works as Estate manager at Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary.

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> Vivek and Juli Cariappa, 50

Long before organic farming entered the mainstream vocabulary, a young couple from Delhi packed their bags and left for H.D. Kote.

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