Aashritha Daggubati living life in 'infinity mode'
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Bindu Gopal Rao
Her bio on her Instagram profile @infinityplatter reads, "Living in Gratitude. Exploring the world through food. Making life magical through @theinfinityretreat." Say hello to Aashritha Daggubati (daughter of filmstar Venkatesh Daggubati) who is on the pursuit to be happy and make others happy too.
When she started her popular YouTube channel, she was living in Barcelona (post her wedding) and started documenting local food, culture and travel which was a lot of fun and a great way for her to settle into a new city. Her Instagram page too has drool worthy recipes. So, what is her connection with food?
"When I look back at life, some of my fondest memories with my family were around the dining table. My Tatha (grandfather) always emphasized that meals should be had with the whole family. The dining table was the place that brought us together, giving us an opportunity to understand each other on a personal level. My Peddanana (father’s older brother) and Nana (father) have always been major foodies and are very adventurous eaters. When I was young, they often travelled for work and would share exciting stories of the food they had in Africa, Asia, and Europe. This sparked a fascination in me, which might have subconsciously made me gravitate towards traveling and exploring new cultures through food."
Between the cooking from her mother’s side and the eating from her father’s, she admits her curiosity and fondness for food has its origins from both sides of her family.
Aashritha’s Jeji (her mother’s grandmother) who owned and ran fish farms in Varahapatnam, and after her husband’s passing worked tirelessly to support her family and make her business successful, is her favourite cook. "She cooked with ease and passion, turning humble ingredients into masterpieces. I was lucky enough to grow up with a great grandmother and a lot of my food inspiration comes from spending time with her. One of my happiest memories with her was eating annam, neyya and aavakay-pacchadi-muddhas from her hand."
However, she realised that her recipes were not documented and she decided to document her family’s culinary history. "When back in India on a holiday, I loved nothing more than having my fill of comforting home food. I realised the imminent need to learn recipes and capture traditions that face the danger of being lost to time. In that spirit we decided to go one step further and share our home food experiences with my subscribers."
In that spirit I took a greater interest in my camera shy Ammamma’s cooking and even managed to trick her to teach us on video. It’s been a wholesome experience and I’ve managed to capture some tender loving moments I can treasure."
Moving from Hyderabad to Barcelona, is something that she admits has been the perfect city for her. "It’s the right size, doesn’t feel overwhelming and has something to offer for everyone. With mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, it has great weather most part of the year, the food scene is incredible and the people are relaxed and love to enjoy life. Most importantly, it is a city where you can truly be yourself. Moving from Hyderabad to Barcelona has been an incredible learning experience, something that I am very grateful for. Although I miss my family dearly, the growth, humility, freedom, confidence, and experience of living abroad is unmatched."
The Infinity Retreat
Taking her love for Barcelona one step ahead, she launched the Infinity Retreat in May this year as a way of transitioning her passion from an online to a real-world experience. The retreat lays emphasis on a way of life with the goal of trying to achieve balance and happiness in your daily life. "In doing so I derive a sense of purpose in sharing that with the world. I have designed the retreat in a manner where the time spent here and the people you meet forge permanent influences in your life. I have a strong belief in the many wonders that life has to offer, and I find it best to experience them as a group."
The next retreat is planned for Barcelona in September this year and she promises it will be epic with a plethora of new restaurants opening, perfect weather and nature related activities. "I have always liked the element of surprise so the itinerary for September comes packed with surprises, but let me assure you, there’s going to be plenty to look forward to experiencing Barcelona like never before through food, music, dance, adventure and a whole lot more."
Next year she will be expanding to different locations around the globe and the details of which will be on her Instagram page soon.
The primary purpose of Infinity Retreat is to create a well thought out experience for people to completely disconnect from the pressures of their lives for just the week and open themselves up to things they have always wanted to do, while building new relationships with like-minded people. "In the first edition, most of the women came to the retreat expecting a holiday of sorts but went back feeling truly rejuvenated mentally, physically, and emotionally. For the next edition, I just want people signing up to know that it’s more than a holiday, it’s an experience that liberates you in a way you’ve always wanted."
Aashritha’s inspiration comes from life itself and she admits one needs to look at its many moments. "If we just pause, take a good look at the smaller things in life, the simple things that our loved ones do and understand ourselves better, we will realise there is so much to be grateful for and so much inspiration all around us." Looking ahead she says that she has a clearly defined purpose and her plans would always revolve around that. "As cliche as it sounds, my pursuit is to be happy. Capturing the wonders of the world and its people through the lens of food, travel and adventure is what keeps me going and to share the learnings of all those experiences with bigger groups gives me a sense of duty and purpose. The retreat and my blogging will be a big part of my life in the years to come but you never know what life has in store. Whatever I do, however outward my experiences may be, the reason for this is to understand myself better and to always pursue my spiritual journey inward. This will always be my paramount priority. The other thing is to not aspire to have the life of someone else but to make yours a life that you can be proud of. One of my favourite quotes is ‘No one is you and that is your superpower’. The possibilities are infinite, we just need to pursue those that enable the best that we have to offer," she signs off.