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As a part of our maudern people series, we asked New York-based actor and designer Waris Ahluwalia for insights on modern intimacy. He founded House of Waris Botanicals, sourcing highest quality teas, herbs and spices that promote healing and thoughtful living. He has worked in the film industry alongside directors Wes Anderson, Spike Lee, and Luca Guadagnino. A CFDA incubator grant winner, he has collaborated with brands such as Gucci, Kenzo, and The Kooples.

What is your relationship status?

In a relationship.

With social distancing & quarantine, how has human contact changed for you?

We’re living in a quarantine commune in the countryside; exploring and questioning the false framework we’ve existed in for too long.

How do you make time for intimacy?

You can make every and any moment a moment for intimacy. Extended eye contact, holding hands while you work. It shouldn’t be relegated to a predefined time. Celebrate closeness.

How has your perspective on your home/space changed?

This time - this pause, or 'great re-set’ as they call it has reminded me what little I need. Time is more valuable than any material object I could possess.

Now more than ever we must celebrate life. Celebrate humanity. Celebrating nature, and celebrate how all those can work together. 

How do you keep busy? Do you separate the weekend and weekdays?

Fortunately or unfortunately, we’ve never been busier. HOUSE of WARIS Botanicals is an exploration into a more thoughtful way of living through the use of plant science, community, and celebration. A company focused on redesigning our relationship to wellbeing and stress for a better you. The whole world has been asked and often cases told to slow down. That has been one of our central themes. Our speed, desire for shortcuts, need for productivity has led down a dangerous path. We’re disconnected from nature, thereby, making us disconnected from ourselves.

Now more than ever we must celebrate life. Celebrate humanity. Celebrating nature, and celebrate how all those can work together. Slowing down is part of that celebration. That's a celebration of you. A celebration of your time on this planet. It's how you look after yourself. It's how you look after your loved ones. It's how you look after your community. We worked with our herbalists to create adaptogenic blends of tea that help you respond to external stressors and bring your body back to balance.

We have an opportunity to create better habits. Better structures. Better lives. Don’t settle for going back to normal. Normal is not good enough. Let’s break down old ways that clearly weren’t working.

What is a new activity you are planning to try?

I’ve been chopping wood. Not my usual activity.

Do you have a book or movie on your list while home?

Will take this time to rewatch some of my favorites - Don’t Look Now, True Romance, Nashville, Shop Around the Corner, and Barry Lyndon.