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I’ll Just be Happy Today!

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Cherishing the simple stuff of life, staying close to nature, using a positive vocabulary, hanging out with the right kind of friends, rejecting retirement, inculcating new hobbies to boost the brain and the brawn can add to the inventory that holds the secret to a-century-and-still-batting league. A s I had mentioned in my previous article , a steady purpose and a somewhat slow pace seemed to be the secret makings of the successful life-stories of centenarians. But research reveals that there are many other cogs in the wheel that engage to make the motion that is likeable and long-lasting. Vigorous veterans mostly rely on a plant-based diet. The emphasis is on fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and low consumption of salt and sugar. Two other aspects related to food are also watch-worthy. They stop eating when they are almost 80% full. To facilitate such discretion they use bowls and plates of smaller sizes that can hold smaller portions. But that should not steer you into

100 Not Out!

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Why would you wake up tomorrow? Why should you take it a little easy? B eing a teenager who was fascinated by the ‘carpe diem’ concept (seizing the now), popularised by poems like Robert Browning’s ‘ The Last Ride Together ’ and as a woman who still binge-watches on shows like ‘ Little Things ’, the present and the little are all that matters and makes sense. It’s a different thing that tall talk mostly remains idealistic when it comes to implementing them for real! Anyways, I saw a video this weekend, which once again activated my brain cells and tugged at my heartstrings. It is about people. They are frugal in number when compared to the vast population of the world. They have been leading happy and healthy lives for as long as a hundred years or even more. I was intrigued. Sounds nice but like an oxymoron, right? As we all know, various researches are being conducted to study the conditions conducive for physical and mental health favouring life and longevity. Out of the inf

My Romance with Shahrukh

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His characters might have leaned towards the grey but they sure had the innocence, the goodness and the confidence to obtain love. C ircus ! The boy-next-door! Messy brown hair, the dimple and the eyes! A boy I fell for. A TV actor who was a tad different. Then Deewana happened. I was surprised. He had come to the big screen. Then Raju came and stole my heart. Malaria or loveria whatever you want to name it...the silly acts of romance to woo the girl is all, I, a kid needed. Those were the days when we just had the National Television. Durga Puja was the only time of the year, Baba used to allow us to watch Bollywood movies by renting video cassettes from the local parlour. So my romance grew slowly and drove a steady path through the next few movies. Bam! Baazigar ! Who can think that you can fall for the con guy? A hero, a villain, the protagonist? Who was he? The ambiguity was more alluring than the acute need to put him into a defined box. Then rolled out one movie aft

Hello Kolkata!!

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Register online and be a part of this exclusive event! T he event features Ms.ZSUZSA GAJDAN, whose artwork is inspired from her adventure of life. Covering more than 50 solo exhibitions, she has grown from artistic realism and gradually moved towards abstract expressionism. Click here to learn her bio and know more about her work. This event is organized by IMA'S and promoted by Quotidian Tales . A gorgeous morning illuminates the entire universe and makes every being happy. Without this seeping daylight, the complete ecosystem is dysfunctional. Similarly, in our society, if we can’t distribute our love, affection and well-being, the entire human community is jeopardized. This lack willingly encourages depreciation of human values. IMA'S (International Multispecialty Arts’ School) having felt the need, has emerged with a dream of bringing art into the community. Community development has always been a serious concern of IMA'S, and this initiative is a ste

The Shutter Story

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A photograph is just a moment captured. It is alive in its stillness. Be it a place, a person, an emotion or an event, a photograph is the only way to cling on to it, physically or otherwise. O ur friend who furnishes photographs for our articles is, by profession, a wedding photographer. But as any creative space cannot be constricted within the confines of common understanding, so is hers too. Her shared album of photographs is an alluring array of instants that exhibits existence in its entirety. It was on a leisurely evening as I was going through her album, I perceived, almost impetuously, the potency and the promise of a photograph. What is a photograph? Just a moment captured. A tick thought beautiful and worthy by the photographer and turned into truth. The little while, as a matter of fact, exists only through the photograph. The link to the past and the license to the future. A medium that enables you to travel through time. Take a look at the above photograph. I

The Waltzing Words!

I just stop by... not questioning why... An esthesis in this air I breathe... Teasing my senses deep... Or screaming whispers from the past... A plead to keep... Echoes from a place ... I know not where... I don't recognize them... and yet something we share... They make me smile... They make me quiver... Like tunes of an unknown song... But a melody I knew forever... Embracing me... Only to drift away again... Like a bounty souvenir... too immense for me to contain... I watch these thoughts until they trail into the dusk... And there was something pulling me back... I hear these chirps... Of emotions and words waiting for me to pick them up... I smile to myself... A thought crosses my mind... The divine is kind... Coz being cognizant of words ... Was probably God's way... And as I chain them together... I realize thatz the only way I make some thoughts and people stay...!! By: Shreya Basu © Quotidian Tales

Durga’s Homecoming

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A new journey begins for a new Durga designated to vanquish the new Asura, more appropriately, Asuras. A fter a precious interim of ten months, my little Durga was coming home. The joy was immense as was my anticipated relief. Through all my years, I never missed the opportunity of being in the proximity of the unique festival, the Durga Puja. Its exuberance overwhelms me every year and I respond to it ecstatically. But that year, it didn't even seem that the celebrations were going on. It didn't depress me though, for once, as I lay in bed away from the festivities that fostered the Feminine Energy of existence. Such was her captivity. No lesser than the one Maa Durga exercises on her devotees, I pondered. I could feel her twisting and jabbing in my belly. Little could we wait to see each other. According to Hindu mythology, Durga is created by the Gods to slay the evil demon, Mahishasura. She was born with astounding beauty and power, empowered by the collectiv

You’ll be happy if you know it

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A conscious endeavour to foster happiness can help you make a habit out of it. I had seen a photograph of my friend’s daughter. She was right in the midst of greenery, kneeling down and lively in the lap of nature. Her wonder-filled eyes and infectious smile seized my second. Unknowingly, I experienced the happiness that the instant eternalised in itself. I felt it. I wished if only I could hold on to that happiness or engage with it as effortlessly as the child did. The absurdist author, Albert Camus, wrote, "You will never be happy if you...search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life." But we are incorrigible. Each of us is in pursuit of happiness. Few realise, it is but a function of our will. Some claim to have found it in their own bitter-sweet ways. The other day, I heard my daughter singing full-throated, the insanely-popular Pharrell Williams song, 'Happy'. She was rehearsing her Zumba m

An ‘August’ Affair!

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Engaging your child with artwork can be more effective than you ever thought. It is emotive and expressive at the same time. A ugust was an assault of activities. We were moving. To pack my world into boxes and bags was itself a challenge. More daunting than the previous time. On top of that, it was vacation time for my kids. With an explorer on the loose and a terrific toddler in tow, working my way through was barely feasible. I was running out of resources to fittingly engage my little one when a proposal popped up to my rescue. I was wrapping the goodbye-gifts for our near and dear ones. I called my son. I asked him if he too would like to make ‘little somethings’ for whosoever he wanted. Just tokens of love to be presented before he parted. He considered the suggestion for a while. After all, it meant relinquishing his extraordinary exploits in favour of sedentary and organised occupation. Somehow he seemed convinced. I think it gave him a sense of importance. Little did I

What is your Freedom?

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Freedom is a purely personal prerogative. It is inclusive and unique. To each his own. W When the fervour of the celebrations and the big questions of the nation got mellowed into the rhythm of quotidian life, one evening, quite unexpectedly, I found myself inclined to ponder on the word 'Freedom'. It's contemporary relevance in my life. In our lives. So much has been spent and so little saved of this abstraction, which is, by the way, the most potent emotion, that for a moment I was incapable of even having a thought on it. But then the urge to look at it simply, without its baggage, swelled up within me. I felt that for the unborn child, release from the amniotic sac and into a blurred but beautiful world was freedom. An unsteady crawl and an ardour for the unexplored could set a baby free as did school and friends to one in his growing up years. A movement beyond the familiar walls is the first taste of freedom that one can relish, I realised. As years yield

What is that trends tonight?

The ROYALE WEDLOCK ---!! Whose food comes from 'Leyshon' And the dress is split A-line. HYPE , that is what gives direction. Guidance quaffs tonight For those who idly lay. Well, it’s a change, the flight, That hauls millions at bay!! Why this sudden drift? The commotion is what desires. Nah… It’s the strongest tattle spreading Like wildest dry bush-fire . “Nowales journey back”. The craze, the bias in theatres. 13 nominations and 5 awards And still leaning for features. Why this phone misses feed? Abyss with she who sent. I need myself enlightened Ahead of every nook… each bent. The country won 3 gold. Olympic is in motion. And then the worst coverage That says our best man’s down. The night was sleepless. Wait for the next recovery. #ashtags tend, our best man And then a sturdy win. That's TRENDY ! Each night a new movement. An ecstatic course, that builds on virtual networks . Roars and bellows around , Until a new trend rocks.

Unfamiliar Friends

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There are many friends around us. We are unfamiliar with them. Let’s unravel them to appreciate their importance. A s I was browsing through the chapters of my childhood , one of them stood out. "Friends." Perhaps due to its peculiarity and distinctiveness. Coincidence, if you may call it, around the very same time, the celebrations of 'Friendship Day' were going on in full swing. My daughter was coming home every day, almost for a week, with 10-15 friendship bands and rings! Happy to have so many friends and hell-bent on making more. Good for her, I thought. My chapter on friendship is, I must admit, a little different. Of course, it includes my friends from school, neighbourhood, college, tuition, university and so on and so forth. But it reaches beyond that. It is inclusive and expansive in its own way. It nourishes and nurtures itself out of every life experience that it encounters. And before I sound poetic and redundant, I’ll try to explain what I intended

Chapters from Childhood

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When did you last visit your childhood? L ast Friday, I went to an exhibition. I had read about it in the papers. It promised fun and nostalgia but with a difference. Conceived and created by an aspiring artist, Aahel Iyer, it was called the 'Playschool'. What a memory-inducing name, I thought! The moment I entered the hall, a splash of colours, bright colours dazzled my eyes. I’m sure you’ll agree that colours have their own way of affecting the mind. Mine was immediately swept away from the subtle shades of my present to the effervescent and energetic hues of my childhood. There were quite a few interesting installations, coloured art pieces and impressionistic presentations, if I may call them, in the exhibition. I was very keen to know the story behind each one of them. A tag, which included more than just a name or a title, was attached to every exhibit. The purpose, I believe, was to offer a vignette of that particular memory of the artist. Another thing tha

Without Water

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Are we heading towards the Third World War? W hat did I see? An arid land, dry and dusty. The brown predominates the landscape and the lustreless green is hardly there at the fringes. Right in the middle is a bottle, announcing itself as the elixir of life - “water”. Next, I see a giraffe, necking in, as if, to get a hold of the bottle. But immediately, by suggestion, is contested by another animal, an elephant. What follows is a remarkable replication of the finest move of a game called soccer. As the bottle is flung high in the air, my mind, almost spontaneously, gets ready to relish some more excitement. But oh! The very next instant, I am flustered. Taken aback to see the game turning brutal. The ghastly grip of the giraffe on the trunk of the elephant is gruesome to the point of being monstrous. Wasn’t a giraffe a harmless, peaceful neophyte animal? My school-book knowledge was getting all mixed up and thwarted! A giraffe puts up a fight only to defend or when attacked.

My Dot

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I am happy the way I am. I will not let others decide how I should look or appear. "B adi mushkil baba badi mushkil Gore gore gaalon pe hai kaala kaala til" ~ a song from the movie Lajja , (a 2001 Bollywood drama) in which Madhuri Dixit had performed. I am a big fan of Madhuri Dixit. Her distinctive dance moves and animated expressions seriously make many skip a heartbeat. This song from the movie Lajja, is even more special. Because there’s Me in it somewhere. My parents were ecstatic to have me as their firstborn. "How gorgeous she is... and her dot... the most heavenly brown that can ever dwell on an earthling!" Conch shells were blown as Baba picked me up towards the slit of light from heaven to declare… "She is a princess, born to live happily ever after!" The breeze slightly ruffled the curtain to ratify the blessing that imprinted itself on my heart. Well, that’s the dramatic start that my dot had! Adorable, in the eyes of the happie

Emptiness

She woke up feeling something wrong... 'Maybe I feel too much'... She thought... Or maybe I harp on the wrong ones all along... She tried to overlap her insides with the exuberance outside... But she failed to latch... There was a weird mismatch... Maybe she was a little too sensitive... The feelings were a little paralyzing... A little gnawing... A little igniting... And a lot perplexing... But the emptiness was a little obvious... Is emptiness really empty? Or is it the completeness crying out for fulfilment... roaring acoustically... She tried to outline the human-shaped emptiness inside her... Trying to sense the aura... Was it really inside her... Or an abstract outside her world... Chasing her all-over... Was it really the shape of a human?... She agreed to disagree... She dived deeper and said... 'Maybe these are the unhealed parts of me'......!! By: Shreya Basu © Quotidian Tales