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Virtual Vicinity - The Pandemic Perspective

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...their faceless identities empowering the subtle more than the substantial… Their tours were not actual but virtual! I t's been a ‘trying’ time for most of us. I mean in both parts of speech. Exhausting and experimental. I was losing a semblance to my preferred self and succumbing mostly to domestic drudgery and at times to depression and distance. Then one evening, almost a month ago while I was talking to my brother (referred to as Big B going forward), he introduced me to a WhatsApp group. Initially, I was not really keen on joining it as it sounded like something unusual and not-really-heard-of-before. After all, a Taurean to the core, I am stubbornly resistant to change and take a while to accept the unconventional. ‘National Park Challenge,’ the name by which the group goes, is an international group consisting of members with shared interests, to say the least. My first thought...it's just a group of fitness aficionados. Then working around it, I tried to figu

Talk To Santa

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Make this a Christmas that you can happily recollect years later. The fancies may fade away as the little one grows up, but the love will remain. S omeone knows I am indeed special because his present for me is always exactly the one that I want! The whole year round, I am so worried about the little troubles I make - scared that I will no longer be on his nice list. As winter settles in, I try to be the good girl. I pray for Santa to overlook my little mistakes and like every year be more indulgent with me. Then one fine day before Christmas, I finally talk to Santa. All my worries fly away, and he magically ushers in the holiday spirit. I tell him about my family, my friends, about Christmas and the North Pole and also my present. I know Santa watches over me the whole year round and although I’m naughty at times, he believes in me and makes sure never to disappoint me during Christmas. I blindly rest my faith on him. Over and over again, following it through every year! Stup

Zulay Kitchen

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A unique range of kitchen products to enrich your experience in the kitchen and enhance your 'kitchen happiness' - That's what Zulay Kitchen is all about! N ow, you might wonder as to why and how they're doing anything different than what other companies contend. We also had a similar question, and that is when we sank right to the bottom of their kitchen story. It's a simple story which encapsulates the quotidian tale of every family and one where you can instantly discover your culinary space. In the year 2015, a company was born to celebrate and share the 'kitchen happiness', which resided in the very hearts of Aaron Cordovez, the co-founder of Zulay Kitchen and his wife, Whitney Cordovez. Today they have successfully touched many hearts and bellies through their love and their products . And we are more than delighted to bring their story to you. The story goes back to Zulay, an outstanding lady, who was born and brought up in a pove

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

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

Children are Special

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Every child is special. Do we have the heart to feel it? T hese days my 9-year old seems to be obsessed with Ninjas. She loves to watch their movies, read about them and even use the primary karate moves (picked up from weekly lessons in school) to emulate them. Last night as she was intensely watching an animated Ninja episode, she blurted out a phrase. Without any conscious effort, it caught my attention. ‘Ninjas never quit!’ As I moved out of the room and into the verandah to take off my daughter’s uniform from the clothesline, my eyes fell upon the ‘Niketan’. The school-cum-residential that stands just across the street. It is a home in which, not one, two or even a few children live. It is one which accommodates 150 - 200 children. They live there, not with their parents or relatives but under the supervision of caregivers and special educators. Though they are like us and our children, they are often referred to as ‘special’. Apparently, they have physical, mental or s

Jet in the sky

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Happiness is simple. Live the moment to make a memory out of it. A bright sunny day. Strapping up my touristy spirit and bitten by the explorer’s bug, I was strolling down a lane in Zurich. Looking here and there. A camera in my hand. The lens of my eye and that of the device mostly collaborated to capture the quintessence of the captivating city. But hey, my vision always dictated the other! It had to sacrifice holding on to prominent spots and landmarks in favour of embracing indigenous life. Every blink offered an image that mesmerised me. Suddenly something happened. By happenstance, I looked up. I saw a beautiful white trail of a zooming jet plane in the sky. No, not just that but everything about it and around it. The contrail against the aqua blue sky framed by cumulus clouds did something to me. It made me smile. I clicked it. And the most amazing thing is that every time I look at the photograph, a gust of fresh air invigorates me. Even today as I share it with you,