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I’ll Just be Happy Today!

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!

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

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 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

What is your Freedom?

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

Without Water

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.


The indefatigable human spirit can conquer any opponent. You just need to believe in it. S he is my Mummy. She is a Mummy to many more. She is not my biological mother. And that makes the relationship beautiful and unique. She is a cancer warrior. She knows that cancer will defeat her soon. Any day, any moment. But until that moment comes, she will fight it with dignity and grace. Looking at her medical condition, I feel even breath has fallen in love with her. And just wants to keep her alive. It's indeed difficult to defeat someone with so much love and positivity. She is alive, throbbing and thrusting. Embracing every minute with the intensity of conquering it. And everything she does is nothing short of a celebration. Be it her love for nature or her desire to dance in the rain. Seriously, she becomes a kid when she sees the skies open up! She gets drenched to the bones whenever she gets a chance to do so. I vividly remember how I had pulled her leg on her showe

Self realization

The desire to cross paths ceased... She realized the presence was parallel all along... Doting faces encircled her... But it's not where she truly belonged... Struggling in the darkness of the exile... she made every effort to reconcile... But her soul was wrapped in someplace else... In a distant world... less complex... There was restlessness like a bothersome child... Yearning for an escape... A grand beguile... And then it dawned... she had it all wrong... The presence had indeed been parallel all along... She gave up the strife... Conceived the cosmic design... 'Self-realization'... is the other name of 'life' By: Shreya Basu © Quotidian Tales

Do you know A Mrs Sen?

With years of roles foisted upon her, she has forgotten what it is to be herself A certain Mrs Sen was staring hard at life. Four decades of scathing remarks and constant belittling had reduced her to an entity she could hardly recognise as being her true self. Irritable and lost, all that she could remember of her past was the warmth of her childhood home and the amassing accolades for her performance. Marriage had bestowed on her, activities and engagements, but untimely and unknowingly, halted the flowering of the self. Doing the chores and tweaking her life in the larger interest of the family soon became her habit and the only way to be. And then one day, life seemed to have passed by in a whiff. With her fledgelings flying out of the nest, age and ailments catching up on her, the gnawing presence of the spouse and every morning a span of twenty-four long hours hurled at her, she barely knew what to do. In those yesteryears, she never had the time (though she did nur

Eternal moments…

Reward yourself as a parent. Happiness begins with you. I t was an unusually busy day. Working on a gruelling assignment, I was engrossed in the editing process of the photographs. It had to be furnished to the client the following day. A rather pesky nudge distracted me. I turned around to notice my 7-year-old (but threatening to pose as a grown-up) daughter standing right next to me. She was beaming as she broke out the headlines of her day, “I have something for you.” Seconds seemed an eternity to the little one as she struggled with time to divulge the surprise she had in store for me. Hurriedly, she took out a notebook from her school bag. Deftly flipping through a few pages, she halted only when she arrived at the one, the one that was meant for me. It was not a school exercise or some graded sheet. It did not boast of her exceptional performance or clamoured for my attention and appreciation. It was just a few words, randomly chosen by her to express an emotion that she

Jet in the sky

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,

From forgiveness to freedom

The painful path of forgiving is what frees us from further pain. H e was the master. I was the slave. The stench suffocated me. My soul was decomposing. Till the day I decided to exercise my will. I took the leap of faith. I pried open the cage. Today I am divorced. With a child. The decision of changing my status, however, was anything but an easy one. And the life after was far from that. The day I crossed the threshold of my previous life, it had felt like cutting off my right hand. A hand that had gangrened, so I had to stop the spread. But that act meant much more than just the pain of severing. It meant learning to live without my dominant hand. And making the most with the other. I accepted my reality and devised two specific strategies to deal with it. First, I would never compare myself to an individual with two hands. The comparison itself was lame and lost. Second, I put my less dominant hand through a spartan schooling till it would emerge as the dominant one. W