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Society - The Coveted Company

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A perpetually hard thing to resist I have stayed alone in an apartment for five months. I interacted with people only over the phone or when I was outside for work or shopping. Nothing seemed unbearable, though my close ones advised me to be more social. I slept and woke up on time. I cooked and ate diligently to keep myself healthy. I took showers every day. I watched television, read books, pampered myself once in a while, and sincerely claimed that I was staying alone in an apartment. Now, years later, with age and comprehension, I renewed my understanding of my state back through those days. I discover that I was reasonably involved with society! A conclusion that formulated when I envisioned a speculative plot, where I carefully and deliberately eliminate all associations around me. In this plot, I am without society, and the picture looks entirely different. Much of me has changed. Now, I only eat when I am hungry. Pampering or grooming takes a backseat as now

Designed or Destined?... A Lockdown Tale

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…a virus...challenged our potential…(and) intimidated our very existence as ‘social beings’...(but) “Maybe everyone can live beyond what they are capable of…” I t’s been a year. Though the first 7-8 months of blogging were difficult, defining, and yet gratifying, very much like nurturing your own child, the last four months have suffered distraction and distance. In fact, even right now I feel like the way Malala Yousafzai (well-known author of the book ‘I am Malala’ ) felt on her twelfth birthday, which she spent in Haripur. She was upset and certainly missed a cake, a couple of companions and a celebration. Yet she made a wish and so did I. Strange and at times, surreal is how I can describe my past few months. Most of you might prefer to concede to having a similar experience. While we were busy enacting our so-called remarkable roles in the absurd theatre of life, a virus ( coronavirus ) invaded our domain. It not only challenged our potential but exposed our petu

Gastronomical Gratitude

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...we need to go back to our grandparents, re-examine their lives as a whole and then try reconstructing our own on those very principles that pervaded theirs. B esides politics, these days the next issue which is being talked on, diligently discussed, argued about and fought over for finality, is food. Every day, you will come across articles, messages, videos, advertisements and whatnot, about the way you should deal with your gut. Be it something as understandable as managing your bowel movements or something as incomprehensible as the workings of the solar plexus, some information or the other is being served up perpetually. Then again, most of the knowledge that is gained is contradicted with a new set of ideas and guidance even before one has properly taken to it. Mind you, each time it is said to be supported by more advanced scientific research and even further delving into the Ayurveda and other systems of medicine. And so, what happens to a person like me? I am left baffl

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

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

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.

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

Do you know A Mrs Sen?

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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

I Love My Body

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Body-shaming is the weapon of the weak….Shun it to emerge stronger and beautiful. T he video above has gone viral in social media. Vidya Balan (Bollywood superstar well known for her iconic presentations) has poured her heart out. She is dealing with a topic that screams for attention from society. Provokes it to think and feel. Perhaps not for the first time. It is a collaborative effort with radio station 92.7 Big FM. It is streaming across the internet with the catchy hashtag #DhunBadalKeTohDekho. It is about body-shaming. No...not just that. Something that goes way deeper and diffuses through the untouched. An individual, even if a child, is never spared. Every breathing moment of her life, she is judged for her looks. She is ridiculed and rebuffed for something she has no control over. And who does that? The society. That uncountable mass that has the power to not let the ‘she’ admire her reflection. But look forward to external approval. "Don’t your parents give

Nurturing beyond AI

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Teachers and parents have their work cut out to shape our kids for an AI world. C hildren are the future. Shaping them, along with their parents, are their teachers. But when Sophia, the world’s first humanoid, grabbed headlines three years back, it threw a challenge to the teachers of today. Among the various areas where Sophia could be of use, forecast by creator Hanson Tech, education was one. Artificial intelligence (AI), of which Sophia is one of the finest examples, is permeating every sphere in our lives. Its expanding reach is shrinking the scope for human employment, through automation. Teachers could soon find themselves replaced by AI. IBM’s AI tech, Watson, is famed for being able to beat human intelligence. AI’s appeal lies in being super-fast with 100 per cent accuracy, an enormous memory and malfunctioning that is logically deducible, unlike a capricious human temper. People will have to come up with new ways to add value to their profession to stay on the to

Eternal moments…

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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

Let's talk

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Engrossed in our gadgets, we now find it intimidating to have a real chat. W ords, words and more words. Not just feed, I feast on them. But communication today is being threatened and usurped by addictive, numbing and readily-available audio and visual entertainment. We just have got to do something about it. Conversation is crucial. Be it a coming-back-from-school story session between a child and a parent, a sweet (and yet-to-become-bitter) têt-à-tête between lovers, a storytelling stretch between an indulgent grandparent and a little one or even an unabashed venting-out bout between friends, such exchanges are the lifeblood maintaining the essence and integrity of relationships. It was only last weekend when I had gone for brunch, a hybrid meal meant for leisurely days, that I distinctly noticed one thing - people were hardly talking! They were immersed in their gadgets. Shockingly, even children (at least one in all but a few tables) were using a virtual portal to shun

From forgiveness to freedom

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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

Our Story

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A blog was born to share the quotidian tales of life. Tales of your lives and ours. R andomness struck us as we bonded, not on the first day of the primary, junior or even senior school for that matter, but in the 11th grade with only a mere one and a half years left to step out of our second homes. Two shabby, squeaking benches, one behind the other, was the space that metamorphosed our experiences from the general to the distinctive. From sharing lunchboxes to sharing lives, all extempores coagulated to form that envious rainbow, which, sadly enough, disappeared once the conducive conditions were lost. Hardly did we realise how time raced us through its course as we shifted from pulling each other’s legs, mimicking teachers, enjoying moments of unadulterated fun to writing absurdities and absolutes in our precious slam books. Sparks produced sparkles, and once in a while, we paused, pondered and decided to proceed….We ventured to discuss and disclose the quotidian tales o