Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Fitness Choices

(This is a commercial post for "NESTLÉ a+ Slim")
A true blue Bong, “fitness” is not a word that could keep me away from the restaurant menu card or the glass showcase at the sweetmeat shop. Fitness could not contest fun and flavor. At least, for a long time. In a short term. We were younger and stronger. Fearless. Myopic.

I wish we could stay that way, always. Could not, but.

After a certain number of candles on your birthday cake, after a certain number of yet another person in friends and family struggling with high diabetes, cardiac emergencies, and worse, the ‘bad news’, it was time for reality check. It was then that it came afloat in front of eyes. That, it is not just about the common suspects – roadside fries or dollops of ghee. It is more inconspicuous than that. It is the “hidden fat” in more everyday food, the usual non-suspects, that make up for a large part of it.

Watch out is what I have started to tell myself, more recently. Watch out, we must. Because without a fit body, the machine simply will not run!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Book Review: Kissing The Demon (Amrita Kumar)

Kissing the demon was one book for which, when asked to review, I did not have a single moment of dilemma. The very fact that an author has authored something, a handbook of sorts, for the benefit of others to use and follow, was enough reason to leap and grab it. And if not enough, the brief bio of the author establishes beyond a speck of doubt her eligibility to do so, clear and confident. So frankly, it was not a book to be reviewed. It was one to be learned from. 

The subject matter contained in the different areas of writing carry a distinct tone of knowledge, wisdom as well as humour. Quotations, motivations and analogies from all over of the broad vastness of English literature, complemented with insights and suggestions from real life experiential collections… the "voice" grows not just in strength but also by warmth. It is conversational, almost, how it shows what works, what doesn't, and what can, should, must be looked at. Wit is aplenty, plus the confidence of self-depreciation in stories, examples, ideas.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Pursuits and Conflicts!

Personally, I've mostly shirked off when it ever came to discussing Mindfulness, Meditation and the higher order of things, even though I have spent a good part of my last two years embarking on the journey along these paths. While we easily talk about mental illness, we are wobbly when it comes to talking of mental wellness. The field of Positive Psychology, as much as I have explored, hands out more tools and techniques than awareness and insights.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Twin Flames!!


let’s talk about unabashed, unapologetic romantic love.

Shall we?

“He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” used to be my 101 of love for a long time. Catherine had said this about Heathcliff, in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. It was part of our course, and we were sold on it. Every girl from the classroom. We had assumed our life’s purpose to be a simple one, around that age and time. We needed to find our own Heathcliffs!

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Book Journey - Broken Open (Elizabeth Lesser)

This was first published at Writersmelon

Spirituality sounds like a big word, especially when you are twenty-three, and haven’t had any real crisis in your world so far. That was when I had first come across this book. The name on the cover read – Broken Open. And then there was a line below it, which read – How Difficult Times Can Help US Grow.  I was yet to know what that may mean. And yet, I had turned over its pages.

The book really can best be summarised by a quote of Anais Nin, which the Prelude opens with: “And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Tuesday, 13 December 2016


Those were the times of coils that came in hard green pungent sheltering smelling cakes, shaped in thin spiral mazes. They could hardly beat the beasts, for when it was evening they would come around in battalion forces. The blow of the conch shells - they came in triads from different neighborhood houses and just when the sun would turn orange from white. We would know that with the first sound of it, we must hurry to climb up the beds, sofa or the benches  closest to the walls, to grab the wooden windows by their edges and pull them shut. The more organic households would put coconut leftovers into an iron handi and burn them to keep them away, and then, when even that would fail we would gather to clap our hands into a mad mass mosquito killing spree. Not that we hated it, for it also meant a respite from handwriting practice.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

পাড়ার মেয়ে

“পাড়ার মেয়ে” শব্দ জোড়াটা আজকাল প্রায় উঠেই গেছে বলা চলে। কোন বাড়ির মেয়ে, বড়জোর। অর্থাৎ কিনা, বাবা কাকা কেউ যদি পলিটিক্সে থাকেন বা অন্তত সিভিল সার্ভিসে, অথবা ডাক্তার উকিল কিছু একটা পারিবারিক বংশপরাক্রমে। একটু বড় হলে কোন স্কুলে দিলে গো মেয়েকে, বা কোন কলেজে চান্স পেলো, কোন সাব্জেক্ট? আবার, আর একটু বড় হলে মিসেস হেনা তেনা কিছু একটা, যাবতীয় লিঙ্গ সাম্যের মুখে চুনকালি মাখিয়ে। অফিসের ব্যাপারটা আবার আলাদা, ডিপার্টমেন্ট দিয়ে নামে চেনা যায়, ভিজিটিং কার্ডে একঝলকেই আন্দাজ করে নেওয়া যা কি বা তাঁর পড়াশোনা, কদ্দুর কি ক্ষমতা। বাচ্চার স্কুলে সেই বাচ্চার মা, ওই যে, ছোট করে চুল কাটা, বা একটু মোটার দিকে চেহারা। পরিচয় অনেক রকমেরই হয় বইকি। সব কিছু পেরিয়ে আবার এও জানা হয়ে যায় যে পরিচয় শব্দটাই একটা আগাগোড়া ভুল ধারণা, পুরো জীবনটাই আসলে নিজেকে খুঁজে ফেরার অলি গলি পাকস্থলী। তবু… 

তবু, এই বচ্ছরকার শীতকালের সময়টায় যে নিয়ম করে “ওমা, কবে এলি?“, হোক না মাত্র কটা দিনের জন্যই। অতীতের মায়া দিয়ে ঘেরা এই ব্যাক্তিচর্চা, এক নিশ্বাসে অনেকগুলো বছর অতিক্রম করে যায় চক্ষের নিমেষে। পাড়ার মেয়ে পরিচয়টা, আগের মতই এখনও, ডাকনামের উষ্ণতা নিয়ে ঘিরে থাকে আমার শীতকাল।

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Six Lessons - "Dear Zindagi" attempts it big!

This post was first published in Feministaa.

They say a film that is good is one that is honest. But no, not here. The beauty of Dear Zindagi is really in its pretense. For, it does a tight ropewalk between intellectual high tea of essential life lessons, and a soothing, upfront, breezy way of telling us an anyday story of an anyday girl. That is the only way to tell this story so that it can reach till us, so that it can do its work. So that it can make a difference, after all. Dear Zindagi is not an arty film, not at the least. And yet it is so pleasant and so ahead of its time that you feel almost grateful. Dear Zindagi is among the standing proofs of Indian cinema having come of age. It is a milestone, too, in a way.