Last month, we traveled to Berhampore for Janmashtami celebrations at my marital home. Though the kid has traveled by train a couple of times, he was too young to remember. This time, we chucked the car and took the train. Our son enjoyed the onward and return journey as he ate a variety of food, purchased items and toys from the hawkers, and enjoyed the view from the train’s window. Here’s a snap of him at his naughty best on the day we traveled back to Kolkata.
Berhampore sky was at its sunny best for the first two days of our trip. On the third day, the skies yelped and shed tears as I prepared for our return journey. Strangely, by evening, it was back to its gorgeous state. My marital home is located in the busiest part of the town. Surrounded by the local market, the place is forever buzzing. Most of the residential properties are decades old, though some have been demolished to build new age apartment complexes. Our son was amazed by the thriving market area and surrounding landscape that smelt of nostalgia. We spent a lot of time on the terrace.
The boy loves birds. Even in Kolkata, he ensures to leave some food items on our balcony grills for the birds. But in Berhampore, he had the huge terrace to himself to run around and have fun. Every evening, he spread puffed rice, bread crumbs, and biscuit pieces all over the terrace and called out to the pigeons. Almost every day, a few pigeons and some crows came to nibble on the food as we sat at one corner, away from the birds. Though he had done this ritual before, it was his first time acting responsible and feeding the birds by himself. His father and I were mere spectators.
There are many other things that the child did for enjoyment. I found him giving signatures on paper to the guests present during Janmashtami puja as a permit granted to them to go upstairs for eating prasad. He spent hours playing the dholak while ensuring that the pen he used to give his autograph was safely tucked into his t-shirt.
Inside the room, he spent hours swaying on his father’s rocking chair that he has already claimed to be his property now. From tasting yummy malpoa and taler bora to eating spicy dum aloo along with polao as part of the bhog offered, the kid experienced it all. These small gestures keep him close to our roots and experience things that were integral to our childhood spent in the small town of Berhampore.
A year ago, I had a ligament tear that rendered me incapable of doing basic movements. My medico husband took me to an orthopedic surgeon when the pain went from bad to worse despite the medicines and treatment. After innumerable x-rays, blood tests, and MRIs, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and seronegative rheumatoid arthritis. It took around two months for the diagnosis and detection.
To say I was scared and disheartened would be an understatement. I was depressed and frustrated beyond words. My inability to attend to simple chores like holding a glass or walking to the washroom became a nightmare. I couldn’t type for more than five to seven minutes because my fingers would swell up. So many nights went away when I wept silently at the writing desk at my helpless situation.
I almost lost hope of getting back on my foot, literally and figuratively. The senior surgeon had cautioned me to lose weight on priority. My knees were unable to hold my weight. After a fortnight, his medicines started showing results as my pain subsided slowly. I started altering my food habits to include more greens and less junk.
When I visited him after a month, he told me I could start walking at a regular pace. I wasn’t allowed any other exercise – not even jogging. On Nov 13th, 2021, I took my first step toward fitness. I walked 3k steps within 50 minutes. A fortnight later, I was doing 8k steps within one and half hours.
In December, I got a fitness band and started 10k steps per day. I walked on the terrace for nearly two hours to meet my daily target. Sometimes I had to do it in two shifts based on my other work commitments. I started writing Raya’s third case. I met my step target and wrote 50 words daily. I wasn’t still able to write much because the rheumatoid pain wasn’t in control.
From January to date, I have walked every day. Even if I missed the target on one or two days in a month, I had zero no-walking days. And I walk anywhere at any time. When I can’t go to the terrace, I walk in my room, in the corridor, on my balcony, and even in the basement when I go to pick up my son. To say it wasn’t easy would be unfair. It was a mammoth task to convince my mind that I couldn’t afford to be happily fat or rather obese any longer if I want to survive.
It took me six months to finish my third novel, but I managed to bring it up from 50 to 1000 words per day. But I’ve stopped stretching it beyond a thousand or eleven hundred words because the thrill and consistency of my schedule motivate me to get out of bed daily – be it for fitness or writing.
July has been my best month so far. Though I missed two days to meet the designated 10k mark, I overachieved the limit on a couple of days, keeping the average over 10k. I managed to lose over 11 kgs in seven and half months.
Though I have a long way to go as far as changing my dietary habits is concerned (blame my obsession with food), I’m working on striking a balance between walking and healthy eating. But I’m also no longer the girl who cared a damn about health and fitness because she thought she was happy and active.
The routine will stay the same until November when I have my next check-up. Until then, I intend to continue walking towards health, conscious eating, and consistent writing. Keep me in your prayers as I fight against the odds to resume a normal lifestyle soon.
July usually is an uneventful month in my life with no birthdays or occasions to celebrate. It’s also when my son has his first term assessment, leaving us with little time to enjoy. However, his school preponed the assessment dates by two weeks, and we began the month with exams on the 1st of July. But that meant we ended it within the 15th of July, leaving us with half of the month to have fun.
We experimented with a lot of new cuisines in new cafes and restaurants. While we celebrated his finishing the exams on a high with Chinese food at the Golden Joy in Tangra, my son and I went on a book shopping spree to the Storyteller store, followed by sandwiches at The Wise Owl cafe in Golpark.
Last week, I met Kasturi, one of my closest friends from the writing world for the first time. We had breakfast at the Roastery Coffee House in Gariahat. It became a memorable experience not just became of the ambiance and delectable food but also because of the best company I had.
We ended the month with the best continental food in town at Mocambo, Park Street. While Chicken-Ala-Kyiv satiated our taste buds, Baked Alaska thrilled the kid with its unique presentation.
A lot is happening in the health/fitness of my life. Also, there are quite some exciting updates to share about the completed and writing-in-progress books. But that’s for another day in the upcoming blog posts.
On Tuesday, we took a day off to explore New Town and its surrounding areas in Kolkata since the kid finished his first offline term examinations. We lunched at the Golden Joy in China Town, went on a long drive to Khoribari for hot and tasty tea, and shopped at the old Shyambazar/Haitbagan market, followed by book purchases at the famous boi para on College Street.
Here’s sharing some memorable pictures from a day where we spend quality family time while soaking in the beauty of nature. It rained the entire day, and I captured some gorgeous photos of the blue sky at dusk.
It is such a bizarre topic to experience and write about, but it’s also my responsibility to share the horrific experience that we went through as a family. On Tuesday evening, we were out for a family dinner. Our regular driver was at the wheels car, and my husband was seated beside him. Our son and I sat occupied the back seats.
We were waiting at the traffic signal when a bus violated the traffic rules and hit our car. It shattered our looking glass on the spot. Instead of stopping, the bus kept moving, thus crushing the front left door. It was a traumatic phase where I couldn’t stop worrying about my husband’s safety. Since our 6.5-year-old child was also in the car, we failed to calm down our nerves.