Durga Puja 2022 – Bijoya wishes!

The first post for October comes nearly after half the month has passed. Honestly, I didn’t even realize it as the month began with the most awaited festival for Bengalis – Durga Puja. Like every year, we went to Berhampore – the place I still call home.

Our Pujos – UCC and Baganpara


The kid wasn’t well since the night of his birthday because of a severe viral infection. We weren’t sure if we would make it home for puja this year. But we had underestimated the collective power of grandparents’ love and the resilience of our son. On the day of Panchami, we decided to take a chance and drove back home.

Homecoming – Kaash phool and the heritage city of Murshidabad


Like every year, I spent Saptami and Ashtami at Baba’s house, offering pushpanjali at our para pandal. Nabami and Dashami were at my marital home. We went pandal hopping on Ashtami and Nabami afternoons while spending the evenings at UCC puja pandal – the puja organized by my husband and his friends.

The beauty in the diversity of idols


As we bid goodbye to the Goddess on the last day of Durga Puja, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the love and warmth of being surrounded by family and friends. Since our son was born, we have consciously tried to be back home for Durga Puja and keep the vacation schedule for Diwali. I’m glad that this year is no exception too.

Pandals and creativity


We had a small get-together two days before we returned to Kolkata. Old friends and their families caught up over delicious lunch and long adda sessions. It was heartwarming to see the new generation bond with each other just like their parents. The kid also watched his first movie in the theatre – Karnasubarner Guptadhan, a Bengali detective thriller featuring Abir Chatterjee as Sona Da.

Durga Ma – ashche bochor abar hobe


Drafting this post from my writing desk in Kolkata, I won’t deny the tinge of sadness I feel while away from familiar surroundings. But there’s so much happening on the writing part that I can’t wait to share some good news related to my upcoming books soon.

The exteriors and interiors of some outstanding pandals in Berhampore


This Ashtami brought the first joyful news related to my latest book. Yesterday, my literary agent surprised me with another piece of information about the second Raya Ray novel. I shall update you with all the details once the necessary formalities are completed. Stay tuned, and I wish you all love and light.

First time joys for the kid during Janmashtami’22

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.

The fun ride on the train

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.

Berhampore sky and the landscape around my marital home

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.

Feeding the birds

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.

The boy with his dholak and pen

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.

Hijacking his father’s rocking chair.

My journey towards health and fitness

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.

#kneeinjury
The beginning took turn for the worse


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.

Read more: My journey towards health and fitness


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.

July tracker


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.

Continuing toward my fitness goals


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.

Food, friends, and fun – summing up July’22

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.

Dessert @Golden Joy

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.

Snacks @The Wise owl

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.

Breakfast @Roastery Coffee House

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.

Baked Alaska @Mocambo

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.

The gorgeous Kolkata sky at dusk

The New Town sky

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.

Dessert at the Golden Joy restaurant

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.

At Khoribari
College street – clicked in front of my alma mater, Presidency University

We met with a car accident last Tuesday

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.

The condition of the car after the accident – the shattered looking glass and the crushed front left door.
Continue reading “We met with a car accident last Tuesday”

Destination five & six – Dacres Lane & Iskcon Temple (Exploring Kolkata in a day series)

On 14th April, we started the day with lunch at Peter Cat, a visit to the Birla Planetarium followed by St. Paul’s Cathedral, and a boat ride at the Prinsep Ghat. As dusk settled down in the sky, we were exhausted and craved hot tea.

Chitto Babu r Dokan

Dacres Lane, near Esplanade, houses one of the oldest and most sought-after shops, Chitto Da’s stall or Chitto Babu r dokan. During any time of the day, one can find a crowd of office goers, residents, and travelers relishing tea, butter toast, chicken stew, or fish fry while sitting on the long benches on the opposite foot. It’s not a fancy or upscale eatery, but the kind that satisfies the nostalgic soul of a foodie. We gorged on tea and butter toast, while the kid ate a fish fry.

The Iskcon temple complex

By the time we got into the car, it was around 6:30 p.m. and a trip to the Ecopark didn’t seem like a viable option. Also, the kid was super tired from running around and doing other activities. So, we headed towards Minto Park to spend some time at the Iskcon temple. We witnessed the evening aarti there and drove back home to New Town.

Iskcon temple, Minto Park

Kolkata is a heritage city, rich in so many spots worth visiting that a day’s outing can never do justice to the heart of a traveler. But we want the kid to know and appreciate his birth city as he grows up. So, we decided to start taking him out on such short day trips. We hope to carry on the tradition of sightseeing new locations in the city as and when it fits into our schedule.

Hope you enjoyed reading my series as much as I loved writing the blog posts.

Destination four – Princep Ghat (Exploring Kolkata in a day series)

When we left St. Paul’s Cathedral after covering Birla Planetarium and lunching at Peter Cat, the watch showed 4:30 p.m. The kid wanted us to stop at Maidan to play football, a ritual we followed on most weekends during winter. But we had a different plan in mind and convinced him to a fun ride at a destination new to all of us. We reached Prinsep Ghat, the favorite spot of every movie director depicting Kolkata on the big screen (remember ‘Parineeta’?)

Fort William

The child ran in the park, leading us to the ghat. We rented a boat for the four of us for around thirty minutes. The boatman rowed towards the opposite side of the ghat only after we put on the mandatory life jackets.

Against the backdrop of the setting sun

Initially, the kid was a little scared since the boat swayed in the river. Once he discovered the joy of splashing water, there was no looking back for us.

And we begin the ride
The boats, ready to sail

Of all the places we visited in our day’s outing, the ride on the Ganges against the backdrop of the yellowish-orange sun setting in the pinkish-blue sky became the most memorable part of our trip. I captured some gorgeous snapshots of the setting sun and the Vidyasagar Setu, before sailing back to the ghat. The kid was so happy about the ride that he made us promise to bring him back for another trip soon.

Against the backdrop of Vidyasagar Setu

On the way back, we saw the Chakra rail; the kid happily posed in front of Fort William. It was already 6 p.m., and we craved tea. Through Burrabazar, we headed to Dacres lane towards our fifth destination. Stay tuned to know which place was next on our list.

The kid preparing to splash water