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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’?)
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.
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.
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.
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.
After Peter Cat and M.P.Birla Planetarium, our third destination choice was St. Paul’s Cathedral, the largest church in the city. Every year, we visit the church in December when it is decked up for Christmas. It is located adjacent to the Planetarium. So, we parked our car inside the premises to visit both places.
A portion of the church is still under renovation, but one can still sit inside and soak in the silence of spirituality. After spending some time in tranquility, we took a look around to appreciate the architecture designed in an Indo-Gothic style. Next, we went to the children’s play area in the backside. The kid had a great time on the swing and slide while also running behind squirrels.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of my favorite places in the city to spend some time alone. In 2018, when I had just begun blogging, I wrote a detailed blog post about this spot. Needless to say, we would again return here on or before Christmas.
We spent some time in the garden area before driving out towards our fourth destination. Stay tuned to figure out where we took the kid next to have a gala time.
After our first destination, Peter Cat, we headed over to the Jawaharlal Nehru Road for our second stoop, M.P. Birla Planetarium. The kid has recently developed a fascination for the solar system and space. We got him a couple of age-appropriate books to satiate his curiosity about the planets. But he is always looking to know more. So, we thought of taking him to one of the shows currently running about ‘Cosmic collisions.’
After parking our car, we got the tickets by standing in a long queue. The second line was for entry, which was longer than the first one. Honestly, it was a big turn-off in the scorching heat. After getting inside, we realized that one could sit anywhere they chose to. We decided on sitting in the last row to have a better view, though the seating arrangement doesn’t make much of a difference once the show begins.
It was a mesmerizing experience. Once the movie began, we felt transported to the enormity of space. At times, the kid was baffled because most phenomena were beyond his age and understanding. However, that didn’t deter him or us from enjoying the experience. After the thirty-minutes show (which we felt was too short), we walked to our third destination in the vicinity. I’ll share more details in the next blog post.
Photography is prohibited inside the planetarium, so I’ve shared pictures only of the entrance and the garden area outside the building. You can find details of the planetarium on their official website.