Essays & Short Stories

My Five Best Discoveries – books, food & travel

Photo and text by: Anusmita Dutta, 1st Prize Photo Essay Winner (Professional category)

Life is a total of good and not-so-good experiences. A good experience can be a result of a chance discovery that gives us momentary happiness or something that stays on our minds forever, giving us food for thought. Good experiences make life worth living and uplift our emotional fabric.

Here, are five chance discoveries that have managed to warm up the cockles of my heart and positively touched my life:

The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank. Photo courtesy: Anusmita Dutta
  1. The Diary Of A Young Girl

The Diary Of A Young Girl left a deep imprint on my mind ever since I happened to read it based on a close friend’s recommendation. I wonder with amazement how a twelve-year-old lived in hiding for two years and yet managed to write the greatest autobiography ever in the short life she lived. That the author, who was just an adolescent displayed such strength and a sense of gratitude in life even in such trying circumstances was an eye-opener for me. The narrative was poignant at times and funny at other times. But what stood out was her hope for a better future as she gave a vivid account of her days in confinement.

One of her quotes “Think of the beauty still left around you and be happy” is profound and if we abide it can make our lives easy in the most difficult times. I am glad I discovered the book when I did.

2. Dcrepes:

Eating out with family and friends is always an exciting occasion to bond with family and friends. This is especially true for women. While dining out we can actually enjoy a conversation as it frees us from the chores of cooking, serving, and cleaning afterwards.

Located in a prime locality in Thane, this quaint restaurant takes the first spot in my list of favourite eateries for a quick meal. The easy ambience, delicious continental food, and friendly service are the highlights of the restaurant. But what I like the best is to see the peaceful demeanours of the guests. In busy city life, people come to this place for a relaxed timeout with friends and family or to work on their laptops remotely. The eatery has a small library where books are kept for customers to read.

Unlike regular cafes, Dcrepes also has a delectable range of food options on its menu. Savoury crepes, the cheesy and freshly made pasta, and the large-sized burgers always leave me with a good feeling. Whether it is my daughter’s birthday party or any other occasion that calls for ‘ good food’ and company, Dcrepes is our first stop.

My self-care, self-pampering mode. Photo credit: Anusmita Dutta

3. Nail Art Studio- Bling

Childbirth and initial months of motherhood are fraught with endless baby care and utter chaos. Peaceful ‘Me time’ then becomes a much sought after commodity. After about three months of staying home to take care of my newborn, I craved to have some ‘me’ time even if it was only once in a while. 

The outing had to be quick and refreshing and within close vicinity of my home. That’s when I discovered a nail art studio called Bling Unisex Salon close to home. Going to the salon for nail art made me feel pampered and refreshed. Watching the nail artist work on my nails in silence was therapeutic. I go there even now and it always manages to warm up by heart. I am filled with memories of my early days of motherhood when I would sneak in at Bling for an hour just to tend to myself.

4. Shrivardhan beach: 

About 5 hours away from Mumbai, Shrivardhan beach is a jewel tucked in nature. The first time I had planned a trip to Shekhadi, in Raigad district I had no idea what to expect out of it. Until then Goa was my favourite beach destination in India. But the trip turned out more than worth our time and money. The beach is clean and safe. Though it doesn’t have beach sports like beaches in Goa do, the spotting of jellyfishes at night makes a bewitching sight.

The tranquil Sea View beach resort facing the beautiful Shrivardhan is another discovery that I made on the same trip. The lovely cottages, homely atmosphere, made to order food and the bonfire on the beach at night made my soul soar high and certainly calls for another visit soon.

Discovering this place has taught me to always be open to new experiences. We sometimes make the best discoveries when we least expect them.

A furry fellow relaxing at the Joggers Park. Photo credit: Anusmita Dutta

5. Joggers Park :

Our cities sadly lack open green spaces. Luckily for me, I found a hidden gem, the Joggers Park at the Hiranandani Estate, Thane. I was absolutely delighted to discover this place in the heart of the city. What I like about this park is that joggers and walkers alike can cover 450 metres in each round. It’s good to see joggers, yoga and fitness enthusiasts exercising at the open gym or taking a stroll. This park has become even more precious during the pandemic when going out to most places is out of bounds. It is here that we first felt comfortable to step out when the lockdown eased. There are plenty of trees in the park with squirrels and birds as its permanent denizens.

The park is open for all within and outside Hiranandani estate and has a small play area for children too.

The Lifestyle Portal

Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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