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A hand-picked basket of cherries from the world of most talked about books and popular posts on creative literature, reviews and interviews, movies and music, critiques and retrospectives ...
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Literature

Thirteen-year-old Nishtha peers into the future to visualize how life in a new university, in a new campus, among new friends will shape up in 2021. Will the post-pandemic world allow dreams to take wings?

How Far is the Island, Baba?
How Far is the Island, Baba?
Most of us have a water body in our memory, be it flowing or still like our life. It shows the time, the faces, even our own reflections. Piu Mahapatra had one which she crossed every year at this time of the year, during Durga Puja.
Turn to Art
Turn to Art
As we wrap our heads around the ongoing pandemic, it is only art which has the capacity to heal us.
Diaries from a Post-Pandemic World
Diaries from a Post-Pandemic World
Thirteen-year-old Nishtha peers into the future to visualize how life in a new university, in a new campus, among new friends will shape up in 2021. Will the post-pandemic world allow dreams to take wings?
Wednesday
Wednesday
We choose what to do on Wednesday! Naseeruddin Shah chose to ‘act’ like a ‘Common Man’ one fine ‘Wednesday’. It was one of these Wednesdays almost half a century back China successfully first tested its Hydrogen bomb. And there are many Wednesdays, we all choose to do something else! Piu Mahapatra rewinds to the hot April Wednesday when raining jamuns brought glee.
He climbed up the tree getting hold of a hanging root and settled on one of the lower branches of the tree
The Curious Onlooker
One eventful day, Aman ventures on a trek in a dense forest, overlooking the gloomy forecast of heavy downpour and thunderstorms. He gets stranded in the woods by evening because of heavy rain. But he was not prepared for the series of unpleasant events which the forest tosses on him one after another. As the night progresses, he finds himself in the middle of a complex mystery which seems impossible to solve. Without Sahil, he finds himself severely handicapped and helpless, a lame spectator to the crimes which are committed right under his nose. Will he able to catch the culprits alone? Read on to know more about his adventures in the fifth story of the Aman and Sahil series. Illustrations drawn by Varun.
The Mountain of Moon
The Mountain of Moon
Sometimes, it isn't required to try hard to be a friend. You just wait! Piu Mahapatra rewinds to a childhood train journey and a 'chhoti si mulaqaat'.
To Sir With Love
To Sir With Love
Today’s Topic - Family!! Define and Draw! Piu Mahapatra pays a loving tribute to her Mastermoshai, on Teacher's Day.
if i took on the world
if i took on the world
A wistful poem about introspections and dreams, of fears and apprehensions, of courage and challenges and a tango with your thoughts.
‘Tal Nabami’
‘Tal Nabami’
The festivals are seasonal just like the fruits. They have a way of getting into our life and each teaches a moral in their own sweet way.
Origami
Origami
Not all instructions are to be followed till the end and not all have to be what they thought they will be. Piu Mahapatra writes to herself.
'রজনীগন্ধা' The Tube Roses
‘রজনীগন্ধা’ The Tube Roses
The important moments of our lives are more or less same, irrespective of time.  It was my mother and then me till my daughter is ready, the celebrations of life remain more or less unaltered.
Aman and Sahil with the old man
An Unexpected Companion
Aman and Sahil are back on their adventure ride with a trip to Karnala Bird Sanctuary near Matheran. What started off as a leisurely morning trek turns out to be a very insightful trip about the different kinds of birds in the sanctuary. They befriend a forest officer who gives them a detailed account of the migratory birds which visit the sanctuary every year. But excitement and thrill never cease to follow Aman and Sahil wherever they go. Read on to know more about their adventure as they trek to the Karnala fort along with their new friend. With beautiful illustrations by little Varun!
Galauti and Lakhnawi kababs with Rumali Roti (Pic: Wikimedia Commons 3.0)
Sakhawat Mian
The Lukhnawi cuisine prepared by Sakhawat Mian in his nondescript food joint in Lucknow is as fresh in memory of Bimal Chadha as the flavor of the kababs.
Eye Wide Shut
Eye Wide Shut
Hard truth: The little conveniences of life, earn their value when they are taken away from us without much of a notice.
Rabindranath Tagore with his Son Rathindranath Tagore & Daughters Madhurilata Devi (Bela), Mira Devi, Renuka Devi (Pic: Google Image Search)
The Conflicts in Tagore – Chitrangada Versus Chandalika
On Rabindranath Tagore's 79th death anniversary, Shoma A Chatterji explores Tagore's outlook towards women in the context of his dance dramas Chitrangada and Chandalika as well as his own approach towards his daughters.
Shot in Black & White - Treasured in the Heart: Photography by Manobina Roy
Shot in Black & White – Treasured in the Heart: Photography by Manobina Roy
Manobina Roy carried her Rolliflex wherever she went "because wherever I went, I might find something, an incident, or people I might want to remember years later." Ratnottama Sengupta reflects on some outstanding shots of Manobina, the talented wife of legendary filmmaker Bimal Roy, woven in a heartfelt tribute to her 'Bina Jethima'.
On the Edge
On the Edge
Apni tanhaai kaa auro se na Shikvaa karna Tum akele hi nahin ho Sabhi akele hai Ye akelaa safar nahin guzaraa Those LP records, those Puja releases, those soulful songs of Kishore Kumar sung to Gulzar's melancholic lyrics - Piu Mahapatra looks back at the long playing memories, fondly.
সাঁজবাতির রূপকথারা - Tales of the Evening Lamp
সাঁজবাতির রূপকথারা – Tales of the Evening Lamp
We might not have Durga Puja this year at my village! But the celebration is not always about people gathering, the feast laid or the sound of the drums beating. Remembering with love and pride is also a celebration, isn't it?
St Joseph's P U College (Pic: Wikimedia Commons CC 3.0)
Bangalore of Yore
Having seen Bangalore from a ring side seat for over 65 years, Rajan NS often feels wistful and nostalgic about his city. Take a trip down memory lane with him.
I Saw It in Your Eyes
I Saw It in Your Eyes
We remember in bits and pieces and the rest we weave in our minds like an eight legged garden spider and that might be the very reason our memories are such beautiful webs, fragile and vague and yet never let go what it catches.
Forgetting
Forgetting
We had this essay by Robert Lynd on 'Forgetting' in our school days which tried to shade a humorous light on human's mind and his weird ways of choosing to forget. Absent mindedness can truly be a virtue but unlike what Lynd quoted, all men possessing this blessing might not make the best of their life.
Summertime Memories
Summertime Memories
As the summer vacation draws to a close and children get ready to start school, albeit from home this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, enjoy this throwback to summer vacations in the 80s and 90s childhood.
Dil Hai Chhota Sa
Dil Hai Chhota Sa
A 'wish' is not as strong as 'desire'. Neither 'covet' can be her synonym. When did the dictionary do justice! 'Wish' has the fancy wings of Mohak, fragile and yet can travel thousands of miles to lay theirs eggs on milkweeds.
The Mystery of the Dead Man
The Mystery of the Dead Man
Investigating a murder near the River Tigris, which was once a part of the ancient Mesopotamian Civilization, the author stumbles upon a sinister plan of stealing diamonds. Enjoy this thrilling and suspense laden detective story by 11 year old Akash Nag.
Dear Calcutta
Dear Calcutta
If you are away from your loved ones, write a letter. Write a letter as long as you have someone to deliver it to. Write a letter if you have an address to reach.
Friends, For Good Times and Bad
Friends, For Good Times and Bad
If you haven't lived with them, then you are definitely younger than me!! Piu Mahapatra looks back at her friendly pets, er... pests. :)
The Letter That Never Reached Home
The Letter That Never Reached Home
Not all postcards reached home. The messages, insignificant, timid sometimes urgent strayed and got lost. It always reached somewhere to someone though. But we are all bounded by relevance!!
An Elegy for Irrfan Khan
An Elegy for Irrfan Khan
Sultana Raza pens a heartfelt tribute to Irrfan Khan, one of the finest actors of Indian cinema, whose untimely death on 29 April, 2020 left behind a void.
The Unknown Heroes of New York
The Unknown Heroes of New York
Heroism lies not in strength alone but in the intention to do good and save lives. Enjoy Akash Nag's action packed story of unsung superheroes!
The Eyes Tell You All
The Eyes Tell You All
Knowing people through their eyes, remembering them, loving them.... because, the eyes tell you all.
Understanding Space-Time Continuum in Quantum Physics
Understanding Space-Time Continuum in Quantum Physics
As Amphan wreaked havoc through Kolkata, it left behind a stream of changed priorities and perspectives and new realizations. Amitava Nag jots down his stream of consciousness, surviving 6 days without electricity supply.
The Moment
The Moment
A wistful love poem, recalling and reliving those first moments of love that stay on to become memories forever.
Victoria Memorial
There is Sorrow That Lingers in Old Parks
My tribute to the protagonists Ashoke Ganguly and his wife Asheema Ganguly of Jhumpa Lahiri’s brilliant novel ‘The Namesake’, which was adapted into a film by Meera Nair in 2007, starring Irrfan Khan, Tabu and Kal Penn. Written during the first day of PANDORATHON: an online writing festival happening in The Significant League, a literary group in Facebook in the month of May. This is in response to a prompt initiated by Dr. Santosh Bakaya, author, poet, academician.
Of Fat Lies and Half Truths
Of Fat Lies and Half Truths
'মাথার ঘন চুল যখন, মরূভূমি ছুঁয়ে যায়....’ We might be aware or not, but if we make a video of our childhood, along with the black and white to color images, the jingles will float in. A line or two, promising and alluring, becoming a part of you and your time. So if you belong to 'Maggie Maggie Maggie'🎵 🎵 🎵 time...spare 5 minutes!
Rabindranath Tagore and India's First Electrical Recording
Rabindranath Tagore and India’s First Electrical Recording
The story behind Rabindranath Tagore's historic recording of two recitation titles with a translation of '1400 Saal'.
Fatima Didi
Fatima Didi
'Calcutta', the bygone Kolkata had many Fatimas and Kunjo 'dida's. Like the photo albums, with ivory black thick pages holding little family portraits in four, small triangle jackets, we have also stored fondly in our memory, many such portraits along with their little stories. My mom has still kept that album in her almira and I, in my 'Letters to Myself' during these days of Corona.
Kaku
Kaku
Bimal Chadha looks back at a 45 year old friendship to recount a hilarious 'escapade' of Kaku high in the tough terrain of the Pir Panjal Mountains.
Green
Green
You see a round glass paperweight with colorful raindrops trapped deep inside and zoom, it can remind you of Monida, the lil shop owner and his rainbow candies filling the thick lid glass jar. Oh! Our memories and the weirdest trick they play with us!! A green moths transforms to...come on...let's see if you can figure it out. 😊
Why Dance? I Had No Answer to That…
Why Dance? I Had No Answer to That…
An extract from famed author and screenplay and script writer Nabendu Ghosh's autobiography Eka Naukar Jatri, translated by Ratnottama Sengupta as a special LnC feature on World Dance Day.
Kunjo Dida
Kunjo Dida
It was a different Kolkata, when the not-do-urban middle class families were still flexible to accept one or two single woman in all white-linen sari, as a part of their own. That was a different time. If you belong to that time, come and join the author. If not, that shouldn't stop you either!
Avenues
Avenues
Two souls travel, on two avenues, meet by chance for a little while and what happens then? Adaptation of an excerpt from Amrita Pritam's Yeh Kahani Nahin
The Gift of a Rainy Day
The Gift of a Rainy Day
The much awaited droplets of rain offers a moment of rejuvenation to students struggling with numerical dilemmas in a four-walled classroom.
Rakta Karabi (Red Oleander): A Tribute Poem to Tagore's Drama
Rakta Karabi (Red Oleander): A Tribute Poem to Tagore’s Drama
A poetic tribute to Nandini, the heroine of Tagore's drama Rakta Karabi (Red Oleander) for the occasion of the National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo), April 2020.
Bahadur
Bahadur
Has it ever happened to you, that it was someone else's album, a different time altogether and even the person captured is faintly familiar and yet the surroundings, the shadows trigger memories? If it had never happened earlier, then you are no doubt in a hurry and need to sit down and share your memories with your friends and families.
Corona - A Short Story of All Tomatoes
Corona – A Short Story of All Tomatoes
Storyboard - Corona is a new mode of living. Even though the situation is grim, but we never run out of our wit to laugh out together. So here is a short story...all about Corona...and Cherry Tomatoes 😉
A Trip to the Indian Store
A Trip to the Indian Store
An image of a regular visit to the only Indian store in town and how it becomes a synaesthesia of memories from home.
Roma Aunty
Roma Aunty
Some people forever stay in memory but with time you look at them with a new perspective. Bimal Chadha fondly remembers his neighbour Roma Aunty.
Things That Money Can Buy
Things That Money Can Buy
'কড়ি দিয়ে কিনলাম’ 'The things that money can buy'...and can't!!
Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever
A wistful poem about an introspective journey to look within, when the body is in suffering.
Crimson
Crimson
Colours have different meaning as we grow up. They mean freedom at times and also bindings, bondage. In this memoir, Piu Mahapatra looks back at a time of her life when crimson was more than just a presence in the colour palette.
To Do or Not To Do
To Do or Not To Do
Don't do this, don't go there, don't chase the butterflies...! Santosh Bakaya spots a bunch of confused dogs with their equally confused masters where everything that the dogs attempt to do was something which is not to be done.
Two Poems on World Poetry Day
Two Poems on World Poetry Day
To celebrate the World Poetry Day, two of my poetic offerings with diverse and dynamic themes, the first one inspired by a painting of a woman and the second one, a poetic summation of my sense of spirituality.
Arm in Arm
Arm in Arm
Saving the head here and mending the arm there, Santosh Bakaya encounters a bunch of adventures on her morning meanderings.
Ai Mohabbat Tere Anjaam Pe: A Ballad of Failed Love
Ai Mohabbat Tere Anjaam Pe: A Ballad of Failed Love
Ai mohabbat tere anjaam pe rona aayaa - a Shakeel ghazal is one of the best on the point of failed love, rendered timeless by Begum Akhtar's gaayaki. Vijay Kumar translates it into English.
To Spring...
To Spring…
A wistful ode to spring and its all encompassing beauty by Udayaditya Mukherjee.
Love and Only Love
Love and Only Love
Valentine's Day, the day of love has come and gone. But hope stays alive of a utopian world where love rules and hatred gets a drubbing every day.
The singer and the dancer
Celebrate the Differences, Enjoy the Similarities and Forget the Rest!
Every relationship is a potpourri of similarities and differences. Ramendra Kumar muses about why his marriage is considered a runaway success.
Come Join My Happy Song
Come Join My Happy Song
A brawl peppered with resounding bawls and supported by a background chorus of barks greets Santosh Bakaya as she steps gingerly out in the foggy morning. But soon it turns into a happy song. :)
The Tug
The Tug
On a cold, foggy morning, when the masters walk their dogs in the mist, Santosh Bakaya goes for a reluctant walk only to find a friendly tug at her heartstrings.
Friend
Friend
A wistful poem celebrating the all-encompassing beauty of friendship and togetherness amid the peaceful and tranquil beauty of nature.
A Brave New Beginning
A Brave New Beginning
While the inviting warmth of the quilt makes you snuggle in deeper to beat the cold, the world outside is waking up to a brave new beginnings. Santosh Bakaya crawls out to find that spring is round the corner!
Friends Forever Chapter 17
Friends Forever Chapter 17
A spate of thefts in school disturb everyone's life, puzzling everyone. Do you know who could be stealing from the students?
Two Little Babes and an Adventure
Two Little Babes and an Adventure
Two children, Charu and Raghu, dodge a dozing dad to skip out of the house on bright sunny afternoon and explore the world of animals all by themselves.
Stories of Resilience: The Indomitable Girls Who Rebuilt Their Broken Lives
Stories of Resilience: The Indomitable Girls Who Rebuilt Their Broken Lives
The girls featured in all the stories are like Kintsukuroi Dolls; they're all broken, but are slowly putting themselves together. Stories of Resilience written by Ramendra Kumar showcases how adolescent girls battle the toughest of odds with the help of Protsahan India Foundation, an NGO fighting against Child Abuse, and emerge triumphant. It retells stories of dogged determination and unmatched resilience. Ishika Kiran reviews Stories of Resilience.
Friends Forever Chapter 15
Friends Forever Chapter 15
Aamir learns the art of public speaking from an expert Richa Tripathy. Ramendra Kumar's "Friends Forever" journeys on with Aamir and Sagar.
Little People, Big Hearts
Little People, Big Hearts
Innocence has the unfathomable power to make any inhibitions or fear crumble. Our little people give us big lessons of life, from their innocent hearts.
The Great Cuddle
The Great Cuddle
Cricketers go for the great HUDDLE to strategize how to beat the opponent. The great CUDDLE is to strategize about how to beat the cold.
Ordinary Man Extraordinary Mission
Ordinary Man Extraordinary Mission
The ordinary man's extraordinary mission suddenly made Santosh Bakaya realise there is so much yet to do and so little time.
The Emperor of Green: A Story of Determination
The Emperor of Green: A Story of Determination
Nature is all powerful, and an antidote to the ill-effects of science and technology. We need to resurrect the pristine glory of nature if we want to survive in this materialistic world. A wistful, touching poem by Anagha Rajesh.
A New Surefootedness
A New Surefootedness
As the glistening curtain of the fog slowly lifted up, the New Year just waited in the shadows sheathed in the shimmering glow of love and peace.
The Lingering Aroma
The Lingering Aroma
In these days of cut-throat corporate competition and hostile business feuds, two tea vendors prove there can be friendship above business interests.
The Room Next Door
The Room Next Door
Every room has a story to tell. This wistful poem by Anagha Rajesh, a budding poet from UAE, wonders about a room that has seen many an experience pass by it.
Hell Over Helmet Amid Smiling Santa Caps
Hell Over Helmet Amid Smiling Santa Caps
As the wasteful Dirty Dozen find their lost helmet in a sink with a bag of uneatan food, Santa caps bring in the Christmas cheer for the ragpicker kids. Its Christmas and you celebrate it the way you wish to.
The Milkman’s Daughter
The Milkman’s Daughter
The pestering milkman of "Ekbar try maar lo, madam" fame has a daughter who rekindles Santosh Bakaya's faith in humanity with her compassionate gesture.
When Will the Babies Come?
When Will the Babies Come?
An innocent 5 year old's disgust at the big fat Indian weddings and their unabashed show of wealth holds up a mirror to the sad paradox facing us today.
The Awesome Mess
The Awesome Mess
It takes a certain ability and concerted efforts over a period of time to build up an awe inspiring mess. And to live in it with attitude!
The Rainbow
The Rainbow
A child's innocent smile that is free of the baggage of unpleasant memories can light up your clouded sky like a rainbow, when you are grappling with your inner self.
Battle of Panipat
Battle of Panipat
The exhilarating feeling of the first shave is a boy's big step into adulthood. For Bimal Chadha, it is a Battle of Panipat every time the razor meets the cheek.
The Sisters
The Sisters
As human beings, we impulsively feel the need to connect sometimes with total strangers. A mystical affinity builds up instantly and the stranger becomes a friend.
My Cup of Tea
My Cup of Tea
A young girl gives Santosh Bakaya her own mug of tea and happily picks up an 'ordinary' cup for herself. The warmth in her gesture makes the author forget the winter chill.
A Handful of Joy
A Handful of Joy
Children never lose their knack of conjuring moments of pure joy from thin air even as another grueling daily routine begins.
The Second Track
The Second Track
An incessant drill in our mind that runs a hyperactive parallel line of thought, keeps feeding us everything from comic relief memories to panic button anxiety attacks in nano seconds.
Love in the Time of Nightmares
Love in the Time of Nightmares
Struggling to shake off a nightmare? Rewind to love, which has the power to banish all demons, the worst of nightmares and negativities.
The Sparkle of Love
The Sparkle of Love
“I think that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” Vincent Van Gogh's words ring true as the lights of Diwali spread love and affection, bringing on the smile on every face.
Inspired by the Lotus Sutra - A Poem and Painting on Buddha
Inspired by the Lotus Sutra – A Poem and Painting on Buddha
A tribute to Gautam Buddha and his Lotus Sutra, as my contribution for the poetry movement titled '100 Thousand Poets For Change', a global poetry and art initiative.
Songs of Freedom
Songs of Freedom
Songs of freedom are all around, we just need to listen. Santosh Bakaya enjoys the redemption songs that float in the air, in animals, plants and people.
The Rat Race
The Rat Race
Rats are part of every day life. From chasing rats and catching rats to being part of the rat race, there is no escape from them, physically, metaphorically or literally.
Take Me Home
Take Me Home
Home sweet home is where you belong. Those who are away pine to go back. Those who don't have a home, make a home wherever they are. And there are many for whom the sky is the roof.
The Rising
The Rising
The yawners and their yawns, the back-slapping workers getting ready for a day of back-breaking work - every morning is a new rising.
Jugaad (The Quickfix Solution)
Jugaad (The Quickfix Solution)
In India, we are known famously for our unmatched 'jugaad' skills or the ability to fix up a solution out of nowhere, which are often wildly creative.
Durga Puja: Ruminations
Durga Puja: Ruminations
The nip in the air and the azure sky take Lekha Sengupta back to her childhood days of Puja festivities. A short, ruminative essay on the auspicious occasion of the upcoming Durga puja.
The Gandhi Within
The Gandhi Within
Innumerable unsung freedom fighters and martyrs had given up everything to win independence for our country. The need of today is to invoke the Gandhi within. A special story by Ramendra Kumar on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
A Fistful of Happiness
A Fistful of Happiness
A fistful of happiness can really make a difference, be it a hungry old man or a baby sparrow lost in the storm. Lend a helping hand when life offers you this blessing.
Apna Time Aayega (My Time Will Come)
Apna Time Aayega (My Time Will Come)
A dream keeps us moving ahead. And "hope springs eternal" in the human heart and says, my time will come.
Dowry
Dowry
A deeply touching story about the inexplicable bond between a father and a daughter. A Daughter's Day special story by Ramendra Kumar, this is excerpted from the anthology of 5 stories, titled Different Shades of Eve.
The Writing on the Wall
The Writing on the Wall
Love is indeed all that matters. Let us all be love mongers and go where love is!
Dogs of War
Dogs of War
Dogs can show off their power at a noisy war and yet can also be shooed away by cawing crows. Its a strange world.
I Wonder
I Wonder
A poet is forever wondering, the heart pierced by the injustices and unfairness of a topsy-turvy world. In these lines, we see the reflection of a sensitive heart.
Be That Lake
Be That Lake
Being positive is a choice. You can be a little lake, rippling with water even in the midst of dull and dry land if you decide to hold the rainwater.
The Lonely Goatherd
The Lonely Goatherd
Having lost a little lamb, a sad and lonely goatherd finds empathy in a stray pup who has had a close look at the hard world in its young life.

Today’s Motivation

<div class=at-above-post-cat-page addthis_tool data-url=https://learningandcreativity.com/learning-quote-life-jawaharlal-nehru/></div>Resembling a card game wherein a hand is dealt with a set of different cards, and the players play according to their own way; Life offers us various opportunities, how we utilize them is our own decision and preference.<!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class=at-below-post-cat-page addthis_tool data-url=https://learningandcreativity.com/learning-quote-life-jawaharlal-nehru/></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->
Life offers us various opportunities, how we utilize them is our own decision and preference.