It takes a little energy and will – and a good dose of providence – but some manage to use the castle to work on long-awaited personal projects and ambitions. It is, despite all the worries, the burden of housekeeping and raising children 24 hours a day.

An easy way to do this and stay on course is of course to set up daily tasks: a new dish per day, a page or chapter for your book or diary, a drawing or scribbles, a new exercise.

The task doesn’t have to be new, the daily practice of a new skill or ambition can give you a new sense of trust, and that’s something.

Dr. Sonal Anand, a psychiatrist, points out that setting a goal – doing something or learning something new – can also benefit mental health.

This is a time when you can look inside and understand your true powers; ask what you really want to be good at. In a way, she says, it’s a chance to reinvent yourself.

Samrat basak with garlic shrimp spaghetti; he prepares a new recipe every day.

However, Dr. Anand emphasizes that these goals must be approached with an open mind and a willingness to accept and learn from failure.

This is exactly what researcher Aritra Basu and teacher Rizwave Chatterjee are doing with their project Quarantine Stories. Every week they choose a story and upload a dramatic lecture to Facebook and YouTube.

We’ve learned more and more in the process. In the beginning we published two stories a week, but then we realized that we had to limit ourselves to one story in order to publish a very good book. We did women’s voices ourselves, but after receiving feedback from the audience, we asked Rizwava’s mother to listen to the woman’s voice, and it was better received, Basu said. They are now working with a team of three people and their stories will be staged for a month.

The author of the content, Snehal Handekar, had set himself the goal of writing a poem every day for a month, and was surprised by this.

Aritra Basu and her friend read a dramatic short story every week and learn from the reactions of the audience.

For one month a year poets write national poems or NaPoWriMo. Not a few of my friends have tried. I didn’t even think about trying, but since I’ve had a lot of time this year, it seemed like the perfect time to try, she said.

Handekar’s subjects ranged from love and companionship to cats, and she says the exercise gave her both discipline and confidence when it came to writing.


Businessman Samrat Basak decided to use the castle to learn a whole new trade, and decided to start cooking, which he had never done before. Today he cooks every day and tastes dishes that vary from lasagne with chicken Alfredo to spaghetti with garlic prawns.

I decided to do this so I wouldn’t be distracted, and my family is surprised and admired, he said.

His last experiment was a sponge cake (which turned out to be too hard), but he has now found something he likes to do and will continue to use it as a creative outlet and stress enhancer, even after incarceration.

Complex objectives work better for some. The theorist Sonali Mojapatra set out to communicate with 100 interesting people through a podcast she launched during the blockade. So far she has interviewed 35 people, including doctors, LGTBQ activists, actors and entrepreneurs, on topics such as internet security, the impact of the pandemic on women and the language of government communication.

Anani Ray, a student at Jadavpur University, had an easier goal: to train every day and learn more about her body. The first day I was too strict and it hurt for a few days. Then I slowly established an hour-long routine, she says. These exercises led to yoga, which reduced the consumption of sugar and junk food. She says she feels more energetic and healthier. The most important thing is what she wanted for herself to get out of segregation, and she got it.

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