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Who said you can’t enjoy happy hours during lockdown?!

Yay, it’s the weekend folks! Though the distinction between weekday and weekend has become non-existent during lockdown for most people, it hasn’t for me. My 4-year-old is on an active online school schedule from Monday -Friday, and his first lesson of the day begins at precisely 8:05 a.m., which he must attend or he’s marked absent. I’m on a fairly good semblance of my regular routine and still get excited for the weekend.

The enthusiasm began early today morning when I woke to an email from Hotstar(an online streaming service similar to Netflix, of which I have a subscription), telling me they had partnered with Disney. I was delighted at this news, because it meant I could show my son many of my personal favourite films that weren’t available on other streaming platforms in India. These include great movies like ‘The Lion King’, ‘Toy Story’, ‘Snow White’, ‘Ice Age’, ‘The Jungle Book’ among others.

I know that it’s possible to download these movies, but I don’t support piracy of any kind and neither should you!

Today afternoon’s entertainment was “Ice Age”, which made my son curious about the geological period it was set in, and all the extinct animals which were the protagonists of the film.

Apart from allowing me to binge on movies, weekends are great since I can enjoy a drink or two without worrying about waking on time the next morning. Last couple of weekends, I’ve been catching up with friends over Whatsapp video calls or Facetime while enjoying a drink. But today I did something new. I signed up for an online Zoom ‘Happy Hours Meet and Greet’ with the members of an organisation called the Ivy Plus Network.

The founder of this organisation, Swati Sahni, set it up because she felt a disconnect among the many Ivy League University Graduates who returned to India, after pursuing their education abroad. The Ivy Plus Network regularly arranges events across various metropolitan cities of India. This month too, they have numerous online workshops and events lined up, to get people stuck in lockdown together virtually.

I signed up for the Meet and Greet happy hour, to connect with new people and see how others are dealing with the lockdown. There were about 18 of us in the chat from places as far off as Rwanda! We spoke about our lockdown routines and shared tips on staying happy and calm, and played a virtual game. It was a pleasant experience and though it didn’t top talking to close friends, it was definitely nice.

So, here’s my daily tip to beat the lockdown blues:

Find an online community with whom you have shared interests. The blogging community is kind of like that, but you can narrow the field more. If you’re a woman, then Malini’s Girl Tribe on Facebook is simply awesome. If you’re a parent, Mommy A-Zis fantastic. There are numerous options that you could check out. Recently, a friend of mine invested in a Kia Seltos car, and connected with other Kia owners on a dedicated group on Facebook! There is no limit to the power of the internet.

Another reason to love the internet is that it allows you to watch old TV shows that you grew up watching.

So, here’s my TV show recommendation for today:

“Dekh Bhai Dekh” is a classic Hindi comedy show about a large joint family in Mumbai and their hilarious shenanigans. If you’re an 80s or 90s kid from India, you’re definitely familiar with this show. Some, though not all, of the episodes can be streamed on Youtube, for the ultimate nostalgic escape. I believe its making a comeback on Doordarshan too.

My favourite TV show of all time, simply for its intelligent writing, is a science fiction thriller on Netflix known as “Dark”. This show will blow your mind!

Speaking of old school escapes, here’s a book I read as a teenager that had a profound effect on me:

Difficult Daughters” by Manju Kapur is about an extramarital love affair that takes place in Bengal during the Partition of India. I had loved the subtle nuances and layered writing in this one. The author of this book is a friend of my mother-in-law, and now I’m privileged to be part of a writer’s group with both of them. We meet once a month (in normal times), and share our written pieces over wine and laughs. These talented women have taught me plenty on the craft of writing.

On the subject of talented women, I’m leaving you with my blogger recommendations:

www.damurucreations.com is written by Urvashi Nenawati, who is also participating in the A to Z challenge this year with the theme “Toddler Tales”. I had thoroughly enjoyed reading her wedding posts during last year’s A to Z. Go check her out!

Another blogger turned published author I recently came across is Damyanti Biswas of www.damyantiwrites.com. We were co-participants in the Decade Blog Hop. I’m not too familiar with her work personally, but I know she is hugely popular among our community.

That’s all for today folks.

Do check out my daily update videos on Instagram Stories for #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer and follow me there to stay better connected. Also tell me your favourite TV Shows/ movies/ books/ bloggers with the letter D?

Do svidanya!

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This post has been written for the #AtoZChallenge 2020. My theme this year is #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer, where I’m journaling my thoughts during the coronavirus lockdown, and sharing numerous recommendations that will help you keep your spirits up.

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*This is not a sponsored post.

**Copyright in pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla.com and cannot be republished or repurposed without express permission of the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action.

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60 Comments

  1. I started watching Fauji. The episodes are short and fun to watch because I constantly juxtapose how serials were made then and now. And there is Shah Rukh Khan who was still young.

    And gonna search for Disney movies tomorrow. We do have hotstar. Anyways the kids watch way too much tv, they might as well watch something nice.

    I have some semblance of schedule because of my online yoga classes. And cheers! The weekend is here. Hope we had more stash!

  2. Even my daughter has to attend online classes so the weekend is going to be a great relief. I am definitely going to check out the new Disney channel suggested by you. I love Damyanti’s work. She is an amazing person as reflected in her writing. I usually blog for her WATWB posts!

  3. I have started watching Byomkesh Bakshi these days. I have watched it a couple of times earlier but now watching it with my daughter.

  4. I am glad that you are beating lock down blue positively and excited about weekend activities. here,next week is spring break, so girls will have break from their online school..so I am planning different activities for them, and ya..dekh bhai dekh was one of my favorite TV series from 90s era. it was so fantastic and we can watch it over and over again.

  5. I hear you on piracy Noor. Its a fantastic option to have- the Disney and Hotter combo. I think its a great idea to find a dedicated online community at this time and connect with them. I loved the fact that you have taken the onus to promote a couple of people via your post. I might want to replicate that for sure. Looking forward to seeing more from you. Virtual hugs!

  6. Agree Noor this online meet has came out as big sigh of relief for me, I found it a cool break from daily routine work, I hosted a virtual tea party for my friends day ago we all came on specific time with tea/coffee according to our preferences accompanied with snacks, we played games on Kahoot.com which literally doubled the fun!!! Much needed topic you came with. Feeling damn nostalgic by watching so many episodic programs of my era, I m sure “Return Of Doordarshan”, will also be remembered when people will talk about this deadly corona anytime in future.

  7. Great recommendations as usual. I did not know there was a serial by name Dekh Bhai Dekh. In the eighties and nineties I was in my twenties and was hardly watching much TV. Dekh Bhai Dekh reminds me of the song from Raj Kapooer’s film Mera Naam Joker. As usual a great set of recommendations.

  8. Even I saw the Disney Hotstar yesterday…my grandson was so excited although he doesn’t watch much. Recommend some online group for me Noor and a mention on your blog 🙂
    Love the way u write so informally and share so many different things on one page.

    1. Harjeet, I had thought of sharing your recommendation under W for Wordsmith Kaur but I believe you’ve changed that site? So then maybe under H!
      You should definitely join Malini’s Girl Tribe on Facebook- it’s an awesome place for women of all ages. I’ll add you today.

  9. Just loved this one. Have been eagerly waiting for Disney channel along with my son. To being happy during the lockdown!

  10. Hey Noor, this is a great information as I have stopped watching Hotstar from the last month, I feel reluctant to open it again. But Disney is our wonderland, and how can we escape this fun during these tensed days!! Thanks for sharing the info. I am watching some serials of my favorite list. Reminiscing old days are always happy thing. Happy weekend.

  11. So many things you can do during the lockdown. Love your narration. And I did not know about Disney Hotstat, that seems like a wonderful news! 😀

  12. These online tech, is truly helpful to keep ourselves out of stress from this lock down, and a good recommendation to watch and entertain ourselves. Have a good day 🙂

  13. Such a positive post. My daughter is in the transition phase from pre school to formal school so we do not have any classes but we still try and do some structured activities to stay in routine. I did not know about Hotstar and Disney collaborating. Thanks for this. And of course, Dekh Bhai Dekh is one of my all time favourites. Will check it out soon on Youtube. 🙂

  14. Talking to stranger over Zoom sounds interesting. Somehow I don’t enjoy group video chats so much. Infact, I am quite averse to talking over the phone as well. But due to this lockdown, I’ve talked to more people over video and phone than I have in over a year! Need of the times!

    shimmeringsunshine.blogspot.com

  15. Honestly, I come to your blog for my dose of positivity. We need a lot of it to survive this crisis. 4 year old and so much stress? Please give him one tight hug from Sonia aunty. Tuneer and I are also watching the Disney movies on Hotstar this weekend.

  16. Oh My God! Dekh Bhai Dekh is on you tube! Didn’t know..it wa sone of my favourite shows growing up. I’m definitely going to watch it again.. We too are watching Disney movies .. we watched Mary Poppins yesterday.. thank you so much for telling us about Dekh Bhai Dekh 😁

  17. Wonderful theme for A to Z. Nice that Disney partnered with some OTT provider finally. A lot of good children stuff otherwise would have been missed. Lovely way to give a shoutout to blogger from the community. I can see you are getting good engagement. Great work. Btw What will the Joker have to do to get a slot for a VC? Hahahha…just kidding. Apologies that I couldnt get to reading earlier. Keep flying keep the amazing work going. All the best for the challenge.

  18. Some really cool recommendations here, Noor though I have to admit, this lockdown has drained me even more. I dobt get a breather at all after a long day wfh and managing kids and home. Haven’t been able to catch up any of the series yet. Sigh!

    1. I understand Vartika… it’s not easy, but hang in there. Reward yourself with your favourite show one night of the week, or a good book 15 minutes before bed. These small things help 🙂

  19. My kid’s school is commencing from this Tuesday then I too may have a better routine Noor. Dekh bhau dekh has been my fav too. Currently I am binge watching ToyBoy on Netflix n wonder why you haven’t reviewed it yet

    1. Yes I feel the online lessons are a great way of keeping our regular life on track.
      I’ve seen the trailers for Toyboy- but there’s so much to watch and review and so little time!! I’ve just been picking things that appeal to me at first go, so far.
      Do you recommend Toyboy?

  20. I love Disney..Thanks for the recommendations.

    Well, I play antakshri with family on zoom. And some days we get together to have an online read meet . Zoom is a blessing !
    And yes routine is important. So believe me online school is a blessing! It gives some semblance to the day.
    Stay home, Stay safe

  21. What a great virtual meet up! We’ve been doing some virtual game nights and have a virtual happy hour scheduled but I’ve never tried it with a larger group only close friends. There are some great options available. I’ll have to check them out. Weekends In Maine

  22. Hi Noor: all of my writing groups (four at last count) have been holding virtual generative writing sessions. It’s been a savior for both working the writer brain and then sharing with feedback for about two hours. That, plus AtoZ, keeps the juices flowing. Other zoom things happen: Master Class,Blog reading, TV, and music make up the rest of the day.

    Dune is one of my top favorite books. The world building is amazing, and the main characters are so distinctive. Before I saw any movie adaptation, it played beautifully in my mind.
    Damyanti & I have “known” each other for years. She is an amazing writer. Her book is well worth whatever price it is going for now. It is very easy to find and access her eBook. Is it OK if I cheat a little with the day and recommend Sascha Darlington, Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored? 🙂
    Day for Night (Truffaut) would be my pick for a movie to watch. I love the majority of his work.

    Stuart
    Tale Spinning

    1. Wow 4 different writer’s groups! That’s amazing… i can barely keep up with one!
      I haven’t read Dune nor seen Day for Night but I’m going to check them out on your recommendation!

  23. I am new to zoom but after reading your post I too am planning to join all my family members to be together in this lockdown from different cities and yes I too started watching dekh bhai dekh with my kids

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