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Blind date: ‘It was awkward when the oysters came out’ | Life and style

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Ella on Josh

What were you hoping for?
A fun evening, with good company and/or to find the love of my life.

First impressions?
He looks lovely.

What did you talk about?
Family, jobs, how amazing the food was, his acting career, university, how I’m not telepathic with my twin sister.

Any awkward moments?
When I thought he said he was a band manager and asked him what band he manages. He actually said he was a bar manager…

Good table manners?
Yes. He let me try every dish first and was very kind to our lovely waiter.

Best thing about Josh?
He’s easy to get along with and a very caring, engaging guy.

Would you introduce him to your friends?
I would – they’d like him.

Describe Josh in three words?
Kind, smiley, genuine.

What do you think he made of you?
Talkative, loves her food (he was full by the time the main course arrived and I pretended I was, too, as I thought it was good date etiquette) and a very fast drinker.

Did you go on somewhere?
To a pub across the road for a pint. A very different vibe to the fancy restaurant.

If it weren’t for social distancing, would you have kissed?
I’m not sure we would have.

If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
A mask-free waiter so I could understand him a bit better. I misunderstood what he said and accidentally agreed he could pick our dishes. Oysters as a first course was a bit of a surprise. Josh had never had them before but handled the situation very well and seemed to enjoy them. Either that or he’s a really great actor.

Marks out of 10?
8.

Would you meet again?
Maybe I’ll see him at one of his band’s gigs one day…

Josh on Ella

What were you hoping for?
A blonde lass who has good chat and likes a drink.

First impressions?
Well, she was blonde, so that box was ticked. I thought she was a pretty lass and was looking forward to getting to know her.

What did you talk about?
Work, lockdown life, family. She was into football, which is always good. We had lots in common.

Any awkward moments?
When the oysters came out. I had never had them before, so it was interesting to try them for the first time with a stranger.

Good table manners?
Very good, and she was always appreciative towards the waiters.

Best thing about Ella?

She was chatty and understanding. We are from very different backgrounds but there was never any judgment.

Would you introduce her to your friends?
Probably not.

Describe Ella in three words?
Kind, understanding, driven.

What do you think she made of you?
I think she liked me as a person – not too sure about sexual attraction though.

Did you go on somewhere?
Yes, to a great little pub over the road.

If it weren’t for social distancing, would you have kissed?
I would say no.

If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change anything. The food, service and wine were all amazing, and it was nice to experience it with a stranger who is a great person.

Marks out of 10?
8.

Would you meet again?
Although she was lovely, and great company, I don’t think so. There wasn’t any sexual chemistry.

Josh and Ella ate at Arros QD, London W1. They were photographed separately for this image. Fancy a blind date? Email [email protected]

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Aanchal Malhotra pens a sequel to ‘Remnants of a Separation’

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Author Aanchal Malhotra’s debut book ‘Remnants of a Separation’ released in 2017, and it was well received by readers. ‘Remnants of a Separation’, as the title suggests, dwells into Partition history and how the historic event still shapes the lives of people on both sides of the border. And now, news is that Malhotra has penned a sequel to her debut book and it is expected to release in 2021. Titled ‘In the Language of Remembering: Generational Memories of the Partition’, the book is acquired by HarperCollins India.

Apart from the sequel, the publishing house also announced that they will publish Malhotra’s first work of fiction titled ‘The Book of Everlasting Things’ which will be out in 2022. Both books have been acquired from David Godwin at David Godwin Associates, HarperCollins shared in an official statement.

Talking about her two upcoming books, Malhotra said in the statement, “The last few years have been very productive for me as a writer, working in domains both familiar and uncharted. My debut book, ‘Remnants of a Separation: A History of the Partition through Material Memory’ (2017), opened the doors to a further excavation of Partition history, particularly within second and third generations on both sides of the border. Stories about parents and grandparents began to pour in and I archived them as second-hand memories. It is these stories that make up my second book, ‘In the Language of Remembering: Generational Memories of the Partition’. Personal and inward-looking, they touch on topics of identity, nationality, politics, belonging, religion, the creation of the other, and why Partition is still not an event of the past. They are, in a way, the testimony of a generation.

“Along with recording oral history, I’ve also been quietly working on a novel titled ‘The Book of Everlasting Things. Retaining the theme of Partition’, it also explores the largely forgotten role of Indian soldiers in World War One and the extraordinary realm of perfumery. It is a book about love and regret, longing and exile, and the strength and depth of human relationships. My first foray into fiction, it has been perhaps the most demanding but rewarding book of my career. HarperCollins India has always been the natural home for my work, and I’m delighted to continue working with them on these two new books!”

Congratulations to the author!


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My COVID story: Even after getting discharged, my family experienced extreme weakness

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Sana Malak and her family tested positive when the COVID fear had just begun to grapple India. While she was asymptomatic, others in her family were in a bad shape. Here’s their COVID journey

My battle with coronavirus dates back to the time when the entire nation was in complete lockdown and when cases were gradually rising in India. When the only thing that everyone asked each other was how many cases? We all were clouded in uncertainty and fear.

It was in mid May when cases were attaining a peak in India. That time a positive case was found on the backside of my house, and then next day in an area on the frontside of my house. In mere 2 days, we found ourselves in a containment zone..

Containment zone
Since it was a lockdown, only essentials were open. But after our area was declared a containment zone, even the essentials did not open many times. People were scared of going out of homes and so were we. We live in a joint family, with my grandmother, two uncles, aunts, their kids, me and my parents. My father, uncle and aunt got symptoms, high grade fever and extreme body pain/myalgia. So much that they could not even get up from the bed. We got them tested and all three of them were COVID positive with pneumonia.

They were admitted in the hospital and we being close contacts were tested too. Tears rolled down my eyes seeing my grandma’s condition (who is 85 years), when they were taking her swab. She did not understand anything and was merely pushing the nurse and crying.

I was naturally worried for my family. When the results came, we realised 5 out of 11 of us were positive including me. I was completely asymptomatic by the grace of God but still had to be hospitalised as there was no home quarantine during that time. My grandmother was negative but she was extremely weak.

How the days went
As the main members of our family were hospitalised and remaining in quarantine, we could not go out to buy essentials. Thankfully our neighbours and friends helped and we got food delivered at our home. My grandmother was constantly put on ORS water..

I was looking at my family in the hospital and praying for their recovery.. There was anxiety, fear, numbing fear of losing a life. But I tried to stay calm, admiring the tireless efforts of our doctors and nurses. Their efforts were remarkable. They were wearing PPE kits in that extreme weather of mid May and taking care of all of us.

After 15 days, we all got discharged from the hospital but the weakness persisted for 1 more month. Even in our home, we lived on separate floors. Parents were separated from kids, husband from wife, all silently praying for each other’s safety..

By the grace of Almighty, we all are fine now and fully recovered..

What helped us recover

These are the things that ensured our proper recovery – Proper treatment, meditation, good and healthy food, warm water, gargles, turmeric milk, strong will power and support of family, combined with prayers and lots of prayers..


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Illuminated Halloween pumpkins – in pictures | Life and style

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The annual Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson, an hour north of New York, features 7,000 hand-carved, illuminated pumpkins. The village was the setting for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, an 1820 story by Washington Irving about a headless horseman who haunts a superstitious schoolteacher


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