| Koneenica Banerjee and Rita Bhimani interact with the residents of Naba Kailash apartments on Ballygunge Circular Road at the GoodLife Talk Show on Sunday evening. Picture by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya
For the rest of Calcutta, it was just another Sunday evening meant for unwinding , relaxing, catching the latest movie release or visiting friends. But for residents of the highrise Naba Kailash on Ballygunge Circular Road, it was definitely an evening with a difference.
The reason ' the third GoodLife Talk Show where actress Koneenica Banerjee turned star guest to talk on Stress and Time Management, the topic for the evening.
Anchored by the charming Rita Bhimani, the talk show held in the 12th floor community hall of the multi-storeyed complex witnessed a full house mostly comprising the elderly.
A special thumbs up to the senior citizens, from Rita at the very start of the show, won warm applause from members of the audience who admitted that the apartment complex could well be referred to as an old age home, with the average age of residents being on the other side of 60.
But the fact that age is no bar to a lively Sunday evening adda was quickly proved by the enthusiastic gathering. Setting the Q&A session rolling was Jyotirmoy Basak, who asked the actress how she coped with everyday stress while working on the small screen.
“I basically manage with smart talking and punctuality. I am also a stickler for time and generally try leading a disciplined life. I do not go out much when I am not working. Also, at the end of each day, I allot a little time for myself even if it is only five minutes. I believe there can be no better way of de-stressing,” said the actress dressed in a maroon kurti and a pair of denims.
The second question of the evening was put forward by Tarun Ghosh who asked Koneenica what she felt about shutting herself to the past and future and concentrating on just the present.
To this Koneenica said: “Personally, I don’t feel that’s possible for anyone, not until you are too laidback and the happy-go-lucky kind. I am always responsible for my job and, given the profession I am in, it is really not possible for me to either leave things behind or not look into the future. Life is a process, so I don’t really know if anyone can at all live only for the moment. But yes, I am sure there are some lucky ones who do so.”
One of Tollywood’s busiest actresses was then asked in a chorus if she had faith in God and how she thought he played a role in dealing with stress. “Yes, of course I believe in God and it is he who gives me an immense amount of psychological strength and concentration to do whatever I do,” came the immediate reply from Pakhi (the role in the mega-serial Ek Akaasher Niche that made her a household name).
S.R. Bal then directed his question to the anchor of the evening, asking Rita what a lot of retired people in the complex who suffered from stress caused by excess time on their hands could do. To this, Rita said it was actually a great opportunity that one had less to do because in these days it is such a rarity. “You could use this time in passing on to the next generation your knowledge and experience. After all, life begins at 70 and you could really do a lot,” she smiled.
Questions then poured in from virtually every corner of the room with retired individuals aiming a flurry of queries ranging from dealing with depression to forming associations for the old. All this was dealt with by Koneenica with patience and panache to spare.
What followed next was a little quiz on The Telegraph for members of the audience who were given mementoes for correct answers.
The hour-long session came to a close with Abhijit Sen’s distinctive query, as he asked the panelists if they thought stress actually brought in more challenges to one’s life.
“Definitely, and what is important here is being able to identify the various aspects of stress and working on them differently. If stress comes from long working hours, it then requires adjustments on the part of both workers and the management. In the course of a long working day, one could do with just relaxing for about 15 minutes by keeping one’s eyes closed. Alternatively, one could also get up from one’s seat and move around a bit, thus exercising your muscles,” said both Koneenica and Rita.
But in this world of competititon, they added, it has been observed that stress more often results from personal levels of ambition which are generally high and that is where the real challenge lies.
“Very harshly put, in this world of cut-throat competition, there is no escaping this if you really want to be somewhere in life. So, one has to accept it as part of life and work things out accordingly. And it is indeed all about chalking out your priorities and doing the right thing at the right moment,” said the anchor and the actress.