Category Archives: Life

Living Free, Living Well

My First Book: Living Free, Living Well: My Life as a Zen Bon Vivant

Nine years into a very comfortable retirement, I wrote and published my first book. The full title is on the cover picture below. It describes my journey across three continents and the life-experiences that enabled me to retire happily and comfortably at fifty-eight. It is is a short, simple roadmap for anyone to follow, now available on Amazon.com.

Living Free, Living Well
Living Free, Living Well: My Life as a Zen Bon Vivant

Take a ‘look inside’ the book on the Amazon website. There are many tips: from the financial to the philosophical and everything in between. I selected the pictures with great care, to add to the theme of the chapters. Some are archival and you may have difficulty recognizing. For example, compare the cover picture to this one:

Undergraduate, Calcutta, 1974
Undergraduate, St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta, 1974

I worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a research scientist for over twenty years. I was laid off in 2013. It felt like a punch in the gut. I describe my feelings on that day in the Prologue. What is your reaction when you read it?

In my office, the last days at work, 2013
In my office, the last days at work, 2013

That precipitated an intense period of introspection. I had, over time, prepared for just such an eventuality, both financially and psychologically. I was lucky. I retired—and never looked back. I am now living my dream; reading, writing, traveling and speaking. The layoff was the push that did it. It forced me to think, to prioritize, to realize what was important in life. I realized that to be happy and to live well you have to be free, hence the title. Now, I can do what I want to do, not what I have to do to earn a living. The change from “have to” to “want to” makes a world of difference. I have no boss (except my wife, but that is another story, detailed in Chapter 10, My Life in Retirement).

And Now This—At Andaman Islands, India, 2020
Enjoying retirement—at the Andaman Islands, India, 2020

Who knew that retirement, would be so creative and pleasurable. I have just published my first book and already contemplating a second, a compilation of my stories on travel and adventure!

On an elephant, Arunachal Pradesh, India, 1979
On an elephant in the jungles of Arunachal Pradesh, India, 1979

I wrote this for those planning retirement or are close to it but afraid to take the plunge. It is also for those interested in life in other lands, in this case: India, France, USA and China.

I hope you read the book and find it entertaining and useful. It may change your life! You may soon be living the good life of a Bon Vivant with a relaxed Zen attitude and enjoying retirement as much as I am. I look forward to your feedback and reviews.

A Zen Bon Viveur
A Zen Bon Viveur

Synopsis and the back cover below.

My book: Living Free Living Well: My Life as a Zen Bon Vivant
Living Free, Living Well, back cover

More information including reviews on my website: ranjanmukherjee.com

Three baby Canadian geese

Spring, Cherry Blossoms and baby Canadian Geese.

It is May and my Japanese Cherry tree is in full bloom. The sun rises higher in the sky, it is brighter and warmer, and the trees are putting on their spring greenery. I took some pictures of the cherry blossoms. It has become an annual ritual for me. It signals the advent of spring. Time when the heavy coats go to the back of the closet and I go out for regular walks in the neighborhood. I sometimes see wildlife on these walks. Will I be lucky today?

My Japanese cherry tree in full bloom, 2022
My Japanese cherry tree in full bloom, 2022
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Tongs in hand, barbecuing chicken.

Fireflies, Fireworks and a 4th of July Barbecue.

Fireflies, fireworks and a barbecue! This 4th of July is going to be very different from last year’s. Then, we were cooped up indoors, masked and gowned, fearful, while a pandemic raged outside. COVID-19 took its toll. The body count ticked steadily up. This year, vaccinated and confident, the pandemic under control, we are ready to live again. So, fire up the grill and let the party begin!

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A white Canadian goose in a flocka

Birds of a Feather Flock Together: Not Always

What is THAT! Something’s not right, something’s out of the ordinary. What is that proverb, “Birds of a feather flock together”? Is it always true, I wonder?

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Falcon in a tree, waiting for the rabbit to reappear

A Rabbit plays Catch Me if you Can with a Falcon

About a hundred feet from my patio stands a large pine tree. Beneath its spreading branches a couple of rabbits have made their home.

Rabbits at home under the pine tree

Rabbits at home under the pine tree

I see them hopping about, nibbling the grass, chasing each other, and, on occasion, jumping cleanly over each other in joyous abandon, a perfect example of joie de vivre.

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