Posted in Little Moments

Overcoming an addiction (LMT post)

This post is late by a day, but going by last week’s standards it’s early by five days.  Due apologies to Mia for breaking the Thursday rule!

I was never a tea or coffee person until recently. Then, what began as a once a week indulgence became a daily habit. Before I knew it, it had spread its tentacles and established a tight grip on me.  Not to brag, but I do make delicious tea. Atleast I like it the way I make it. With a dash of ginger and a hint of mint. Yum, yum and yum! It gave the perfect start to my day and was just the comfort drink I needed to plow through the evening. So what was the problem? Here’s the thing about addiction. It makes you involuntarily surrender to the habit without you having any control over it. And that’s what bothered me about my daily intake of this cherished beverage.

Last Saturday morning, I decided to be in charge. I decided to call it quits. I ended the first day with a throbbing headache and a feeling of deprivation. For the next couple of days, the headache vanished but the sense of deprivation lasted and taunted me especially in the evening when hunger pangs would shoot my temper to its boiling point. It took two days of saying no to that enticing voice of addiction. Today, as I type this post, I can proudly proclaim that I am a former tea addict. Tea intake is now a fond memory, not a stubborn habit.

This week’s LMT celebrates little moments of self control.

Posted in Inspiration

Phenomenal Women

Meant to post this yesterday.

What better occasion than Women’s Day to share this remarkable poem by Maya Angelou. To say that she has weaved magic with words is an understatement. To all phenomenal women reading this post,  I hope this poem reminds you and encourages you to embrace your inner strength and beauty.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
– Maya Angelou

Posted in Hari Katha

Brown History Month

As I tucked Hari to bed the night his picture was released in NPR site.

Me: What made you happy love?
Hari: Snow!
Me: Seriously? you have to be kidding me? try harder
Hari: Getting Lightening Thief from library?
Me: Nah!

In case you didn’t notice, do you see how the question of what made HIM happy is turning out to be a question of what made ME happy? Anyways, here we go with rest of the conversation.

Hari: The picture of Angry Bird on the website?
Me: Yes sir-eee bob
Hari: So, the whole wide world can see it now?
Me: Yup!
Hari: Wow! I am super famous
Me: Actually, I wouldn’t put it that way. Having a picture on the web doesn’t make someone famous. A lot of people should see it and think it’s a great picture.

The kid was in no mood to  have a brush with reality. He was still floating in air and proudly proclaimed, “So when someone invents Brown History Month, they will look me up on the internet and write about me.” I tried my best to suppress the uncontrollable urge to roll on the floor laughing and just said, “May be, why not!”

Note: To appreciate the humor, you have to know Black History Month.

Posted in Hari Katha, Little Moments, Milestones

Hip hip hurray! (LMT)

In draft mode since Feb 29th.

Hip hip hurray, here we enter new foray! What’s all the excitement about? Check this link. That’s the picture that Hari took and submitted as part of the NPR’s Backseat Book Club assignment for February.  I know it is one of the several pictures that were submitted, still it’s mighty thrilling to see Hari’s name, and his work printed on the NPR blog site. Do check out the pictures by other kids. Some of them are very profound and heart warming.


When I heard about NPR’s Backseat Book Club, I knew instantly that it is something that I would like Hari to be part of. It seemed like a cool way to introduce him to the concept of book club and another opportunity for us to bond over books. He is underage (in terms of content) for some of the recommended books, so the plan was (and is) to read the books to him at bed time . For instance, Shooting Kabul was a very heavy book in terms of topics covered – 9/11, Taliban, caste conflict, and oppression. Since I read the book to him, I was selective about what and how much I exposed him to.

Posted in Uncategorized

A new leaf in an existing chapter

After a break of nearly three years, I joined Bharathanaytam classes a couple of weeks back. I figured I am not the self-driven kind that practices quietly behind the scenes purely for the love of the art form. I need a routine, a structured class, and a sense of camaraderie with other dancers to keep the flame burning.

Last Sunday, as I was driving back home after my first class, I felt immensely thankful and humbled. Thankful for being able to pursue the opportunities that come my way as and when the inspiration strikes. And humbled by the unwavering support I receive from my family, especially Da, who is thrust with the responsibility of holding down the fort while I am away merrily pursuing one interest after the other.

Posted in Experiences, Little Moments, People

A charming tale (LMT)

Examining himself in the mirror a tad longer than he normally would, he asked with a child like excitement, “How do I look?” When someone’s eyes are glowing with pride from a job well done and his lips curving from ear to ear from the resulting gratification, how do you suppose he looks? In my opinion, extra extra charming!

The self-learner that he is, he finds unexplainable bliss in doing things from scratch and learning the ropes as he goes. In knowing that what was once an area of ignorance is now a known turf. Be it chopping a huge branch the size of a tree or giving a haircut to his receding hairline, there is immense gratification coming from all the efforts that go into the endeavor.

Is there any reward that can beat the feeling – yes, I can do it!

Posted in Ram Leela

Ram Leela

Ram is seventeen months old. February has been a rough month for the little fella. Nothing serious, just some minor health setbacks – a stomach bug here and a broncholitis there. But did that stop this pint sized person from scaling new heights when it comes to ransacking the house? Far from that, he has been steadily extending his territory room by room.

One should learn how to be in the NOW from little toddlers. Whatever Ram does, he does it with so much focus and intensity as though that is the only thing that matters in the moment. It doesn’t matter that it is monumentally impossible to do what he wants to do. Be it wanting to peal the vibrant designs out of the Ikea rug, pull and drag the window blinds along with him, or blow raspberries on his own belly, the child gives it his best without a grain of doubt.

Words are overrated, it’s all in the context according to our little toddler. If Ram is next to the sofa and says, “appu, appu, appu”, it means he wants to climb on the couch. If he is close to stair case and says the very same words, it means he wants to go upstairs. But if he is inching to the basement stairs, “appu” would then mean down!

He is barely half his anna’s height, but that doesn’t hold him from putting up a good fight with him. When there is a conflict, he pushes his big brother with all his might. Hari knows that he is not allowed to fight back and so is becoming quite the expert at redirecting the toddler. And every now and then Hari would scream in desperation – “Oh no, rowdy kutti is here!” as he scrambles for his lego pieces and comfort items.

Remember how I told you Ram likes to watch me cook? These days I get a running commentary while he is merrily seated on my hips taking in all the entertainment. When I make tea, he would eagerly exclaim, “tea tea”. When I spill something, it is accompanied by background humming of “uh oh”.  He knows where the tea strainer is, that scissors could be used to open packages (oh no!), and the milk can with the red cap is the one that’s meant for him.

I could spend all my day just watching the silly antics of this little child and find every second of it endearing..! That is, as long as I overlook the ruckus surrounding us.