Little Moments, Uncategorized

Little Moments

I am blanking out, last week feels like a big blur that I have no memory of. Let me try giving it a shot.

  • I didn’t mean to but I happened to watch Dr. Ford’s testimony and hearing on Thursday. Authentic is the word that comes to mind.  On display was civic duty of the highest order. Role models come in different shapes and forms, and at unexpected times. I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to watch the live streaming as it unraveled. Watching the hearing was also a revelation – the difference between seeing something first hand and forming your own opinions versus learning something through media and your conclusions being colored by it, is simply humongous – a big AHA moment for me!
  • We had Ram’s Back To School night this week. I think I have told you how much I love going to classrooms of any kind.  I love staring at all the posters, the classroom constitution, the desk arrangement… all the things that reflect the values of the teacher and lend a personality to the class.
  • This year, after much reluctance, I am volunteering to be a room parent with the goal to being more engaged in Ram’s learning experience. It’s easier for me to be focused on my task rather than socializing. But I have come to realize the making connections is important and makes any work more meaningful. I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone here.
  • Talking of volunteering, when I was explaining my volunteering pursuits to an acquaintance, she commented that I am all over the place. It was an innocent comment that she made in passing but I found it refreshing. I will use it as a mantra to  stop me on my tracks every once in a while by way of reality check – am I all over the place? Am I doing busy work (a term that Da always cautions me about) or meaningful work?

Tudlu for now. Take care, take it easy, and be happy!

Family, Gratitude, Life, Little Moments, Uncategorized


Appa and amma have returned to India after a four-month stay in the US. I just have two words to sum up my feelings – deep gratitude! 

I am thankful that this trip happened. I am thankful to the co-passengers who helped my parents on their onward journey. I am thankful that they were here, guiding us and taking part in the poonal festivities. I am thankful that they were part of our day to day living and minutia for the past few months. I am thankful that the kids lavished love and affection on them, and were pampered in great deal in return. I am thankful that we had a nice long summer, anything less weather wise would not have been kind on appa. I am thankful that my maternal patti did reasonably ok healthwise in India, which meant amma was able to stay here with some peace of mind for as long as they stayed. I am thankful to all my friends here who socialised with them and made them feel included. I am thankful that appa and amma did all their health check up, and came here armed with medicines, and other precautions. I am thankful that the one time when we needed medical attention, we received it without too much hassle. I am thankful to technology, to skype, to whatsapp and to net banking for allowing my parents to take care of practical matters while they were here away from home. I am thankful to my chithappas for being a phone call away when they needed. I am thankful to appa and amma’s neighbors for keeping an eye on the house, for missing their presence, and for helping them ease into their routine on return.

Much gratitude to the universe and the higher power. All the stars had to align for the trip to happen. 

Holidays, Little Moments, Uncategorized

Little moments

How has your week been? Here, we had a our first week of school and extracurricular activities. That we coped with it without too much grumbling and whining is a major accomplishment. Little moments for the week would be…

  • New batch of fourth graders at Sunday school. And they are a sassy bunch! One child took me by surprise by declaring, “I am going to predict what intel processor you have on your laptop,” then there was another who challenged none other than Newton, “I disagree with Newton’s theories.” Then there was one who said, “I love animals. When I grow up, I want to become animals’ advocate.” Love the colorful personalities and can’t wait to get to know them better.
  • My cousin and his family visiting. When I think of my cousin, I think of the little boy who was adamant about watching Rajini movies. I think of the times we went “jogging” during summer break. I think of how he was the favorite grandchild for my maternal grandparents. It was very nice to get a glimpse of him as a caring husband and a loving dad.
  • Ram got his very own music instrument – a guitar! The child is enrolled in guitar lessons. It was uber cute seeing the child with guitar strapped on his back.  The guitar lessons take place in the same school that Hari learnt piano, which was a parent-child class. Week after week, I get to relive those fond memories with Hari as I take Ram for his classes.
  • Happy Vinayaka Chaturthi, one of my favorite gods. Have always loved pillayar and a have special affection for him. It is a tradition in our household to make pillayar for Vinayaka Chathurthi. We have made pillayars out of fuse beads, legos, and assorted materials. This time the kids played around with dough and made these pot bellied rider of mouse. Hari took the minimalistic approach, Ram did the more detailed oriented.
Little Moments, Uncategorized

Little Moments

  • I was unkowinglingly reckless this weekend, misplacing my house keys (nothing new, I am searching for things ALL the time but generally don’t lose them. This time my desperation grew as it felt and sensed like a loss.) and putting our only hard drive at risk. They were not intentional mistakes; still one has to live with the consequences, isn’t it? I don’t know the status of our hard drive but Hari found the house keys right under the passenger car seat. Oh what relief!
  • Remember I told you about the daily habits we came up with for Ram? One of which was daily morning prayer. The child barely knows any slokams but he goes to the altar with freshly plucked jasmine or roses, discards the wilted ones, does a little bow before moving on to other tasks. My morning cup of joy..!
  • Hari did well in the cricket tournament this past weekend. He took a wicket a match, scored his highest in batting, and did well on fielding. It made me happy that the child had something to feel good about because the team has been on a losing streak.
  • Da, Hari and Ram were away this weekend for the said trip. The house felt empty. But appa, amma and I had our share of little moments shopping, gardening and celebrating Janmashtami. This is my first festival celebrating with them after 17 years.
  • Homemade bakshanamthattai, seedai, rava urudai – enough said!
  • Reading John Mccain’s farewell letter and eulogies. To think of his country and countrymen in his deathbed, and when he is suffering,  that’s something, isn’t it? Gives me the goosebumps every time I think of it. A big salute and thank you to the hero.
  • I am living in two worlds. My own and the other being Adichie’s Ifemelu’s. I am sneaking in a chapter here, a chapter there, 5 mins now, 20 mins later; I am not able to put it down, but I am not able to read it in one prolonged sitting either – life sure comes in the way of reading! What a treat it is to read some fine storytelling!

As I was thinking about my little moments for this week, it occurred to me that all these posts sound the same with little variation, isn’t it?  Do you get tired of it as readers?

Experiences, Family, Food, Gratitude, Life, Little Moments

Little moments for the summer

I have been wanting to resurrect the Little Moments Thursday series. As the name implies, it attempts to celebrate the little moments in one’s life. I like the idea of dedicating a day of the week for this because as they say, anything that can be done at any time, seldom gets done. I have written a Little Moments post every now and then but not with the consistency that I used to at one point of time. 

LMT is a concept a dear friend came up with. The idea being we all get carried away with the day to day living or the curve balls that life throws at us that we forget to make note of the little moments that get sprinkled along the way.  To me, it’s one more reminder to be grateful for life’s blessings. It is not an attempt to see life through rose tinted glasses as much as it is about not allowing our lives to be defined by its challenges alone. Apart from taking my happiness quotient several notches higher, I like that in the process of writing about my little moments, I tend to journal the details of my life that otherwise tend to fade into the oblivion. 

Today, I am counting the little moments I have had this summer.

  • Seeing my parents as grandparents. It’s true that they have been grandparents for 13 years but given that our India visits tend to be very brief, that side of them tends to get overshadowed. I have enjoyed seeing my kids hugging and kissing them, Ram playing UNO with amma, Hari calling amma the goddess of dosai, and appa teaching Ram how to apply butter on his bread.  I have enjoyed the videos that my sis-in-law Wini sent, of my parents reading and playing with my niece and nephew,  during their stay with them. 
  • After searching far and wide for sari blouses that fit me, turns out my mom’s fit me well. My mom is leaving her kalamkari blouses for me…!! I love love kalamkari, have always loved it, even when it used to be designs on bedsheets and diwan sets.
  • Sharing kitchen duties with amma. Most of the time, amma takes over the kitchen making simple delicious food for us to devour. I enjoy cooking for them too. So we split our duties, taking turns so one person is not getting burnt out. Who does not like a break from kitchen duties?
  • Taking my dad for shopping. I not only like his choices but admire his keen eye for details. The rest of the boys in the household run a mile a minute should I mention the word shopping or will roll up their sleeves to buy what we call as Ramarajan t-shirts (the polyester ones that sports folks around the world wear – this is a term we coined at home after the tamizh movie actor who tends to wear colorful attire on screen) in our household.
  • Watching Da lavish affection on my dad – it’s genuine, spontaneous, and very child like. Pure as white. 
  • Watching my mom take delight in gardening and our garden getting a facelift.
  • Oh speaking of garden, love the three little rose bushes we have planted in the front yard. The yard has graduated from being despicable to being tolerable to the eye, thanks to amma and Da’s toiling.
  • Watching Sherlock Holmes with Hari. The first time I watched, it was with Da, and turns out I ended up sleeping for most episodes as we would watch it on ipads in the comfort of our bed. Hari is not hooked (the child does not like mystery) but doesn’t mind because it would mean he gets TV time which he would not otherwise get. And just like that I have started watching R rated shows with my offspring!
  • Exchanging food with my dear friend V. When I cook something on insta pot, I share it with her so she gets a kitchen break. When she cooks something delicious (which is often), she spares some for me. 
  • The kids hopping and skipping to V’s house for milkshake every Wednesday. V’s son S coming to our house to bake cake. I love being part of his growing up. 
  • Reading Hari’s journal entries during vacation. The child is not a big fan of writing but writing is a fundamental skill, can’t afford to be sloppy in it. So the deal is to write a little paragraph every day. The child always had a ending that had a nugget of wisdom like “If you have hit rock bottom after all, the only way to go is up”, or “My biggest learning for seventh grade is to not judge a book by its cover.” I enjoyed getting a glimpse into his teen brain.
  • Sleepovers with Ram. I love love sleeping next to him, squished in the twin mattress, his legs resting on my body and his head laid on my arm.  Love cannot get any more primal than this. 
  • Watching Ram read, read, and read like there is no tomorrow. My greatest fear is the child will run out of books of his liking at the library. 
  • Speaking of reading, I have been reading quite a bit this summer, and loving every minute of it. I learnt a little trick from my sis-in-law Aaru. She has this amazing ability to stop whatever she is doing, and grab a book to read. She can read when there is a crowd surrounding her, she can read when she has had a tiff with someone, she can ready just about anywhere at anytime. Reading is her sanctuary. Watching her read that compulsively did tickle my instincts to read. The trick that I learnt from her is to not wait for the perfect moment to grab a book because in this phase and stage of life, that is not going to happen.  It also makes reading a way of life. So gold star to her…!!! 

There were some challenges too this summer but I am deeply grateful for the little moments that made it a memorable one.

Little Moments, Uncategorized

Little Moments

  • Some mornings are filled with more love than other mornings. Ram has been saying “I love you,” and giving unsolicited hugs and kisses since he woke up this morning. Always a treat to have a chirpy and cheerful start to the day.
  • Lugging the recyclable bottles in his backpack, Hari biked to local Trader’s Joe to get a treat for the party at his math class last evening. He has been biking to the center, to the library, being more and more independent and taking responsibility for his tasks. Those little wings are being put to test and the flight is getting stronger by the day.
  • Rediscovering the simple pleasure of reading and getting happily lost in reading quandaries – what reading binge should I treat myself to – Fredrik Backman, Alexander McCall Smith, Chimamandha Adichie? I want to read them all, and I want to read at the same time.
  • Sun, flowers, heat, ice cream, tomatoes, arangetrams – all things that I associate with August. Hanging on to the last few weeks of summer with delight and gratitude.
Gratitude, Intentions, Introspection, Life, Little Moments, Now

Reflections on a Sunday morning

I can hear the vibration of the washing machine, the tumbling of the clothes in the drier, the white noise from the refrigerator, the sound of my tapping on the keyboard, and Hari sneezing as he is waking up. Sans that, the house is quiet. Ha, solitude, sweet solitude!

  • My mind is wandering to the past and the future even as I train it to stay in the present. To be HERE and NOW, the simplest, the most logical, and perhaps the hardest thing to do. It is worth striving, I tell myself. Make room for what you feel, don’t get lost in the stories in your head, I remind myself.  
  • Last week, I drove irresponsibly and got reprimanded by a complete stranger. As much as I felt ashamed and embarrassed, and wanted the earth to split open and swallow me, I felt a certain calmness in realizing that sometimes it takes a knock on our heads from a stranger to get us grounded in HERE and NOW.
  • A friend posted a video of her sweet family on the second death anniversary of her husband. My heart sank. Why does it always take tragedies and hardships that are bigger than what we face to remind us to make the most of HERE and NOW?
  • Have you ever noticed that when the big picture of our lives get shaky, we don’t sweat the small stuff. The everyday annoyances and frustrations are dwarfed and we are more tolerant and accepting of them. On the other hand, when the big picture is gleaming, the small stuff takes monumental proportions, they are so hard in the moment, and we are intolerant. The HERE and NOW is a tricky place to be in although that is the only place we all should be in.

Gotta go, my HERE and NOW beckons!