People

Forward and Backward

Forward: Go Alabama! So very glad that the electorate rose above political loyalties and did not vote for the wrong candidate. This is a much needed glimmer of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy political environment.

Backward: On Point with Tom Ashbrook is one of my favorite radio shows/podcasts. It’s the one I turn to when I am in the mood for in-depth analysis of current affairs. I used to heart Tom Ashbrook, and have fancied interning for him, for the show. Just the thought of having so much intellectual fodder to chew on used to give me the goosebumps! So, I was incredibly sad to read this news from a couple of days back. Who knows what the truth is but there is no smoke without fire. And no excuse is good enough to mistreat another human being.

Advertisements
Standard
Gratitude, Little Moments, People

Thank You

Today, at work, someone I interact with sent a very thoughtful and heartwarming thanksgiving mail . When I wrote back to her, she said, “You give me credibility more than you know. Thank you…!”

As much as I would like to think that I derive fulfillment from the intrinsic value that my job gives me, I felt much appreciated with that personal note and external validation.  It made me feel that what I do matters and that it’s important to do my job to the best of my abilities.

I am thankful for the much needed reminder that a small thank you goes a long way. When someone has made a difference, it is important to take the time and effort to express genuine appreciation.

Standard
Experiences, Gratitude, People

Acts of Kindness

As I pulled into the parking lot to the Indian store, a lady came up to me and did something very unusual. She had used only one hour of the two-hour parking ticket that she had paid for, so she gave the receipt that she had saved so I could use it. This is such a small thing that says a lot about a person, don’t you think? It was just 50 cents, she could have let it go. She took the trouble to find someone, explain the situation, and make them take the spot after she pulled out. And she had nothing to gain out of it. I was touched by this gesture.

In today’s gratitude journal, I am thankful for all the times that I have been at the receiving end of these act of kindness. It does not take a lot to create a ripple. These acts of kindness inspire me to never shortchange on kindness and generosity. With all that’s going on around us, the world can use all the kindness it can get!

Standard
Gratitude, Life, People

Family and Home

I take the train at Newark, NJ Penn Station to return home. Like last time, the time before last time, and the time before that, the place depresses me. A sense of misery takes over me as I see jobless, homeless people loitering around. The telltale signs of poverty is there for me to read.  I wonder what their story is. I wish life was a level playing field. I pray that their circumstances change and that they have better days ahead.

I sigh heavily and send thanks to the power above for giving me a darling family and a welcoming home to return to.

Standard
Experiences, Introspection, People, Uncategorized

Random updates

  • My cousin, the kid in our family, is getting married today. There is live streaming of his wedding.  While I may not be able to catch up due to time difference, it was a delight to catch glimpses of his nichiyadhartham video from yesterday.
  • A purposeful intentional hug says a whole lot where words fail. I am here for you. Thank you for being there for me. No words exchanged but volumes spoken.
  • The idea that has planted its roots in my head these days – kindness. Be kind, practice kindness, teach kindness. In all shapes, forms, and sizes. There is so much suffering and pain in this world. Kindness will not obliterate the suffering, but may be, just may be, it will give the strength to manage the suffering. Worth a shot, wouldn’t you agree? 
  • I read The Mothers by Brit Bennett. It was good enough to push its way through my reader’s block but not good enough to have me raving about it. What I liked about it is it humanizes motherhood – as glorified as motherhood is, mothers too come with their share of imperfections.
  • We are already in June, can you believe it?
  • I helped out with a memorial service today.  I am not able to take the family out of my mind. Please send a quiet prayer and healing vibes their way.
Standard
Family, Gratitude, Life, Loss, People, Uncategorized

End of an era

My paternal patti, Andu patti as we called her, passed away yesterday afternoon. This week she would have turned 88 years old.

Some memories are more vivid than others. The early part of my childhood is rich with memories of my thatha and patti. As an infant, I grew up under their care in Bombay, which I don’t have a recollection of. My earliest memories of them are from when we were in Madras during my childhood years. I remember tagging along with patti wherever she went – visiting extended families, going on hospital visits, sleeping overnight in kalyana chathram, going to Bombay to visit my chithappa, and staying in my athai’s house. I remember the identical pedal pushers (I think that’s what it was called, a cross between capris and jumpsuit) she stitched for my cousin and me. I remember building parks and zoos while setting up golus. I remember her fascination for gymnastics and dance.

My grandparents went to the US for sometime to stay with my chithappa and family. I remember looking forward to letters from thatha and patti. I also remember the stories patti would narrate after her trip – the clean roads and the speed limits. She would write stories from I Love Lucy show in a notebook so she could narrate it to us. She learnt to make French braids from the shows she watched in the US and would practice it on me.

The year before I got married, Sathya and I stayed in my chithappa’s house with my grandparents, chithappa, chithi and cousins. My patti’s sari for my wedding matched with mine. I remember how deftly she would wash and dry her 9 yards sari. I remember the joy she would take in making and distributing bakshanam. She sewed her own blouse for the longest time. Making herself useful to others was very important to her. She was the eldest daughter in her family and the eldest daughter-in-law in the family she married into. She was the matriarch in our very patriarchal family. She has touched so many lives, in small ways and big.

The last few years of her life was very rough on her. She was resilient, bouncing back from hip surgery and several falls. If physically taking care of her was hard, seeing her deteriorate physically and mentally was several times more painful. She did her best to stretch her time here.

A shout out to my parents for taking care of my patti with dignity and to the best of their abilities. Their lives have revolved around patti for the past few years and for the past several months they cared for her like an infant, anticipating her needs and tending to her. Her life came to a full circle, right in front of our eyes.

Patti, we miss you. I feel fortunate to have had all that time with you and thatha. For all the love you showered on us. We love you in loads and will keep you in our hearts forever. Rest in peace.

Standard
Experiences, People

Democracy

I have been very fortunate to have seen democracy work at close quarters.

Last year, my part of the town was at risk of being redistricted from elementary school perspective (that is instead of going to our home school, part of the incoming kindergartners were assigned to a different school). The neighborhood came together, brainstormed strategies to oppose the proposal and showed up at town meetings to voice our dissent. While I can’t claim to have played an active role, just being their passively was an eye opening experience. I learnt some valuable lessons that night as we high fived each other for making our voices heard – every single person counts in a democracy, never underestimate the power of your voice, and there is magic in numbers.

Tomorrow, it is election day in my town. We will be electing our Selectman, and School Committee members, amongst other positions. My next door neighbor and a good friend is contesting for school committee position because she believes that true change begins at grassroot levels. I second that, I second her, and it has been a privilege to support her in small ways. After seeing my neighbor work for the contest, I have a newfound respect for these elected officials, who  take these positions for the love of the town and to influence policies and decision making. These are voluntary positions that involve significant time commitment. So next time you meet these elected officials, remember to say a Thank You. They are working hard to make our voices heard, that’s the least we can do. 

Standard