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Leaning in

Heartfelt gratitude to Da for holding down the fort for the past 11 days. Thank you to Ram and Hari for supporting each other and stepping up their game in my absence. Greatful to my friend V for looking out for my family. Thank you to my colleagues for backing me at work.

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Catching up

I am in the last leg of my India trip. I am indulging myself with all things that I associate with India – family, friends, food, shopping, and boatload of memories. By the same token, I am so ready to fly back to my nest and cosy up with my flock.

Making up for the four days I did not post.

– so very greatful to my sis-in-law, Aaru, for coming down to Chennai around my convenience and for inspiring me to be kind and nice while being smart and getting things done.

– thankful to my niece and nephew for showering their affection on me and for allowing me to take liberties with them.

– gratitude to appa and amma for giving me the space to do all the things I had not originally planned but ended up doing during this trip. Not to mention the Kanji maavu, sambar podi, the milaga podi, and the chocolate burfi that will be traveling with me.

– greatful to mother nature for gracing us with good weather. Three years back when we had visited in November, it was raining cats and dogs.

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Meet ups

Greatful

– to LG for making the time to meet with me this morning in spite of all her committments. We met, we chatted, and it was like we have known each other all our lives when in fact we were meeting for the first time.

– for the opportunity to meet our next door mama and mami from childhood. I likely spent half of my elementary school years at their house, a boatload of memories came tumbling out today – our favorite orange chutney that mami used to make, serving mama horlicks in tumbler dabara at bed time, sleeping in verandah when there was power failure, going out to their relative’s house, and playing with their nephews and nieces.

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Unplugged, NOT!

I am on the other side of the ocean but I get to hear Ram practice guitar and recite his Tamil poem, I am able to catch up with Hari on his days’ happenings, I am able to take care of time sensitive committments back home, I have a sense for what’s going on at my work place, and I text Da reminding him to wish a good friend on his birthday.

For all the bad press that technology receives, where would we be without smart phones and internet? I know we have thrived and excelled in low-tech era and that smart phones have created new problems. The finger pointing should be on humans (mis)managing technology not technology itself.

I am thankful that I was able to travel without lugging my laptop. That WiFi and smart phones are now affordable commodities. That I can see my family at the click of a button.

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Blast from past

My chithi and chithappa were kind enough to plan their trip to Chennai around my availability. It meant much to me. It was such a treat to catch up with them today.

Our family and chithappa’s stayed in Coimbatore during my undergrad years. I used to ride pillion on chithappa’s scooter every single morning. Even prior to my college years, Sathya and I have spent many summers with them. Chithappa always thought of me as his first daughter.

My gratitude for all the special times I have had with them. They hold a special place in my heart.

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Good old friends

Today, I am thankful for the opportunity to meet friends who warm my heart.

A couple of them went to high school with me. They arrived bright and early at my place so they could see my parents as well. I felt such a rush of affection for them as we smiled to a selfie.

In the evening, I met with another close friend of mine, one of the strongest and fiercely independent women I have ever known. It was a joy to see her in her turf, and giggling over a plate of delicious adai.

There must be something called as being age blind because with these three, time has stood still. The fact that we are older, heavier, and greyer did not seem to take away the feeling that it felt like yesterday that were the goofy teenagers that we were.

It’s a delight to bond with friends that you grew up with as a grown up. Who are you? What’s your perspective on something? What are your values? How do you fit in? Who are your cherished ones? Discussing some of life’s big questions, implicitly or explicitly, and in doing so, you discover friendships all over again.

Gratitude from the depths of my heart for good old friendships that renew and rejuvenate.

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Home here, home there

A few days back I was listening to an Indian news podcast and it occured to me that I was listening to it more intently than I normally would. It was not the subject that slowed me down but the accent that felt foreign. I couldn’t follow the news as effortlessly although I speak with the very same accent day in and day out. It was a disturbing realization.

Fast forward a few weeks, I am here in India. Many many things have changed since I grew up. I too have changed a lot as a person. In spite if it all, that feeling of being at home and the feeling that you belong here is as strong as it ever was. Deep deep gratitude.