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.

Sharing Your World

Thank you Cee for this week’s questions.

How many languages do you you speak? I can speak in Tamil and English. My second language was Hindi in school but I am tongue tied when it comes to speaking in Hindi.

What are you reading, watching, listening to, eating? Reading a fiction after a long long time – The Mothers. Watching – reruns of Frasier. Listening to – hardly any music, mostly podcasts. Eating – bakshanam – adirasam and badhushah from a wedding from back home!

What was the last photo you took with your phone? Ram taking his turn to hit during his baseball game this weekend.

What is your favorite time of day? Dawn. I love love getting up at 4:30 A.M. and having the world to myself. Of course, that would mean that I would have to go to bed at 8:30 P.M., which I would glad do if I could!

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Grateful for change in pace of routine. Took a couple of days off as we had family visiting. Looking forward to some breakthroughs for a good friend.

Experiences, Food, Gratitude, Hari Katha, Little Moments, Ram Leela, Uncategorized


Sharing the little moments from my week. 
cherry blossom

  • This week was THAT week in spring – gloomy skies, foggy, misty mornings with cherry blossoms, daffodils, and greenery all around.  Beautiful, just beautiful! I have been sneaking in walks, 5 mins here, 5 mins there, to take in all the sights and sounds, and soak in this breathtaking beauty. 
  • Hari and four other kids worked on a group project for Culture Day in Sunday school. It was a delight to watch the kids plan, prepare, collaborate and present their work. They did such a fine job!
  • Spring=Baseball in our household. Hari is part of three teams this spring and he is so pumped up about it. It’s a scheduling nightmare for us but honestly when you see the light shine in his eyes as he speaks about baseball, you just want to do the best you can to give him as much game time as possible. Who knows how long the passion will last but as long as it lasts, it must be nurtured.
  • Kerala style plum cake, have you had them? Oh I so love it and I relish every bite of it..! Better still, Hari has become part of the plum cake fan club. Nothing to beat the shared joy of looking forward to something. 
  • Now that Ram is reading on his own, he has developed a reading routine. I read a book to him and in return he reads a book to me.  Being part of this child’s reading journey has been a sheer joy!
  • Taking Ram to Take Your Child to Work Day and spending the day with him at my workplace doing arts and crafts. 

Alright tudlu for now, the weekend is just around the corner. What little moments are you celebrating this week?

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.


More Sharing

Some more questions from Sharing Your World series posted by The Spectacled Bean for Cee

  1.  What is your favorite word? Resilience
  2.  What is your least favorite word?  Any and every swear word
  3.  What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Creatively – problem solving, spiritually – the need to be true to myself, emotionally – genuine intentions
  4.  What turns you off? Empty promises
  5.  What is your favorite curse word? Don’t have any. Doesn’t mean I don’t get angry. I do, especially and unfortunately, with Da and kids. I show it by talking angrily and loudly, rather than with my choice of words.
  6.  What sound or noise do you love? Chirping of the birds, splashing of the waves, giggling of the kids.
  7.  What sound or noise do you hate? Bodily noises that the little people in my house take great pride at being able to produce on demand.
  8.  What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Oh many – teaching, journalism, anything to do with public policy and humanities, editing., librarian
  9.  What profession would you not like to do? Anything that will involve standing in the cold.
  10.  If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Well done and welcome here!
Me, Uncategorized

Gobblefunkist does a weekly post on Share Your World through Cee. It’s something I have come to like and more often than not, I participate via comments on her blog. Thought I would post it on my blog going forward. I have made some modifications to my original responses for no specific reason. 

What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?

  • Making tea/milk/coffee on stove top the old fashioned way instead of heating it in microwave. There are so many things I get lazy about, but not this one. I take great pleasure in serving/having frothy milk or coffee.
  • I do namaskarams to my dance teacher before and after class. It’s my way of reminding myself to not take this opportunity for granted.

What’s your favorite genre of book or movie?

  • Favorite genre of book – memoirs.When it comes to books, I like them to be profound and rich.
  • Favorite genre of movie – chick flicks.

Be it books or movies, I can’t handle swear words. I simply cannot.

How often do you people watch?

Not as much. A lot of times, I get my first couple of minutes to stop and notice when I am at Ram’s bus stop in the morning. That’s when I notice things – why are his lips so dry? I need to give him a haircut? Oh he has outgrown those tshirts. I am not sure I am a people watcher. I do know that I love love watching children interact, I love seeing them in action, I love getting a glimpse into their worlds.

What have you only recently formed an opinion about?

Meditation. I think it’s a gift that we are giving ourselves – to just sit there, without any agenda, without any goals.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Grateful for a relaxed weekend. Looking forward to being disciplined.


March Reflections

I shouldn’t be calling this post March reflections, I ought to be calling it March ramblings. That pretty much sums up my month. 

For the month of March, I committed to focusing on eats, workout and meditation . I also committed to focusing on cooking simple meals. I am embarrassed to admit that on the first commitment, the story is not any better than what it was in Feb. I had a bumpy start to the month, then I made attempts to settle into a routine but did not turn around, just lost momentum.  I did not adapt well to self-inflicted change in work routine and did not try hard enough to work around unanticipated winter weather.  It didn’t help that this month was really tight on all fronts – work, kids’ school activities, and others. Long story short – excuses, excuses, and more excuses. 

On the second commitment, I am happy to report that I made some progress. I was mindful when it came to planning my meals. I cooked only after emptying what was left over. When it comes to grocery shopping, I have a tendency to overstock than follow a just-in-time inventory. I worked on that tendency this month.  

So what’s brewing for April? Again I am going to attempt to focus on eats, workout, and meditation. For workout, this month I am going to see how I can incorporate my dance practice, which is nowhere close to where I wanted it to be. Another goal for this month is reading, which is at an all time low and it makes me extremely sad.I miss the thrill of getting lost in a book. 

Now that I am done with my sob story, tell me yours. Where are you with your self improvement goals? What are you going to do differently this month?