- Work, work, too much work; change is hard but the only constant.
- Chills, cold, cough, fever; health is truly wealth.
- Take out, left overs, some cooking; nice break from routine.
- Perennials sprouting here and there, always a visual treat!
- Back to on street car parking, what relief!
- Hari made it to Varsity baseball, hip hip hurray to hard work and perseverance.
- Ram guitar debut in the school variety show, a big milestone!
- NYC trip with a dear friend, hoping for more in the years to come!
- Dance is elusive; I have taken a break from chasing it.
- Never got up to speed on resolutions; starting over is super hard.
- What I call as bonding, he calls as scolding; different points of view?
“How is your health? How are you doing?” have been my standard text messages to a good friend every two or three weeks ever since she was diagnosed with cancer last summer. The answers have varied depending on the stage of treatment but the tone of her responses has remained consistently calm. You could see that she is hanging in there, taking the treatment in stride. And when I met her last summer she said she is falling back on data supporting her diagnosis rather than being swayed by emotions. It’s one thing to say something but another thing to put it in practice under trying circumstances. I salute her courage, resilience, and the ability to stay above the noise. Wishing her the best of health, now and always.
The house is quiet. Ram is drifting to sleep. Hari has texted me saying that he and Da will be home in another 30 mins after his Sunday evening cricket practice. Ha, thinking of the kids make my heart leap with joy and makes me relive some of the little moments with fondness.
Ram is Hari’s Fitbit sidekick. When Hari is falling short on his steps count, he ties the gadget around Ram’s wrist, which makes him responsible for moving the needle on the Fitbit. Ram, who has no gadget of his own, is thrilled to bits and is happy to parade around the house to help out his brother in his mission. Lately, he has figured out that he doesn’t have to walk to add the steps, all he needs to do is shake his wrist. This evening, Ram has been dutifully multi-tasking with the flipping of Asterix book on one hand, and shaking his wrist on the other hand.
I am also reminded of the conversation that we were having on our way to Sunday school this morning. Hari was generally mocking us (his parents) for our reaction to his grades. “You only got 90 out of 100? What happened to the 10 marks Hari, is what you guys would ask. But when I didn’t do as well on one challenging math test, you were ok with it. That’s my life Ram!”, he proclaimed in a melodramatic fashion that only a teen can. Listening intently to this, Ram grandly concludes, “Hari, I think it is better if we just get lower marks then.”
Da and I were having an argument over something. Hari came upto me and said it was uncomfortable to be a witness to the argument. “Sorry babes, but I have all these emotions and feelings that needed an outlet,” I explained in an attempt to keep it real. “Amma may be you can have a Screaming Day. On Screaming Day, go to a quiet place, and give it a rip I say.” “But Hari that will be no fun because nobody else other than me will be miserable,” I retort and both of us start giggling imagining the whole scenario. A few seconds later Hari says, “By the way on Screaming Day, I would like to come with you too. I have a thing or two to scream about you see.”
Reading this book was a roller coaster experience. The first 100 pages were truly difficult to read, and left me scratching my head. There was much ado about nothing. Why, oh why, has he devoted so many pages to that smelly boatman? I wanted to pull my hair out. My husband who had read the book as a college graduate gave me an empathetic nod. So ok, it’s not me then!
With that validation, I started plodding along, and somewhere along the way, the tangled web that he was weaving, and that play with words started taking a hold on me. With a boatload of characters, realism, special powers, political turmoil, twists and turns, it was hard work to keep up with the talkative Salim, the narrator and the protagonist. You are emotionally invested in the story.
In the end, you can’t help but admire Rushdie’s knack with words, and vivid imagination. How even when there are so many characters, they don’t feel unnecessary. Each of them has a role to play. And above all, just when he has made you laugh, he makes you cringe or strikes you with a tragedy. The seesaw of emotions you experience with the story sometimes makes you get angry with Rushdie.
I am not rating this book for now. I need to go back and savor it in bits and pieces to appreciate the nuances. Without being on the edge, without my reading prejudices. Defintiely give this book a shot, it will challenge you to be a patient reader.
Detached attachment to see things as they are without getting lost in the stories. Second chances to learn, grow and evolve. A fresh start that frees you from the shackles of the past. A place of strength and calm from within to lift your spirits. Small consistent daily habits that multiply over time. Fine health, robust mind, and a sharp intellect. Friends, family and faith. Love, care, and tenderness.
Wishing you all these and more in 2019 and beyond!
“I guess so,” came the reluctant response from Ram when I asked him if he was excited about Santa. “Is it ok if I don’t write a letter to Santa this year? I just don’t feel like it,” said the child. My heart cracked a little. “Of course, you don’t have to if you don’t want to, but how about cookies? Do you want to do the cookies and carrot thing,” I asked him tentatively. “Let’s bake them amma. I want us to bake cookies for Santa,” chimed in Hari who was listening to our conversation. The much needed glue for my cracked heart. “Alright, let’s do that then.”
And so we baked this evening. Ram and I. The child gobbled several and placed one under the tree. No insisting on milk or carrot though. Well, what can I say, much fun was had as long as the magic lasted. Time to let go what we have outgrown and embrace new traditions.
We are celebrating Christmas early this year as we are traveling. There are presents from family and friends waiting to be opened. The kids have gone to bed in anticipation and I know they will be up at the crack of dawn.
Have a jolly time you all!
In early September,
Mona and I were enjoying some brunch
Just like friends in the USA do
Suddenly I felt like something was wrong
I felt like that the whole had stopped
I knew that something disastrous had occurred
I could feel it
Suddenly, my new Nokia rang
It was Ard
Did you hear what happened?
My head was spinning, I did not know what was happening
I saw the same look on Mona’s face
Some terrorist took down the Twin Towers
It was Ard
My face immediately became as large as dinner plates
I could not believe it!
The tallest building in the world
What would people think
When they see an immigrant like me
Who in their opinion
May look like a terrorist?
I gave myself a reassuring smile
I should know not to digress like that
I have been through so much
And an attack
Will not prevent me
From being a successful person
I know that whenever I am faced with change
I should not panic
I should embrace it!
Some context: What do you remember the most about the year you came to the US? Can’t beat 9/11, can I? I was lunching with my friend and Da had called.