Sharing Your World

I am itching to write detailed posts but I am up to my eye balls for the foreseeable future. I am thankful for Cee’s weekly questions. It is getting me into the habit of reflecting and writing at least once a week. Thank you Cee!

When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot? I really wish I could walk barefoot at all times when I am at home. But I get cold very easily, so you will find me in socks 10 out of 12 months. The remaining 2 months I walk barefoot at home, whether I am alone or with company.

What was your favorite food when you were a child? Hot piping sathumadhu sadam with avakai orugai – used to love the sight of the vizhudhu floating on my soupy rice! I will confess though as a grown up the tangy hearty sambar/khozhambhu has become my go to food.

Are you a listener or talker? It depends on the  person at the other end of the conversation. If he or she has the need to talk/share/express, I am happy to just listen. If he or she would like to know my thoughts/opinion/general life updates, I get into talking mode. I strongly believe that listening non-judgmentally to someone is the best way to be there for that person.  So I  take the business of listening very seriously. I have noticed that I tend to be eager to talk when I come from a place of conviction. .

Favorite thing to (pick one):  Photograph?  Write? Or Cook? I am interpreting this question to mean what is your favorite thing to photograph, write, and cook (ok I changed the question a bit). Photograph – candid pictures of children, I particularly love to capture the expression of intense focus and unbridled joy on little faces. Write – people stories. Cook – condiments (chutneys, dips, pickles, podis, and sauces).

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 the first new friend that I made in the US 15 years back. I assimilated into this culture as I bonded with her. Her friendship is a assuring presence in my life that I don’t take for granted.  I met up with her for a movie and dinner (watched Gifted and had Thai) last week . Felt like us from 15 years ago!  

Looking forward to less mental chatter and clutter this week.


Sharing Your World

Here is this week’s dose of  Sharing Your World from Cee.

Would you rather live where it is always hot or always cold? Having grown up in places where the only seasons I have known are Summer and More Summer, I am going with always hot. I don’t like to admit this but if cold frigid temperatures depress me, hot sultry days get me hyper cranky. So really, my answer should be neither. But as I said, I am in denial.

Do you prefer long hair or short hair for yourself? Long jet black silky hair is what I would love to have if I had a choice in the matter.

What is your favorite month of the year? Mid march is my favorite time of the year. When the winter is behind and there are spring, summer and fall to look forward to. I also like the period between mid Nov. and end of Dec. when our routine slows down a bit and we have Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year to look forward to.

What is the easiest way for your to learn something new?  By reading, by seeing and doing, in a classroom?  Reading and doing. Reading because I like to know what’s ahead, doing because that’s the only way I know to internalize something.  What I only read, I mostly forget.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? From last week, I am grateful for all the folks that took the time to connect with me on my b’day. The relationships and friendships I have developed over the years mean much to me, so it’s heartwarming to hear from folks that matter. This week, I am looking forward to have my Netflix binging under control and figuring out my sleep routine.

Me, Wishes

Another year, another b’day

I had a day filled with little moments of celebrations – Ram made a b’day balloon out of Lays chips packet, he tried his best to train Alexa to wish me happy b’day, and brought home sweet little knick knacks (paper boats, rockets and what not!) from his KG buddies. He made sure that anybody and everybody he came across knew that it was my b’day and made sure that I got wished. Hari left a heartwarming note for me this morning and has been been talking to me in Tamil all this week. I had a nice walk in our very picturesque neighborhood, chit chatted and connected with friends and family, and wrapped up with a nice dinner at an Indian restaurant. Did I forget to mention that I am typing this post on a brand new laptop? All in all, I feel celebrated and pampered. I am deeply thankful for this privileged life.

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?


Sharing Your World

Here are my answers to Cee’s Sharing Your World. What are yours?  

Wanting something to quench your thirst, what would you drink? Good old plain water. While at work, I tend to reach out to the generous supply of unsweetened flavored sparkling water that my company offers for free!  

Complete this sentence:  Never In My Life Have I….  wanted to play practical jokes. I know many friends and family members who were little pranksters as children. They take delight in narrating their tales of pranking someone. It’s a joy that I cannot relate to.

If you could be given any gift what would it be? A restless mind can wreak havoc on you and the ones around you. So peace of mind is the gift I would wish for.

What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep, toss and turn, or get up and try to do something productive?  I try to relax in the moment – unhinge my jaws, loosen my muscles, feel my body resting on the mattress, listen to the snoring and the sound of the fan, take deep breaths… some days I just think of all the Ganesha temples I have visited since childhood. It relaxes and strengthens my mind.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for all the things that went right with my patti’s passing away last week –  that she lived a full life, that she was finally relieved of the excruciating suffering, that my parents were around when she breathed last, and that they received the support that they needed.

I am looking forward to getting into my regular routine including eating clean, practicing dance and daily meditation, getting my sleep,  and staying productive.

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.

Experiences, Gratitude, Learnings, Me

Sharing My World

Thank you Cee for your questions this week.

When writing by hand do you prefer to use a pencil or pen? As a child, I have aspired for a better handwriting. I even used to have a notebook in which I practiced writing. Somehow, I never got better at it. I also write very slowly and can’t write well with some writing instruments (eg. ink pens or mechanical pencils).  For better or worse, the only time I write is when I am writing a check or a checklist. My instrument of preference is Reynolds Bold black ballpoint pen.

Would you rather be an amazing dancer or an amazing singer? I would love to be an amazing dancer with profound understanding and appreciation for music.

If you were on a debate team, what subject would you relish debating? The idea of debating does not hold my interest anymore. When it comes to debating, people come with the mindset to win, to prove their point; it is seldom about learning and seeing things from another’s perspective. On the other hand, I love to be part of discussions where things are analysed from different perspectives, where there is an opportunity to grow and learn. The kind of discussion that NPR hosts – Onpoint, Hidden Brain and Ted Radio. I would relish any discussion related to the human nature and the enigma that the human mind is.

What are you a “natural” at doing? Empathising comes naturally to me. It’s both the boon and bane of my existence.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Last week was an emotionally draining week with a lot of things going on. I am very thankful from the bottom of my heart for Da’s calm, solid, unbiased, predictable presence in my life. This week, I am looking forward to coming back home after my business trip.