Unsung Heroes: The Woman In My Life

“Vandhacha?” I text my sister. The message says delivered but there is no response. I put my phone down and walk around the house. I clear the sink, I grind the coconut, green chiles, curry leaves, and cumin. I check my phone every once in a while. It is when I am tempering cumin in … Continue reading Unsung Heroes: The Woman In My Life

The Voice At The Other End Of The Line

The phone rings a few times before her voice comes on the line. Reassuring. Available. Just there for my taking. We exchange pleasantries. We talk about what we cooked, how we slept, minor aches and pains, the cost of medicines, the cost of a kilo of tomatoes. We talk of bank balances, siblings and children. … Continue reading The Voice At The Other End Of The Line

Simple joys

 We step out in the darkness, a distant light reflecting off the puddle of water in the middle of our driveway. We skirt around it and walk leisurely out to the road. It is past nine in the evening. The lamp-posts in front of each home emits a dull glow. Fireflies wink in and out … Continue reading Simple joys


I watch you as you bend to place something in your overnight bag for the umpteenth time. Your forehead is creased with lines. Laugh lines. Worry lines. Anxiety lines. Sad lines. The lines that tell me the story of your life. I stand by the stove stirring the boiling pot of water with specks of … Continue reading Adrift

Underappreciated and overwhelmed

I woke up to the sounds of Amma bustling in the kitchen. The dishwasher was being unloaded, the microwave humming and the cooker hissing in the background. Stretching lazily, I also heard sounds of one of the twins waking. Ignoring any temptation to snooze for a few more minutes, I jumped out of bed to … Continue reading Underappreciated and overwhelmed

My everyday hero!

Watching and rewatching a slide show of pictures from my twin's birthday party, I noticed my GMail Inbox tab had a (1) next to it indicating a new mail. Smiling, I checked to see a note from my good old friend saying "Amma rocks!!! You must write a piece only on her." I was taken aback a … Continue reading My everyday hero!

Arbitrary thoughts

In a precious few hours, my amma will be here. Laden with goodies for Kay and Cee and my siblings and I, she will step off the car a shy smile changing her face into something that will be etched in memory. For years I have longed to welcome amma home as paati. This will be yet another … Continue reading Arbitrary thoughts

Following in the footsteps of Mom

Sliding the glass doors of the showcase that houses the various knick knacks my siblings and I accumulated over the past couple of decades in our home in Madras, I paused. Littered through the glass plates that served as holders, there were a multitude of ceramic figurines. A pair of wolves, a dog, a fish, … Continue reading Following in the footsteps of Mom

Two birthdays and an anniversary

Waking up alone in the house for the first time in a long while, I tapped the alarm. Pausing a bit, I set a timer for 15 minutes and rolled back to a few more minutes of glorious sleep. The timer went off and I bounded out of bed. Brushing my teeth I realized it … Continue reading Two birthdays and an anniversary

Channeling negativity

Waking up after a rather short but restful sleep, I felt oodles better than the night before. It had been class night and I returned home in a rather sour mood after I had received my paper after grading. I thought I had done well but the instructor obviously did not share my view and … Continue reading Channeling negativity

My Life. My Way.

"Blog podalaiya?" (No blog yet?) queried my mom over chat. I thought for a minute and said "Nothing to write about." Pat came the response " Why don't you write about the emotional loneliness that parents go through when their children disappoint them?" My mind went "What about parents who cannot look past their expectations … Continue reading My Life. My Way.

Then there were five

As I cradled the phone in the crook of my neck talking to Amma as I seasoned the kootu I was making this morning, my mom went "You will never believe what happened today..." Image courtesy: The Hindu via Google Image Search Turns out she was out shopping with my aunt and when she got … Continue reading Then there were five

Ahh! The arrogance of youth..

As I liberally dusted myself with Mysore Sandal Talc today morning in what appears to be a recent habit, I couldn't help thinking back at the days I scorned my amma, appa and athai for coating themselves liberally with talc. I would tease them saying the powder was an inch think on their face and neck … Continue reading Ahh! The arrogance of youth..

Back to routine

It's amazing how little things bring order and a smile to an otherwise chaotic day. After six odd months, as K and I drove to work together, I was on my cell phone calling Amma like I always do. Just as expected, she picked the phone at first ring and my first question was "Enna … Continue reading Back to routine

Standing at the door

After six months of having Amma over every weekend, six months of telephone calls every three hours, Amma leaves to India today. As I stood at the door waving Bye I was filled with sadness, concern, anxiety and a sense of responsibility. You see, this is the first  time Amma is traveling by herself. It … Continue reading Standing at the door

Bitten by the travel bug

Early Saturday morning mom and I sat with steaming mugs of coffee by our living room window as is our ritual, talking about the few months she has been here. She asked "What are the plans for tomorrow?" "Nothing." I said. She paused a moment her face looking like she was making a difficult decision … Continue reading Bitten by the travel bug

East or West, Mom’s the best!

We drove back from my brother's home with my mom in the back seat. In the quiet silence of the night, I marveled at how much my relationship with amma had morphed with the passage of time. From being a person I rebelled against to someone I now look up to, I understand her better … Continue reading East or West, Mom’s the best!

Cooking for mom

A typical weekend for me involves among other things getting up late, cooking up a storm and sleeping in the afternoons. This is how it has been for many years now. Some weekends the course is altered but that does not happen too often. Then there are weekends when we have guests visiting. This weekend … Continue reading Cooking for mom

The needy one

I call my mom every day. Every day as I drive to work, I pick up the phone with a smile on my face. The anticipation of hearing my mom say "Hello" and me always asking "Enna pannindu irrunde". Its a routine just like brushing my teeth or having my morning coffee.Calling mom is a … Continue reading The needy one