I feel sated when I step off the elliptical. The kind of satisfaction that comes from knowing it was an enjoyable experience. I turn my phone on and see a notification from my aunt. It brings worrisome tidings. I call her and get her voicemail. Through the morning the phone lines are busy exchanging details … Continue reading Triggers

Losses Unknown

“Can you show me a picture of thatha?” Laddu asks, thrusting an old album at me. “Sure!” I say as I flip open the book. In my head, I am thinking Giri thatha, my Appa who never knew his granddaughters. I know though that she is talking about Rajamani thatha, the only one she has … Continue reading Losses Unknown

On Dying, Death And The After

The past couple of weeks have been rough. As forty-somethings wedged in the middle, little kids on one end and the aging parents on the other, we have seesawed between caretaking for both, sometimes continents apart. A routine phone call had us scrambling to find tickets for Saathi. He waited at the hospital where his … Continue reading On Dying, Death And The After

Ten Years Of Grief

I pause at the doorway, my eyes lingering on the monthly planner. The kids have been crossing out days religiously since the beginning of the month to Thanksgiving. My eyes however, have been on a different date. The funk has been closing in on me like an ominous bubble. Sometimes they are visceral, sometimes they … Continue reading Ten Years Of Grief

Lucky Dad, Lucky Us

I sit on my recliner idly browsing through pictures on my phone. Marking a particularly nice one as favorite, I turn to show it to Saathi only to find his seat empty. I instinctively turn toward the kids and he is on the floor, Pattu on his lap. The three kids are enjoying their homemade … Continue reading Lucky Dad, Lucky Us

Nine years of missing you

It’s been nine years since Appa passed away. The immediacy of the pain has gone, the edges dulled and rounded. Memories do not assail me at unexpected times. Yet, appa is in my thoughts every now and then. He slips into my dreams, looking just the way I remember him best, in his fifties. He … Continue reading Nine years of missing you

Of old and new. Dads and daughters

I stood by the window over the sink looking out into the dull, drab day. The sky was overcast and grey. Cold rain drizzled and left shiny streaks along the bricks in the patio. My thoughts were back seven years remembering the final moments with my dad. Time ticked by as he drew his last. … Continue reading Of old and new. Dads and daughters

Tis the time for thanks

I watch as Saathi cajoles and sweet talks the twins into posing for pictures. It is a regular Sunday. Toys are lined on the stairs leading to our upper level. Laughter reverberates around the home. I watch dad and daughters soak up each other and feel a pang. This time of the year reminds me … Continue reading Tis the time for thanks

Daddies near. Daddies far.

I watch fascinated as your eyes glow and your arms wave as you describe the conversation Ammani had using the cucumber as a phone. You are besotted I think. I watch as you patiently clean soiled underwear while your daughter stands oblivious to the mess she is responsible for. I watch as you fold away … Continue reading Daddies near. Daddies far.

Memories don’t fade

Yesterday was one of those days when I woke with a heaviness in my heart. The kind you keep to yourself. All day, it lay there subtly beneath the layers without rearing its head. Sitting across my amma, it finally popped out. The untold, unasked questions. Are you feeling sad I asked. Did not think … Continue reading Memories don’t fade

Daddy’s Daughters

"Hugssss!!" "Hugss" repeats Cee endearingly stretching her arms sideways from her high chair. I stand half amused watching K shuttle between the girls dispensing hugs, healing boo-boos and planting kisses on chubby cheeks. Over the past year I have watched K evolve as a father. He is their primary care giver and by that commands … Continue reading Daddy’s Daughters

Remembering Appa

Driving into work today, I decided to give the earphones a pass and tuned into NPR. There was the news about Libya and then something about predator drones and my mind was weaving in and out, the sound bytes alternatively being loud and fading out. The weather and traffic updates followed. Then was this story … Continue reading Remembering Appa

In memoriam

Today marks four years to the day since Appa breathed his last. As my mother, sister and I stood around his bedside and watched the monitor mark the end, it also marked the end of an era. A period of my life marked by unconditional, silent love. Today as I grieve the loss of my … Continue reading In memoriam

Smiling faces and warm thoughts

Today's prompt over at NaBloPoMo: What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of your father? His smile. Always. My father had a very pleasant smile. One that would stretch from ear to ear if he was in a particularly genial mood. Sometimes he would scrunch up his nose with … Continue reading Smiling faces and warm thoughts

Letters from a daughter to her father

Dear Appa, I woke up this morning to the sight of two mottai kutties facing each other across from their cribs and having an animated conversation about who-knows-what. As I plonked them down for their morning feed, Amma held two bottles feeding both kids while I made myself a cup of strong filter coffee. Thoughts of you assailed my … Continue reading Letters from a daughter to her father

Remembering Appa

Late yesterday evening as the closing credits rolled on screen after the movie ended, I was a sobbing blubbery mess. The lines were fuzzy between the body on the funeral pyre on TV and the one of Appa in my mind. That one image was enough to send me back three years in time to … Continue reading Remembering Appa

Sepia toned. Warm.

Logging into work bright and early, I place my fingers at the feet of the tiny pillayar at my desk and touch it to my eyes. Like I do on days when I feel happy. Or sad. Or in need of reassurance. I turned and spied a new addition to my desk. A picture of … Continue reading Sepia toned. Warm.

I remember you today Appa

Done talking with my FIL, K turned on the TV. In over one hour of programming we were exposed to a slew of ads for Father's day. My mind travelled years back in time. With no special day to remember dads or make them feel special. I hope you knew you were always special. You … Continue reading I remember you today Appa

Twin emotions

Every year as this day rolls around, I am caught with conflicting emotions. I want to celebrate the day my dad was born. I imagine him bringing untold joy to his parents by his very birth. I imagine that being the first born son he would also have been a very welcome addition to the … Continue reading Twin emotions

Linked by loss

Plate in hand with pure white curd rice, I hesitated a moment between the curried vegetable and tomato thokku and helped myself to a generous helping of the pickle. As I ate taking care to keep the white of the curd rice unsullied by color, I was reminded of my Appa. "He used to love … Continue reading Linked by loss