Children, Family

COVID-19 Diaries: Pandemic Pets

I watch as my middle child sneaks furtively into the kitchen and scamper out with a disposable plastic container. I call out to her and she freezes. She hands over the container and refuses to answer my questions on what it was for. I am miffed and curious but not suspicious yet. A little while […]

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COVID-19, Family

COVID-19 Diaries: Glimmers of Hope

I am on a work call. I am distracted by incoming messages. At some point, I request the rest of the day off and focus on the messages on my phone instead. There are different sets. One with Amma. One with my siblings. One for my medically competent friends. I share details and worries. I […]

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COVID-19, Family, Musings

COVID-19 Diaries: Doom

My right eye twitches. I press my finger on the jumping nerve to still it. Tears poke behind my eyelids. My eyes burn. I am feeling feverish from a lack of sleep and running on adrenaline for two weeks now. My phone lights up with a notification. An extended family member reaches out hearing of […]

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COVID-19, Family, Musings

COVID-19 Diaries: Direct Hit

Over the weeks, I have mused countless times about how much the pandemic occupies my thoughts. I have imagined in vivid detail what the virus does and can do to our bodies. I have feared that someone dear to me might be affected. Amma spiked a fever ten days ago. A mild fever she said. […]

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Family, Gratitude, Love, Musings

Contrarian Love

“Can I get a pair of diamond solitaire earrings?” My tone is playful. He responds with gravity, asking me a zillion questions and finally pronounces that yes he will. “Can we adopt twins?” His immediate reaction is one of incredulity and anger. The next morning, he is sheepish as he agrees to expand our family […]

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Daughters, Family, Kids, Love, Musings

Love That Spilleth Over

Laddu peeks in the study and noticing I am on a work call, closes the door gently behind her as she runs upstairs in search of akkas. Her pigtails bounce up and down as she scampers away and my heart swells with a feeling that feels too big for me.  I am disoriented by the […]

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Family, Love, Musings, vacation

Vacation Tales

We (my children and I) returned from a ten-day trip to Texas late last night. Exhaustion had us sleeping well into the morning. All day today I unpacked and prepped for the week ahead. Milk boiled away in anticipation of making curds. The grinder whirred all evening making a fine silky batter of rice and […]

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Family, Life, Musings, Work Life Balance

Filial Expectations

I am at the stove deep frying thenkuzhal, a golden extrusion of rice and lentil flours fried and drained on paper towels before being inhaled. Amma stands next to me painstakingly filling the extruder for me to use for the next round. She then walks over to cut cabbage for the evening dinner. She is […]

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Family, Love, Musings, Saathi

Non Anniversaries

Saathi’s voice modulates up and down to match Laddu’s enthusiasm at the little table by the kitchen island. Laddu is on her tiny pink chair. Her toy from the dollar store named Gem is cooking on the molded one-piece kitchenette propped against a stack of books on the table. Saathi is next to her, his […]

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Family, Home, Life, Musings

Big Little Things

The clock is yet to strike 8:00 am. The twins and Saathi have left for school and work. Laddu is still at the island dipping her coin dosais in a mix of thayir and chutney and savoring each morsel. I make my round picking up coffee mugs, discarded plates, and crumbs on the floor. A […]

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Family, Musings, Reunion

Family Is Love

My feet hurt. The delicious kind of ache that comes from knowing all of your work is done and all that stretches ahead of you is a night of dreamless sleep. I have been meticulously unpacking suitcases, folding clothes and putting them away. The process has taken me longer than it should because I stumbled […]

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Appa, Family, Father, Loss, Musings

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 […]

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Family, Musings

How To Make A Family

In June this year, I workshopped a piece at the Yale Writers’ Workshop. While this piece is a rehash of a story I have recounted many times on the blog, this was an experiment trying to write in the second person. The piece went live on Mutha Magazine today. I am happy to hear from […]

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Family, Musings

Echoes From The Past

The moon is a faint echo on the horizon as I drive back home from the daycare. It is way too late in the morning to catch the moon. I turn into my housing development and it is no longer in view. This has been an unusual week so it makes sense I see a […]

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Family, Musings

Siblings And Cousins

I scroll through my photos feed on IG and on impulse feel the need to upload one. Browsing through the pictures on my phone, I pause, move and come back to one picture. My sister is looking away in this one, her posture is relaxed, she is focused on brushing my daughter’s hair. Laddu is […]

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Family, Life, Musings

Imposters: Life and Death

I lie in bed, in the dark, under the covers, the backlit screen of my phone casting an eerie glow. I am furiously typing or researching what a hip surgery in advanced age looks like. I look at the process, the preoperative parameters, postoperative care and mentally ready myself for all possibilities. I can do […]

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