Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com I lace up Laddu's new hi-top shoes. She tests them out tentatively. I force a fleece jacket on top of her already cozy top. Her school bag is heavy. Her literature anthologies, fundations journals, composition books, iPad, charger, water bottle and lunch box weigh her down. She is ready … Continue reading COVID-19 Diaries: Dilemma
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com My fingers are almost frost-bitten by the time I am back from my early morning walk. We went from tee shirt weather to winter like cold over a day. The sun is an eerie orange ball on my evening walk. Despite the cold and the bitterness of the wind … Continue reading COVID-19 Diaries: The Demands of Virtual School
Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com It is late Monday morning. It is also a long weekend. I should be cooking, instead I am seated at the breakfast table, two iPads, two dated planners next to me, my Macbook open to a spreadsheet, my iPhone showing me the schedule for the child whose planner … Continue reading COVID-19 Diaries: Virtual School
I woke to a home smelling of coffee and a child already awake and excited. By 6:30 am, Pattu and I set out on a walk around the development. I walked slowly, savoring the chill breeze and the warm sun's rays. Pattu was clearly thrilled. She jumped, skipped and danced as we wound our way … Continue reading COVID-19 Diaries: Back To School 2020 Edition
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com This week the school district my children are part of voted on a plan for the fall. Kids stay home until November. Then, they revisit the guidelines at that time, evaluate the safety of students and teachers and make a decision. The board meeting was telecast live. I tuned it … Continue reading COVID-19 Diaries: Back to School Rumblings
For the last day of the school year, today did not seem any different from the three months preceding this. When the school decided to close on March 13th, there were no goodbyes, no last day pictures, no walkouts to cheering children, no teary-eyed parents waiting in the wings to ferry their children to douse … Continue reading Milestone: Fifth Grade Graduation
I hear the bus before I see it. My pace picks up speed. I meet neighbors on the way to the bus stop but my mind is on my five-year-old Laddu. The bus passes me and Pattu waves from inside. I am wondering if I should jog the last few meters to the bus stop … Continue reading Letting Go, Just A Little Bit
She is staring out the window, a stuffed bear under her elbow, a piece of paper with the drawing of a little girl in her hand. In a week she will set foot into a new era. One in which her life will be ruled by teachers, friends and timers. In the eight months she … Continue reading Fleeting Childhood
The water swirls around my feet, pulsing from the jets in the tub. The chair I am on pounds in synchrony, massaging my back as I let out a sigh of contentment. The woman scrubbing my feet, sloughing off dead cells, works in silence. My phone dings, an aberration in the otherwise zen space I … Continue reading Musings: End Of School Year
In the midst of stir-frying a melange of vegetables for my children's’ lunchbox, I reach out for my phone. I shake the pan on one hand and scroll through my FB feed on the other. I set the pan down and lean on the kitchen counter as I catch up on writing-related posts. Next up … Continue reading Becoming Our Mothers
I circle the school parking lot a couple of times before resigning and finding a spot in the grass farthest from the entrance. I grab the folder containing documents that I need, close the door and help Laddu from the car. She is bundled up, her hood covering most of her face. Her tiny hands … Continue reading A Big Girl
The lights are on at the breakfast table and the dining table. I walk, swinging my arms, hoping my iWatch will count the strides toward exercise minutes. Laddu ambles behind me clicking her flashlight on and off to illuminate what she considers dark corners of the house. Ammu is bent over her homework, way past … Continue reading Why Homework?
I feel the familiar band of stress tighten around my head. My ears are taut. I feel like a loaded spring, ready to jump in and rescue Ammu as she sits doing Math with her dad. They are working on two-digit multiplication. “What is 7 times 8?” asks Saathi his voice even, a controlled impatience … Continue reading It Will Be Okay
I woke to the sounds of Laddu crying at 4:30 AM. Bringing her back to bed with me, we snuggled and she slept, an arm around my neck, her hair tickling my nose. Me? I was wide awake. For the past three months, mornings have been relaxed, days have been organic, eating, sleeping and playing … Continue reading New Beginnings
A couple of days have gone past since we have come home. A few suitcases still lie at the corner of my bedroom awaiting attention. The toys we picked up from vendors along the pavements in Pondy Bazaar are scattered in the living room. The breakfast table is claimed by wrapped packages. One blue box … Continue reading Of Reunions and Confidence
The alarm sounds insistently on my phone indicating it is time for the kids to start walking to their bus stop. A combination of shouting and herding them out the door does the trick. “Hug and kiss?” Pattu lingers by the door. I rush to gather her and Ammu joins in. As I wrap my … Continue reading The End is Nigh
“What is the book about?” “How many characters are there?” “What are their names?” “Where is the book set?” “What is the story about?” “Is it a book for big people?” The questions came thick and fast at the end of a 40 minute presentation to first graders at the school my children go to. … Continue reading Little Teachers
I remember the first piece I wrote that resonated with readers way back in 2000 about 'ponnu parkal' aka arranged marriages. For every person who agreed with me, I had an equal number disagree. I remember reading through the comments and thinking 'they do not get it'. That lit something in me. I went on … Continue reading Forays into writing
On why we tend to seek people who are like us.
There is more to school than just studies.
The bus leaves, wisps of steam in its wake. I stand by the curb, baby on my hip, one arm raised in a wave. I follow the bus as it completes a circle around the center grassy area before it passes me again on its way out. Your pony tails are silhouetted against the window. … Continue reading Eyes only for you