COVID-19 Diaries: Cleaning

Photo by Pixabay on My calf muscles and hamstrings are sore from bending over one too many times. This time I am on my knees and elbows reaching for a hard to reach inflated ball that is wedged right in the middle of the futon width. I let out a string of curses knowing … Continue reading COVID-19 Diaries: Cleaning


My watch shows 3:57:03. I should be in the study anxiously poring over my presentation one last time. Instead, butterflies in my stomach I watch through the window as the school bus rolls past our home. Just as I am to turn and walk away, I notice my Amma looking diminutive from the other side … Continue reading Vignettes

Adoption: Complex, Nuanced, Heavy

The music of my teenage fills my ears as I walk and I feel a sense of being cocooned. I hum along with numbers I can remember. The beauty of Urdu washes over me and I am happy. The way one is happy for no reason. Last night, I sat on a two-seater sofa with … Continue reading Adoption: Complex, Nuanced, Heavy

The Making Of A Home

It is nearly 2:00 in the afternoon and I realize with a start that I have not had a chance to sit down yet. I am not sure what I have been doing so I sit down and actually make a list. Make coffee Unload dishwasher Make eggplant fry Pressure cook rice Make almond chutney … Continue reading The Making Of A Home

The Little Things That Say Home

It is not yet 6:00 AM. I have been up for about an hour, throwing open windows and tying back curtains. There is no breeze yet but the humidity inside the house lets up. Amma turns on the TV and sets the volume on high. I wince but carry on realizing that it is impossible … Continue reading The Little Things That Say Home

Old and new, familiarity amidst the newness

I root around for a plate to serve dosai on and feel a flood of happiness at seeing the oval plate that my dad and later I used to eat on. I pull it out and fold the dosai on it. Stacking two more, I take it to the hall under the fan to eat … Continue reading Old and new, familiarity amidst the newness

Bad Days. Good Days.

Laddu and I stand by the dining room window looking out. Ammu and Pattu walk home, their backpacks bouncing on their back. Their fine hair moves with the breeze. In identical rompers, they sprint the last few yards home. I am now by the door to the garage, waiting with a smile. "I had a … Continue reading Bad Days. Good Days.

The gift of timelessness

I sit on the stoop by the side entrance, Laddu bouncing on my lap. The morning is crisp and chill as Spring mornings ought to be. I turn towards my driveway and the sun pierces my eye. Squinting, I watch Ammu and Pattu make circles on their princess bikes. In matching pink and purple jackets, … Continue reading The gift of timelessness


Dusty. The tar roads felt soft to my flip-flops as I walked to the house for the first time. The summer heat scorched the city when we moved from cooler, less humid climes there. It was a modest house. I remember lying awake at night as the rain pelted the windows and listening to frogs … Continue reading Nostalgia

Almonds, chocolate and a little love

I ambled along, lunch tote in hand, in no particular hurry. I had my leftovers from the weekend. As I crossed the set of steel tables on my way to the microwave, I ran into a new colleague. New because I was new to the company as was she. Remarking on a single stemmed rose … Continue reading Almonds, chocolate and a little love


I stood juggling four pans of various dishes either simmering, roasting or frying this morning. The microwave beeped and a small glass bowl with ground masala sat there staring at me. For a minute I was not sure what I was doing or what needed to be done next. Gathering my wits around me, I … Continue reading Imagery

You don’t miss what you don’t have!

It was close to 11:00 PM. Almost bedtime even over the weekend, I nodded to K and between him and his cousin another K they went downstairs to the basement to haul the futon mattress upstairs. Panting from lugging the rather heavy mattress, they arranged it right in the middle of our living room. Pillows … Continue reading You don’t miss what you don’t have!

It’s all about love

Love you! I exclaimed brightly just as I hung up the phone after talking to my sister to wish her. I sensed a moment of hesitation, an eye roll and a smile as she replied Thank you and not love you back. Sometimes I do it on purpose. Like to my mom, I say Love … Continue reading It’s all about love

Intangible joys

Reaching home pretty late after dinner with a girlfriend I was left to whip something up for K who braved the cold and loved me enough to chauffeur me around. Falling back on the standard dhal, chawal subzi routine, I could not wait to lay my hands on my newly acquired Calphalon pan. Pulling it … Continue reading Intangible joys

Changing directions

Every once in a while, I stop what am doing to ponder on that path I am on. To use a metaphor, growing up my family portrait looked like this. Two tall silhouettes and two tiny ones hands linked walking into the sunset. Of course, in my mind's eye the tiny ones would have my … Continue reading Changing directions

A peek through my window

Waking up to the sound of the telephone ringing, I sauntered over to the little balcony in our bedroom overlooking the tiny woods in my backyard. The windy morning was beautiful. Yellow leaves floating gracefully to our wet deck. The smell of rain. A fog in the making. I realized with a smile that it … Continue reading A peek through my window

Unity in Diversity. Or not?

For the longest time, this was one phrase that was representative of India for me. I am not sure if I picked it up from TV or if it was in my History or Geography books in school. Or perhaps the Ek Chidiya, Anek Chidiya short that was screened on Doordarshan. Whatever the origins of … Continue reading Unity in Diversity. Or not?

Trust issues

As the clock sped towards 8:00 AM and I sat on the stairs leading to our third level chomping on a bagel that was determined to stick to my teeth, the doorbell rang. K and I both froze. Who could it be at this unearthly morning hour? While I hesitated with my half full mouth, … Continue reading Trust issues

The ephemeral nature of our life

As I shuttled between my cube and a colleague's cube at work trying to mentor him, I saw my IM blinking. It was a person in my office who also lived in the community I did. "I am working from home..." he typed. Sure it was going to a request for some favor, I had … Continue reading The ephemeral nature of our life

They came. They saw. They cleaned.

For the second time in five years, I had a cleaning service come home to flush out the dirt and dust I had accumulated in my personal pixie's absence. They showed up at the door at 8:00 AM sharp. Four of them went to work in different corners of the house and in two hours … Continue reading They came. They saw. They cleaned.


Waiting to have my blood drawn as part of some routine checks, I noticed this in the waiting area. I couldn't help smiling to myself. As K summed it - thodappa¬†kattai¬†in a chatti (brooms in a pot). As we waited, we ended up discussing decor and what is Art. Growing up, I remember lots of … Continue reading Artsy?