COVID-19

COVID-19 Diaries: Changing Ways of Life

Today, I pulled the plug on our landline. A number we have had since 2001. A number that has followed us through three moves, seen three babies and been a constant across multiple job changes and career changes. The landline has been like a recalcitrant child, acting up, refusing to work and often causing me […]

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Journal, nostalgia

COVID-19 Diaries: Reminiscences

Jackfruit. The item remained on our shared grocery list for weeks. Each grocery trip, my finger would hover over it, tempted to strike it off knowing how rare it is to find it locally. Yet, it would stay, a reminder of how random cravings for things from my past can take hold and not let […]

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Appa, Musings

Triggers

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 […]

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Musings, nostalgia

The Dada Cup

It is not yet 6:00 am. I unload the dishwasher. I like the quiet this time of the day. I go about my work methodical, intentional. The last items to come out of the dishwasher are the coffee mugs. Even as I pull them out, I hear footsteps coming down the stairs and look up […]

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Deepavali, Diwali, Musings, nostalgia

Diwali: Past And Present

The email from HR arrived suddenly, unexpected in its subject line. “Diwali,” it said. The body was sparse, requesting any of us who had the time to stop by HR for a quick chat. New to the company (relatively) and therefore without deadlines hounding me, I took the stairs to the third floor and found […]

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Culture, Musings

Crossing Cultures

“How do you open this thing?” Laddu’s cry is plaintive as she wrestles with a miniature Hawkins pressure cooker. I show her how to open and close the cooker. Ammu pipes up “Did you have one growing up?” “Never!” I say. My ferocity surprises me though it shouldn’t. I try to explain to her how […]

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Home, Memories, Musings

Spaces

I walk around my home, my iWatch tracking my steps, urging me to walk 11 minutes more at a brisk pace so my move goal could be met. I walk, my arms swinging, my eyes tracking my children as each play in their own way. Laddu is astride her soft, stuffed unicorn, urging it to […]

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Musings, Travel

Intimate Spaces

A clutch of colorful leaves is in her long, tapered fingers. Laddu painstakingly searches for and brings them to her one by one. It turns into a bouquet. We are by a set of rocks along the road that runs parallel to the roaring horseshoe falls on the Canadian side of the Niagara. Saathi is […]

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Appa, Musings

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 […]

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Memories, Musings

Present And Past

I absently look at the white board calendar in the mudroom as I pick jackets for the kids from the cedar chest. Pattu is wiping the last of the month with her fingers and dabbing at her sleeve when she thinks I am not looking. I smile and urge her to change into school clothes. […]

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Musings, Year End, Year in Review

Turning A Page

It is late afternoon, it is already dark outside. I am not showered yet. The twins are crooning to songs from Moana. The youngest and the husband are still napping. It is the first day of the New Year. I feel like I should be doing something to mark it. Go shower, rinse away the […]

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Death, Musings

Grief And Regrets

I sit up wide awake from what must have been a light sleep. The clock reads 4:00 AM. I pick my phone as is habit. The first status on my newsfeed is a cryptic message mourning the loss of someone who was once dear to me. A childhood friend, a friend from my teenage, a […]

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Family, Musings, Rituals

The Making of Memories

“I don’t have a family.” Ammu looks glum as she sits beside her appa, her knees drawn to her chest. I am feeding Laddu across the room. My ears perk up but I do not turn, waiting instead to hear what propelled that comment. I hear Saathi’s voice, a hint of amusement in it. “What […]

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Festivals, Musings, Navarathri

Of Light, Love and Joys

I walk quickly down the stairs, pausing only to switch the lights on in the basement. The house is unnaturally quiet. The kids are in bed and Saathi rocking Laddu to sleep. The LED string lights are almost invisible under the glare of the overhead recess fixtures. I look around. There are brown bags clustered on […]

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Musings, vacation

Wrapping Up

I am in the balcony waiting to capture flying pigeons on my phone when it hits me that this vacation is drawing to a close. The clothes flap above me on lines and the smells of cooking from the adjoining apartment waft my way. I head back to the cool interiors to beat the heat […]

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Musings

Imprints of Souls Past

Ammu, Pattu, Laddu and I clamber into an auto that is standing a few feet from our home. I throw my bulky bag at the back and adjust the baby on me before the auto jerks and moves. The traffic is minimal and the breeze feels lovely in the morning sun. “Your Appa went to […]

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Musings

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 […]

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