Deepavali Is An Emotion

Photo by Debabrath Goswami on Pexels.com My feed(s) on social media are filled with Diwali wishes. They feature clay diyas with flickering shadows, bright colored rangoli and mithai boxes. The wishes feel alien, the way it feels when someone wishes me Happy Halloween. These customs are new and strange. As a family we have taken … Continue reading Deepavali Is An Emotion

COVID-19 Diaries: Changing Ways of Life

Photo by chepté cormani on Pexels.com 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 … Continue reading COVID-19 Diaries: Changing Ways of Life

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 … Continue reading COVID-19 Diaries: Reminiscences

Milestone: Fifth Grade Graduation

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

Film Review: the half of it

About twenty-three years ago, I created my first personal email account. It was an account that I shared with my best friend. It was also an account that saw a lot of emails go back and forth with “pen pals”, people we did not know. There were no smartphones, no way to scan and send … Continue reading Film Review: the half of it

Gratitude: The Decade Long Version

The water undulates in front of me. It is mesmerizing, the flecks of blue and gold, the buoys bobbing up and down. Most importantly, I am alone, a rare occurrence in my life as a mother and wife. The sounds around me are soothing, the road noise, the water lapping against the concrete barrier. Even … Continue reading Gratitude: The Decade Long Version

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 … Continue reading Diwali: Past And Present

Oh, The Memories!

I stood by the kitchen island watching the refrigeration technician take our freezer apart. The door, the motor, the fan, the printed circuit board off the back of the fridge, they all lay on the floor. He worked quietly humming to himself. With his permission, I took the PCB in my hands and looked at … Continue reading Oh, The Memories!

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 … Continue reading Crossing Cultures

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 … Continue reading Spaces

#ToAllTheBoysIveLovedBefore

#ToAllTheBoysIveLovedBefore at the high school, I was too busy trying to not cry at being called fat, busy trying to fit in, busy trying to come out of the shadow of my beautiful friends. I was trying hard to stay awake in class after 5:00 AM tuitions and after-school remedial classes. I was too caught … Continue reading #ToAllTheBoysIveLovedBefore

Holding Back Tears

My calf muscle aches as I bend over yet another trash bag that is over half full of gently used children’s clothing. All through the morning I picked through, sifted and made piles of clothes. In excellent condition, good condition and definitely well-used ones. They went into different bags. Some on FB marketplace to find … Continue reading Holding Back Tears

Crushes and Blushes

Pattu says, "Amma, Ammu has a crush on M." Ammu blushes a deep red. Then I ask Pattu "Do you still crush on L?" Pattu blushes deep red. Ammu tells Pattu "M is just a friend. Not a crush!" Pattu persists until Ammu relents "His name starts with C" We all take turns guessing until … Continue reading Crushes and Blushes

Paying Tributes Over Time and Space

I eye the phone longingly. My fingers itch to dial Amma’s cell phone number but I desist. I can picture my family this morning. All of my dad’s siblings and their spouses gathered to observe the yearly anniversary of my Thatha’s passing. I imagine the kitchen busy, bustling. I can almost see my aunts and … Continue reading Paying Tributes Over Time and Space

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

Birthday Sentiments

I finished the memoir by Kunal Nayyar and looked at the clock. 11:55 PM read the display. Hauling myself up, I managed to drift into sleep when the baby monitor crackled with Laddu’s cries. Wincing, I pushed myself out of the cozy warmth to get her when I remembered. Crooning “Happy Birthday…” under my breath, … Continue reading Birthday Sentiments

Sassy, Smart and Sweet

I wearily trudge up the stairs, my knee joints groaning in pain. Annoyance is writ large on my face as I open the door to Ammu’s bedroom. Ammu and Pattu are lying together, arms encircling each other. Ammu is holding on to Pattu’s earlobe in a gesture that is strangely comforting. I split them up … Continue reading Sassy, Smart and Sweet

Hurtling through the past

A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image. – Joan Didion The year was 2000. The city was Bangalore. I remember speeding through the roads in the dark, the lamp … Continue reading Hurtling through the past

On a day like today

On a day like today, few years back, I scanned through my emails making notes, preparing to-do lists and scanning the web for information. We had just gotten word that we were soon to be parents of twins. Just like that in a few days we would go from a couple to a couple with … Continue reading On a day like today

Let there be light!

Holiday season is upon us. This past Sunday I rushed through the aisles of the local clothing store picking up a piece here and a piece there. I piled on my purchases and dove into the first available dressing room making sure I had at least one pair that fit. Walking out the store with … Continue reading Let there be light!