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 … Continue reading COVID-19 Diaries: Pandemic Pets

Essay: On Loss and, Love

Photo by Max Ravier on Pexels.com I talk as I walk to the voice on the other end which is a tad weakened as it traverses the eight thousand miles from India to make its way to me. I strain to listen, filling in missed syllables knowing the words she would have used from our … Continue reading Essay: On Loss and, Love

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

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 … Continue reading Contrarian Love

Ten Years. Many Lessons.

  This week marks ten years since we went from being a couple to parents of twins. Each year I struggle with marking the day. Obviously, it is of import to me. It also is of import to my children in ways I cannot measure or understand. I consciously stay away from anything celebratory. I … Continue reading Ten Years. Many Lessons.

Empathy

I remember to wear my turquoise fleece top to my dental appointment. The office is well appointed and lighted but cold. I check myself before I get in the car. Insurance, HSA card, and license are all in there. The wait is short and I am in my chair before I know it. It is … Continue reading Empathy

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 … Continue reading The Dada Cup

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

The Color Of Regret

The garage rattles noisily when I press the switch. I wince. It is not yet 6:00 am. The breeze feels deliciously chill when I drag the two-wheel toter that houses my garbage bags out to the edge of the driveway. I position it and return for the tub containing recycle trash. I stand for a … Continue reading The Color Of Regret

Untaught Lessons

I am driving home from my brother's place. Amma is in the passenger seat beside me. Pattu and Laddu are in the back seat bopping to the music streaming from my phone. In the front, we are catching up on the weekend and trading stories. New Rules by Dua Lipa comes on. I lip sync … Continue reading Untaught Lessons

Essay: Arranged Marriage

This essay appeared in Centered: The magazine of personal stories in 2019. It is an excerpt from my work in progress memoir. Standing in the living room where I rented a room in Jeevan Bima Nagar in Bangalore, I tried to process what was happening. My father declared, “We are coming this weekend.” What is the hurry? I wanted … Continue reading Essay: Arranged Marriage

Fleeting Childhood

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

A Certain Smugness Of Being

My call is just about over when a frantic text pops up on my phone. I ignore it and focus on being present, engaged and active. The call ends and I pick the phone up and go for a walk. I walk around my office building, a concrete tower that is older, stark and bereft … Continue reading A Certain Smugness Of Being

Notes From A Newly Minted Working Woman

I survey the place around me from my elevated perch. I am on the elliptical chanting Vishnu Sahasranamam while pushing my body to do more, to sweat more. Laddu walks down from the bed. Her hair is mussed, her face unwashed and sticky from sleep. She lazes on the sofa before me. The twins are … Continue reading Notes From A Newly Minted Working Woman

Disquiet

It is early in the morning. The kids are still asleep. It is one of those rare weekend mornings when I have the house to myself and nothing on my agenda, not even making breakfast. The air is chill, in the upper fifties. I am walking around in a gray faded capris and a much-loved … Continue reading Disquiet

Drifting

I am on the phone with my Amma as she prepares to leave to India for the winter. My cell phone rings flashing the number of an old friend. I hang up and reach for my cell phone. This woman and I go back a decade, working alongside on a banking software product. We exchange … Continue reading Drifting

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 … Continue reading Losses Unknown

Things I Am Grateful For This Year

My phone dings as I walk, interrupting the mellifluous voice of M.S. Subbulakshmi. I ignore the sound and continue walking. The air is chill and my nose is dripping. In the forty minutes that I take to circle the seventy odd homes that comprise my development, I see no other humans. I am home, mildly … Continue reading Things I Am Grateful For This Year