COVID-19 Diaries: The Demands of Virtual School

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

COVID-19 Diaries: In A Rut

Photo by Tomas Anunziata on Pexels.com Life post book release has gone from adrenaline highs, early morning zoom calls and, signing books to thinking of it all in the past. Work is busy. The children are starting online school in less than a week. Our routine is predictable most days. I wake early, have kaapi … Continue reading COVID-19 Diaries: In A Rut

COVID-19 Diaries: Past Midway Point

Photo by Candid Shots on Pexels.com I casually look at the calendar one morning and I am taken aback we are in August already. August spells back to school, Fall, cooler weather, and festival season. In any other year, this would have been when I am scouring back to school lists, actively networking to find … Continue reading COVID-19 Diaries: Past Midway Point

COVID-19 Diaries: Back to School Rumblings

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

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

COVID-19 Diaries: Schooling Unschooling

It is a day into week three of the five of us at home. This week also marks the start of formal online school for all three children. While I struggled the past two weeks, the knowledge that all of it was optional let me operate a little guilt-free. This week they started easy. About … Continue reading COVID-19 Diaries: Schooling Unschooling

Musings: End Of School Year

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

Becoming Our Mothers

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

A Big Girl

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

Why Homework?

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?

In Rainbows And Colors, She Rests

It arrives in the form of a grave email, the somber tone, the weight of the words taking time to sink. It steeps in me, slowly. I feel it in my eyes, in my throat, in the pit of my stomach. I call out to my children who are working on Math. I share with … Continue reading In Rainbows And Colors, She Rests

It Will Be Okay

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

Shaping Worldview

It is early in the morning. Way too early for eight-year-olds to be up on a weekend. I sip on my coffee as Pattu shuffles a pack of cards in her hand. “Different groups of people,” she reads, pauses and answers with a dramatic voice “Diversity” I reach for the cards and the first that … Continue reading Shaping Worldview

A New School Year

Saathi parks the car in the grass lawn that abuts the school and we walk back in the damp grass joining the throngs who are headed inside. Saathi and Pattu head to her class with Laddu while Ammu and I head to hers. There are quite a few familiar faces. I smile, nod and take … Continue reading A New School Year

A Good Parent

The timer on the microwave went off signaling it was time for me to leave. I turned the stove off shouting a thousand instructions at the kids, the spouse and my mom as I left. I opted to take the longer, winding back roads to the kid's school. The radio was on and the ethics … Continue reading A Good Parent

Empathy, Not Discipline

It was the week before the 2016-17 school year began. The Friday before first day of school, I sat on a folding chair at the elementary school, a pink paisley purse by my side, watching the office manager answer the phone, jest around with the teachers and smile at me. I could hear the deep … Continue reading Empathy, Not Discipline

Of Reunions and Confidence

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 End is Nigh

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

Tiny Changes, Big Feelings

I watch the bus trundle into our development through the window over my sink. Washing my coffee cup, I notice the clock says 4:00 PM. It’s Friday I think, feeling irrationally happy. Ammu and Pattu hop, skip and jump their way home clutching their newly bound books and shiny certificates proclaiming they are authors in … Continue reading Tiny Changes, Big Feelings

Little Teachers

“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