Pillayar Chathurthi 2019

We are not supposed to celebrate any festival for one year but as Amma is here and this is the first festival after we moved to this home she wanted to do a simple pooja. She made all the delicacies and kids made Ganesha. We had 3 types of Ganesha this year. The standard salt dough Ganesha that Adi makes every year, Hanging craft Ganesha that LHB made in a craft workshop with air dry clay and Lego blocks Ganesha made by the duo, actually Adi made most of it and LHB gave final touches. He made a ruckus before they could finish it. This little one of mine can start anything but its close to impossible to make him finish the task (rolling eyes heavily). The lego Ganesha is an inspiration from Toka parent newsletter.

This is my pooja corner in this home. I am yet to find an east facing space in this home to set my pooja space.

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Adi is heavily involved in volunteering this summer and so are we as we have to handle all drop/pickups and adult supervision part if it.

She has been volunteering at many places like soup kitchen, kiddie camps, senior citizens home, temple, community events et all. Today afternoon she was volunteering at senior centre and we were talking about that experience on the way back home.

Amma: Pappa, how was the experience at senior centre today?
Adi: It was good ma. I got to dance with them and keep them engaged. The seniors love it when kids spend time with them.
Amma: That’s sweet. Now, tell me something. Will I also end up in a senior centre like this in my old days?
Adi: NO, that centre is only for seniors with Dementia!!
Amma: So, what if I get dementia?
Adi: That’s absolutely not possible.
Amma: How can you be so sure?
Adi: ‘Coz I say so, ‘coz you have to remember way too many things on everyday basis so you cannot afford to get dementia
Amma: Like?
Adi: My schedule, LHB class times, your work priorities, house keeping tasks, my drop/pickup times, our school needs. You maintain the calendar of events for everyone at home sooo yes you absolutely cannot afford to have Dementia
Amma: (mind voice) At least someone in the family is acknowledging all the juggling that Amma is handling day in and day out.
Adi (in a firm voice after few minutes of silence): So, yes Amma, I am right. You cannot afford to have Dementia. Period.

We often think kids don’t understand our struggles but it is not true. They watch us very closely. So, better to be mindful of our actions in their presence. The easiest way to follow it is just change into the person we want them to watch through their eyes.

Same day night at 10pm:

I settle down in couch to carry on with my work demands. I ask Adi for three help thinking she will oblige given she understands my everydya struggles. The 3 help was to get my laptop/charger, get me a lap pillow and plug the charger into nearest plug point as the night is going to be long. I had minimum 4 hours of work waiting for me. She got me the laptop/charger and walked away in spite of  my repeated pleading to just plug in the charger. How am I expected to react to this? Can you expect this from a child on the same day after having a conversation like above? She just went to bed. LHB came down the stairs to plug the charger, gave me a big hug saying “you are the best amma” and left. Kids surprise us at the least expected time!!!




Today is my FIL’s birthday. We have celebrated his birthday in person for the past 3 years with the yearly summer India trip. Thoughts about him are flashing in mind all day today and I have decided to follow a simple ritual on this day every year in his remembrance. I am sure he is in a better place, watching and guiding us through every step. A man from whom I have drawn many life lessons, A man whom I respect the most, A man who lived his retirement life as an example to others, A man who loves gardening, A man who has nil expectations and absolutely no ego.

The way he took me and my children under his wings when we shared same roof for about 2 years and every time we visit him will be etched in my memory for ever. I am telling you, it is very hard to find a person like him. He has not hurt anyone I know of and always ready to help those in need. A lifetime inspiration to me. I miss you mama. You have made me a better person and I promise to carry forward your legacy through your grandchildren. I will share stories about you with all and sundry as long as I live.

I might just end up reposting this every year on his birth and death anniversary as every word in this post is a fact and nothing less.


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Small joys

It is that time of the day when people run from all directions to the train station to catch train to head back home. I was climbing down the stairs in train station and a lady ran past me to catch the train that was about to close doors and leave in 5 secs. As she went past me, a metro train card and train monthly pass fell down from her bag. Another guy picked it up in a slow pace and the very moment I knew he is not going to make an attempt to find her to hand it over.

So, I quickly grabbed it from him, ran down the stairs, went past few doors to look out for the lady standing inside the train but I couldn’t find her. All this happened in that fraction of 5 secs and train doors were about to close. I took an educated guess as how far she could have gone and boarded the nearby cabin. Each cabin is long enough to have 3 doors so my guess was that she could not have gone past those 3 doors in 5 secs. Train started and my eyes were screening the cabin from one end to another to find the lady. I had only 3 minutes in hand to find her as I had to get down in next station. All I knew is she was short, wore a black dress and had short hair. I felt so bad holding more than 200 dollars worth pass in my hand and not able to find its owner. I was peeking through the crowd furiously and just 1 minute before I was about to get down I found the lady standing closer to the other side of second door. I was standing near the third door. With couple of quick excuse me’s I made my way to her, tapped on her back and gave the pass.

That moment, the relief I felt, the look on her face and her repeated thank you will be etched in my memory for a long time to come and will make me feel good and happy.

This incident balanced today to be a good day in spite of uncertainties at work. My manager announced her resignation today and I am yet to recover from that shock. I will miss a great leader for sure!!

Just in time blanket

ETA – The “Today” mentioned in this post is not the actual today. I started the draft on the mentioned “Today” and as it is always the case I couldn’t complete the post.

“Today” is one of those days I retired to bed early so decided to write down the posts I have been drafting in my head for few days now.

Adi ordered a new blanket set for her room few days before we moved to this home. Her plan was the blanket will be delivered right after we move in and she can start sleeping by herself in her room.

The blanket was in “Shipped” state for two weeks and then moved to “Delivered” state but it was not delivered. Adi and her loyal little brother circled the house few times but couldn’t find the package.

The dotting father not able to take the sad look of his daughter picked up the phone to get in touch with customer care. Now, I don’t have to go in detail about how customer care calls work in this country.

Cut to 1 month later, after multiple followups by both M and me, the package was delivered to us twice but just that we didn’t receive it. The tracker would say exact time like “Delivered at doorstep at 12:52pm” but it was nowhere to be found.

We lost hope while the third attempt was in process. The tracker said delivered on a Friday but no luck. We couldn’t find it and gave up. M decided to just cancel the order.

Two days later, Adi planned a sleepover with her friend from our old neighborhood. I proposed to use her old blanket so they both can sleep in her room but she refused. She didn’t want to sleep in her room without the special blanket she ordered after careful selection.

AND the special blanket arrived that day afternoon. It was ACTUALLY delivered and LHB was the first one to notice the truck on the road. M and I were away from home at that time and later Amma described how the kids were turning the house upside down with their screams of joy.

Isn’t this called “Just in time”? This incident re-instilled my belief that “What is meant to happen will happen when the time is right”

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Just for smile – LHB – Color idli

I recollect doing “just4smile” series for Adi in this blog when she was same age as LHB is now. Woww this blog is turning 10 this year actually this month and I didn’t realize it until I started writing this post.

There have been many ups and downs in this ten years and this blog has helped me in many ways to cope up with it. I am eternally thankful for this blog. It deserves a separate post.

Coming to the original content of this post. I would like start the “just for smile” series for LHB. This boy ensures we never have a dull moment at home. He stands very close to me and screams at the top of his voice just when I declare dealing with a bad headache. Welcome to my life!!!

Dinner time:
Ammachi: LHB, I am making Idli for thatha. Do you want to eat the same for dinner?
Myself: I could hear the tiredness in Amma’s voice.
LHB: YES ammachi but I want color idli!!!
Myself: I could see the shock in Amma’s face. She was not in a state to make color idlis
There was pin drop silence for 2 minutes

Then came the Eureka moment for me

: Amma, its ok can you please make color idli for him? But please make sure you make white color idli for him okay? I know its tough for you but can you pretty please make that special white colored idli for LHB?

By now I could see two faces light up instantly. Amma was happy that I saved her extra work and LHB was happy that he gets special Idli.

Problem solved **evil laughter** I was walking around with pride for next two days and Amma was praising me non stop 😀 😀


Hopefully back

Finally, I chose to write this post over taking a nap during my 1.5 hours long bus commute. Because I thought getting this post out would make me feel much more better than taking a nap as I wanted to come back to this space for quite some time now.

There is so much happening in life now and the thought to share it with you all brushes through my mind every single day but the only way I can do that is by shortening my sleep time of the day. Unfortunately I can’t do that as I am not one of those blessed souls who can function normal with 5 or 6 hours of sleep. I need my 8 hours of dose or else I will end up yawning non stop in middle of work meetings!!!

We moved last week to a bigger home. Its 3 times bigger than current home with huge front yard, back yard and pool. That also comes with this humongous effort and attention it requires for initial setup and maintenance.  Add to that work has taken a whole new demanding level for both M and myself. Movers were coming in on a Friday morning and I had to be at work till 7:30pm the previous day. That demanding!!! M takes his daily calls as early as 530am and I end my calls as late as 8pm every other day. Most of the days are filled with back to back calls that needs attention for both of us.

I count my blessings in the form of parents. They are here to help us through this transition phase and stay with kids through this summer.

I took 3 days off after the move to set up kitchen, bathroom and clothes. Amma took over the kitchen (I can’t be more thankful to her), M is working on handling all exterior needs (lawn maintenance, pool setup, electrical needs and the list is endless) , Appa to the best of his ability handles LHB and his constant tantrums (they go for walk, play chess and ride bike around the neighborhood) and Adi is having her own busy schedule for this summer. We all are doing our best. “Team work dream work” is in full swing at our household now.

My one way commute to work is 2 hours if all my stars are aligned. Today the train to reach bus station was suspended and I am still on my way back. Today’s evening commute is just about 3.5 hours!!

I still have things to move from old home and clean it for the next occupant. There is a whole bunch of To do’s crying for attention. I think I can handle them all better if I can wake up a little early in the morning but I am not able to 😦

My summer is going to be hectic with settling down in new home, handling work demands and working around Adi’s schedule. I will at least feel at peace if I can unpack all the stuff and find a designated place for the items that are laying around.

Now that I am back, will try to record some moments here. I truly miss this place.

How are you all? Any interesting plans for this summer?

Our nest now:

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