Posted in close to heart, m@dness

If We Were Having a Cup of Tea

Imagine, a quaint cafe overlooking a busy road. It looks very posh from the outside, but regulars know that the place is anything but formal. Image result for cocoa tree kochiThe old timers will have so many stories about; the short and stout, cute looking chef with that cliched chef cap, walking to every table and asking about the dish they were having; of college and school goers taking a pause near the entrance to whiff that familiar, sweet smell of freshly baked cakes and brownies; of young lovers sneaking into the farthest corners of the cafe to whisper sweet nothings into each other’s ears or just to cuddle; of the bunch of usual supercilious snobs who act all hoity toity; the first timers who would just explore the cafe, nibble at something, pay and leave; of the other set of unusually usual, regular bunch of them who always sit at their favorite tables ordering the same “seafood pie”, “Mississippi Mud Pie”, thin “chocolate excess shake” lemonade and of the girl who hated coffee but still sipped on “Irish Coffee” whenever she visited.

Now, if we were there having a cup of tea there,

I’d tell you that…..

….I cut my hair short. Really short. I didn’t like it but I am sure it will grow back. Soon, hopefully.

….I am on this No Carbs diet since 2 weeks and the weighing scale has been kind to me. I may not look different, but I do feel some change 🙂

….I want to go back to cycling. I want to cycle like how I used to 18 years ago. What fun it used to be on our Ladybird cycles.

….I need to be more healthy. I want to. Health issues with people in my office and with people I know have got me panicking like crazy. I plan to get a complete health check up done soon but am postponing it because am bloody scared!

….Ami likes going to school on some days and on some days she hated her uniform. Most days we stick to the morning rituals, but there are days when I cry to work too because she wants me to stay back and spend the day with her and Cookie.

….slowly but steadily, am reading books. I was a bit fascinated and was pulled towards the world of Netflix and Amazon Prime, but managed to push that to weekends and do more reading on weekdays 🙂 Pat on the back for that.

….I am having a lot of dreams these days. About people who used to be a part of my life long back; about places I have been to but cannot recall; about Tango and random lines!

….this very special girl I know who will be getting engaged very soon to a boy, who also I know. I cannot express how happy I am because I know these 2 are made for each other and they will be soo happy together!

…..Ami amazes me every day, with all her questions, all these retorts she conjures up, all the things she soaks up from her day-to-day life. It feels like just yesterday when she was a tiny, mewling, always feeding baby. She’s now a little girl, ready to go out into the world. Will I ever get used to just how fast she’s growing?

…. Cookie freaks Tango! She has this ability to scare Tango. I am sure he prays that Cookie never gets bored because if she does, then he is her toy. Oh, the things the poor dog has to go through for her entertainment! God help him!

…..I am taking back the control of my house from the maid. She is on a 45 day break to cater to her daughter’s wedding and although I found it difficult to come back home and cook and wake up early and cook and all that, I have managed to survive and realized that I do not want to be dependent on someone else to run my house. I really have mastered the art of Work Life Jenga!

…I am actually lecturing people about doing whatever makes them happy. As long as nobody else has to pay for it in terms of money or emotions, I think people should just go for it.

….I miss having someone to talk to, rant, abuse etc. On a daily basis, life gets to you and you know that acquaintances aren’t friends. People I used to spend life with are busy with lives of their own and I honestly do not have time to find new ones and I do not want to. I wish I could go

and I’d ask you about how are you doing in Life lately? Are you fine? Happy? Surviving?

I’d also tell you that I miss having someone to talk to, rant, abuse etc. On a daily basis, life gets to you and you know that acquaintances aren’t friends. People I used to spend life with are busy with lives of their own and I honestly do not have time to find new ones and I do not want to. I wish I could go back to that quaint cafe and hang out with the unusually usual regular group and sip on some Irish Coffee.

A cup of Tea…shall we?

Image result for friends+cup of tea

Posted in close to heart, RoMa Chronicles

As you begin school!

My little one, suddenly you aren’t so little anymore! Today is one of those days when I silently cried on my way to work. It is an overwhelming feeling to send your kid to school. Accomplishment and heartbreak, all at once. Both Ro and I can still picture the day we first held Ami in our hands. With her, it really was the first of many things! So many things. Image result for mom sending kids to school illustration

4 years later, as she is off to school; dressed in a uniform and swinging her bag, I can only pray that she gives it the best shot and realises that learning is a continuous process. In the next decade, as they progress from school to college and transform into independent, bold and strong beautiful women, I hope they learn;

To accept failure with grace, compete in a healthy manner and win without bragging.

To realise that disappointments are fleeting, just like triumphs. “This too shall pass” can get you out of just about anything. Nobody really keeps track of these things, although it may seem that everyone is interested in your life, it isn’t so. (Hoping that FB conks out by then!)

To never underestimate the power of “Thank You”, “Please” and “Sorry”. Whether it is the security, waiter or a maid, thank you is you way of acknowledging the effort they have made to make a moment of your life, simpler. When you say please, you are asking for help and people will remember you for your humility. Sorry is a way of telling people that you apologise for an act or behaviour and you want to be forgiven because you consider that relationship important.

To be kind to people. Young or old; rich or poor; tall or short; just be kind.

To accept that life is mostly unfair! Some people are born lucky, some have to work hard for everything they want. However, hardwork will pay off eventually and when it does, there will be nothing like that sense of achievement. Believe me dear, I have been there done that and proud of everything I have achieved, till date.

To know what you want in life, be it a toy, food or clothes. Have enough to keep you grounded and going , but not spoilt for choice.

To stick to a decision once it is taken. Be responsible for your thoughts, words and action. Once you have decided and made a choice, don’t waver.

To appreciate even the little, most insignificant things in life- be it a small, pretty flower; a fine tune; unexpected rain; hot tea or a good night’s sleep!

To be mildly curious about the world and to be wise enough to understand the thin line between being curious and being inquisitive!

To read. What a world that is!

To be courageous when sick, work towards being healthy every day and be grateful for the healthy life!

To treat all living beings with respect.

To spot superficiality and artifice from miles away and spend time with people and things are truly authentic and genuine.

After all this, I hope I have the sense to discern that their success is not my ego’s accessory, and I am not Super Mom. I will try my best to raise them the way I can, irrespective of what they will turn out to be, I hope that they will be remembered as good human beings!

First Day of School

I wonder what you’re doing right now
and if everyone is treating you kind.
I hope there is a special person,
a nice friend that you can find.

I wonder if the teacher know just
how special you are to me.
And if the brightness of your heart
is something she can see.

I wonder if you are thinking about
me and if you need a hug.
I already miss the sound of your voice
and how you give my leg a tug.

I wonder if you could possibly understand
how hard it is for me to let you grow.
On this day know that my heart breaks,
for this is the first step in letting my baby go.

-Wendy Silva

P.S– Ami did not cry or have any teary eyed puppy face when I dropped her at school. I was the one trying hard to show her that I was made of steel! She did squeeze my hand tightly when I let her go…..

Posted in m@dness

Note in the mood-33

Related imageOur minds are very strange. Like, every favourite song is an untold story and has a memory attached to it. It reminds us of things we think we have forgotten. I like to think of myself as a social person; I know a lot of people. I have a lot of acquaintances, a few friends, a handful of super close bumchums and some Dont-know-what-to-call-thems. I meet new people most of the time and have brief interactions with them. I am ranting because, a few days ago on the QuickRide back home, it was raining, a familiar song came on and a thought cropped up.

We meet so many many people in our lives. Some cross our paths for a few minutes and some for a long time. All these people are a part of the story of our lives. Then there are our people. The people we THINK are an integral part of us. The people on whom a chapter would be dedicated if we ever wrote the story of our lives. But have you ever wondered if you exist like that in someone else’s life? Is that in a good way or bad? How many lives would you have touched ? I am always curious. Would someone think of me when a song comes on?  Would there be anyone who thinks of me when they pass through a particular place? Drink a favourite chocolate martini maybe? Watch a particular scene in a movie? Go on a drive when the rain is lashing against the windows?

I can’t help but wonder how many chapters I may have been a part of that I may have forgotten. Would I still be remembered among people I don’t speak to anymore ? Would I still be a part of someone’s thought process if I am gone? And most importantly.. would they think of me in a fond way?

Music, what would life be without you!


Posted in m@dness

The Motherhood Awakening

To be yourself, in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

This Mother’s Day, I am celebrating the accomplishment and the title itself.  Today, I am thankful to my girls for helping me break stereotypes and allowing me to be just me. The tiny two, all of 4 years and 1 year has urged me to accept myself for everything I am. You see, sometimes you have to be told that you are nothing, made to feel insignificant and only then will you realise that you are complete, that you have had enough and that you are enough.

In the past 4 years, ever since I became a mother, I have constantly tortured myself over the fact that I have to do get everything right. Losing a parent at any age can be devastating. However, losing one before you truly become an adult makes it more challenging than anything. Being a motherless mother, I don’t really have anyone to model after. All the pretend plays when I was a kid didn’t really help. Sleepless nights during the initial months gave me enough time to worry about how to raise a child, more specifically a girl and then 2 girls! My girl friends, all of whom had mothers would just pick up the phone and ask queries and questions and I would smile. I have to admit, there were times when I’d pretend play and pick up the phone and talk to myself. I was driving myself crazy; watching every YouTube video on parenting, reading every article, studying every book on bringing up children and everything else that would equip me to raise my girls. I didnt know if I should raise my voice or actually worry about tiny things. I was not sure if I should discipline them already or wait till they are a bit older. Did I feed them enough? Did I have to monitor their play time? The Am-I-A-Good-Mother question nagged me constantly.

Until recently. Until my 4 year old came to my rescue.

Kids show us human nature, before all the social conditioning. They are a great inspiration for being yourself, staying in the moment and living life to the fullest and one powerful value that we need to teach children is that we are all learning. Every mistake is a learning. None of us have arrived, we all have enough room to grow and evolve into better versions of ourselves. My daughters have been my patient teachers all through my motherhood journey and I can never ever thank them enough.

This mother’s day I have three things to tell mother’s who are like me; mother’s who are motherless and looking for some tip or technique to raise their kids right.

  1. There is no such thing as a good mother. It is the way we are conditioned to believe that mothers must be good at everything. Nope, the very fact that we are willing to learn is enough. Teach your children to be curious about the world around. They should be open minded and ready to question that makes no sense to them and accept things that may make sense only to them.
  2. Small is big. Its really the small things that matter. Smile at people. Enjoy the rain. Smell flowers. Sing a song. Help people in trouble. Share food. Stay healthy and stay active. This, they taught me, my girls.
  3. Express Emotions. Look at children, they express emotions so well! Let it out. Be it joy, pain or fear, let it all out. It is perfectly fine and it is the best way to live. Express your thoughts and learn to say no to things that you don’t feel good about. Laughter and tears are self healing mechanisms to combat fear and anxiety. Embrace it.

Remember that children are born with only 2 fears; loud noise and falling. Everything else is learnt. They learn what they see. Being the best version of me is the one gift I can give them and I don’t really need a role model for that right?

Here is a quote that reflects exactly what I am now. No more self doubt and no more fears.
Image may contain: text


Once again, Happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful mothers out there.

Posted in m@dness, Moanday Mornings

The Paradox of Working Women

Its been 3 months since I published something and I realized I haven’t posted anything this year at all! As much as I would have loved to blame it on my “busy life”, which is the fad these days, I’ll just say I was dis-oriented. Period.

Prologue: This post is not a rant. These are not complaints and these have very little to do with my personal situations. Don’t judge, just read.

Image result for working mothers

During my post graduation, my project was on a less talked about topic called “Job Embeddedness.” This topic also got me reading about work life balance and how it was becoming difficult for women to break the glass ceiling, despite living in the 21st century. They say that behind every successful man, is a woman. How come there is no corollary to that statement? This post is my take on what I like to call “The Working Woman Paradox”.

I have been fortunate to work for most parts of my career as an HR in multiple industries which exposed me to the reality that there is still insufficient female representation at the top of most organizations. I am especially referring to the C-suite and Board levels as it appears that many women board directors tend to be the same ones being “circulated” across different boards and in some cases, are only selected due to being a family member of a family-run business! That is primarily one of the reasons I started reading up on women empowerment and diversity and inclusion.

It isn’t easy being a working mother. I mean, mother’s or women in general have always been working. Whether she is at home or in office, she has always worked. It has never been easy for women to strike that perfect balance between career and family. However, it is certainly possible to be both good mothers and competent professionals. Look at me! (Read:Cheapo ;)). India, as a country has been moving towards empowering women and India. Inc is definitely trying to be more accommodating and open. Slowly, compared to the past, women who have been going out to work now has increased. Sadly though, it doesn’t change their role at home. The division of chores and responsibilities at home is almost the same as what it was decades back. Sigh. While women, world over, continue to be the primary caretakers of children; in the Indian milieu, elder care is another familial responsibility that women shoulder. The deeply embedded sexism and conditioning of women, who have been raised to see an impeccable home and well behaved children as a sign  of her worth is one of the biggest problem, especially in the Social Media age.

“I believe that every girl, every woman, should feel free to dream high and choose whatever she wants to do in life. I believe that women and men are equal and that the only limit to girls’ dreams should be the extent of their own efforts.”

Personally, I have days when I feel guilty about not spending enough time with the girls. DIYs and baking and making dishes they love are all weekend activities. I hardly get time to do it on a weekday. Caught between work, travel, daily chores and the worry job, most weekdays are a roller coaster. When caught between office and family responsibility, as a working mother, my mantra is to ask myself, “What’s more important right now?” More often than not, the solution lies in the answer to that question.

Related image

In conversations I have had with working mothers, one thing has always stood out; The support of family. A working woman who has a strong support system at home is bound to be successful at the work front. This is because they know that the responsibilities and chores at home is not a battle that they have to fight alone. What must change in our society though, is its approach. Everyone needs to accept that whether a mother is working inside or outside the house, doesn’t hamper her ability to bring up happy and healthy children.

“We are women determined to live our best life and turn our dreams into reality. We persevere in the face of obstacles, the self-doubt and those who try to tear us down, and will not stop until we reach our destination.” “we’ve failed, we’ve stumbled and made mistakes. Not defined by our past we learn, grow stronger, and climb backup every single day. We are victors, not victims. We are fearless Queens, and we are unstoppable.” – Pinar Parry

It is my hope that we continue to support other women in and outside of the workplace. Practicing and imparting values of equality to young minds in Indian households is a difficult task. It is a herculean one, but definitely do-able and much needed in today’s times.







Posted in m@dness

Live it. Earn it. Love it.


  1. I am NOT a feminist. I think the word itself must be deleted from vocabularies and dictionaries. Did you know there is a word called Masculism; have you heard any man proclaim it? Period.
  2. I have been a home maker and a working woman, I have handled both roles exclusively and am currently a working woman during the day and a home maker at night. So, before you decide to teach me a lesson, take a break.

I was car-pooling on Uber when I overheard the lady sitting beside me yelling at her sister for not being financially independent. “A marriage to a man who has a job is not a financial plan”, she said. It made me quiet nostalgic, because when I was about 6 or so, I had a ditto mindset. I would tell my cousins and friends that we will just get married to a rich man and live a luxurious life. Hmmm, quite a long journey from there. For centuries, women have been told and conditioned to believe that money matters and finances are a male thing.Whether your life has a “he” or not, the conditioning is so deep-rooted, that women voluntarily give up the nitty-gritties of finance.  If you ask me, except for giving birth and peeing on the road, there are no exclusive male things. I broke out of this conventional thinking because I was forced to. Thank god for that! As women, we all studied, graduated and some of us went on to take masters, just like our men. On that note, I remember a remark my Economics teacher made, while I was doing my masters. He turned to the side where the female population was more dense and asked us all why we were bothered to study since most of the girls will never make a career and just end up doing nothing. And boy, was he right!

You see, being financially independent has nothing to do with gender inequality or feminist thinking. It is the simple ability to sustain oneself and dependents on a daily basis. Why should the male members of the family be burdened by it? A college mate, during one of the get together casually remarked on how her husband is “bound” to take care of her in return for which she is “bound” to give birth and take care of his children. To date, this is still the case in a lot of households. And these are all well educated women. The decision making power always rests with the bread earner, which is also cited as the main reason for atrocities against women and domestic violence. Financial dependency takes away the freedom to fight against injustice and walks away from an abusive marriage. I know so many in my circles who are staying in marriages because they have no other way out. The house needs, children’s needs are all taken care by the man of the house, so, if the lady walks out, what will she do for money? Please, dont read between the lines as ” stay in a marriage for the money only”. That is NOT my point.

We are living in an age and time where there is no guarantee of living a fairytale marriage, wherein the woman will be the nurturer and man the provider. We live in times where situations and events happen in the drop of a hat. Thanks to nuclear families, the support system is also weak.  Also, I feel this role of homemaker should be an option one chooses rather than a need, for it to be truly satisfying. There are so many women, who having either not pursued a career or having given it up to be a homemaker, are so frustrated and feel so help less.Image result for financially independent women

Women are emotional beings. Nurturing is genetically in built. And thus, there are no second thoughts when they have to compromise their career for a family. Being a Homemaker doesn’t mean you have lost your independence, but am sure a little extra money can help with a lot of things! Two incomes as opposed to one, leads to a better standard of living for the entire family – an extra holiday, better education, contingency management and so many things!

It is true you know; for men, being ambitious is a virtue and for women, it is a sin. Why the double standards? Today, I am going about telling my girl pals to aim for some amount of financial freedom; do something they love doing without being guilty, spend money to buy something with their own money and if not anything, save for a rainy day. Motherhood and womanhood are just a part of our life, overemphasis on either of these roles will lead to disappointment in in the future. Our children learn from us. Like it or not, we are their first role models. Do we want to teach our girls not to be financially free and our boys to carry the load, or do we want to teach them to treat each other with respect and as equals?

Put that cape on, and get the act together!More power to you and me!

Related image


Posted in close to heart, m@dness

A Place Called Home

“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”
― Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I stand in front of a structure that used to be my home. It is also the only home I ever had and will have. A million memories come flooding in and I swallow hard so that the people with me do not ask me the reason for my muddled eyes. I do not want to let them into those memories, it is all mine. I walked into “Lotus” the first time, when I was 4 years old. It was summer of 1990 and I was the brat who was running around the house, climbing walls and trees like a monkey. The house was pink in colour back then, living up to it’s name quiet well. There were coconut trees, a mango tree and a rose apple tree and I remember trying to learn to climb the coconut tree and falling and failing hard. The porch used to have a hammock which would be the bedroom when playing “house-house”. The sit out was where amma and ammuma would wait for me to return from school. That’s a post for another day.

I stand in the middle of the room we used to call “drawing room” and trace my finger across the cracks and creases that adorn the walls now. Everything about the house is old now; the walls, the structure, he furniture, the paint, the people and the memories.  In all honesty, I have come to say goodbye to the house and wander amongst the multiple corridors and rooms one last time. The house, with its stark rooms, cleared of all furniture, like a widow who has been stripped off of her finery. I stop as though I heard the hushed conversations of tiny girls. Nah, it was my mind taking me back to the times that my girl gang and I played “dark room”, “house-house  and dressed up Barbie dolls.  From school to college, I don’t think I have a single friend who hasn’t been to my house and cozied up to its warmth like it was their own.

This aged house and its walls, doors and windows have seeped my laughter and tears,  dreams and sorrows; the very fabric of my being. As I tread around, I can almost hear snatches of conversation, peals of laughter. I can almost smell wafts of familiar scents and feel the non-existent furniture; the swing in the pooja room, the easy chair, the sofa set older than me, the hallway whose high beam were filled with books, as though my senses are conspiring, pleading, to will the house, to come alive again.

Nooks and corners of the house stick themselves on to the collage of my memory. The back verandah or “work area” that had 3 doors; “ammini’s bathroom” that had a major role in the conversations that the brother and I had; the stand at the corner of the dining room which held the blue colour tape-recorder on which we used to record songs that we all sung, the IBM washing machine that used to run around,  the double bedroom with the barely noticeable bathroom and the pooja room, which was bursting at the seams with cupboards, suitcases, the easy chair, inverter and all sorts of odds and ends; so that the beds looked like an afterthought. It would seem that each of us; Achan, my brother and I, had left a bit of ourselves there.

The walls of this house have soaked up my laughter and tears, my dreams and fears; held my secrets and the very essence of my childhood. You are special to me and will always be the only place I call home. for within your four walls I will always be a child. You will never know me as an adult. For you, I will always be the tomboy swinging on the gates without a care in the world.

A house is brick and mortar and everything else that goes into its making, but it is also something a lot more. A little like how we are not just our physical body and features, we are also the sum of our thoughts and dreams, our memories and scars. Now, as I walk in and out of the rooms, I imagine the spirit of the house leaving it. I step out to lock the door and hand the keys over. I take a sideward glance as though the cage that was once home to over 30 lovebirds is still there.

As I walk down the lane, barely being able to see a thing, I begin to accept that a moment can mean a thousand different things; indelible impressions can be left on people and places  and I suddenly understand the innate depth of a memory. I know I can’t stop time. I can’t capture light. But I know I would love to delve deeper into my treasure chest of memories.Maybe someday that which we lost to time, will come back to us and remind us of a forgotten past and gift us a smile or a tear maybe.

Home is where the heart is was..