I am working from home today. Somehow, these WFH days end up being way busier than you think they would be (they should really be called WTF days, I say!). Spent most of the morning hidden upstairs working away and yammering on the phone. Did pause to congratulate self that our cook, R, was coming over today, so didn’t have to ponder the one question that I find absolutely nerve-wracking – “Mommy, what’s for lunch?”.

Dropped R home at 2:00 pm after she made some delicious lunch (aloo parathas, paneer capsicum sabji, and sabudana kichdi – super yum!!). As I drove her home, we were commiserating with each other on our busy mornings. R mentioned that she had been out cooking since 6:30 am, and that as soon as I dropped her at home she was going to make dinner for her family, since she still had another cooking job this evening which would go on from 4 pm till at least 7 pm.

Man, felt like a total a$$hole for whining to her about my busy morning. And told her that I hoped that the rest of her week is easier, and that I felt like sitting down and having a cup of tea after just hearing about her busy day. Which, come to think of it, was also a dumb thing to say. I mean, if someone is overwhelmed, I don’t know if it’s reassuring to hear “oh no, you are so overwhelmed”. Anyway, that’s what I said.

I was blown away by her response.

“Do you want to come in to my house? I can quickly make you a cup of masala chai”, she offered – 8 hours into a 12 hour, entirely on-her-feet, work day.

That, my friend, is what they call Grace.


Not a Prayer

Amma and I were at the temple to do vadai malai for Anjaneyar today.  Where were the others, you ask?  Well.  The last vadai malai was just a couple of weeks ago.  Decided (correctly) that there will be a minor rebellion from the other three if the temple outings got too frequent, so didn’t even invite them to come along.  For which they were infinitely grateful.

The temple parking lot was quite empty when we got there, which was promising.  I absolutely love having our little local temple to myself – sitting there in that serene environment alone with my thoughts and prayers soothes me like nothing else.

You know where this is going, don’t you?

We entered the temple and it was largely empty, except for a group of about 20 people, deeply engaged in chanting/singing Sundarakandam in front of Anjaneyar.  Which could have been quite fine, really.  Except, they were each singing to their own tune, loudly and confidently.  Which the (dormant) singer in me found mildly amusing and (with the passage of time) a tad annoying.  The priest quickly decorated Anjaneyar with our malai and disappeared off to a remote corner of the temple (no prizes for guessing why).

Amma and I sat for a half hour but there was no sign of Sundarakandam ending.  I looked at the prayer books that the people were singing from, and it seemed like they were not even half way through.  I had spent all my morning making the vadais, so there was still the small matter of getting back home and organizing lunch for our party of 5.  It was noon by then, the clock was a-ticking and my stomach was rumbling.  Plus, the singing was totally starting to get to me.  The accompanying tabla had a beat going that was like the beginning of “inji iduppazhagi”.  Leave alone sitting in serene environment with my prayers, there was no getting through even one little slokam in the middle of all the chaos.  Made an executive decision to leave the vadai malai with Anjaneyar (let the singers enjoy the prasadam), and made a speedy exit.

Oh, one coherent thought did cross my mind while sitting there listening to the singing.

Yennamma, ippdi pannreengale maa” 😉


I was in Boston earlier this week for a business trip. The last out of town business trip that I went on was in November. Of 2001. Before little N was even on our radar.  Amazes me, given the ambitious career woman image that I put out (and actually have of myself).  But I am happy that it’s worked out well so far for me.  I dislike any time away from the family, and don’t think frequent business trips are my style at all.  Spent my one free evening wandering around Quincy Market (shopping for little gifts for my munchkins).

The upcoming months are full of travels.  N is off to India this week for 10 days to spend some time with his mom.  He will spend part of his birthday there, and part of it here – should be interesting!  I have another business trip to Virginia coming up in May.  The trip to Boston was to prep for the upcoming trip, so I can’t whine about too many business trips coming my way back-to-back (but I sure will if even one more pops up on my radar this year).

N has two other business trips coming up in June.  I have totally lost count of his travels.  Find myself wondering why it’s (relatively) easy for N to up and leave for business trips, while I churn and plan and schedule every tiny bit of detail endlessly.  Perhaps because N’s word is “Work” and mine is “Mom”.  I wrote about this almost five years back (  Deep, no?

Speaking of trips and more trips, we will be off to Indonesia and Singapore later this summer for two and a half weeks of pure sun and fun.  Now, that’s one trip you won’t hear me complaining about! 😉

Chinchilla Time

On the first day of school, back in September, little A was thrilled.  “Our class has pet chinchillas, they are super cute and fluffy”, she exclaimed.  I smiled at my little one’s happiness but gave no further thought to the 5th grade fluffies.

Then came October.  Mrs. W sent out an email to the class parents asking if we wanted to host the chinchillas over Christmas.  Little A couldn’t believe that the fluffies were up for grabs, if only for a week or so.  I have told you before that we are not really pet people, and have successfully warded off requests for pets from the girls over the years.  Still, I couldn’t resist little A’s puppy eyes, so I wrote to the teacher offering to host the class pets.  But turned out I was too late.  The chinchillas had already made vacation plans with another family over Christmas (didn’t realize that there’s a line for everything in our Type A school district).

But Mrs. W held out another carrot.  “Little A can host the chinchillas over spring break, if she likes”, Mrs. W offered.  Little A was ecstatic at this second shot.  I thanked Mrs. W and agreed to host them during our 10 day spring break.  Which, back in October, seemed far, far away in the future.  But somehow spring break arrived. Yesterday.


N was traveling, so little A and I brought them home from school, and little N helped me assemble everything.  It’s unbelievable how super cute and precious they are!!  There are four of them in there – Bam bam (the dad), and his kids Roseo, Puck, and the baby of the family, Simba.  The mom (Chi chi) passed away, apparently (that tidbit really tugged at my heartstrings, I have to say).

After mildly (ok, majorly) dreading the coming of spring break and wondering what extra work the chinchillas are going to pile on me (and whining about it to several groups of friends), I am so incredibly surprised at how much I am loving have them in our home.  I mean, I woke up smiling this morning, thinking of the chinchillas settled in downstairs.  Is this what they meant by kallum karaiyum? 😉

We’ve been to Disney Land, Provence, and Paris over spring break before, and we did some really cool things over there.  But I think I am with little A when she says, “this is going to be the best spring break ever”!! 🙂

Little Notes

Little N is in Philly this afternoon for an orchestra rehearsal.  Decided to use the time to tidy up around her room a bit.  As I was freshening up the sheets on her bed, happened to glance at the bookshelf nearby, and saw a few notes lying there. Off and on, when I feel like it, I leave little notes for the munchkins on their pillows. We don’t particularly talk about the notes (who remembers such vetti things while scrambling to get ready in the morning?). So it’s something that I do now and then, but really nothing that’s on our radar. You know what I mean.

So. When I was cleaning little N’s room, I found this note that I had written a few weeks back.  And little N’s response.

Such a little thing, but it made me soooo happy.  Mmmmm…. the best things in life are truly free. 🙂

Ben Franklin Quotes

I am a big fan of Ben Franklin.  It has always amazed me that he was so deeply engaged in such wildly different activities.  He was an author, printer, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, one of the Founding Fathers of the US, and I am sure this is not an exhaustive list of all that he was.  He also had a way with words and quotes, which I especially admire (He came up with “Honesty is the best policy“, and “God helps those who help themselves“, really?!!).

So, here goes.  A list of my favorite Ben Franklin Quotes.

  • Diligence is the mother of good luck.
  • A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.
  • Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.
  • The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.
  • Well done is better than well said.
  • Necessity never made a good bargain.
  • Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff that life is made of.
  • A good conscience is a continual Christmas.
  • Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.
  • He that lives upon hope will die fasting.
  • One today is worth two tomorrows.
  • Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.
  • To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do to conclusions.
  • If you would be loved, love and be loveable.
  • Never confuse motion with action.
  • Anger is never without a reason but seldom with a good one.
  • Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.
  • The discontented man finds no easy chair.
  • You may delay, but time will not.
  • Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.

Hope you liked them too! 🙂


I stumbled upon some funny, pithy, silly, not quite “quotes” today.  Made me laugh, so I am sharing them with you.

  • Don’t give up on your dreams.  Keep sleeping.
  • During the day, I don’t believe in ghosts.  At night, I am a little more open-minded.
  • If you ran like your mouth, you’d be in great shape.
  • Lazy rule: Can’t reach it. Don’t need it.
  • I hate when I think I am buying organic vegetables, and when I get home I discover they are just regular donuts.
  • “Be strong”, I whispered to my WiFi signal.
  • A recent survey found that one in three people are as stupid as the other two.
  • I don’t have an attitude problem. You have a problem with my attitude, and that’s not my problem.
  • Hey, I found your nose. It was in my business.
  • I meant to be good but there were too many other options.
  • There is no angry way to say “bubbles”.
  • It’s called DIET because all other four letter words were taken.
  • Nothing is really lost until your mom can’t find it.
  • I don’t know how to act my age. I’ve never been this age before.
  • That’s a horrible idea.  What time?
  • I’ve learned so much from my mistakes. I am thinking of making a few more.
  • All I ask for is a chance to prove that winning the lottery won’t make me a bad person.
  • Do not read the next sentence. You little rebel, I like you.

Funny, no? 🙂