The 47th Lesson

I have sprouted lessons here before when the numbers were a tad smaller (check out “39” and “The 41st Lesson” from the Archives). 47 sounds like a big number, especially considering that my MIL was only a year older when N and I got married. Serious yikes, but we have to plod on.

So. You ready for the lesson?

“Re-frame it”.

What does that mean, you ask?

Well. Our fridge suddenly stopped working last night. There was a brief power surge but is that enough for an entire giant appliance to just die on you? Was mildly alarming to come face-to-face with melted ice cream in the tubs, suspicious smelling milk, and frozen veggies hanging limp and wet in their bags (ugh!).

We are not sure yet if it is salvageable. We have been in this house for almost 16 years now. This is our second fridge. Are refrigerators this fragile? Or are we some kind of demon people who prematurely kill their appliances? Either way. The guy is coming tomorrow afternoon to take a look and to pronounce our fate.

We cleaned out most of the fridge (good bye soggy frozen kale, nobody wanted you in the first place!), huddled the rest close to keep cool together as best as they can (who are we kidding, they are likely getting tossed tomorrow morning), and ate a light dinner with what remained (hello thayir sadam and pickle for some, and maggi noodles for others).

While going through this sorry mess, it occurred to me that we can maybe have coffee or tea and some fruit and toast for breakfast, but beyond that, we would really be reaching to find anything still edible.

Wait a minute.

We’ve been in this situation before. No fridge, only basic coffee or tea was available, and you had to go out to get food. Hmmmm… when have we done this before? On numerous fabulous vacations, buddy! That’s when!

So. Let that guy come tomorrow. And fix my fridge. Or not. N has started looking into new refrigerator options. Maybe we’ll have to go buy one tomorrow. If we do, maybe it will take a week or two to get installed. Well, if that happens, we will have to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner out. From all our favorite restaurants. Just like we would have done on vacation, but never in a million years would have dreamt of doing for weeks sitting in our own home in scenic NJ.

That’s the 47th lesson, baby! There is always a silver lining. You just have to keep your eyes open for it. 😊


Aye jaate hue lamhon, zara tehro zara tehro…

I just can’t seem to find the words these days. Plenty of things have been happening (mostly good) but, overall, it’s been pretty intense for me. I have not been in much of a sharing place (even with you).

We celebrated little N’s and my birthdays in August. Most importantly, little N showed up at the Motor Vehicle Commission at 9 am the morning after her birthday, parallel parked in style, and got her license on her first try. I will tell you this, there is nothing quite like standing in your driveway, and watching your excited teen with her newly minted driver’s license driving away from you and turning that street corner alone in your car. No, I didn’t run behind the car (although I did consider it). Reminded me of little N’s first day in Kindergarten when I followed the yellow school bus all the way to school just to watch little N get off the bus safely. Well. This time I just sent a silent prayer up to the Gods, and busied myself with loading and unloading the dishwasher until I heard little N’s steps in the garage.

Little N is a senior in high school this year. And college application season is upon us. Makes for some very busy times (for little N) and lots of rumination on my part. I mean, I was reading in bed the other night when little N came in to brush her teeth in our master bathroom. Watching her, I found myself thinking “Man, it seems like just the other day that I was teaching this child how to hold her toothbrush. How did time go by so fast?”. It’s tough, when this is the kind of thinking that goes on in your head.

Little A is in 8th grade this year. While that blows my mind as well – that little A will be in high school next year – I think, right now, having a high school senior takes up so much of my (tiny) mental bandwidth. Little A is up at 5:30 am with me on most days. Finishing up homework and starting on her breakfast as I bustle around our kitchen making tea and packing lunches. I find little A’s middle school tales both comforting and delightful – stories of simpler times that I now know to pay attention to and enjoy.

In the interest of making things easier (for myself, who else?), decided to ask if cook, R, can possibly come over to help me out twice a week (instead of once, as she’s been doing). Somehow the planets were aligned when I asked her, and she responded with a resounding “yes”. Absolutely love this delegating! With our (well, N’s) work life getting super busier by the day, it is a blessing to be able to access such good quality help on a regular basis.

I am totally in love with my W. He is such a gentle presence by my side on days (well, let’s be honest – on some days) that I work from home. I love my morning walks with him after N and the girls head out to start their days. He meanders around our neighborhood looking gorgeous (if I say so myself), sniffing at fire hydrants (“community bulletin boards for dogs”, I read somewhere), chasing joggers and bikers, doing a merry dance with other neighborhood pooches out on walks, and looking back every few steps in a most endearing way to check if I am still there on the other end of the leash.

Navarathri Golu season is almost upon us. It is on my to do list for this week to watch a few youtube videos and really ace that saree-tying thing. Have become far too old at this point for it to be cute that I am still not comfortable tying a saree.

Che, as I write this post, I notice myself looking at the word count at the bottom of the page. And thinking random things like “Ooh, 669 words. More than enough for a college essay.”


In the name of sanity, Got. To. Detach. 🙂


Ok. Writing has officially been reduced to “happiness” posts. But why keep those from you? Here we go (again).

Happiness is…

walking with W and N on our neighborhood bike path late in the evening

wandering around Princeton eating (N’s) pistachio ice cream while waiting for little N to finish work

piles of juicy, yummy mangoes at our local grocery store in the summer

hot masala chai anytime of the day

seeing serene Buddha statues

the smell of new books in a bookstore (and of course, reading them too)

a full night’s sleep (definitely getting older here!)

a bouquet of fresh flowers from our local farmer’s market


Touche 6

It’s been over a year since little A said something touché-worthy (check out my Touche posts 1 through 5, you will know what I mean).

But today she did.

On most days, little A is the first one to wake up after me. So we have a chunk of time in the mornings, just her and me bantering (sometimes, N is up and joins in as well). This morning, our discussion somehow landed on kids. Little A was going on about some particularly difficult kids in her class. “Mommy, kids can be so annoying and awful. I don’t like kids. I like dogs, I will only have a dog when I grow up.” little A said (with a very hoity-toity I-am-oh-so-grown-up-and-weary-of-these-kids kind of air).

I was not going to take this attitude (also, why dismiss any potential grandchildren so prematurely, I say!). Plus, I was super organized last night and had lunch ready. So I had more time than usual this morning to banter as well.

“You know, I don’t agree. Having you and Akky is one of the most wonderful things in my life”, I said. Little A did not look up from the homework she was finishing up. Nor did she miss a beat.

“Well. That’s because you are lucky, Mommy”, she said.

I laughed out loud listening to my cocky little one. And agreed with her that I am lucky indeed. 🙂


First of all, hello. I have been gone from here, man, for almost seven weeks! The longest ever hiatus for me, I think. Not busier than usual or anything like that. Just that nothing happened that I absolutely needed to share with you. Is it because the cuddlebugs are now 16 and 13, and awwww moments are getting fewer and far between? Maybe, maybe. But something came up yesterday and I immediately thought of you.

Little N and I usually listen to the radio on our way to school. She chooses the station while I drive, so most everything we hear is new to me. I always ask if it’s Beyoncé or Drake that’s crooning away (gotta show my knowledge, no?). But of course, mostly it is not. And I get that special roll of the eyes from my little N. So. Yesterday, we were listening to “Beautiful” by (the internet tells me) Bazzi. While I couldn’t understand most of the words, I latched onto this catchy line “Beautiful, beautiful life right now”.

Totally appealed to the psychoanalyst in me.

Do you know, in real time, that life is beautiful right now? I mean, it is very easy to know when life is sucking. That I have no trouble with. I have looked back on beautiful moments in my life – getting married, the birth of my kids, getting promoted at work, etc. But realizing that I am having a beautiful life right now, hmmmm… is that a thing? Do I need to be more aware and in the present to appreciate the beautiful life as it’s happening?

I wondered all this aloud to little N (I know, my kids put up with a LOT). She (who is having a particularly busy week and had been wondering if her class should approach a scary teacher about postponing a submittal) was nowhere close to a beautiful moment or anything like that. She gave me the look. Plus, we had reached her school by then. So I let her be.

But you, you are right here. What do you think? Don’t tell me that I should just go back to not writing. I am having none of that. 🙂

My Word for 2019



Generosity. Not something that comes easily to me. The most striking thing about both my MIL and chittappa is that they were both wildly generous people. They truly believed in treating their neighbor like themselves. Indeed, their generosity is what most people spoke about over and over again when reminiscing about them. It struck me as something awesome – to be consistently remembered by so many for your generosity after you are gone.

For the record, this level is not what I am aspiring to reach.

My situation is this. I am super tight with my purse strings and mostly resist spending of any kind. It also doesn’t help that I totally detest shopping. My word will remind me that it’s ok to spend out a little – give the hairdresser or the waiter a larger than usual tip, donate more to charity, buy that lovely pearl necklace and those matching earrings, spruce up that wardrobe (for crying out loud!), give time to someone that can use help – you know, fun stuff like that.

My words in previous years have been “relish”, “lighten up”, and “energy”, to name a few. “Generosity” feels different – somehow more outward facing and transcendent. I like that.

Looking forward to more generosity (from self) in 2019! 🙂


2018 has been quite a significant year for us.  Lots of things happened – both good and bad – and mostly on a larger than usual scale.

  • My MIL and my chittappa both passed away suddenly and unexpectedly (it’s never an easy year when you lose a close, loved one)
  • W joined our family and totally warmed his way into our hearts (my babykins)
  • I became a stockholder at my firm
  • Little N turned 16, and started driving and working part-time
  • I finally read (and was totally bowled over by) the Harry Potter series
  • Visited London, Lisbon and the Algarve coast over the summer (so fabulous, that Europe, I say!)
  • Visited Miami over Christmas and just lay there like beached whales doing nothing on most days (should really do this more often)
  • Finally met up with my cousin B after 15 years (the last time we met – little N was 6 months old, and little A was nowhere in sight yet)
  • I started two book clubs that I am enjoying so much – one with friends, and one at my work
  • Coordinated a dinner outing with my neighbors and everyone had so much fun that we are planning to do this monthly in 2019 (let’s see how that goes)
  • Met up with N and with a few friends for lunch dates
  • Didn’t write too many blog posts – just couldn’t find the words on some days with too much going on, and was beyond exhausted on other days (thanks to our energetic W)
  • Bought my treadmill desk in January 2018 and didn’t do one day’s walk or work on it (some things are just not meant to be)
  • Really got into using my Instant Pot in a big way and started trying out several new recipes

My word for 2018 was “Energy”. Energy didn’t feature much into my thinking in 2018, except that it was tested big time on some tough days. Well, I have a more fun and inspirational word picked out for 2019. I think I will do so much better with it.

So. How was your 2018? And do you have a word picked out for 2019?

Six Word Spins

Wow.  I haven’t done six word spins in a long time. Like in over a couple of years, methinks. SO fun to forget about these for a while, and then suddenly remember. You know what I mean.

So, here they are – most recent happenings in my corner:

  • Kala channa for dinner, super yum!
  • Instant pot fills me with joy
  • And warm, delicious food as well
  • Fast food genocide – mind-blowing read
  • Grocery store aisles filled with crap
  • Processed junk everywhere – God help us!!
  • Wish Whole Foods wasn’t so pricey
  • Or I wasn’t so super thrifty 😉
  • Qarib qarib single – really cute flick
  • Check it out, you’ll like it
  • Two super busy bees here today
  • Is March the month of homework?
  • Snow days – school closed, everyone home
  • Cat-like idle, and cozy too
  • Please, can we have couple more? 🙂