Monday, February 6, 2023

Who is in your village? How do you decide?

Its been almost 7 years I have been talking about “village” I had the privilege of knowing some amazing moms who are passionate and trailblazer in special needs world. They are not Indian so we connected over other things than our culture. We connected over who we are as women, mom, friend and thinkers. They explained nuances of American life, movies, songs to me and I talked about Indian food, sarees, Indianness and what makes me Desi.

Few years down the road I realized how uncommon it was for Desi Moms to have this kind of village. These moms were raising their children all alone, as an islands. And I felt obligated to initiate a village for them, a very desi one. Not even once it occurred to me that the same idea was needed outside my own cultural community. I always thought everyone else always had one. And I was so wrong.

Over the year Desi Moms Network had evolved and I credit all the moms in the group to make what it is today. They held each other’s hand, took my idea and made their’s. Some of them created a family away from family in this very group.

I have been asked multiple time, why not expand it to non desi families, they deserved something like that too. I feel obligated to do so but at the same time I am afraid to loose the “Desi-nees” it carries within.

How do you make friends? what do you look for? How do decide to let people come close to your heart? What is your story? Would you expand your village beyond any borders?


Desi Moms Network is a group of Moms in Boston, MA with Children with special needs.

 A printed silk saree - my first introduction to chickpet ( Bangalore) I bought many of those, I think I was possessed by Saree greed. I think chickpet can do that to you :) 





Thursday, February 2, 2023

How do you “expand” your Village?

When I started the “Desi Moms Network” I wanted to build something for moms. “What” I was not sure but “what not” that I was very clear about.

I had been to 3 support group meetings in the beginning of my journey and came home depressed and sad. I went with my own concerns and came home with everyone’s weight on my shoulder. I tried 2 more times and knew for sure that it won’t work for me. 

I went for a Mother’s retreat ( I talk about it all the time- June 2013 ) It was not ideal but I did meet some incredible mothers and that paved the way for “Desi Moms Network”.

I sat on the idea for a while and a few years down the road I implemented all those learnings. All along I continued building my village. I had friends who shared my love for music, books, poetry and saree and yes some with special needs families, Indians and non Indians. When it was time I kept the Indian moms in mind and created something beyond a support group, it is a village. 

The idea evolved and it is amazing in its current form, these 272 Mothers have found their friends beyond special need criteria, they sing, dance, read, travel, dine, exercise, vacation together. They are keeping “themselves” in mind and connecting. 


What is the idea behind this village - I have been asked multiple time - my answer remains the same - Find people you like, talk about you as a person, find something in you to connect - not your child’s diagnosis, nurture your friendship with something you enjoy, not stressing over IEP,  spend time talking about you not your child and see how wonderful it is to “find” the person in you. Once you have that, your families will benefit regardless. If someone loves you they will your child unconditionally

Please find within you - what makes you happy, who you were before motherhood. People who love you as a person they will accept your family the way they are.

Saree - a meet with my Saree Village 

I wish you a village who is there to empower, uplift and encourage you.


Saree - a meet with my Saree Village 



Last weekend I taught a family "basics of Indian cooking" Another kind of village - People who cook together :)










Sunday, January 29, 2023

How people make you feel and what do you do about it?

 I get to hear lot stories about relationships and friendship and it makes me wonder how things are different with everyone. 

Yesterday I was listening to a friend about the need of “letting go things and people” 

Couple of months ago we were invited for a dinner and a 17 yrs old kid was reading a book. When asked he said it was a very well written romance novel.

I was talking to another friend’s daughter about reading and suggested that she might like that book, she in return suggested I should read that too. I always loved non fiction but I felt like reading this novel for a change and I am so glad that I did.

“It Ends with Us” talks about abusive relationships and domestic violence. The characters are very well written and placed rightly in the story. The love, romance and the pain it comes with it, with or without a troubled relationship, the story has so many folds and in the end it makes you happy, sad and proud.  The story is all about boundaries. 

It made me think where do we stop, draw a line or just keep streching?

I personally believe in Maya Angelou’s philosophy people will never forget how you made them feel.” I think this is very important to have that border. People who dont make you feel loved, valued, respected, appreciated, happy you need to stop making them part of your life.

Would you stop and have a look around and true and acknowledge if your friends make you feel all of the above or not?

A balucheri for a musical meet with people who sure make me feel loved. 

An evening in Cambridge.It was a cloudy gloomy day in Boston but that couldn’t stop me from driving to Cambridge for Harvard Art museum night.A date night with first born, some art, some Ramen and Sake, Taiyaki icecream and walk around Harvard square. Parking right on the Harvard St. I really had a perfect evening.Ajey’s knowledge about art and paintings and history blew me away. I enjoyed knowing, learning from him. My boys sure bring the best and worst out of me. I wish I had a way of not letting them see the "worst of me'




Monday, January 16, 2023

What is a perfect day for you?

When we as a family plan to do anything, we plan many things, keep back ups and still our life is full of ifs and buts. Unpredictable and uncertain are the words to define a good day. Even though sometimes plans work out  and other times fall apart we keep hoping and planning and learn something new every time about our children and ourselves.

This long weekend was one of those.

We were able to leave home without any fuss and could have a meal in a restaurant without a meltdown, walked around the mall and came back home without an argument or meltdown. Today this was the perfect day for me.

Yesterday I laid out my plan in clear words. I want to go see Ajey and go out for lunch at a restaurant of my choice, might want to stop at the Indian Store and Costco. I wanted Anand to come with us so chose the Burlington Mall area as he loves walking in the Malls. I knew it will work but at the same time I didn’t want to eat at the food court, his usual choice so made it very clear that “lunch together” is the plan.

We all could have an enjoyable lunch, talking, laughing and when he was done he went back to Mall and we followed him. Mr. Husband came to the mall, picked what he needed and went back to enjoy his Netflix in the car. Anand went his way and Ajey and I shopped for me.  Pandeys were enjoying the day in their own style.

Today I figured out one more thing, make an inclusive plan and put it out there so everyone has an idea of what to expect. I didn’t go to the Indian store but Costco still worked out and everyone came home happy and tired. I think I can be a shopper if it comes with a good lunch.

I got to meet two moms from the group in the mall and that was a bonus.

How do you spend time with your family? What is a perfect way of spending your day?

A Tussar Richa from my Sister in law's closet. A day spent with my village. The women who laugh, joke, make fun, teach, learn, support, encourage each other and I am in awe of our combined strength. 


Such a small world, Got to meet two mom from the Desi Moms Network
 then it was time to hangout in Museum of Fine Art with my first born.



Saturday, January 14, 2023

What kind of people you are surrounded with?

A conversation, a phone call, a message or a Facebook post can stir many questions. I always believed in having friends very close and the people who don’t give me a good vibe stay little (may be more) far in my orbit. 

I was going through some old pictures of various meets of the Desi Moms Network from over the years. I could see the gradual changes, most of the moms didn’t know each other. Slowly they found their people and how comfortable they are with each other now. The pictures tell a whole lot if you look closely. The group grew and many subgroups emerged when people found same interests and passions. These pictures of smiling and laughing moms made it all worth the time and energy I put in building this village. They teach me something new every day with every conversation.

But again there are people who drain your energy. I was going through some pictures from another group where people pretended to be friends with each other but actually it’s all very superficial . 

What do you do? Hang out with real friends? Keep some close to party with ? Some for show off? Some for heart to heart talks? Some to share secrets with? What do you do with toxic people? What is your criteria? Do you let your instinct decide for you? Do you listen to your heart or mind?

A simple silk for a Saree meet !




Monday, January 9, 2023

Do you meet people for a reason? Discovery Museum Saga #2

 Last night we had a “Especially for Me” event in Discovery museum. I have written about that event earlier so will not repeat the details. But this time it was bigger and better in so many ways. 27 familes came to the museum and for the first time in my life I saw so many Desi families with special need children under one roof in that kind of a setting. I have been to so many of these events and come across very few Indian families who attend them but last night I was pleasantly surprised by their attendance. Smiling, laughing and happy moms , dads connecting and children having a great time- it was a wonderful sight.

A dear friend connected me to the director of the museum a few years ago. I was invited for the museum’s gala and we thought of collaborating. I got busy expanding the group and then the Pandemic happened. A few months ago an email from them again pulled me in that direction. Their director of community partnership responded to my email and now it’s history how our first conversation was the impetus for this event to happen. 

She is from India so she understood our cultural needs and went above and beyond to make it an experience for our families.

I really marvel at these coincidences when you connect with people whom you never knew and before you know it their presence in your life makes it wonderful.

An uncanny connection - I was ironing my saree and somehow I thought of calling a friend from my Saree group who lives in that town, next to the museum and while talking she mentioned that her dear friend works in the museum. I knew instantly we both were thinking of the same person. Not too many Indians work in museums. With all the happy memories from last night and witnessing shock and pleasure at seeing our mutual friend with me at the museum will stay in my mind and heart for a long time. 

#Gratitude in my heart.

Wonderful Ms Community Partnership Director 
The amazing Staff  
the 3 friends :)



Tuesday, January 3, 2023

New Years - do you believe in making resolutions for the new year or is it just another day

 I was about to write and thought of checking my last year’s post. Reading that made me smile, Pandey’s haven’t changed much. 

This year again we did the same thing. Ajey came home for the weekend, none of us are party people and as usual decided to stay home. Anand cooked meatball pasta for everyone and we had that cheesy meal. After dinner he decided to retire for the night. He did stay up very late and watched YouTube videos and the 3 of us decided to watch “Knives out”. We had all watched Glass Onion last weekend so watching the prequel again was important so we spent our New Years eve watching a New England movie. 

The New Years day was lazy. Our family is still dealing with the loss. I wasn’t keen on making too many calls or messages anyway. 

Anand wanted to drive to Boston and that became “the” plan for the day. Pandey’s hopped in the car rushed to North End, walked around, enjoyed the lights and performance in Quincy Market, had a drink, ate and came back. Pretty simple weekend routine. No resolutions no promises no big plans.

A beautiful, warm afternoon made sure I walk on the first day of the year, I hope that’s a good beginning.

How was your long weekend, what is in your list, are you making some promises?

A brunch at a dear friend to start the new year on Monday, A saree from Tripura, Mom asked a friend to get one for me.

The saree made me feel wrapped in love and the brunch was for body, mind and soul.

The Chef on New Year's Eve

 Pandey's in Boston on New Years

Only one pic of all 3 men 
A fabulous Brunch with wonderful people