Friday, March 22, 2019

Gratitude ..a token of love in various forms..

People walk into your life for some reason. They bring respect, friendship, love, reason, sense, stability, storm, emotion, passion, motivation, anger, regrets, sadness and tears. Then we decide on what we want to continue with. We let go some and we hold on to some. Some let go of us and some hold on to us. Very late last night I was sipping my tea and going through the memories of this week. My Birthday became a celebration of all of above. So many memories cloud my mind as I type this. My son’s text this morning made me stop and rethink and write about some from my life.
K walked in as a reminder of these emotions last night. Just a quick text 15 mins ago – “are you home right now” and before I could ask further question she disappeared from whats app. I was making my chai in kitchen and here she was, walking in with a bag. Birth day gift for you she said and handed over to me with a hug. Freshly made “paniyaram” and rasmalai. 
K is not my everyday call friend or we don’t interact each other often but she has a very important place in my life. She is somehow connected to one of the biggest passion is my life. Jagjit Singh. She is the reason I can drive anywhere and she is the reason I offer rides to anyone without second thought.
April 19th, 2009 Jagjit Singh Concert. I went with 2 other friends, took the train from Franklin, leaving kids with dads, hoping we can take last train back from the city. Soon we realized the concert will go beyond the last train. We were thinking if we have to ask one of the husband to come and pick us up in the city. During interval, we met K and she was like I drove alone I will take you back. We were just living in the same town that’s all, hardly knew each other. Jagjit Singh took us to some other world that night and I am so glad I was there to listen to him. That was his last concert in Boston. I clearly remember that spring night K driving us through Rt 9 then 95 and then back to Franklin. That one night changed my life in so many ways. I fell in love deeper and deeper with the man, made some memories and got inspired to drive everywhere regardless of time of the day. Years ago, Viba inspired me to drive on highways, long distance without having husband on passenger seat, K made me a city driver. Her influence on me that night remained with me. When I met her cousin in a wedding in Vizag coincidently that was the first story I told him. Kavitha is fierce, funny, smart and very diverse person but it’s her unexpected kindness last night which will remain with me for a longest time. Last night again I felt the love and kindness around me. A cousin asked if I had a great day, It’s been a celebration of love and kindness for days not just a day. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for people in my life. Please know you are loved, respected, valued and appreciated. The flowers on my counter are constant reminder of freshness and aroma love brings in our life. They represent you all. This morning I touch them with fondness and thank the universe for your presence in my life.

Couldn't ask for more in life..

Friends celebrating my day.. years of tradition.. cannot imagine my sanity and life without them. Thank you Divya, Viba and Farida for not giving up on me.

                                         The Rasmalai - inspired me to write about you all. 

I am not a flower woman but I guess there are many things about me i didnt know about.. 

Blessing comes in form of a hot tea and not fighting when moms takes a picture. Human form of a blessing..

After a wonderful trip to India Ashish walks in. Ajey drove him back from Airport. 
Blessing comes in Happy traveler and driver forms too.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Gratitude.. Thank you for such a wonderful day.

I couldn’t have asked for a better celebration and before calling it a night I had to count my blessings.

First of all, I want to thank each one of you for those countless msgs, mails, phone calls. I am so far behind in reading and replying. Still have to listen to all those voicemails on my phone. 
My day started with a beautiful morning and Bday hug from Anand, followed by India calls and text msgs. While I was getting ready for work a friend asked who goes for work on bday. I am so glad I went Jit wouldnt have been the same otherwise. Even if I have asked Ashish for a day off it would have been a different day. Not any interesting movie, or something fun to do. Also he would have been bored out of his mind with those 100s of phone calls and text msg notifications ; )
I stayed up late last night reading and responding emails and enjoyed my morning nap in the car. As one of my coworker asked if Ashish’s didn’t ask me to take a day off and go for movie or lunch with him. I responded that he did better, he drove while I took my morning nap : ) in the car. I was treated with breakfast and driven to work..
A beautiful gold fulkari was a saree of the day. I loved being complimented and people asking about my saree. It was a beautiful sunny day. A beautiful card from my team was just a reminder of goodness around. But surprise awaits in many forms. Ashish’s team had a cake celebration for me. I am in awe that he works with such wonderful people.
Whole day it was all about phone calls and msgs.  A wonderful friend kept the tea ready on my way back home. A short visit that’s all I could manage but it was wonderful time. She dropped me at the restaurant I was to meet Anand and Ashish for dinner. As soon as I walked I realized something wasn’t right. Anand wasn’t happy. We had this talk last night about this being my day and I should pick the restaurant and he agreed. I chose Indian so he will have his fav chhole and naan and we all would be happy. Who knew Taco Bell next door can change everything you planned. Thank goodness for guest wifi in the Indian place, he was little busy and then ate Chhole and Naan. It just takes a second for everything to go downhill. For a change, it was not that bad. Mom did deserve the celebration on her day. 
Everything today was a reminder how lucky I am. From chef coming out to check my saree, complimenting and cooking my fav dish and then celebrating my day with complimentary rasmalai..I still have to read so many of text and Whats app msgs but whatever I read I know I am blessed and these wishes work wonder. I am going to bed another year older but wiser and smarter and filled with gratitude. Please know my world is beautiful because you are in it.

A fulkari - a gift from my parents. While shopping in Amritsar somehow I just didn't like anything, the shop had so many sarees with designs and all fashion add on but somehow I couldn't find me in there. Finally my dad came to rescue and helped me pick this saree. It looked so dull in that bright colored mountain of sarees and dupattas but today it was just perfect..

Google decided to wish me too.

 A Bday celebration from my "extended" family ..A cake, some slides and songs.. 

 A tea was in the menu but you cannot say no to Halwa if it is your Bday, right? Thank you for celebrating my day better than I do..

The dinner was a reminder that we are getting old. Food was fabulous but we both couldn't eat much. but the Indian beer made up for the fun. Anand on the other hand had great time with wifi, chile and Naan..
Ajey you were missed.

and no-one has ever said NO to dessert on Bday,

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Moms - the connection and support.. what will I do without them around..

I love going out with fellow moms and enjoy “me” time. Usually boys are happy with this arrangement too, they get to have their own time.
Tonight, it was little different, hubby got back from India 2 days ago, leaving him on Friday night wasn’t easy and boys were not having the best of Friday either. I was debating but thought I wouldn’t be much helpful. I don’t do very well when things are not going well, they need their composed and calm dad not the hyper mother.
An organization hosts Moms Night out in 6-7 weeks on a Friday night.  A good 40 miles’ drive can change your plan just like that. I couldn’t make it for a long time. But I decided to go tonight and all of sudden by evening things were not looking great. Husband assured he got things under control and I should go.
Drive felt so long but once I reached there I was in totally different world. The moms come together to share much more than their or kid’s life story. They can really joke around, laugh and uplift each other’s spirit and I think that’s the moms night out is all about. I have been there couple of time so knew couple of moms and met some new ones. While talking about Indian Moms Network I mentioned the need of rotating venue and finding a new place, one of them suggested a place, called “Social” in Newton. Coincidently it was just a half mile away from this venue. The power of goodwill and network. Just like that I had a venue for upcoming Moms Dinner. It was fabulous night to forget the “not so happy” things and focus on “can do’s” and support and optimism and hope. On the way back, I decided to check this new place. And I am so glad I did. The event manager Danie was awesome, she was very kind to give me a tour, offer the moms free parking and not charge any fee for booking the private room. And Just like that the night turned around on a happier note. On the way, back home I was a happy woman thinking how wonderful the world is. That’s what these get together do to our mental health, makes us happy, hopeful, motivate us to think outside of the box. And make us resourceful too :  )

 welcome to our world..

some day I will be able to post right picture not just food.. to show what these moms meetup do to us..

 I am so excited about our new Venue. please help us find more places so moms dont have to drive too far.

  I couldn't stop imaging this place full of jokes, laughter and love.

Monday, March 11, 2019

To be or not to be.. What kind of parent Would you want to be???

Right after I finished my masters with Chemistry I started teaching Grades  11th and 12th. I was 20, young, passionate, fun and skinny..(which has anything to do with being a good teacher) but I was told I was good. I understood chemistry better in those years than going to school but more than just the subject knowledge I think it was my enthusiasm and passion which made me a better teacher. Soon Ashish changed the whole world for me and instead of career in teaching or working I happily moved on to the role of motherhood, thinking  that it was the natural progression of life, and that’s what I was suppose to be.
Being a young mom was fun. Ajey made it worthwhile. A beautiful city, wonderful weather, comfort and first stay outside India – Singapore made motherhood so much fun. Next we moved to United States and Anand joined his brother. Soon I realized I was everything but a traditional mom, I wasn’t MADE to be just a mom. I look back and feel bad that my boys didn’t have the idealist mother. I was a fun teacher but I could never enjoy reading stories to the kids or teaching them math or reading. The “Jump Start” CDs did that for me. They both could read before they started first grade. I did read to them sometimes but it wasn’t my passion. I made many delicious meals for them, took them all over the place, drove them to every possible place, and gave them all kinds of experiences. They have been to so many places that I cannot even count, listened  to various kind of music and were introduced to cuisine from all over the world but their mother was nowhere close to that wonderful mother who did maths with them, and helped them with homework unless it was absolutely necessary. Their projects were never the best in the class, and it’s funny that it didn’t bother me at all.
Over the years my circle grew and I made some wonderful friends. They taught me so many things. And I was horrified learning how I had failed my boys when it comes to homework or studies. I have seen the world stopping for parents when kids have exams, how devoted moms  and dads can be and how important the good grades are not only for kids but for the parents too. I so wonder how come I couldn't be that mom.
Ashish and I never were in money or position race so our kids naturally are away from that “ambition in life” philosophy. But sometimes I wonder was it right? We wanted out kids to be happy but didn’t teach them or push them enough to be successful. Ajey never went to Russian math, Kumon or SAT class but I cannot be prouder of the man he is today. Anand’s resilience, perseverance and ability to pull through all negativity amaze me every day.
Tonight is one of the nights, a dear friend asked us to join them for dinner and last minute I remember that Anand had a class assignment for tomorrow. I asked him about his homework and all hell broke loose. He just froze and things fell apart. He hasn’t even thought about his three page paper due tomorrow. Oh my! All of sudden our household was upside down. The emotional breakdown was too difficult to handle. Ashish is away in India and having Ajey home was life saver. I so regretted not being a “homework support” mom. Somehow I just don’t know how to sit next to my kid and make him do stuff. I can cook, clean and do everything else, provide them resources but just cannot sit with him and make him do his homework. It was such a terrible feeling and nothing could save me from the guilt of failure. Ajey came to the rescue and we decided to deal with it one step at a time. It’s been two hours and we all are sitting at the dining table. Ajey and Anand watched video’s about the topic and are discussing and writing. After feeding the boys, this “don’t know what to do mom” has done two loads of laundry, has changed the sheets, read something (have no idea what she read) cleaned the kitchen and finally decided to pour her heart out on a key board. Paper is coming along OK, Its 9 PM, usually bed time for Anand but  I could convince him that once in a while it’s OK to stay up late for work. I am off to heat some milk and cut some fruit for the kid while thinking if only I could have these friends 20+ years ago so my kids could have had a better mother who could help them with homework.

With Ajey's guidance and mom's suggestion Anand started to research all about Tesla, 

 I don't think he had any idea how much work goes into a paper. earlier I thought we could do the paper and still go for dinner. Soon I realize it will be a long night. The left overs came out.

He was in much better shape after an hour. was paying attention to the topic, 

10 PM so unusual for Anand to be up this late on week night, Tonight he learnt some day you don't get to go to bed on time.