Friday, May 28, 2021

Third time is a charm :)

Last night was special in a way, I was excited and looking forward to chatting about a new opportunity to make a difference. A dear friend initiated this conversation, she is part of the board. They were looking for a new member, she put my name in the hat. It was somewhere in Oct 2020. and then again it started in March this year. As of now I am a first Desi on one board and two of them had one member, a dad, before me.

By this time I was already selected for two other non profit boards. I have seen the change in special-needs world. People are more aware of minorities and do want to know about other communities. Diversity is becoming a new trend.  A woman in the saree sure was a novelty few years ago but now I am expected to be in a saree. A dear friend lovingly said I normalize the saree in Boston. 

Yesterday I had to meet few board members. I had a very weird day. I was very restless and couldn’t focus on anything. It was not because of the meeting but somehow I wasn’t in my right place. After work I decided to mediate before getting ready for the call. before I knew I was asleep and woke up 30 might before the call. Rushed for the shower and took out a simple Ikat cotton. I smile writing this thinking about the panic I had. 

The conversation was awesome and I was very energized. They were kind and curious and I had a very good feeling about the whole conversation. Even with the technology glitch I encountered. The Microsoft Team decided not to support me. One of them was very kind to set the Zoom meeting right away. I was embarrassed to the core but they quickly moved on to important stuff. A very intriguing and thought provoking conversation ended with” What would I do with my position on the board”. Now you can imagine how much I must have talked :)

I went to bed being thankful for these opportunities where I can make a difference. I can still not do things for Anand, I am always behind but some other mom gets benefit from my journey that itself is motivating.

A simple cotton Orissa Ikat saree, An online implusive shopping. Grey just like my mood yesterday. 

Have a simpler and kinder weekend. Do one thing just for you. I am going to make a cup of Chai and listen to one ghazal of Jagjit Singh.

This flower was on my hair. I go to water my friends plant and got this one for my Thursday evening :) the amount of buds on that bush I am all taken care for another month I think
This email from an aunt explains beautifully what I want to do  ( or should be doing) with my board position. these msgs keep me going. Please let your friends and family know (who has a child with needs) they are NOT alone.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

A conversation about Mental Health - Stay Tuned on "Dhai Akhar Voice" on You tube

4 fierce ladies come together to talk about various topics and before you know the 30 mins conversation turns into two hours. Busy lives get in the way and we promised to meet again. Zoom and virtual meet ups – our new life.The conversation resulted in some meaning conversation and ideas. Stay tuned.

One Sunday afternoon we met to record something about mental health. Cannot wait to bring that to you soon. Stay tuned. During my research the statistics were eye opener. We knew things were not so good but the data makes it real.

I used various resources including (Kaiser family foundation) and CDC and WHO.

The COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for affecting many people’s mental health negatively.


( in USA)

One in 10 adult reported anxiety or depressive disorder before covid, the number rose to 1 in 4, difficulty sleeping (36%) or eating (32%),increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12%)and worsening chronic conditions (12%), due to worry and stress over the coronavirus.

2020 saw 41% increase in anxiety than 11% pre-covid era.


In July, The Washington Post reported that one out of four women who became unemployed during the pandemic said it was because of a lack of child care, “twice the rate among men.” mothers, as many are experiencing challenges with: school closures lack of childcare and loss of income.

With vaccination in full swing we should work on –

Encouraging people to get vaccinated and seek health for mental health.

May is mental health month so I decided to wear green to raise awareness while talking about this difficult year in our life.

Please be kind, support and help, Check on each other, Pay it forward.

Text/call  two people once a week to let them know they are not alone.

Honored to be associated with this wonderful production.







Sunday, May 9, 2021

Fear is the strangest thing- do you have a grip on your own?

 Desi Moms Network - A community for Desi Moms with Special need children, if you know anyone who needs help, please connect them to me.

This morning I woke with strangest feelings. Actually everyday brings different emotions in general. But now a days our Mornings begin with whats app msgs. The grim situation is India is worsening everyday.

These msgs can decide direction of the day. I have been getting better at keeping things in right perspective but some day are just not right days. 

I have started “Meet the Mom and learn” series for the group - This Saturday it was my turn to share my life stories with the Moms in the group. For years I have been trying to but cannot change myself in one aspect - procrastination. Somehow I work better under the deadline pressure. So that was the same case - yah, It will get done, almost there and all those usual excuses. 

So this morning was one of those. When I needed to put my thoughts in line, composed and organized they were all over.

The difficult news carry the weight of not only its own but from the past too and I think thats what happened. It sure did and I burst into tears during a phone conversation with a friend. I usually am good in handling things and my sure brain works in trying times. But this time I was just sucked into its game. I was very fine right after that. Facing my own fear and what if and what will I do kind of thoughts - they did play their dirty game but soon I had the handle on things. I did what I am good at. Reached out and learn some more. 

and then It was time to work on my presentation. I think I did okay. After that went to see a friend near by, and then did some more work because while walking back from hers I found something else to add. off course thats how it works. right :)

Finally an hour before the presentation the slides were up and then it was time to get ready and have dinner and then the game was on.

A very old Saree came out because I didnt want to deal with hassle of ironing and needed an easy drape.

My sister's work trip always benefited me. This is from my No-3 sister Varsha's work trip. A Gujrati Gota Patti Saree.

I so needed this kid to show me the fun and gundagardi #cutenessoverload

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

To show what I really am - A desi in the town

I was asked to join a board of a very prominent Non Profit in Boston in the area of Special Needs.  The process was going on for a couple of months and May 3rd Monday was the first Board meeting I joined as the new member.

The Federation has been there for a long time but didn’t have any Desi ( Indian) member. I got to know about federation quite a few years ago, Joined their Parent Consultant Training Institute (PCTI) in 2015 and learnt a lot. It is to empower parents to be their kids advocate in the world of special education.

I don’t think I utilized what they offered fully but sure leant something. More than that I understood the power of “rights” and “knowledge”.

I made some wonderful friends. I did volunteer for few years with them for some events so I know their mission really is to empower parents.

When they asked if i would be willing to be a part of Board I was more than delighted to. The board is made of some amazing and successful individuals and being part of that great team is really gratifying.

Another organization is Mass Families. Their mission is also very similar. They also add a layer of political activism to empower parents. I was part of their leadership series in 2017. They also reached out this year to make me one of them - officially. 

I joined Mass Families’s board and got appointed their treasurer. The email announcement came on Monday too. I hope I do justice to all the expectation. 

Monday May 3rd - to support Desi families and showcase my culture and identity  I had to wear a blue saree. I have been known to wear sarees in Boston State House or any event related to special needs families. Someone did comment that they look forward to seeing my saree.

If you know anyone who needs help navigating the special needs world please suggest them to visit Federation’s site. 

Know more about Mass Families ( their home page features our family in one of their slide (the last slide)  :) A picture taken on one Thanksgiving. - So thankful .

A simple bengal taant -years old. My Sister Seema’s old treasure. 

I had a difficult  weekend with so much going around us. Monday needed some cheer. A packet arrived and brought some sunshine from Texas. Deepika you have no idea. It is not just a gift, it symbolizes love, respect, empathy and friendship.  Thank you.. I have never met Deepika, she is part of Saree Speak group and had interviewed me twice. She had done with so many people but yesterday she made me feel "one of a kind" her note said - "Love that I met someone as courageous as you! Fate and destiny often decide who we meet in our lives. Thankful for that ❤️, Looking forward to meeting you in person, God willing" Cannot wait to drape this beauty.

My post "difficult weekend"