Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Are you ready to be a Mother in law?

 When you are in your 20s, you celebrate engagements, weddings, and then birth of their kids with friends. 30s are filled with birthday parties and school functions. 40s are about high school graduations and then once over 50 you get your friend’s kids wedding invitations. This year I got more of those than graduation or birthday celebration invites. 

Last night I went to the reception of a dear friend’s son. I have seen the “process” for almost 2 years. The son gave his mom the responsibility of finding the right one for him. I hear more from that generation ( including my son) how difficult finding a person is and pandemic has made it even harder. A few years ago I would have been surprised to hear that parents needed to be part of this process but I do see how difficult it can be.

Well, I am so happy that both the families got connected. The bride and groom are really happy so is the groom’s dad, a newly minted father in law. I hope my friend got a chance to enjoy the wedding and the reception because she really was very busy getting things done for months. A big fat Indian wedding in India and a grand reception here within a month really takes a lot of effort. 

My first born was my plus one for the reception and we talked about doing the same thing for him too. My son wants us to get involved. Ashish and I were 24 when we got married and our son wants the same for him except his parents didn’t need a match maker. I guess I have to up my game and start looking for that Special person for my son. 

 What is your story? Did you find your partner or your family found one for you. A Kanjivaram to celebrate my friend's status upgrade :) Ma to Sasuma 

PS. Ajey's profile is ready :) Have a look and let me know if you have someone in your mind for him

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Celebrate Joy and Happiness this holiday- Invite one family who needs it most

Planning, organizing and hosting an event is fun and exhausting. When families like ours get involved one cannot predict what will work and not. One size doesn’t fit all in Special Needs world. So trying to plan and execute something with many possible scenarios and age groups needs a powerful and diverse team. I was very fortunate that some of the moms from the Desi Moms Network took that plunge.

After our Dilwai party the group was excited and wanted to include more families.

After many calls to find a suitable and economical venue, with a simple menu and ideas about this holiday party finally the day was here. The families started arriving on a windy breezy sunny Sunday. 29 families came together to celebrate and experience joy and happiness.

What happened that day is another story, two guests and 5 families couldn’t make it, speakers and mic didn’t cooperate , introduction sessions didn’t work well because of the mic failure but by the end of the day all I can remember is a girl and her sibling singing a song, families building connections, meeting in person to thank some incredible people who helped them through phone and zoom calls, telling younger families about their journey and how having a village helps in general for the whole family. 

But the best sight was kids having fun with Santa, they got presents, sang and danced with Santa. A dad from the group dressed as Santa and he played his part every well. He answered all their questions, made them promise good behavior and really made them feel Special.

The families worked together to clean the area and wrap up the leftovers. It was only 3 hours of our day but that time will remain special for the families.

I do want to go back to my original model of empowering Moms and building a community for them but this event encourages me to do the family event once in a while. Stay tuned for the next one. Why don’t you join us and support us in our journey, you too are a part of our village..

The incredible team 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Build your village - May be in a museum - An evening for you and me - “Especially for Me”

***The next event is on Saturday Jan 7th, please sign up*** 

Special needs families need more support with everything they do with their children. Family outings, dinners are very difficult to manage. Crowd, noise, unfamiliar places and faces make things difficult for them to socialize.

We look for those rare opportunities for our children to have these regular experiences. As a mom I am grateful for many organizations working towards it. 

My experience with Discovery Museum is one of those I will cherish. 15 families could meet and enjoy a “rare” family time just because everyone from the staff was committed to make it one.

My conversations and communication with museum’s Community partner director enabled us to make it a little flexible as she kindly listened to my request and did her best to fulfill them.  

The museum organized “ Especially for me”  an Autism-Friendly Evening last Saturday.

The Asst. Director of operations was very accommodating and welcomed the families and their chaos at the front desk that night. Her army of the museum staff was incredible with families. They were kind and patient with our kids. The Children paced, walked , jumped, ran, scripted, flapped in a totally non judgmental space. Moms were at ease and dads could breathe. It took time but slowly everything fell into place and adults could enjoy the social connection with the families just like theirs.

The museum provided Pizza (with Gluten free option too) and it was a big deal for many children.  I shamelessly admit that I loved my dinner too. 

For me seeing these families together was a treat, many of them met/talked for the first time. There were many families in the museum that night and I am not sure about them but the 15 families from Desi Moms Network could see that they are not alone. They made connections, talked, laughed and made promises to be in touch.

Seeing dads exchanging numbers is always a highlight of any gathering for me.

I cannot wait to have another evening next month. I hope we build new connections, cherish the previous ones and feel “ we are not alone". 

*Especially for me, Discovery Museum*

Free and customized for our children, explore the museum and meet other families.

Date: Jan 7th, Saturday

Time: 5 pm to 8 PM

Place: Discovery Museum Acton

Please attend this wonderful, fun event. Pizza is provided. 

Please register -

My son in the museum - one of those rare family outings and he had fun. 

  The woman who made it possible for us - Thank you S.

My fav visitor that night, a younger sister - walking around her brother. 

Saturday, December 10, 2022

“ Involve me and I will understand” - A fundraiser Gala for “Saheli”

There is an organization here in MA called Saheli. Saheli’s vision is a world free of violence against women. Their mission is to empower South Asian and Arab women and families to lead safe and healthy lives. They have been helping women for 25 years and this is a milestone year for the organization. 

I have heard about their work and have sent some women their way too. But being there in person for their fundraiser gala was something else.

Originally a Chinese Proverb, Confucius said, “I hear I forget, I see I remember, I do I understand.” Benjamin Franklin attributed it as “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” I felt the same. Hearing and reading about their work is totally different from being there with some of their beneficiaries, Volunteers, survivors and doctors and some long time donors, I was really in awe. The Saheli Gala was a reminder of the hypocrites we are. We talk about Women power, worship the goddess but treat our women badly.

I can keep on writing about what I heard that night, the statistics are scary. Shocking but true how abuse and domestic violence is normalized in our society.

I will come back to that some other time. Tonight I can just request everyone to support this organization, be a part of the solution, teach your sons to be good human beings and daughters to be independent and empower them. Let them know they are not alone and they deserve every bit of happiness. 

What are you doing to empower your daughter, sister, friend and wife?

This saree is my way of contributing in empowering a girl. A pochapalli Ikat from a girl who is carrying forward her father's legacy. way to go Chandana. 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

If you can make one SOS call whom would you call?

 This morning I woke up with a big todo list, it was supposed to be a beautiful day. It was also a day of an important meeting.

Anand is 22 that means he is beyond services provided by school system, that means he is on his own and Dept of developmental services will provide whatever it can. That is a government agency with limited resources and manpower. In simple words Whatever was Anand entailed to after age of 22 it is privilege now.

He turned 22 in July and we are still trying to get things in order for him. Him being him is another issue, I cannot make him do anything I want, or I feel is good for him. If he doesn’t agree ( which is often) he wont do it.

Today we had a meeting to plan our next step. He was at work and Mr. Husband didnt have much to contribute and I think I was anticipating way too much. I just couldn’t keep up with my mind going all over the places. A dear friend had offered to be part of the meeting ( so grateful for my village) even with her acute sickness.

Right before the call I made a call to a friend and within 30 seconds I realized the futility of that call. Somehow I felt that what I was going through is my own struggle. I didn’t feel like explaining myself or listening to something which will not comfort me. 

Did you ever feel that way? Even with your best friend some things don’t make sense? They don’t get what you are going through? 

Anand working in BJ's part of his job is - recovery 

Mysore silk saree for a musical meet. That is not my SOS call group but they fulfill my musical needs. Those few hours I forget everything and just let music soothe my soul. 
A msg to fellow moms- You all were in my mind when I was writing this. we all have friends and families with we share everything but sometime they are not enough. I went through that emotion right before Anand's meeting yesterday. Having a fellow special need mom on my side - thats what I needed. The other friend was there the way could be - got me some dessert later and sat with me. Make connection, build you village because this is long journey

Friday, November 25, 2022

***What Thanksgiving means to you ***

 We Indians are all about food and festivals. We may not adopt other things but will follow the food and festival tradition with Indian twist.

Thanksgiving is one of those festivals - Why do you celebrate or let me ask - What do you celebrate ..

Gratitude ? Cooking and eating? Shopping? Spending time with family and friends?  how it it different than any other weekend?

For many Indian household the traditional TG meal is a big No No. I never cooked Turkey. But ate everything  when we were invited. Few time when I hosted I cooked Indian meal.

But the question remains - What this means to you ?

Let’s define gratitude - How would you express and whom would you pay respect to?

  • Family members, friends, kid’s teachers, Support staff, Nanny, Day care providers, the mailman, the amazon delivery guy, the local takeout staff, the landscaper, the snow plow guy, the plumber, electrician. 
  • What are you promising to do better - be kind, resources and support to who needs them, Taking better care of environment and being the better version of yourself this year?

I have been writing for all the reason I am grateful for, don’t have to repeat but tonight I reflect and celebrate everyone in my life. I wish you all health and happiness and hope you have multiple reasons and people to be thankful for.

Years ago my parents bought a banarasi saree for me from Banaras, someone who was visiting us declared that that particular color wont suit me at all because I was dark. I never wore that saree and gave away. After almost 30 yrs later I found a similar shade and got that saree to remind me that I am much loved. This saree is testimonial of abundance of love, respect and care I am thankful for, Today, tomorrow and always. 

Our dinner that night, The host family has Oreo cookies and Pie and chocolate handy for Anand and he decided to eat just that. #Grateful