Saturday, April 30, 2022

A day in the city, advocating for our children - Visit to State House with families

 I did a leadership series with Mass Familes a few years back. I got busy building Desi moms Network and political advocacy just took a back seat. Politics and related stuff are not my cup of tea anyway. I don’t know much about policies and laws and didn’t have energy to venture into something new. I know what my strengths are and decided to do what makes me happy. 

Things changed and I got into the Board for Mass Familes, and again I realized I can handle crisis very well, can navigate through rough times and bring everyone together towards a better solution.

So when the series was announced this year I offered to help and yesterday was the last session. We have met a few times over Zoom, but we got to meet everyone face to face yesterday. My day off was well spent. Met a lot of people from all the regions, old friendships were  revived and new connections were formed.

From our hotel staff to the server at the breakfast, the bus driver, the security guys at the statehouse, the tour guide, the group, the lunch hotel, their food staff there made a sunny and beautiful day just perfect. We got back , got ready for dinner and then spent the evening chatting and joking and having some drinks. I could convinced Mr husband to join me for a sleepover. Sometimes we just need this kind of a last minute adventure to spice up the life. 

My heart is full and for a change I will let the pictures do the talking. 

Somewhere in Boston Commons 

In front of State House

Before we headed out to Boston 
Nothing stops us from fighting for our children and having fun :) @Boston Commons. 
Our wonderful Server April
Staycation kind of day
Lunch at Carrie Nations in Boston
This group of parents did something unusual. Due a misunderstand their bus didnt show up, in the middle of this crisis 5 parents decided they will drive everyone to the city. Imagine the rush to move car seats, cleaning and soon they  were on the road. We find ways to get things done - IF we make our mind.
Our toUR guide - Ben
Parents from 4 regions -  
Some of the moms got the bangles and they totally rocked it
somewhere in the State house

With Lauri - One of my mentor in disability world.

Dinner after Boston - we were well fed and served by April

Changes are inevitable- how do you adjust to the new reality

 "How come you don’t write about Anand anymore, she asked. I loved reading about your journey, but now I find everyone but Anand in your write ups"

This was a genuine question and I didn’t know what to say. Simply said I don’t have much idea about Anand’s life  right now, as we get to see him on Zoom once a week for 30 minutes and hear what is he doing there. And it’s usually the same as last week. Once in a while he texts about movies, places to visit but nothing personal.

It’s the same with Ajey, I get to hear things in bits and pieces and it is hard to admit but I really have no idea about my kid’s day to day life.

Ajey does call, visits home often and shares things but it’s different from having them home. I do miss being part of their everyday life but I think that is a natural course of life.

My stories these days have become stories of people around me, my today life or things I encounter. It may not be all about special needs, or familes in that circle but again that is the idea about writing, about everything. It’s about building your village and having people in your life from every walk of life.

This Saree story is about my local village in the literal form :) yes Franklin is a suburb of MA. I started building this community 18 yrs ago with the idea of us Desis (Indians) coming together to celebrate our culture and find that connection. It has been a fun journey so far. 26 of us met in a local restaurant and  enjoyed food, fun and laughter. So many met for the first time, connected and took one step forward in building their village. Hope to have many such gatherings.

Our call with Ajey, talking about his upcoming move to another apartment 

Monday, April 25, 2022

When do you really have to validate your emotions and it’s okay to feel that way

This weekend I was all over the place :) physically and emotionally.  Friday was very well spent with music. I took a friend as my plus one, who saw this kind of rowdy get together for the first time :) #Buildingyourvillage to another level.

Saturday was spent with my first born and a lunch with another family friend, where you don’t have to pretend and can be yourself. Food galore and mind stimulation and comfort of friendship with some music that’s how I can describe my afternoon. Wish I had remembered to take some pictures. 

That evening something just didn’t sit right, my allergies are flaring up and I have been coughing for a couple of weeks and it didn’t help either. It’s really strange how a phone conversation, a text message and something silly have an ability to ruin everything in a matter of few minutes. Sometimes talking to Mr Husband doesn’t help either. I believe in going and doing out of the way philosophy and he believes in limits. He exactly know his boundaries and stays within it. 

Yesterday finally I could verbalized what was bothering me to a friend. And I am so glad I talked to her and not to Mr Husband. Instead of listening to his “Don’t overdo and don’t expect reciprocation and be happy” I heard validation of my feelings. She assured that it was okay to expect and feel disappointed if expectations are not met. But not sit on it forever and move on the next day. I think I needed that reminder. 

Do you feel that way too? Is validation of emotions important to you? Do you  sometimes just want someone to hear you out?

Do you have that judgement free zone in your friendship?

#handloom #sareesofinstagram #KOSA #Lovehandloom #pactandbeyond #100sareepact #sareesofinstagram #Gratitude #desiMomsNetwork #MomLovesAnand #Buildyourvillage #Sareespeak #Sareestories 

The sunset on Friday was magical, A fabulous company and intriguing conversation on a long car drive, music and amazing food and great friends. that was my Friday. a contemporary kosa from my home state 

 वो ना होगा तो क्या कमी होगी

बस अधूरी सी ज़िंदगी होगी

Saturday morning saga deserves a post on its own. This kid is a reminder of so many amazing things in life. His mom was a kid when I met her and one of those first kids who called me Auntie, I was expecting Ajey when I met them and today I held her kid - deja vu

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Are you a brand conscious person. Do you buy stuff for fun, for passion, for money, for status?

 This month’s music get together was memorable. It was fun and musical as always but this time I could convince few of the moms from Moms Network to get out and enjoy some music. We were 5 of us there, one of them brought her mom in law too. It was really wonderful. Convincing them to leave their usual life routine and kids for a few hours and enjoying their grownup time was a big deal. In the end they all had fun and decided to come back again next time.

One of them walked in and handed me a box, a gift for my bday she said. I looked at the box and asked her what it was. She was just shocked, you don’t know? It’s a handbag from Furla. I was like no - I don’t. I am not one of those woman. She joked - well now you are. Interestingly that morning one of the mom came to visit me and got me a Jamdani Saree as a gift. Well, I am that kind of brand woman. Would have never said no to that kind of “brand love”.

The incident made me think. What should I do? Give her the purse back? So she can give it to someone who enjoys it more than me? I carry a mens wallet, seriously. My wallet can fit into jeans pocket, my jacket pocket without much fuss. When I offered her the bag back she laughed and said I have to start using this now. I am grateful for the love, I really am but it got me thinking. I try to imagine what was going on in her mind while shopping. 

A gift is a gift, representing love and respect. So I will accept it with the same love. But again wanted to ask you - what is your measurement or standard for buying a gift for someone. And also what is your “brand” :) 

The gift -Number 1 - Gift of love and  admiration 
Gift - 2 Another form of love, appreciation and respect  
Gift -3 Sweet kind of gift :) Royal Nassau rum cake - one of the best cake I have ever eaten, One of the mom for me from her recent Caribbean vacation

Thursday, April 14, 2022

When do you give up? Or just stop trying? What it takes to restart again?

 While talking to a mom she mentioned she spends more than hour and half on commuting one way. Just because she doesn’t drive. The drive could be just 40 minutes one way. Before that she was talking how overwhelming it is to go to work few times a week and how everything at home is keeping her busy.

Taking care of kids, therapies, household and then full time work can be daunting but on top of that spending extra time on commute is just another matter.

While I nudged her little more I heard her story, how she failed the test, how she had an accident and now her anxiety takes over every time she tries. She is terrified of failure, people making fun or just simple “what ifs” - accidents  I tried my best to convince her but there is more to this than meet the eyes. I told her she is not alone, there are many who go through the same. I didn’t need to tell her how difficult it is to live without driving, she lives this nightmare everyday but couldn’t gather courage to do otherwise.

I know there are few moms in Our Desi Moms Network who are going through this phase. I so wish I could help them and I try. I tell them how I had my first accident when I was driving with my father, he still has scar on his face. How he made me drive again so I wont slip in again.

I am thinking of introducing these moms to each other and connecting them so collectively they can motivate each other. 

What do you do? When some incidents take over your life? How do you start? What motivates you?

Our driveway - My morning walks are fun for this very reason. The sun inspire me, motivates me because on the same driveway I see it set every evening too ( Our house is east/west facing)

Spring is here 

Saree speak Bday celebration in Boston, MA

It was a rainy/drizzly Thursday here in Boston but that didn’t stop 10 ladies to meet and celebrate. We ate, drank, chatted and  talked more :) Many of us would have never crossed path if not for Saree Speak. #Gratitude  

Women who support, nudge, push, encourage each other. and keep each other grounded too if needed.