September 5, 2018

Now that the baby turned toddler turned cute little girl with two pig tails is turning into an almost tween; her chatter is no longer an innocent musing as it used to be. From the past year or so, we have conversations. Most of her questions are around religion and they are quiet interesting conversations. This post is not one of those religious talks we had but something funny to spread some smiles like always :)

One day while rolling on the bed, Ammu blurts out: "Amma, I wished you started wearing makeup"
"you will look pretty"
"why? I am pretty even now"
"umm.... Amma, no offense but you will look much better. All the holes with pimples; makeup will cover all that"
While I still think what to answer her next, she goes.
"you see American movies. How people put makeup on?"
"See how much lipstick Taylor swift puts on..."
"What's Taylor Swift? Is it a movie or a person?"
"Oh! My gosh, Amma! You don't know who Taylor Swift is?"
"Nope, I dont!"
"Amma, she is the one who sang "shake it off", sings something I can't comprehend
Now it's my turn to say "oh my gosh! Amulya, you know so many things"
From rolling on the bed I turn to rolling my eyes and wave her off!


Ammu wears a blue frock and I tell her, "Amulya, you know we bought this frock at Gymboree and they are closing stores now?"
"They are closing? why?"
"Because they are not doing so well in business. They are not making a lot of money; that's why."
"They need to tell people about their business, Amma"
"What do you mean tell people about their business?"
"They need to advertise, Amma! on tv? I have seen a yogurt, a Bank and detergent ads but never saw a Gymboree ad .They need to sell them more, Amma"
It was another of those, I see!! moment for me.


We had guests over and she was narrating something in English
I ask her to speak in Telugu
She says, "why?"
I tell her because they can't understand the way you speak English
"They cant understand my English?"
"What do you mean? English is one. Like you say god is one, English is also one. It is the same English we all speak.."
"Then how come they all not understand?" And gives me one of those you are so dumb looks. Sigh!

May 14, 2018

You know you have a teenager
When he wears knee-length socks
on Sliders and shorts

You know it's weird
But he wears a hoodie at home
a Jacket when it's 90 degrees
And shorts when it's freezing

You know he's as hungry as a bear
When there isn't a grain left
of any crap, you pack for lunch

Only a teen would respond
when you call him a donkey

You get your shock of the day
when he comes by and asks,
"Do you need some help?"
You wonder, "What's wrong with him?"
And he says:
"You just want me to be I ask"

You would want to knock his head
when he conspires with his dad
"Don't give too many choices to Amma..
Like the brick color of the house"

You feel it when he circles
in the kitchen like a fly
That he wants to unload
mushy mushy secrets
of his heart

You know only he could be
So brutally honest
about your hysterics
and lame jokes

You know there is no one
who could drive you up the wall
shoot your BP
higher than him

You fight, you bicker
you hiss, you blackmail
you laugh, you love
You continue
to grow together
With each year....

Wishing you a Hundred more Birthdays and wishing that it only gets better by each year!

May 13, 2018

This is to all my dear busy moms of the world who take guilt trips round the clock. It's Okay!

To those moms
who wake up to a hurricane hit home
whose sink is piled up
with dishes dirty and greasy
It's okay
Home isn't a museum

To those moms
who walk their kids to school
braless, in PJs and flipflops
wrapped in an age-old jacket
It's okay
It's not a photoshoot after all

To those moms
who have to skip PTAs
to meet a project deadline
Who skip field trips
to save the day for a sick child
who miss watching and cheering
Soccer and Basket Ball matches
It's Okay
The kid will survive

To those moms
who run to the stores
for milk and bread or eggs
in unwaxed legs on a Capri
in shabby hair and sunken eyes
It's okay
None but you stayed up late
with a Colicky baby

To those moms
Who are late to work
yet a pit stop at Starbucks
Dialing into daily status calls
Who work from home
eating breakfast at 11 and lunches at 3
It's okay
The Company doesn't run on a person

To those moms
Who pays a late fee
for library books and class photos
It's okay
You aren't harming anyone

To those moms
Who chose career over kids
Who chose kids over career
It's okay
The kid will understand one day

To those moms
who spend half a day
at nails or the spa
who leaves her kids
with a babysitter
to have a drink with her Gfs
It's okay
To do something for yourself

To those moms
Who leave their kids
in India or elsewhere
With grannies or nannies
It's okay
Each have their own battles

To those moms
whose kids succeed
and whose don't
It's okay
Not your fault

To all the moms
who strive day and night
who fight tooth and nail
who put their family first
who eat half their meals
standing or walking
who are mother hens
It's Okay. It's going to be Okay!

April 14, 2018

When I laughed
people said
It sounded like 
goat's bleat
One said 
it sounded like 
the gears of a bus
Few who loved me
loved my laughter too
nonetheless how
hysteric it is
Fun some did
for sure
little did I care
back then and now
for I love to laugh
they way I laugh;

Now a miniature of me
she laughs
the way I do
A goat's bleat again
the same hysterics
the exact wave
of up and down
it flows
through the bones and veins
and echoes
through the walls and hallways
the giggles continue
dawn to dusk
each day she grows
the laughter grows too... 

Wishing the lil devil of laughters a very Happy 9th Birthday!

March 15, 2018

It was the Spring of 2013 when we lived in Folsom. The Maestro was touring the U.S but was performing only in the Bay area and at NJ. Living so close to the bay, how could I miss this opportunity to listen to his orchestra and all of my favourite singers? I pestered my husband to take me. The basic tickets were sold out and only the pricey ones left. He called his friend who was one of the main sponsors to see the availability. His friend said he had given more than 20 tickets to his staff and others the previous day. Had he called one day before... However, he asked us to come and we would get seated somehow. We didn't mind driving more than 120 miles. We went along with a couple of other music lovers. We reached right before the show started. Unlike all Indian programs, it started on time. We got seated on the main floor of the HP Pavilion that held more than 10000 people. We were only a few rows from the stage.

The husband as usual vanishes into the crowd when he is in the Bay Area and I totally didn't mind his absence as I was lost in the magic of Maestro. He turned up after some time that his friend had one pass which is in the 2nd row right opposite to the stage. He had taken me to sit there and that is such an amazing experience which my words fail to describe. The singers I listened growing up, the singers I craved to see and hear them sing live at least once in my lifetime were there, right in front of me. Just a few feet away. It was one of its kind. It didn't seem fair to me to enjoy the spot alone. We all exchanged that spot as if playing musical chairs each for one hour. All of them equally thrilled. The hangover from that evening lingered on me for quite a long time. Each song that Balu, Chitra, and Mano sang pierced through our hearts. Thanks to my husband and his friend for a once in a lifetime experience. I wanted to write a post on this five years back, but it never happened.

A few months later, the big move to Dallas happened. Fortunately, here I got the opportunity to view them more than once and the thirst only increased. I never missed seeing Balu or Chitra sing. However, when the Maestro toured two years back, I was not so interested as I already had my special experience and skipped the show. Last year, when Balu was doing a Grand World Tour celebrating 50 years in singing, it was a chance to not miss. But fate is it, the day before their show in Dallas, the most controversial copyright dispute arose between the Maestro and SPB. Many people had withdrawn from attending the show as the crowds couldn't imagine SPB not singing Raja sir's tunes. We did miss his tunes for sure but Balu sang some beautiful numbers that were forgotten. That's the day I felt, "There's more to music than Ilayaraja". 

The Maestro was touring this year again and there was a show in Dallas. I was quite reluctant to attend as Balu wouldn't be singing and no one sounds the nuances as well as he does. We didn't even bother getting the tickets. But you see, somethings happen for a reason. This time another friend of the husband happens to be the President of a popular Telugu Association and he happens to travel to this concert. The sponsors are a close associate of his friend. After breakfast, they suddenly asked me if I wanted a photograph with Raja sir. Why not? Who would deny? I changed and rushed to greet him at the hotel and then even got a chance to take his autograph me being the only lady present there. 

With influential friends do come some perks... :-) We couldn't refuse the VVIP seats given to us right in the middle, in the front row, opposite the stage. Deep inside, though I was not ready to listen to any other male singer other than Balu sir, I couldn't afford to miss one chance to see my dearest Chitramma sing. I normally am not attracted to taking photographs with any celebrities. But, I never minded taking a picture along with an author or a singer or a painter. I always wanted one picture with Chitra mam but never got a chance. As Paulo Coelho said, "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it". Yes, the Universe did conspire this time. Want to know how? The emcee being my friend called me backstage to help her mom being seated. The security didn't let me as I didn't have the badge. Our important friend came to my rescue again and offered his badge. Voila! There I go and ask mam if I can take a picture and she smiled :) Like a new student going on to the stage to sing, the ever-humble Chitramma was practising within her. How lucky am I to have only her in the backstage while all the other singers were already seated on stage?

The evening went on with an outstanding Orchestra from Budapest and India in a meticulous manner. I don't mean to be rude to the other singers by saying this; Balu sir, you were thoroughly missed. We missed you in each and every single song that was sung by other singers. The nuances and subtleties cannot be expressed by anyone else. There is ONE and ONLY SPB. Your show without Raja sir's music was okay, but Raja sir's music without you is Not Okay!