December 12, 2018

She was there. Before I was born. While I grew up. She was there. She stood there on every occasion as our Mother, Grand Mother, and Godmother of all her siblings, their kids, their siblings, the kids' kids, and their siblings...Being the oldest of eight siblings, she always carried pride, elegance, and charm in her demeanor.

Out of your seven siblings and their kids and grandkids; be it my luck or the bond you share with your youngest sister; you have been there on every single major event of my life, Peddammama. 
You were the first pedda muthaiduvu to adorn my hands with bangles on my bride making ceremony. You were the one to make me seated for my engagement, you always received the first tambulam. For that matter, it coincides that you brought the first wedding proposal to me. I still remember how upset you were when the guy's family didn't respond for a while and how you chided that they send my photos back if the family is not interested in our proposal.

I was always proud that you were the first one to go on a flight when I was my daughter's age. Your stories from Singapore lured us for long years of my childhood. How your sister would boast and I could only see pure joy but not a bit of envy in her eyes. Only you could remember and bring gifts for each and every one of your nieces and nephews. You must have long forgotten what all you bought. The first tiny alarm which had a button to press and not a key. It made the cutest bird sound ever unlike the screechy alarms every one of us carried in our homes. That Gold Citizen watch.. And the Singapore Saris you got for Amma and Chinnakka..I can still remember the color and print on them. Oh boy! They just lasted for a lifetime.

Being the oldest child and the oldest sibling always comes with its own set of perks and drawbacks. Who else knows it better than you? If not for you, how else would pedda mamayya be the family doctor for the entire Moparti Siblings and for generations to come? I always felt sorry for some of your wishes not being fulfilled. I only thought I could have brought her here if she was my own grandma. But what did you not do that my grandma did? I wish I had all the courage, the liberties I have now, back then.  

You longed for people. One phone call and you would rave about it all the time with anyone who visited you. One small visit and it would go for years. I can't forget your amusement on seeing both my kids. We are your sister's grandkids but we were always Jayamma gari santanam. Only you could own certain subtleties. When you were alive, none of us bothered to tell you how much we valued you. I think that's the way of life. We realize and express our feelings only after the person has left us. 

Out of the few pictures of I have of myself; glad to be having some of the most precious ones with you. I know you are no more....I know you won't read this....but I am sure you will hear my ache to touch those wrinkled hands, to take those return gifts you save for us after each function. Your fuss over getting all the fruits plucked and packed for us will be missed. And our trips to Takkellapadu won't be the same again...That feeling of mandatoriness will be replaced by a new Vaccum. Why I write this now? Because I am not sure if I will lead a long life like you, if I will have your memory..I am afraid I will forget telling the stories of these memories to my grandkids....May you live the same grand life in heaven till we reach you one day! With all the love you have showered on us, we are truly blessed to share your legacy. 



 On my bride making ceremony...When I was in
an age when I just nodded my head to what has
to be done next....
Four Generations!


pedda: Oldest
Tambulam: Tambulam
Santanam : Offspring
mamayya: Maternal Uncle
Muthaiduvu: A married woman whose husband is alive

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"
"why?"
"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?"
"So?"
"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!
See...ads 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
nonchalantly
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 busy..so 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!