Everyday Magic

When I woke up this morning, there was snow on the patch of grass we call lawn, and across the street the neighbors were removing loads of it  from their cars. So I got into my penguin suit and waddled out to shovel.

OMG! No snow and no ice atop my car.. it just looked freshly washed. What an incredible surprise. What amazing grace is this, today is going to be great, I feel invincible…this is the first time I’ve actually seen a miracle.. I’m singing!

But, why, why, why.. just can’t let go…….wind direction? heat generated when the car next door was getting warmed? Ok.. got it, I must have reached home last night after most of the snow had fallen. Whew! I knew it had to be simple.

Now you see, blessed are those who don’t seek scientific explanations, for they can see magic in everyday life.


An American Dream(girl)

One of the most lovable people in my life, is Luda, the ever cheerful lady who helps keep my house clean and tidy. Luda, Ludmilla Onishehnko, is a 57 year old Ukranian, who immigrated to the US eight years ago. She was an economist in her country, but, as she says in her inimitable style “Russia -economist:no job, no money; America-I clean– I food.”.

I feel she must have been a good economist too because, her work ethic and personal standards are so high in service- I don’t think she knows how to be anything less than excellent. I’d say we maintain some level of tidiness during the week, in honor of her efforts. Continue reading An American Dream(girl)


I have to confess this, I believe LISTs.

If I am given any information in the form of a numbered list, especially if it is a link from a blog or article, I will unquestioningly believe that it is well researched by experts, that it is agenda free and is accurate. I will, against my own reason and logic use the list to make choices, persuade others and also adjust my self esteem by the viewpoint in the list.                                                                                                                                     list

For example, this fall, you can see me wonderstruck at the kids who get into the Top Colleges listed by US News and Princeton Review. It doesn’t seem to make a difference that I know that their methodology is similar to ranking marriages based on how beautiful the bride looked on her wedding day. I agonize that my kid will certainly pick one of the subjects listed “Most useless Majors for a career”. [BTW, English and Philosophy lead this list. Never mind Hank Paulson, Michael Reisner, Carly Fiona and Toni Morrison, are all English majors.] My dentist’s waiting room read includes “Most well dressed men in the WORLD” by Joan XoXo of Dishrag magazine. Continue reading Listomania


There are people whose interaction with
the world is ever so light,
like the faint scent of the thumba  that blooms near the fence,
like the rainbow hued bubble that wafts up from the papaya pipe in the afternoon breeze,
or the veena on the radio late at night-set low so as not wake anyone else,
their presence is gentle, their influence on the everyday hardly noticed,
And yet when they go, they leave an abyss in you.  


Ananthapuri 2012

Remembering the pleasant changes in Trivandrum this summer…

The Malayali has finally discovered travel, local as well as international. Loved Yatra, the beautifully produced travel quarterly that details local gems, as well as foreign lands that the superstar recommends.

After years of just showcasing their licenses, women have taken to driving and how! [ No snide remarks, please] Thank you friends, sisters, nieces and aunts for the rides.

Government control on plastic bags. Superlike the salesman at Jayaram Bakery, who coolly taught the NRI yuppie about why we shouldn’t use plastic.

Continue reading Ananthapuri 2012

Next of Kin

After some time I realize that the telephone in this yellow room is actually a one legged, man eating monster.

The nine numbered eyes are now closed but they are extensible, they can follow me behind the bathroom door and reduce me to dust or volcanic ash. Any moment now the mouth may open in a fearsome cry to spew venom and fire. I turn my back and walk away, singing aloud to distract myself. But the coiled spring arms pull me back, to look at it, and nowhere else. So, I start this lullaby of chants forgotten long ago…”sleep, sleep, don’t wake up.”….

I know one way to keep it quiet, at least for a while.

With sweaty palms and feet, I screw up courage and walk towards it, and dial 5-3-7.

Physics Lessons at Home

Relativity:  Six weeks is a very short time when you are taking a break from work.

Law of Conservation of Stress: The total stress you can handle is a constant. If you are not working ,it simply redistributes to fill the fewer responsibilities you have.

Newton’s Law of Heating : The rate at which conversations with yist2_438134-cartoon-explosions (1)our teenager heat up is directly proportional to the number of hours you have to meddle in her business.

Continue reading Physics Lessons at Home

10 Harry Potter Spells I Could Use

Accio:  To fetch car keys, identity cards , homework etc without a search operation.

Confundo: To use on teachers, customers etc when homework is not done, deliverables are not ready etc.

Expelliarmus: To use against opposition before any negotiation.

Homonem Revelio:  To use at the USCIS,  in banks etc to find out if there is at least one human being left at the counters

Locomotor: Obviously, to get heavy furniture and book bags of children up the stairs.

Muffliato: To discuss proposals, finances etc in crowded cafes, can also be used to have full blown quarrel in public.

Obliviate: To forget.. When things are really bad. [ Seems better than substance abuse]

Riddikkulus:  To see monster-under-the- bed, the angry boss and snooty in laws , for what they really are.

Sliencio: To use on the loud cell phone user in the next seat.

And of course,
The Room of Requirement: To find bathrooms instantly when traveling with small children.

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