Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wild, Wonderful

Friday rush hour treated us kindly. Well, atleast it didn’t batter us. It was a dream come true for Chip. He got back from school, ate some fruit and was getting dressed to go out for a car ride. Life can’t get better than that for Chip. My mom had already packed our bags. I readied Chip’s dinner, loaded our car, caught up with our friends and drove away to Chip’s “Choo-Choo Train” chanting.

West VA is wilderness in your back yard. We sped away from the choked Washington DC suburbs into single lane roads that led into small towns and villages where it was impossible to find vegetarian food for me and my mom. We finally found a sandwich chain and ate there. It is impossible for anyone to feed dinner to Chip when we are out. He gets so exited, that he barely eats. I was still in a terrible shape from the strep, so I shoved down a small sandwich for the sake of antibiotics, guzzled some benadryl and was nicely knocked out by the time we hit the road again.

When I woke up we were still driving. Chip had fallen asleep, with his beloved truck book on his lap.

“Where are we?” I asked groggily.
There were three families traveling. Us, K, his wife (KW) and their five year old son (KK) who were in the car in front of us and Z and his wife(ZW) in the car behind us.

“In West Virginia”, he replied. It was 11:00pm. There was a thunderstorm outside and the pitch black darkness of the night was interrupted with huge streaks of lightening. We were driving on a small road which ended in a T-junction. We made a left and started driving right through a corn field. The directions told you to go through a cornfield???? Let me see the directions. I said. We are using maps, replied BigGeek and K was using the GPS on his phone until the signal died.

Here we were in a cornfield, with no cell phone signal, no definite directions of where we were going in what is the Bihar of USA, where people just disappear sometimes. And yes, no gun either.

I don’t think getting your car would have helped. BigGeek was saying. My car has a built in GPS which makes life so much simpler. And, even if you briefly loose satellite signal (like in a tunnel) it has a series of gyroscopes that determine the position and orientation of the car on the map. The log cabin had no postal address. It had a mile marker address. So, the GPS could not plot a route. The website had given two routes and the adventurous guys had chosen the “alternate route”. Nobody had thought of making an old-fashioned print out and the log cabin website could not be accessed, because, none of our handhelds and crackberries had a signal.

Get some rest, sweetie. BigGeek said. I dozed off again for an hour. When I woke up, Chip was still asleep and we were in the middle of a mountainous road. It was 12:45 am. Wow, quite a drive I thought. How far are the cabins from the state park BigGeek was asking. About 12-15 miles. Then we are off by about 40 miles. Cass is about 50 miles away. WHAT? BigGeek signaled other cars to stop. We need to go back, BigGeek was saying. So we made a (rather dangerous) U-turn and headed back to Cass. If anything there would atleast be a police station where we could ask for directions. As we neared Cass, BigGeek realized what had happened. At a T-junction, we made a right instead of a left. So, we kept driving to the other side and sure enough in 20 mins, we saw signs to our log cabins. YIPEEE!

Chip waits for train to arrive

Here comes the train

No Chips for Grandmom and Daddy
Day's end - playing rummy at log cabin

Monday, July 30, 2007

West VA

Got back late last night. Will upload pics and a bit of narrative later today.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Birthday Bashes

Growing up, kids’ birthdays in our household were a simple affair. I must have had 3, maybe 4 birthday parties, my brother a little more that that; the majority of our birthdays being “my days”. For me, that meant not drinking milk, not eating my veggies, watching as much TV as I wanted, and eating unlimited amounts of mango ice cream and bhel. And birthdays were the days we most looked forward to.

My mother, a school teacher, did not agonize over parties and themes, invitation lists and entertainment. If I wanted, I was allowed to invite as many friends as our dining table could seat (which sat 6, then 4 when we bought a smaller table), but most of the time I was content to just go about my day, wear new clothes my mom got made for me and perhaps invite my best-friend-for-ever for a giggle fest on the front steps in the evening.

The gifts were simple. A pair of cheap earrings that my friends’ moms usually bought somewhat in bulk at a discount to be dished out at such times, handkerchiefs, socks (yes, socks), haircuts, water bottles, pencil boxes, ribbons to tie my hair in (always a spool of red, for school and another, more fancier one), and later when I stared college, a tube of lipstick, cologne, a week of free chai in the canteen.

But the simpler birthdays seem to have been morphed into something else these days. Most of the parties that I had been to in the last few years had way more guests than the birthday child’s age, were elaborately catered, some with an open bar, had some sort of an entertainment (magician, horse rides, DJ and such) or were done at a children’s entertainment facility. At the parties, the children themselves ended up being puzzled, bored, cranky and sleepy as over dressed mothers tried to shove spicy food down their gullets. A friend confessed to me that to her 3yr. old, birthday parties were just about getting a goodie-bag.

A bunch of parents in Minnesota, tired of the birthday extravaganza started a website called Birthdays Without Pressure. Their section – Keeping gifts out of control – has some good suggestions like – Give your child one nice present instead of several. Explain that the party itself is part of the present. But I have a problem with eliminating gifts altogether and donating to charity instead as another suggestion goes. It’s a kid’s birthday after all. As Judith Martin (of Miss Manners) points out: “They’d be much better off getting together with the other parents and agreeing on very small presents.” Besides, she noted, children learn valuable lessons giving gifts they would rather keep for themselves — and saying thank you even for things they do not like. The last part is especially important. I have given a few gifts to kids that have been tossed aside, not acknowledged, or acknowledged with a scowl or “I don’t like this” – much to my horror. This New York Times article (free subscription required) sums it up, although it seems to favor the no-gifts-let's-donate-instead approach.

Has kids birthday scene in India morphed similarly? What kind of birthday parties do you throw for your kids?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Up, up and away

or so I hope. A bunch of friends and BigGeek, Chip, me and my mom are planning a weekend getaway to West Virginia for the weekend. We plan to see the Cass Railroad- a steam powered railroad that still runs-only if for tourists like us. Chip is crazy about trains, and does not think the DC metro or the NY subway are real trains. So I am hoping he has a blast riding a real train!! The lodging near the railroad park is a log cabin owned by the Elk River Inn and is I think without internet access. The main inn may have a wi-fi, but I haven't asked. I hope my strep gets better and the Friday rush hour treats us kindly.


Worse today than yesterday. Will try and do a post later. Chip is at school, BigGeek at work, mother and mois watching the hallmark channel :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Gender Bender #2

First the point about abortion that Kodi’s mom raised. Non-Indian citizens cannot adopt Indian children. They can get legal custody of the child, but they have to bring him/her to their country to adopt. The process is pretty convoluted compared to other countries. More here.

Rational Fool raises some important questions and I agree with RF and Usha: yes the mindset needs to be changed. But also, as RF points out, this has been deeply entrenched and is indeed an uphill task that may take many generations. But I can’t say I agree with them when they say one act of abortion is less heinous than the other. Hopefully I haven't missed what they were trying to say. If one reason (say, Down’s syndrome) is good enough, they all are. Also, I have no reason to believe that abortions in the US are skewed towards girls.

The beliefs that cause female abortions/infanticides are cultural and religious, and while throwing away gods- however misogynistic they may be (RF) -has a personal appeal; it is hardly a viable solution. And, what will fill the vacuum left behind? Economic independence might help put a distance between religious beliefs and practices, but as Noon says, the mindset seems to be independent of class. They may not practice infanticide, but yes, the bias is there. Noon, may be fifty years ago, girls in US were encouraged to be good wives and mothers, but not so anymore. There certainly wasn’t any female infanticide even when women rarely sought a life beyond their homes.

This is obviously not an easy issue. Which is precisely the reason we haven’t arrived at a solution yet. As Vidhur says, we all must do what we can. My mother and aunt both taught their maid’s kids, paid for their school, books, clothes. Battled the old crones in maids’ households and encouraged the daughters to get a job and not get married at 13. My mom and aunt let these people peep into our lives and helped them be what we were.

Bugs, bugs everywhere

I am down with a strep throat and at home. I suspect Chip passed those on to me. Thanks for insightful comments on the Gender Bender. Some great points raised there. Will try and do a summary today if antibiotics show their magic, else tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Gender Bender

Found a link this and this through this.

Police in Orissa found an abandoned well with fetuses and baby body parts that point to female infanticide and gender based abortion. Before you read further, here are the disclaimers:

1. If these are female infanticides, these are despicable acts. And Criminal too.
2. If these are forced abortions, ditto.
3. This is not a troll post.
4. If you don’t believe in certain inalienable rights, don’t read more.

I will not deal with female infanticide and forced abortions, since legally, morally and ethically speaking, those are easy to resolve. The trickier issue is to understand and deal with female fetus abortions permitted by the mother. What mother would do that to her child, we ask in shock. Looking from the mother’s perspective, we get a different view altogether. What sort of life will her unborn daughter lead, she asks herself. A life of constant hunger, hard work, zero dignity, unhappiness, hopelessness and despair. A life in hell that she is living right now.

What mother would want that for a child? The mother thinks she is saving a child from all this. And she would not be wrong. This will prolly shock many, but I don’t see anything wrong with it. Abortions are legal in India, and demographic aspects aside, the mother has made the decision for entirely rational and practical reasons. From her point of view, she is doing the right thing.

But, surely a child is more than banal practicalities, I hear you reprimand me. They give us joy and all we need to do is to educate the mothers and fathers and grandpas and grandmas and the aunts and sisters and the brothers-in-law till they see what we see. A girl is just as much treasure as a boy. But it isn’t. For a whole host of reasons cited else where and those we already now. This is where they have drawn the line. Accept Boy, reject Girl. It’s that simple.

By now, I suppose I am completely black listed. But wait. We all draw lines. The question is where. Let me give you an example. A majority of the abortions done in the US are the result of a fetal abnormality such as Neural Tube defect or Down’s syndrome. Your routine prenatal visits cover these tests, typically in the 20th week. BigGeek and I had decided to have the child, no matter what. There are tons of parents who will tell you what a joy their Down’s child brings them. That they can lead fairly normal lives. But nobody listens. Most choose to terminate. Why? Because this is not what they wanted for a child or for themselves. They keep telling themselves it is the right thing to do, the child will be miserable and so on and so forth, justifying their decision.

And then there are those, to whom having a child at that point in time is just inconvenient- career wise, lifestyle wise. “We want to enjoy life as a couple for a little more time.” We have all heard that. How is this any less despicable than willfully terminating a girl fetus?

I think the only true solution to female infanticide and female fetus abortion is to give practical solutions. Let’s start by changing the International Adoption laws in India. It is nearly impossible for international parents (who are not Indian citizens) to adopt an Indian child today. I know in the US alone there are long lines at adoption agencies to get a baby. The adoptive families will be happy to give a sum of money to the mother of the girl child for her routine medical care, food etc, along with footing any other medical bills and then some. Isn’t this a sensible solution?

Look at the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram link in the sidebar of this blog. BigGeek and I “adopted” a girl from there when Chip was born. We pay a yearly sum for all her expenses. Food, medical care, clothes, books, school. Everything. She lives with her biological parents, but they don’t have to spend a dime on her. The institute send us a report on how she is doing etc. More organizations like these would help too. Don't you think? Do you have other practical solutions to share?

I often wonder if there were in-utero tests to detect stupidity, homosexuality, depression, terminal childhood disease, what would you do? Where will you draw the line?

Updated: Watch Gattaca

Chip Update

He is better. Ate a bit. Still not going to school. Cried his hear out because he wanted to. Maybe tomorrow. What will I do when my Mom leaves next week?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Potter Mania

I am prolly the only person in the whole wide world who
1. Did not pre-order a copy
2. Did not stand line in snaking lines
3. Is not in any way interested in

the whole Harry Potter new book (The Deathly Hallows). I have never liked fantasy. Never got into Harry Potter and abandoned the series after reading the first two and the beginning of the third. I am sure people have excellent reasons for liking Potter, but I was never the one for it and just can’t understand the Potter Mania. Question: Was such mania seen when Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings was first published or when Chronicles or Narnia made to the book stores? Who is the target audience for the Potter books? If its tween-to-teen, why are the books do damn dark? If they are targeted to the younger professional, why are they so damn shallow? I grew up reading Famous Five, Malory Towers and St.Clares as a child, but eventually moved onto to other writers.

Jenny Bristow from Spiked makes a point here

Okay, so it's good that children read books - and we can assume, for the sake of argument, that they could do with reading more of them. But the excitement surrounding Potter indicated just how far our expectations have fallen. Not so very long ago, it was not considered enough for children just to read books -
they had to be good books. For example, the very fact that kids enjoyed the
Famous Five led to the suspicion that Blyton was brain-rot, and the compulsion
to teach Narnia in class.

For all the original artificial hype of Potter's
literary qualities, it is self-evident that their readability, not their
quality, is what made them popular with children. Yet while Enid Blyton was
actively resisted by school libraries in the past, on the grounds that it might
distract from the better quality stuff, Rowling's equivalent has all but formed
the basis of English exams.

Would you still be OK, if your kids like Harry Potter in their twenties?

More than a cold

Sorry for the lack of umm.. new posts. Chip's cold was more than that. I took him to the doctor after his fever went to a 104F. There were the beginnings of an ear infection, bronchitis and a suspected walking pneumonia. So he's on antibiotics, fever reducers, decongestants and ofcourse the albuterol for the asthma. Poor, poor Chip. I wasn't too thrilled about the antibiotics, but the p-word scared me enough.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tis not a season for cold

but Chip has one. Quite bad too. When I picked him at his daycare yesterday, his forehead was hot. I gave him some Infant's Motrin, but by 10:00, he had a high temperature. The Braun ear thermometer was all I could find and that one is so unreliable. So at 10:30 last night I made a trip to the local Safeway to get some children's Tylenol and a decent (read regular) thermometer. They only had a $15.00 SpongeBob one and I had no choice but to buy it. (BigGeek liked the tune it played)

Chip had a rough night. He kept waking up and talking utter nonsense and kept telling BigGeek to start the lawnmower. He threw up, we changed sheets, gave him another dose of Tylenol and he finally went to sleep at 3:30 am.

Obviously he did not go to daycare today. My mom's watching him. He still has a temperature. Poor guy. He hasn't eaten all day. Hope he feels better soon.

Nanny #2

Friday morning, Chip was up before I left for work. Berket was already in the kitchen looking at the day’s menu, making sure she knew her way around the unfamiliar pantry. She greeted Chip with a big smile and held out her ample arms and Chip dived right into them. With Chip in her arms, she limped to the big picture window and Chip waved me bye-bye as I drove to work.

The following week, things had settled. BigGeek was back to working unearthly hours, juggling work commitments and his MBA classes. So, late one evening, when I had done my song-and-dance routine with Chip, read him a book, fed him dinner and put him to bed, I asked Berket if she would like a glass of wine. She hesitated, and then accepted a small glass. BigGeek was away in Charlottesville for his MBA classes. I finally felt our life had slipped into a mundane rhythm again. Between tiny sips of a very dry Pinot Grigio, Berket told me what happened to her leg. It was a long story, she cautioned me.

The agency had given me a short bio. Berket held a nanny position in Dubai for almost two years, and then in South Africa for about six months. Had a 10 yr old son. She spoke her native Tigriniya, some Arabic, that she picked up in Dubai, a little Swahilli and of course English, but not so perfectly and with a thick accent. Her US asylum papers had just been approved.

I don’t remember which part of Eritrea she came from. There had been a misunderstanding, she told me. Between Eritrea and Ethiopia, which had resulted in her being deported to Eritrea while her young son stayed back in Ethiopia with her husband’s family. She was Eritrean, her husband Ethiopian. The match had not been blessed by either families and they had eloped. The families had broken off all contact with them, but grudgingly made good when she produced a grandchild. She was happy then. When her son was five or six, her husband had passed away. They had been married eight years.

I did not know what made me more speechless. The matter-of-fact narration or the sheer wretchedness of her situation. But there was more. This had proven to be just the beginning of her long journey.

Unable to return to Ethiopia, Berket persuaded a sister living in Kenya to bring her son there. She traveled to Kenya, but could not find worthwhile work. Then, she decided to go to Dubai and worked for an Arab family as a nanny and housekeeper.

“They had a jewellery shop. Gold.” Her eyes lit up. She had made good money there and ended up buying lots of gold. “Five thousand dollars of gold. Chains, bracelets, earrings, coins.” I was stunned by the money she had made. But then she had lost her job and her visa had expired, so she decided to go to South Africa. “Why there?” I asked. “It’s a good place. I found a job with old persons hospital. But money, not so good as Dubai.” She had worked there more than six months, picked up English and a little Swahilli, saved money and paid a South African coyote to take her to the US.

“How much do they charge?” I asked. One only heard of the coyotes in the news.
“Ten thousand” she replied.
“Ten thousand Rands?
“No, No”, she shook her head. She was laughing at my naïveté . “Ten Thousand US Dollars.”
“Wow. That much? What did that include?” I wondered if she had asked questions like that to the coyote. How do you find these coyotes anyway? Where did she find the money?

“I got a discount. The man was my boyfriend’s friend. Everything is in the price. Papers, tickets, money to pay guards, hotel, food. Everything, everything they take care. You only follow.” Like a tour guide. The hotels were booked, the airfare paid for, the buses, cars, and trucks all in place.

From South Africa, she had taken a flight to Rio De Janerio, Brazil. They stayed a night in the hotel and the next day, began a long road trip to Venezuela. Then to Columbia. They stopped at night fall, slept at a hotel and the journey began again in the morning. From Columbia onwards, she was unsure how they got to Honduras. But a few days later she knew she was in Honduras, where she was robbed.

“I sold all my gold to pay the man. Only 1 earring, 2 chains and 1 bracelet was left.” The one chain kept in her purse went missing in Honduras. “I don’t know how. It was there in the morning, at night it was gone.” From Honduras to Mexico. From a small town in Mexico, they walked to the border. "It was all desert. Very hot. We walked and walked”. For one whole day and at nightfall they crossed into Texas.

“There was a wall. I had to jump. It was very dark. I fell and broke my leg.” She was gently massaging her still swollen leg.


“We had to walk. Stopping was not allowed. We walked for 5-6 hours more before wereached a town." The coyote that guided them through the last leg disappeared. She had a little money; she called her sister and brother who worked in a restaurant in Maryland. They sent her a plane ticket. Finally in Maryland was she able to see a doctor, get her leg fixed, then a lawyer to file for political asylum. The doctors had put steel rods, the damage was extensive. She was lucky to not have lost the leg. For six months she could not walk.

“I had so much hope. Come to America, make money, get my son here. But I lost my leg.” There were no tears, no sadness. Just a matter of fact acceptance of her situation and a gratitude to have a brother and sister to put a roof over your head and food on the table.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Nanny #1

Let’s call her Asrat. Asrat from Addis Ababa. She was the first the nanny agency had me interview. Had taught kindergarten before, had two grown up daughters, fluent English, had also traveled to Wales twice for an art course. She left within three weeks. No notice. The joke was that Chip’s birthday balloons lasted longer than the nanny. She said she had some personal work and asked for a morning off. I agreed and she never came back. Left back her clothes and shoes. I was seething then. And in tears.

Asrat had two daughters. One was 19, the younger one 18. Her husband had sought political asylum and she and the younger daughter followed Asrat’s husband to the US. Why not the older one too, I asked. She hesitated. Slightly ashamed to have asked this personal question, I kept quiet.

“My husband refused to file for her. She is not his”, she said quietly.

It took me a while to understand what that meant.

“Would that be a problem?” she was asking me.

For what, I wanted to know.

“Her asylum papers, she has to file separately now.”

I was not familiar with US Asylum laws, I told her. But as long as she had a birth certificate, she should be ok.

“Even, if there is no father’s name? We were not married.”

The US government doesn’t care.

“No?” she was incredulous. “It’s different in Ethiopia.”

Although completely unacquainted with Ethiopian legal system, I found it hard to believe it was illegal to have children out of wedlock there.

“I don’t think there is a law” she said. “But people look at you.”

The US government doesn’t care.

I told her she would need a lawyer. But that would not be a problem. I would find her a lawyer who did charity work, so that she did not have to pay.

A week later, another request. She had decided to do the paperwork herself and was asking me for help to write a letter. What sort of a letter, I asked.

“Something to explain how she is not safe in Addis Ababa.” So we wrote about how gangsters from the rival tribal gang were persecuting her oldest, how she was not safe among the crude bombs, the shootings and the assaults. How she could not get a job or even she did manage to get one, it would be impossible to commute to work. I told her to see the lawyer before she filed.

The following Sunday, when she came, she was upset. She needed to get a second job. Ok. I said. I can ask my friends if they needed occasional baby sitting or house cleaning done.

On Wednesday, she left. I had tried calling her, and then tried calling her younger daughter. The nanny agency later informed me she had taken a job with a local Target. They did not have weekend positions. She had to work weekdays to get weekends and she had agreed. The agency would need a day to find a replacement, since this was so sudden. There were apologies, but my only worry was Chip would have to go through another period of adjustment.

BigGeek and I both had to be at work the next day and an incredibly kind friend took Chip in and watched him. Her husband stayed home to help. In the evening, the agency called and said they had found a temporary nanny.

“Why temporary?” I asked. Surely if we liked her, she could stay.
“She has a leg problem” they said.

Late on Thursday evening, Berket arrived. Chip was already asleep. The woman from the agency went upstairs to gather Asrat’s clothes and shoes while I talked to Berket.

Things I learnt from Asrat:

  • They speak Amharic in Ethiopia, not Ethiopian. I learned later that Amharic is a semitic language. Who knew?
  • Raw beef, Kitfo, is a delicacy.

My son's nannies

They say truth is stranger than fiction. Before Chip started daycare two months ago, he had a nanny. So, why is this interesting? Not because he had three nannies in the span of one year, but that the nannies had incredible stories to share. They all came from Ethiopia/Eritrea, the region most of us associate with the 120 sec. slot on the BBC World News, famine and despair. In the following posts, I'll recount the fascinating journeys these women took and how they came to be Chip's nannies and why they left. Ofcourse, their names and certain details about them will be changed to preserve privacy.


Did not quite expect comments, just yet, but hey, a l'il encouragement would be nice :)

Chip's School Problem - II

The teacher was concerned if Chip was OK, but no apologies came gushing. Alright, I can live with that, right? My son's well adjusted, seems to like the teachers. The NeighborLady told me to move Chip to another location (same school). I doubt things will be different there. Big Geek says all schools are just the same. No difference. With a teacher to kid ratio of 10:1, it must be get overwhelming for the teachers too. Hopefully next year I can move Chip to the NiceMontessori.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Problem with Chip's School

So, there was this not so little problem yesterday at Chip's school. He is two and goes to a daycare/preschool around the corner. Chip rarely eats breakfast in school, but yesterday he ate pancakes. Which would not be a problem , but he is allergic to eggs. And the school knows it.

When I went to pick him up at 4:30 in the afternoon, Chip's face was slightly swollen and he had hives. When I got home, I looked at the daily report (which said he ate pancakes) and called the school. The most disconcerting thing was that not only nobody noticed his hives, but nobody would own up to the mistake after I called.

I am reluctant to change schools because Chip likes his teachers and has adjusted to his new environment, but I am at a loss on how to deal with the situation. Do I write to the director? Have a meeting with the principal? Would any of this mean my son will be treated differently? Or should I just hope everybody has learnt something from this and cross my fingers and hope for the best?

Monday, July 16, 2007

About me

What is ‘Karma Calling’ about?
It’s a record of our life, our thoughts and our many adventures as they unfold. A chronicle of our pasts and a wish list of the future, a commentary of the present.

Who is ‘we’ ?
BigGeek – The husband. A true renaissance man. Metal head. Connoisseur of single-malts. Crazy about sound and sound engineering. Enjoys photography. Likes scifi and comics. A real Big Geek.

DotMom – The wife. A bohemian at heart. Musically inclined. Enjoys listening to Bach, Kishori Amonkar, Dreamtheater, Steve Morse Band. Likes to cook, bake and garden. Enjoys photography. Likes to write. Enjoys literary fiction. Writes this blog.

Chip – The Offsping. Chip off the block. Rambunctious. In the throes of his terrible two's. Has his mother’s nose and father’s ears. Is the very definition of a Sears' High Need Child.

Why does DotMom blog?
It’s therapeutic. It’s fun. It’s also very addictive. But mostly because she hopes one day Chip and his children and their children will read it. A bequest of sorts.

Dot Mom Trivia

Sign: Taurus
Religion: Non-practicing Hindu
Ethnicity : Indian
Personality: Free Wheeling Builder
Language spoken at home: Marathi
Lives : In Loudoun County, VA. About 26 miles west of Washington DC.
Currently Reading: A Bend in the River – V.S. Naipaul
Books that left a mark (in no particular order)

  • The Inheritance of Loss – Kiran Desai
  • The Castle – Franz Kafka
  • The sea, the sea – Iris Murdoch
  • Butter Chicken in Ludhiana – Pankaj Mishra
  • The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge – Carlos Castenada
  • Surely you must be joking, Mr.Feynman – Richard Feynman
  • Changing – Liv Ullman
  • Chronicle of a death foretold - Gabriel García Márquez
  • Flatland - Edwin Abbott Abbott
  • Fountain Head – Ayn Rand
  • Asaa Mee Asaa Mee (Marathi) – P.L. Deshpande

Movies that left an impression (in no particular order)

  • Persona - Ingmar Bergman
  • Pi - Darrel Arnofsky
  • Monty Python and the holy grail – Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones
  • Twelve Angry Men – Sidney Lumet
  • Pulp fiction – Quentin Tarantino
  • Matrix – Wachowski Bros.
  • Blood Diamond – Edward Zwick
  • Shantata! Court Chaloo Aahe (Marathi) – Saytadev Dubey
  • Sparsh (Hindi)– Sai Paranjpe
  • Sanskara (Kannada)– P.R. Reddy

Can be reached at todotmom at gmail dot com

Here it comes.

The first post. The scary step. So, what is this blog about? Its about a very ordinary wife and mother stumbling through a very ordinary life. Like many before her have done. Trying to walk that precarious line of working outside the home and still trying to give her undivided attention to everybody around her. Trying to make new friends and keep the old ones. Being a parent and a good one too. Figuring out where it wrong and where it went right. Wondering, how it all comes together. As Marcus Aurelius would say, 'Our life is what our thoughts make it.'