Friday, February 6, 2015


A sleepy good morning, a sloppy kiss, a couple of reminders to turn the shower off. Finding a sock, packing a box and coaxing to have one more bite of the toast. The diurnal charades of filling lunches and matching hairbands with the Tees have lost their charm in their eternal continuity. What I really want is a steaming hot cup of tea and a place by the window to soak in the delights. There used to be days when all this was fun, the frantic mornings; not anymore.

The backpack is ready, shoelaces are tied, not a short time has passed since the alarm was turned off, yet the steaming cup of tea, still eludes me. Not that I am particularly fond of all the other chores, what I absolutely detest these days is the dropping off part. Hardly a two minute walk from the home to the school, but I am ready to give it up for a moment to be alone.

“Mommy, it’s time to go” she pulls my hand and leads me to the door. Without a word I fall in step, a rhythm that has been hard to break. Her hand no longer that of a small child, unconsciously looks for and grips mine. A fierce hug and half a goodbye, always a glance back as she rushes through the school doors. She has grown taller, a year older and wiser too. I yearn to catch my breath, before the sibling stands in tow, expecting her to walk on her own, just like a bunch of classmates. Instead I see a little girl, stubbornly refusing to grow up.

One such morning, we walk hand in hand. Half a year has passed and an alteration takes place. She races through the doors without a reverse scan. With a sharp pain I realized she was ready to leave me behind.

Today, as I see it now, is not the same as that day. Mornings are still chaotic but I am glad to hear the shout that tells me it was time to step out. The soft hand that pulls me along, sways side by side, playful and earnest, without a hesitating halt. And every moment is precious because its end is so near.

She takes a stride, a bit too long, making the walk even shorter by long. She hugs me swiftly, an eye already someplace else, and all I see is my little girl, growing up way too fast. I wish I could hold on, just one second more, or re-live those million moments starting the day we brought her home. But call it a miracle or call it a curse, what is done for once, cannot be un-done.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

De-clutter, Simplify and Play More Scrabble

Either declaring your new resolution is becoming a thing of the past just like writing letters is or you have to be Mark Zuckerberg for people to take notice. But I shouldn't complain because it is actually the public admittance of his New Year resolution that led me to think about mine. For those who are not too much into celebrity lives, his resolution for the year was to start a book club and as can be expected from a man of action, it is already online. Wait, why are we even talking about a book club, particularly since I am ahead of him on that one.

Going back to resolutions, I much prefer to call them ‘things I would like to do this year’; sounds casual and definitely less resolute. And when I sat down to think of those things, not much came to mind, don’t know whether it is a good thing or a bad one. But then I looked around me (both literally and philosophically) and bam!, I knew what I needed to do this year. It wasn't anything as life changing as a book club, but came close.


Now, de-clutter may sound like a single word but it actually implies a bi--fold action. One, you get rid of the junk possessed, two, you stop buying stuff. The first part of the solution requires some effort but is doable. The second part is another story. When a woman embarks on a ‘clean up the house and tidy my closet’ mission, don’t be fooled. All the enthusiasm garnered is simply because there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Which is, you get rid of old stuff (which may sometimes not be very old) and buy new. The idea behind creating some space is never for it to remain that way. Just like relationships, you create space to fill it up in near future.

So, on top of my list is to de-clutter but what makes it different from the humdrum is that I am going to NOT buy after tidying up. How difficult it is to do that? Extremely. Ok, not all women are fond of shopping but this particular woman is. By deciding not to buy anything but the bare essentials for the next three months, I may as well be signing off on free retail therapy (it’s not free if you think in terms of money spent on things bought, but it is free if you think of it as money not spent on therapy).

Yes, god and a mortal are my witnesses; this year is going to be about making full use of resources that are at disposal. There will of course come a time when the spaces cleared will need to be filled up, but this year is not that year. And if I am starting off with 3 months it is because the first rule of making resolutions is to make them attainable. If all goes as planned, I will have a lot to shop for next year.


This one is for the soul. It hasn't been a deliberate effort to have one for the purse, one for the soul and one for the mind. Trust me, no deeper thought has gone into it, just the way things turned out to be.

We always say, do your best and leave it at that. But it hardly ever happens that way does it. We will do our best and then analyze what went wrong. Or worse, doubt if that was the best we could come up with. We make commitments and agonize over them. We reject proposals and suffer from pangs of guilt. We miss out on opportunities and forever keep thinking what if. This is especially true for people like me who think more and do less. But it is never too late to make the switch and this year I am hoping will be that year. I have promised myself not to mull over things for too long. Over thinking may have its advantages but it’s not working out for me.  The key to happiness they say is to keep it simple.

And to prove that I mean business, this part of the post ends right here.

Play more scrabble

After all that intense physical (de-clutter) and soul searching (simplify) work that I have set myself up for this year, a little bit of fun would be totally justified. To call scrabble a mere game is actually not fair, it should be listed under one of the ‘writers’ tools’, especially if the players are in the habit of consulting the dictionary while playing. I know, defeats the purpose of the game, but definitely helps improve vocabulary and gets you points which you are otherwise not capable of earning on merit. Wait, did I just propagate cheating?

The whole paragraph of looking for ways to have fun may very well be ignored. Here are the hard facts. I was recently made aware of the joys of playing scrabble online. I am now officially addicted and sometimes play with a million random opponents long after everybody in the house is sound asleep. Putting it up as a New Year resolution takes a little bit of the guilt off and validates playing even when there are other important things to do like reaching school at a particular time for pick up. I have been a whole 5 minutes late once because I needed to come with a word without vowels. If it makes you feel any better, yes, I admit, that was a foolish thing to do.

Happy New Year!