The long road HOME

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In less than a week, my son will step foot on the land that is a part of me. This city that defines me, the cacophony that am at ease with and the roots that I cling on to. He will see for the first time the walls that I grew up in, the roads I travelled and the extended family that raised me.

He is still too young to understand India – The myriad contradictions, the restricting culture, the frustrating traditions and the free flowing banter that borders on the offensive. But he will be old enough to get kissed every time a pair of hands pick him up, the affection that envelops him like a cozy quilt on a cold day, the aromas that linger from his parents childhood, the granny who wants to nestle him on her lap with her fingers lacing through his hair singing sweet lullabies.

His arrival will be celebrated like Diwali,his grandparents will wait on him hand and foot. The auto drivers will willingly take him on a drive, the flower lady will deliver extra garlands just for him to rip, the fruit vendor will give him bananas for free just by patting his cheek wishing him to grow fat, even the Ganesha in the corner will bat his lashes welcoming him home. Babysitting will be done without request, cows and dogs will parade for his meal time entertainment and the television will provide the much needed white noise. Here is where he will be the center of the world, the star of the show and king of an entire clan.

My son will love my city. The city that is a part of my identity and the language that I resort to in happiness and grief. He will see the grand marina – soak in its water and realize beaches have tides and warm water. He will step foot in countless temples with the puliyodharai and sakkarai pongal defining a new level of deliciousness. He will ride in all modes of transportation from cars to bullock carts. There will be shocks but there will also be surprises.

In less than a week my son will see where I come from. India – complex yet comforting, aggressive yet adoring, nosy yet devoting, confining yet generous. My hope is that on this long road home, he learns an important life lesson – To always look on the bright side.

My parenting journey with books: Reading to my son

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“Reading to your children” is probably the most crucial and overemphasized words I heard when I was an expectant mother. I am the kind of a girl who has a book by her side all the time. So I was little nervous about handing down this legacy to my unborn child. What if the baby does not like to read?

Plus there a million good reasons on why we should read to our children – The indisputable bonding it creates, language skills and ability to concentrate improve multifold and the companionship that we can nurture for life. But more than anything else, I wanted my baby to appreciate books for what they are.

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Mother’s Day: You’re Worth It

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Before I became a mother, I found celebrating Mother’s Day a bit contrived. Off all the 365 days you want to appreciate your mom on just one day? Shouldn’t she be treasured and marveled at on the other days too? Well, we all know how that goes. 😉

My son was born on May 31st. Considering the graveyard shifts, it’s safe to say that I’ve been a mother for 365 days. 365 days of putting him in the front seat and keeping him as top priority. Priority. Children crave routine and to make sure that we didn’t disrupt it too often, we took turns running errands. Casual strolls in the mall, browsing through grocery shelves and weekend trips to COSTCO were a thing of the past. We zipped, zapped and zoomed.

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The Big One

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The Big One It was the first week of May and we were delighted to finally catch some sunshine. As we relaxed in our patio, admiring the flowers that were in full bloom, we started talking about our son’s first birthday. It was a big milestone for him and for us. How did we want to mark it? A quiet dinner so we could do away with a party or a big bash inviting the whole world?

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