Monday, June 30, 2014


What!?! How?! When? Really? It is no 25 but 9 is still a big number, you know. Just saying.

I should say upfront – I have no marriage advice for people out there. I rarely give advice. Well, maybe my family will disagree. Because they get a lot of unsolicited advice from me. But for the most part, I am rarely the one giving advice.

But I observe plenty. Different things are important for different people in a marriage – love, respect, commonality, strength, patience, loyalty, understanding, friendship, faith, confidence, independence, interdependence, humor, trust, freshness and many more such attributes. People value each of these traits differently and in different proportions. All these attributes make an appearance in what is important for us in our marriage too. But both of us don’t bring every single thing to the table. We kind of divide and conquer it all.

For example, patience has never been my forte. It never was, and how so ever much I try to inculcate it, it never will be. And that’s where Siddharth comes to my rescue because he has the patience of an elephant...if there is any such thing. I just assumed elephants must have plenty of patience. The slightest thing has the absolute potentially of irking me to the point of no return. For the most part, Siddharth is pretty unperturbed by things around him. He is a high energy and a very animated person – so it is easy to mistake that energy for impatience. But it takes a lot for him to lose his patience. No situation or person or behavior bothers him enough to act on an impulse or in an erratic way. In fact he has so much patience that it annoys me sometimes. I could be extremely mad and angry and upset but Siddharth manages to respond with so much calm and patience that I feel like he doesn’t get it. It’s almost like I expect him to be just as aggravated as I am. But he doesn’t get that way. His weakest point probably is his inability to withstand absolutely any sort of mess or dirt. Very literally. And that’s one area in which I have plenty of patience. So we zig-zag in our characteristics enough to balance each other and it all works out in the end.

Honestly, I can’t believe it’s been 9 years of marriage for us. Our wedding day feels like just yesterday. I like to believe that we have seen the worst of the times and the best are yet to come. But the underlying aspect that keeps us going through all our ups and downs is our friendship. We were best friends long before there was any chance of us getting together. Siddharth could answer a question I hadn’t asked yet and he could finish my unfinished sentences. It was kind of scary. But we knew each other very well. And somehow over all these years this is the one aspect of our marriage that requires least work. There are lots of other aspects that require a lot of work. But not the ‘friendship’ part. It comes very naturally to us. We don’t have to act consciously on it. We don’t have to remind ourselves or each other of it. It just happens. It stays. It grows. It brings us closer. It keeps the humor alive. And it makes us stronger. Go post-marital-friendship, I say!

It is just a bonus that my 9 years have this outcome so far :).


Monday, June 23, 2014

Sand, Sun, Water

I am normally not the one to exaggerate and overemphasize of the value of sun. But let’s face it – it does deserve a mention every now and then. Especially if you live in the Northwest. So here is my shout out to sun. And sand, And water. Our weekend involved a road trip to Long Beach, Wa. A few hours south of us. A car ride with two toddlers comes with its own ups and downs. It is all good as long as they are fed, have not pooped or peed in their diapers, are not sleepy or tired, are not bored out of their minds, are not too agitated, and on and on and on. You get the point. So we had our fair share of loud yelling and incessant crying and angry shouting and tireless singing.

But all was forgotten as soon as we reached the cutest little cottage I had ever seen. What made it even better was that I could see the sign “World’s Longest Beach” from that cottage. I am not sure if it is the world’s longest beach and honestly I don’t know if I quite care. But most of what I did care about was getting on that beach as soon as possible.

It was beautiful. The beach. The sun. The sand. The water. The seagulls. The waves. The rays. The lack of crowd. It was perfect. The fact that we could dip our feet in the ocean water and that the water was perfect temperature was just added bonus.

What took the cake was seeing how much Samaira loved to play with the sand. How much she loved the water. She was not scared of dipping her feet in the water and wanted to do more of it. She wanted to chase the seagulls until they scared her. She wanted to chase that dog running on the beach until it got too close to her. How much Rehan loved the wind blowing in his face. How he was not fazed by the wind causing him to be all snorty and sniffly. How he had a big bright smile on his face every time he saw us enjoying the beach. And how Sammy kept saying “I like beach.” Kind of awesome, you know.

So even if the road to sand, sun and water was paved with cranky toddlers, the end result of them loving the beach makes it all worth it! Here is to many more such trips!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Daddy, Go.

Some days are just are meant to last forever and ever in our minds. It could be something beautiful, or happy, or ugly, or sad, or massive, or teeny-little-tiny. It could be something that lasted a moment, or a few seconds, or a few minutes or more. The impact of an action, a thing, any circumstance, or a person is not always proportional to the intent or even what goes into making it happen. Obviously, this weird psychotic analysis of a simple phenomenon is the result of my not-so-simple mind working overtime, trying to find the meaning and reason behind every little detail of the day and the week and the month and the year.

The point is, something like this happened yesterday. A memory forever etched in my brain. I didn’t know what to feel about it. I was happy. But then I was sad. And then I was kind of depressed and sulking. Here is what happened. Night time routine is one of my favorite things as a parent…reading books, singing songs, singing rhymes, telling stories and watch my kids fall asleep. There is something very satisfying about that experience. Off late we started sleep training Samaira (and yes, she is all of/mere 2.5, depending on your parenting philosophy) to help me out when Siddharth is traveling for work. She isn’t fond of us leaving her room while she is still awake but she is kind of getting the hang of it. Siddharth is the one who typically puts her to bed. Sammy knows that when he is done reading all the books and singing all the songs and telling all the stories, it will be time for her Daddy to leave the room and she needs to close her eyes and go to sleep. She gets the drill. When Siddhu kisses her good night is the time when she will typically put her arms around him and say “no….hug”…translated as “don’t go yet…give me a hug.” I definitely belong to the new-age-parents category who find every little thing heart-melting and micro-analyze every little thing we/our kids do or feel or don’t do or don’t feel. So when I found out that she puts her arm around Siddharth every night in an attempt to stop him from leaving the room…my heart kind of broke a little. All sorts of maybes popped into my head and I started questioning what we were doing. Maybe we shouldn’t sleep train her. Maybe we should try this a few months down the line. But then we continued trying to get her to sleep on her own.

Yesterday when Siddharth kissed her good night and was about to leave the room…Sammy said “Daddy go. Teddy hug.” She didn’t cry at all when Siddharth left. She went to sleep right away. My first reaction when Siddhu told this to me was “yayyy….she is a completely independent sleeper now!” My immediate next reaction was “Oh no. She is so grown up now. She understands so much now. Did we do the right thing? Was it too soon? Should we have slept with her a little bit more? What was the hurry? There will come a dreadful-teenage-time when she wouldn’t want us in her room anyway. Why did we rush? She is so small. My little girl is so mature!” My internal rant went on and on. And then she woke up happy & chatty. Basically her usual self. That surely made me feel better.

There are so many times I am conflicted on the right thing to do as a parent. My heart tells me one thing. My head tells me another thing. Knowing that my kiddos can survive anything is probably the only thing that saves my day.

All said and done. Every sudden reminder that my kids are growing up hits me a little hard. That “Daddy, Go” is going to ring in my head for a very very long time!

Need a tight hug from my kiddo...who is independently sleeping in her room...


Monday, June 9, 2014

Let it go

I mean, why not? Right? Frozen has been a rage ever since it released and even though we haven’t seen the movie yet, it didn’t stop me from listening to the song over and over and over and yet over again. Sammy, Rehan and I have seen the video at least 150 times and heard the song on repeat at least 200 times.


The point is that these three words are way more powerful than any of us can fathom. As I keep hearing these words over and over again, I can’t help but take them a level deeper. To really understand what they are trying to communicate. What these words really communicate is that letting it go is a synonym for setting oneself free. Of the past. Of things that may have gone wrong. Of things that didn’t really go your way. Letting go has nothing to do with forgiving someone or something else. What someone did or didn’t do is absolutely insignificant. The whole point of letting go is to liberate your own self. People (must) forgive other people and circumstances for their own peace of mind. People let go for their own self. The understanding of this deeper meaning of letting it go is powerful.

Can you imagine a head & heart devoid of any negativity, any regret, any grudges? Honestly, I can’t. But it sounds pretty darn remarkable.

To top it all, it looks like Samaira and Rehan have drawn a lot of inspiration from this song. Samaira wants to listen to it every day, at least once. Especially before going to sleep. My limited singing abilities make ‘Let it go’ sound like ‘Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.’ But that’s neither here nor there. The point is that both my kids drop whatever it is that they are doing and give a 100% of their attention to this song when it starts playing. Rehan is typically smiling when listening to this song. And Sammy has a somewhat intense expression on her face to kind of match with the tempo of the song, you know.

Who knew Elsa was so full of wisdom :)! Here is to letting go. To freedom. To liberation. To the ultimate wrinkle-free happiness.

Monday, June 2, 2014


How many reminders do we need to value, live and love life as is? In the best of its glory. With the worst of its fears. Inside this curvy loop of happy-anxious-angry-sad-wishful-envious-mad-satisfied. Life as is.

Here are some things that remind me to value, live and love life.

My family sleeping peacefully every single night. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to make sure Sammy, Rehan and Siddhu are sleeping well.

Food on the table. Most of the times I take it for granted. But sometimes when I sit back, in that tiny fraction of second when all four of us are eating and neither of my kids are yelling or screaming or crying or throwing their food – for that tiny fraction of second, I check-out and remember to be thankful.

To be surrounded by the people I love. This. I am thankful for every single day. Every day. It is important for me. Siddharth. Samaira. Rehan. My family. My friends. Super-duper important.

Health. I value health even more when I am sick, or when someone I love or know is sick. I admire people who value their health and do something about it on a daily basis. I hope to get inspired by these people.

Park time. So thank for the sun that lets us be.

A vacation that doesn’t feel like a vacation. If you spend more time napping and eating than doing touristy stuff, does it still count as vacation? I think so. I kind of dig it.

A non-vacation that feels like a vacation. You know. A typical day. Morning routine. Work. Back. A little early. Relax. Chill. Do nothing. Go out for a walk. Push off all worries till the next day. I wish I could do this more.

A little circus that my family is. Honestly, it is not always possible to enjoy this circus, especially when it happens in front of an audience to witness. That’s when I feel the need to justify our choices and our approach. The circus when Samaira decides to sit in the middle of the road because she wants to be held. Or when Rehan starts yelling at the top of his voice because he saw his mumma! And do not even get me started on the dinner time drama. Should I let them eat their favorite snack instead? Should I force the first bite on them (absolutely positively detest this approach)? Should I do short order cooking? Should I make the same thing 5 times a week so I know they will eat something? Should I run after them while they are running around the house to feed them (I quite detest this approach as well)? Or should I let them go hungry until they learn to eat what is on the table? This circus is hard to enjoy when it is unfolding. But there is a part of me that is thankful for our perfect imperfections. I don’t know why. I don’t understand why. Sometimes it puzzles me why. But it reminds me of the normalcy of uncertainty and chaos. And I value that.

A birthday boy with his face smashed in the cake like we have never given him any food. While it sounds worrisome, I can’t help but laugh at the site. I treasure the laughter this brand new one year old brings to our lives.

A tiny toddler sister who loves her brother, a little too much for his own good right now. She runs toward him to give him a giant hug and pushes him over in the process. Then another circus ensues. Oh well!

Two strong headed, very stubborn toddlers running around in the house. While it makes some things very difficult today and will make most things extremely difficult for me once they grow up to be teenagers and possible rebels, I value this attitude.

Surrendering to what will and can be. I very strongly believe in committing a 100% to what you have to do and not worrying too much about what will become of it. Time and again I am reminded of how the only thing we can possibly have any control over is our own actions. And that too not always. So surrendering to the power of out-of-control dynamics is very liberating. It helps me enjoy life a little bit more.

All these things remind me to relish every little bit of life. I also realize the value of taking a step back to be a spectator of my own circus and laugh a little while at that. This is what helps me value, love and live.