Thursday, August 24, 2017


All other kids posed for their parents in front of the school sign, in the parking lot, at the door to the school, in their classroom, everywhere. Mine, well, did not. She refused to smile for the camera and kept looking away every time I begged her for a pose. I was that miserable parent you see running around with her phone ready to snap a shot and missing completely. G stood smirking at my "typical" mom behavior. Both him and S laughed at me while I was not looking. Oh! Well!

As I was about to head out I saw another parent, S's friend's mom, standing teary eyed at the door to their classroom. She was gushing to another mom saying how the kid has grown up and she was not ready for this. I literally touched my moisture. "Bad Mom" moment...I looked around and saw several other moms doing the same thing...shedding tears...and me...dry like a desert.

I walked away wondering why I did not feel these emotions. I was sad to see her start her next grade but not really sad to see her grow up. As long as she is growing up positively and healthily, who am I to complain? I justified it in my head and walked to the car. I still could not get over it.

I kept mulling about it over and over in my head, am I a bad mom because I did not feel any sadness enough to cry? I thought about it hard and realized that I have never cried at good bye's. The one time I was close to crying was when I left my parents house after a really wonderful summer break. I did not cry during my kinder drop off, or when I left my home country to come to another country. It dawned on me that I lack the emotion and just like me so did G. The image of S shooing me away and going to her desk begging me not to embarrass her came to my head. She sat down at her assigned spot and never once looked back. This was her, from kinder to now...just like mom and dad...she was one of us, the kind that does not look back after saying bye.

Thanks for reading!
A-non-Shedding ART

Dressing Down...

I enjoyed dressing up, looking beautiful, putting in the effort...well, I enjoyed it when it happened that once in a while moment. The rest of the time, it only reminded me of the effort to do it and undo it. I remember the times as a high school kid when I decided that I would dress up plain and simple to stand out in the over made up crowd. My strategy did not work.

I remember the time this guy wanted to go dancing with me and I walked into the club (aka known as disc's in the '90s India) wearing salwar and pony'd up hair. I failed miserably but I have to give kudos to the guy who did not bat an eye (in front of me at least) when I showed up tired and bored. This was my style. I did revenge dress up. If I had to go meet someone I had once had a crush on, then I took the effort, else it was casual jeans and tee.

I even remember the days I would walk into a 5 star hotel quite under dressed and be stared at. I told myself that people who go to luxury places every day (not that this was my daily thing) did not have to dress up to show that they belonged, I assumed I carried some sort of air around me...failed assumption.

When I finally got a chance to go on a date with this (then) cute guy I dressed up. Wore a really cute denim short dungarees borrowed from my friend and my cute boots. All my friends noted that I looked cute. One of them also said that they never knew I had such nice legs (Ahem!).

Then I grew up and got a job. My first job required me to wear jeans and tee as I had to be on site and it was dusty and dirty. This fell well within my realm of wardrobe and comfort zone. I owned 2 formal wear. When we had to go to a facility for the opening ceremony I showed up to work dressed up and people failed to recognize me. Everyone noted, "You clean up really well..."

My next job started off well. I updated my wardrobe and had a full set of formal wear. The first two months went off well until I noticed that not everyone dressed up. The company was very dry on their style. Some really annoying people around me made comments on the fact that I was over I fell back into my comfort zone. A few times I dressed up people around me made similar comments like, "You clean up really well..."

I walked into a bar last night after a tired day and realized that I was there in my house tee, old jeans and Hawaii chappals. No, I am not a regular there. Yes, I was supremely under dressed. There was no one to take revenge on, no great occasion. Husband and I got the rare chance to grab a drink and eat a snack on our own. I was complacent in my attire. I realized that this is me, the under dresser. I never cared for it before to start now. I enjoy the one off compliment from my friends or acquaintances. I enjoy dressing up for the special occasions. I enjoy feeling special sometimes. There is more spice to it this way for me than to be made up all the time. This is me! A very comfy me.

With love,
The Under Dressed ART

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Irony of it All...

This past weekend was Holi celebrations in one of our local temples. I love Holi. Loved it for the past few years I have actually celebrated it. I actually did not like it much as a kid. I remember the day in my 11th grade when I was walking home with my friends in all white uniform when some unruly idiots decided to shower us with pink. My friend got some color in her eye and me, much worse, got some on my uniform. I had to face the wrath of my mother. The uniform was soiled for life and it had another year and half to finish off my school with. I hated it. Holi did not belong in Chennai. I was not ready to celebrate it. It looked awesome in Hindi movies but not in real life.

I came to the US, met and fell in love with a person who had lived north of Chennai all his life and had celebrated one too many Holi's. We celebrated with friends, with family, with everyone and I enjoyed it. I was more prepared, old clothes on me, towels in the car, garbage bags to pack the crap, we were ready to taken on the color! We celebrated it in our front yard, in public parks and a few times at the temple. My most memorable Holi was at my in-law's house in Mumbai. We played with colors, got totally messed up for 3 hours. Then we went up, showered, changed and came back down for the most yummiest food ever. Sat down chatting with everyone around.

This year, we were at the temple with friends. My friend motivated me to get off my butt and get colored. It was good fun. There was music, food and crowd. The weather was perfect, hot enough but not scalding yet. We danced, colored, hugged it out and came back home. As I get older, I notice I am not into loud fun as much as I was a year ago.

Today, as my brain monkey was going through my memories from the weekend it remembered that I had told S not to wear shorts as we were going to temple. At the temple though, not literally inside but at the temple grounds they were blaring out Hindi item songs! Ha! My brain monkey laughed at the irony that exists in the Hindu Temple.

Pondering Colorful Art

Thursday, February 02, 2017

2016 Recap...A Little Too Late...

I normally would have written my summary for the year gone by before now but this year I am blame the slacking me. 2016 was tiring. That is the best way to describe it for me. Too many things done, too many weekends spent away from home but in general I still have the feeling that much was accomplished or maybe not...

January - Most of the family cleared and went back, the house felt silent and quite. The in-laws were still there so it was still a little busy but we missed the hustle and bustle of 14 people under one roof. I filled my evenings with long walks with my father-in-law and we spoke about everything. It was relaxing and we bonded.

February - My first time to South of the Border. It was one of the most fun vacations ever. Cannot wait to do it all over again.

March - Mixed bag! Got another year wiser! Went to NC to visit my parents. My brothers were throwing a big party to celebrate my dad's 80th. So we went there and had a blast. The party was great but the cousin bonding was amazing, the kids had a better time than the adults. S got to sit in the cockpit of the aircraft we flew in - a first! Father-in-Law's mother passed away. Our house got damaged severely in a hail storm. Good things and sad things...

April - S did her first Color Run at school. S got her first tennis trophy - a runner's up but still something. A very light month. We had booked our tickets to India so the countdown had started...

May - S finished another year at school. She was also very close to getting her Black Belt in Tae Kwan Do. S did her first Bharatanatyam performance. S's cousin R visited us with her mom from india and spent a couple of days with us. It was super fun to show them around town.

June - R was still here and we had more fun time together. Summer was spent with great friends, good wine and good food. The pool was warm and our house was welcoming. We spent many evenings and night sitting in the pool.

July - Saw Kabali in the theater with my BFF. It was just fun to be there together with her. S won her first ever tennis tournament. The date to the India trip was getting closer and G and I were on a weight loss mission...

August - Trip to India! Major milestone. After almost 4.5 years. The trip was definitely much awaited and super fun. We visited family in Chennai, Bangalore, Mangalore in the first part of the trip. We had to attend the death anniversary pooja for my grandfather in law who passed on at the age of 107. It was attend by many people from all over the country. The event was grand just like Ajjo. We miss him and his toothless smile. Even when he was 103, he communicated with me in Tamil and he always inquired about us.

September - From Mangalore we went to Goa, and finished up in Mumbai. The night we left was very sad. For the first time in my life I slept almost 16-19 hours on the flight and even in the airport while awaiting transit. I had zero jet lag when I came back.

October -  S turned a year older. Sleepover party. S was Pink Power Ranger for Halloween. We went camping for the first time ever with MN and family. It was awesome! We loved every bit of it and cannot wait to do it again. And then we also did Dandiya with Falguni Pathak. It was super fun. Thanks M for passing on tickets. Went to State Fair for the first time ever and got sick eating junk. Took the train to the fair and it was super fun with MN and A, G was out on a trip to celebrate him having a milestone birthday with his BFF's, they trekked and hung out! Diwali Parties!!! October was busy and hectic!

November - S got her Black Belt..hallelujah!!!. Got ready for the season, went to tree light lighting and got the X-Mas decorations out. Rank the chocoholic 5K with M for a third time.

December - Drove to NC to spend the week with my family. It was one of the best times of the year for me. I got to bond with my neices and nephews. The best part was that G indulged in all the babies. He played card games, tennis, video games, took them all out to dinner, ice cream and chilled with everyone. We took my sister's in-law to watch Dangal for a night show and it was awesome! Good memories! Spent New Years by the lake with a few of my closest friends. And now...back to reality!!!

And that was my year in a nutshell...hope everyone had a decent 2016 and hopefully a more decent 2017. I am mature enough and old enough to know that no year will be perfect. There will be ups and downs and we have to ride it to move on to our next goals!

A Slacking ART

Thursday, January 05, 2017

The Flower in my Garden!!!

Image result for saavn
I am loving Saavn! I have gone to the past and danced in the present with the awesome collection of music. I love hearing old Tamil songs. The songs that I grew up with. Each song reminds me of a certain time in my life. From Raja to Rahman to Vaali to Vairamuthu are all filled with memories...

En veetu thotathil from Gentleman now playing in my ears reminds me of the song my classmate quoted for me when I was not sure if I really liked this guy who kept pursuing me...she kept singing it to me till I said "yes" to him. A very short lived relationship that nevertheless has left me with memories. Gentleman released at a time in life when I was young, in high school, 11std, had no worries and there were many choices all around me...every song in that movie reminds me of those days past.

Šøllukkum Arthathukkum Thøørangal Kidaiyaathu
Šøllaatha Kaathal Èllaam Šørgathil Šaeraathu

(the second line means - Unsaid love will not reach heaven).

At that age my classmate was my love guru. She had been dating her much older neighbor since 8th grade! The last I checked on FB looks like she did end up marrying him! Some commitment! In my case...did not work out for more than 2 months, or maybe less...don't remember now. All I do remember is that he was a good dancer.

A Reminiscing ART