Thursday, August 18, 2011


Friend and I are standing near the door of an over crowded compartment in a NJ Transit train. We are heading back to NJ from NYC. Daughter is sitting comfortably in her stroller and chatting away with us. The compartment is crowded and the door is open. A/C is barely able to keep up with the crowd and heat inside so for those stuck at the door it is HOT.

A lady almost faints and is rushed into the compartment. I see the girl standing next to me dripping sweat on her legs and her tee is soaked. The man standing near us is dripping everywhere. I turn and look at my friend, he is dry. I see my self, I am dry. And then at Babs, she is moist but not too bad. My friend and I lock eyes and smile, "The Chennai effect," I say.

"We are prepared for all sorts of heat and humid," he says. We smile.

Idhu ellam sagajam appa (This is very common). And finally the train leaves and everyone's sigh brings some air around the cramped space.


Monday, August 01, 2011


There are some weekends that we plan ahead of time. I start stressing out from the minute the clock says "Go Home" on Friday nights. And then there are some where I have no idea what we are going to and better still no desire to do anything. My Friday night this past week was like the latter. Having slogged a week to finish off a deadline two days ahead of time I was feeling sucked out. All I wanted to do was rest and not move a limb if I could...

Saturday I took Babs out to the park as promised to her and I went for a run as promised to myself. The husband donated blood while me and Babs were in the pool chilling out. After a couple of hours of nothingness we ventured out to do some grocery and a quick snack which ended up being first dinner of the evening. Babs hit the snooze button and the couple (us) saw loads of TV and a movie.

But on Saturday, plans for a Sunday had started brewing unbeknownst to us. Actually, maybe I had a clue but refused to acknowledge it. Babs had asked me on the way home from park on Saturday morning if we could go to Gudhawar. First I taught her how to say Gurudhwara and then I told her I will ask G about it.

On Sunday morning Babs casually picked up the phone and said, "I want to meet S and S. I want to go to their house, can I make a quick phone call." I laughed it off, dialed S's number and gave it to her. S and S are the most busy people I know. I was sure that nothing will come out of the call. Babs left a message and we left it at that...

Back to Sunday early morning from 8.00am to 9.30am. I had tennis plans that I had to bail out of because all three of us refused to get out of bed. We were playing around with each other. Deciding on how to waste the rest of the day, what to eat, etc. It was decided we had no plans for the day. So I asked G if we could go to Gurudhwara. G was fine with it. So plan #2 was set in motion.

I wanted to eat a nice yummy continental breakfast. Toast, scrambled eggs and hash browns made fresh by husband and me followed by some awesome chai. G said ok and then he asked Babs if that was ok with her. Of course she wanted Kandha Poha. Well G chose to side with his darling...and that was not me of course. So that is how plan #1 was put into action.

Coming back home after Gurudhwara I wanted so desperately to take a nap. It was 104 outside and the heat was simply killing everything around here...30+ days of more than 100F. Babs tried to nap and then she sat up and said, "I want to go to Valley View Mall and do the carousel." G was trying to catch the Z and then get some work done so Babs and I softly slipped out. We did the carousel, play area and then headed to Galleria. Plan #3 was set in motion...

Finally time to head back home and Babs got the call from our friend S. Babs took the call and started talking to S while I was organizing my purse. In the din of Galleria all I heard was, "Ok, I will talk to amma and then we will come. If papa is busy then only me and amma will come, ok? bye."

I grabbed the phone quickly and asked S if Babs just invited herself over and they were like, "it is a brilliant idea because even we are getting back home and it will be awesome." So with that Plan #4 was privately hatched and carried out by G and me. G had to finish his work fast to squeeze in a game of R. Ball before heading to S's house.

And that is how Babs envisioned our Sunday to be. She vetoed going to my friends house to see a new born. She vetoed taking a nap. she vetoed me getting my continental breakfast fix. She vetoed staying in for a simple evening. Last Sunday was hers and she did what she wanted with it. And the best part...we loved it! G and I had a great Sunday!

Babs loves the song "Suttum Vizhi" from Ghajini a lot. She listens to it a 100 times a week. Yesterday I sang the lines to her "En ulagam unnai sutrudhey..." (My world revolves around you!) and I meant every word of it.

Love you a lot Babs. You give special meaning to our life and make G and I laugh more than we normally would have. Because we laugh two or three times repeating your stories between us and our just give us more chance to smile when things are not going the way you expect...

Your Amma