The 94th of July…


It is 6 a.m. in the morning, and I have just finished my first cup of filter coffee for the day.

One of the first things I do every morning is change the dates on the calendars at home. I love doing this. There is something so satisying about knowing that another day has begun – a day that is filled with hope and promise.

One of these calendars is made up of two square wooden blocks, one each for each of the date digits, and a small rectangular block for the month. I set the date manually on this calendar every morning.

This morning, when I go to change the date, I am surprised to see that the date has been set to the 94th of July. This makes me smile. The reason? My little nephew, who is staying with us this week.

When he wakes up, I ask him what the date is? He quickly rushes to the calendar, changes the blocks and says, “It is 43rd July.”

And this is how much fun it is….with my nephew around, there is a sudden energy in the house. For this six year old, every day is filled with possibilities. He creates a buzz when he flits from room to room.

Giggles are lurking in his throat, ever ready to spill out in torrents, accompanied by eyes that are glinting with mischief and curiosity.

All of us at home are constantly taking rides on all his toy vehicles, flying from the kitchen to the living room, fastening seat belts and readying ourselves to land.

We get quizzed about cars and aircraft, we run around playing hide and seek.

Even my kids, who are too big to play with toys, have now let themselves go. We find ourselves rejuvenated.

Through the eyes of my nephew, we look at things with curiosity and excitement – where fans are propellers, the sofas are trucks and where every activity is carried out with the sole objective of having fun.

And now, all of us gather to celebrate the birthday of a family member. The cake is ready to be cut, and we ready our phones to click pictures.

My nephew quickly runs to the cake… runs his fingers on the buttercream icing and puts a blob into his mouth, his eyes reflecting his delight. He is totally in the moment; his joy complete.

We look at him and feel infused by his enthusiasm, his energy and his spirit.

So much to learn. If only we could retain this curiosity and this zest for life, we would have so much fun every day.

Living in the moment and giving it your all….!

A dollar worth millions….


My son has just walked in from school. He drops his bag and other paraphernalia, and comes straight to share key snippets from his day with me.

He starts from the moment he reached school, and takes me on a journey through his day, where I get glimpses of his world.

He rushes through the ‘vanilla’ parts and cuts to the most important part of his day, which was a bazaar, where the children had to promote and sell products that they had brought to school. My son and his friend had taken stationery items and chocolates to sell.

My son’s eyes light up as he talks about how much he had enjoyed the whole project, and about how much money they had made.

And then, he rummages in his pocket and takes out a small white paper pouch. A really tiny one.

He opens it and shakes it gently. Something falls out of the pouch. He picks it up and gives it to me.

“This is for you, mom”, he says.

He has bought a pair of pretty green, stone earrings for me.

He adds, “I got them for a dollar!”

My throat catches, as I turn the earrings and admire them.

“They are exquisite”, I say.

“The green stones are the closest I could find to your birthstone, mom, but the green stones are surrounded by tiny white diamonds”, he finishes with enthusiasm.

I hug my son and thank him.

To me, this dollar is worth millions.

Truly priceless!

Mom Standard Time (MST)


It is 6.50 a.m., and our home is bustling with all the trappings of a typical school day morning. Both baths are occupied.

I am all over the house, trying to do many things at once.

I knock sharply on the door of one bath.

“What?” screams my son, over the sound of the shower water.

“7.20 a.m.”, I holler.

“Okay, okay”, says he!

I move to the next bathroom. I knock again.

“7.30 a.m.”, I announce.

My daughter says, “Ohh.. will be out in a minute.”

Strangely, my son seems to have heard the ‘time’ that I called out to my daughter.

And he shouts, “How could the time be 7.20 am for me and 7.30 am for akka (sister)?”

He calls out loudly to his sister that it’s not 7.30 a.m. yet and that I was lying!

I smile and move on.

Welcome to the world of a unique standard of time that Moms around the world follow – Mom Standard Time (MST).

MST is not time-based at all. It is based on a set of privileged rules that moms around the world have designed to get the best out of their children, to push them to give their best, and to generally show up where they are supposed to!

MST can help squeeze a mammoth school project into one evening! Mom Standard Time can also transform the boring hours when one is down with a cold or fever into something magical; a time when siblings are at school, and mom makes special soup and hugs you and shows you how much she cares!

Image courtesy – Geostat

MST has the prerogative to call you, whenever, wherever and impose time deadlines. The same MST allows you to sleep-in, and gets you that much needed shut eye on the weekend.

Mom Standard Time is based on love and the laws of parenting. It adheres to only one standard that every mom wants for her children – that they use their time wisely and become good humans!

The story of a hoodie


My daughter bought her first hoodie when she became a teen. Pure black with some silver lettering in the front. It met all her requirements – both from a comfort perspective and a ‘fashion/fitting-in’ perspective.

She was happy. We were happy!

However, little did we realize that the hoodie story had just begun.

Image courtesy – http://www.shutterstock.com

The hoodie almost became a second skin, irrespective of whether my daughter was wearing it or slinging it on her shoulders or dangling it from her backpack.

The hoodie has travelled widely, has swept dust off cupboards and has been unknowingly dragged along on the floor at times!

As a mom, I wait for opportunities to snatch the hoodie and throw it into the washing machine. Sigh!

I recently realized that with every sneaky wash the hoodie has transformed from a ‘smart, black hoodie of promise’ into a ‘faded, lifeless hoodie of indeterminate colour.’

Hmmm! When I broached this subject with my daughter, needless to say, I was met with high resistance and statements like – “It’s perfectly fine, what’s wrong with it?….don’t want to part with it”….and so on.

I looked at the possibility of hiding it or throwing it…, feeling as guilty as only moms who plan such acts of treason would know!

After a few days, I managed to convince my daughter (read ‘uphill task’) to buy a new hoodie.

We must have visited at least fifteen shops to find ‘the perfect hoodie’; up, down, right, left, into and out of trial rooms.

Finally, my daughter found one that she was happy with. She gave it a 4 out of 5, citing that the hood didn’t fall in place like her old one. However, she finally agreed for it to be bought, and has worn it a few times since then.

But the good old black hoodie has been washed, and hangs safely in my daughter’s cupboard, waiting to become a part of her life again! She is not ready to part with it; or with all the allied, wonderful memories that it evokes!