Bread pizza at midnight


It is midnight. There’s a light drizzle. I shut the balcony door and head indoors, checking all the doors, lights and fans on my way to the bedroom.

I pick up my phone to set the alarm. My screen lights up at that precise moment. I am delighted to see my daughter’s name flashing on the screen.

I pick up and we start talking. As we talk, she says that she is famished and wants to eat. Immediately on mom-mode, I chide her to eat wholesome meals at regular intervals. She nods. A practiced nod from years of hearing the same thing from her mom all the time.

I think back to the time when my daughter was with us at home. She would wake up in the morning and greet me with a hug. She would then squeeze herself on to the kitchen counter and watch me as I cooked. She would demand coffee, and as she enjoyed it, we would chatter about this and that!

Now, on my phone screen, I watch as she heads to the kitchen, thousands of miles away. She places her phone on the kitchen counter, as she mulls over what to cook. I can see the world outside my daughter’s window on her screen. It is grey and cloudy. I look outside my window – it is dark and cloudy.

Her voice suddenly announces, “I am going to make bread pizza! I feel like eating cheese!”

She potters around her kitchen. I can only hear the knife on the chopping board, and the clanging of pans. Suddenly, a sauce bottle comes into view on my phone’s screen. It looks cozy and warm, and contrasts beautifully with the grey, cold weather outside. The sauce bottle and I keep each other company.

My daughter suddenly pops into view and tastes the sauce. “Yumm”, she says. Again, the sauce bottle and I look at each other, accompanied by the sounds in the background, as my daughter disappears from view.

My daughter is finally done, and has popped her bread pizzas into the oven. She sits down and we talk – about this and that – sometimes staring into space, lost in our own thoughts.

After some time, she says that the aroma of cheese and bell peppers is wafting all around. When the bread pizza is ready, she brings it over, and we talk as she eats.

She sighs in contentment. I am happy. It is nearly 1.30 am in my part of the world. My eyes are shutting of their own volition. My daughter orders me to sleep. I fall into a blissful sleep, thankful to technology for the joy of such simple moments!

Has anything happened?


I used to be an avid gardener many years ago. And then, we moved cities. I had to give away my plants multiple times and my heart broke each time I had to bid adieu to them. So, when I moved to my current home, I decided that I would not grow any plants and thus not get attached to them again!

I do have a few plants that have been gifted to me by friends. I have been caring for these. However, it was not until a couple of weeks ago that I decided to get back to gardening.

Inspired by a friend’s garden, I bought pots, soil, seeds and other basic equipment. I spent that weekend potting, planting seeds and watering as required.

The wait began. The whole family got involved in the process. Every morning my son would get up and ask me, “Has anything happened?”

For the first week, my son and I paced to and from the balcony on our various trips to the kitchen or to the dining room. The soil remained as it was, tiny white pieces of pebbles dotting its rich, dark brown surface.

One morning, just a week later, I saw the tiniest pairs of green leaves, bright against the dark of the soil. So, so tiny. I ran to wake my son up. Soon, we were seated around the pot, our eyes peering at this tiny miracle of creation.We smiled in excitement.

Now, I feel like a new mom all over again, constantly tending to these new babies in our home. The other night, when the skies opened up, I ran at midnight to bring the pots indoors.

I have fallen in love all over again with these beautiful plants. Plants that will grow when we are not watching them, just like our children. Plants that will grow proud and tall and wave merrily in the breeze. Plants that will flower and bring joy. Plants that will bear fruit and seeds for this magic of life to continue.

I sit down again on the balcony and peer down. My husband calls out, “Has anything happened?”

I murmur to myself, “I know something magical is happening, but I can’t see it just yet.”