Of the last year and rented furniture

One of the biggest challenges of a separation or a divorce that no one really likes to talk about is literally giving up everything you *thought* you owned. Including the security of calling a place your home. About the same time last year, I moved into possibly the only place I can truly call home – after falling in love with the colour of the building (yes, I can be terribly childish like that) and then the balcony, and then the children’s park and then the swimming pool, exactly in that order, with the barest possible things needed to live.


I rented some beautiful furniture from Furlenco (no, this is not a sponsored post but I’m a fan for life after their customer service experience) but didn’t realize the amount of brain space I’d be wasting on worrying about the said furniture being safe – a 9-year-old, a cat and a dog are not exactly the controllable kind – or a good combination with a leather lazyboy – you get the picture.

And then one day, the inevitable happened – Mischief – who truly wants to live up to her name, broke open my kajal stick and smeared it all over the futon. And I lost it on the child, and everyone else around me – a day I wasn’t really proud of my actions as a mother of the furry and the non-furry kind. That was also the day I decided that I’d rent no more, and would buy furniture in bits and pieces when I could afford it.

Cut to this month – I gave up everything I rented and bought things I absolutely fell in love with – a cute bright red dining table – some sofa-cum-beds for the living room, and finally, this home is full again – full of things that I’ve slogged my a** of for, and struggled to put together. The best part was when H spilt chocolate ice-cream on the dining table and said –  “Now you don’t have to clean it right away, Amma. It’s our’s.”  So I let the chocolate stain stay for a day. Because I could! 

This year has truly been one of the most rewarding, and I truly am thankful for the way it is ending.


Of having the time to stand and stare…

When I made the decision to quit the corporate rat race and spend time with my daughter instead and work from home, when I can, as a single mother – there were a lot of apprehensions, some of them from well-meaning family and friends, and mostly from the 2343545454 voices in my head too.

Would I survive? Would I make it through? Today marks a year of this life, a year of having freshly brewed chai, whenever I feel like, a year of working in pyjamas and shorts and not bothering to check myself in the mirror, a year of packing lunch myself and looking after *every* aspect of another person’s life, with no help, a year of leisurely dinners in the balcony, staring at stars, a year of impromptu swimming breaks, a year of not knowing what lies ahead, the next week – a year of cozy cuddling up in bed with a dog, a rug and a child and ice-cream, whenever I feel like it, a year of long walks without a destination in mind, a year of sacrifices that the child will never ever know of, a year of living at possibly one-tenth of the budget that I used to.

A year of grocery shopping – with a list (whenever I remember to take it to the store), a year of friends drifting in and out, staying over for as long as they’d like, a year of impromptu parties and conversations that lasted into the morning, a year of working when I’d like, with who I’d like, at my own pace.


My bank account might be groaning because of malnutrition, but my life is exponentially richer now. Would I have it any other way? I don’t think so 🙂

P.S. Clive, thank you for the *actually* candid photo 😉

Happy 9th, Baby!

Another year, and probably the toughest one you’ve had to face, yet. You continue to amaze me with your sheer grit and your love, Harshitha, and Amma couldn’t be more prouder of you.

You’ve learnt to cycle, on your own, without training wheels – you come home with bruises that you brush off and torn pants. You never come back home with your clothes unsmudged and it amazes me you’ve come this far. From a child who’d be scared of the dirt to willingly embracing it like your sibling. I swear I can hear the washing machine groan when I walk up to it with your load. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Continue to be as wild as you are.


Your compassion is growing in leaps and bounds. From fostering pigeons to ladybugs, we’re doing it all, and your willingness to share your home and heart with absolutely anybody and anything surprises me to no end. Having to say no to another one of your demands to take a bedraggled puppy/kitten/worm home breaks my heart sometimes, but it does make it swell in silent pride too.

We had a lovely party for you this year. Kavi Aunty told a story for you and all your friends and there was cotton candy and pasta and even a puppet show that had everyone screaming. And of all the pictures that I took at the party last night, this is the one that stayed with me. You, with Shyama, your BFF. Who weaved you a pretty little bracelet and wrapped it in glitter paper and proceeded to explain why she’d rather make something for you instead of buying it. I hope you remember her when you read this. But if you don’t, talk to me – I’ll tell you stories of sleepovers with her and choco-chip pancakes and warm blankets and books.



Happy Birthday, darling child – may you always, always find happiness in the little things in life.


Of missing someone…

July and August of every year are very difficult for me. People who are close to me know how susceptible I am to losing my shi* during these days and handle me with kid gloves.(Thank you, by the way, you know who you are) These months are super important for two reasons – one month took away what I held the most important, and then the next gave me something that I will always, always be thankful for.

In the span of a year, I had Harshitha and I’d lost my mother.  To people who’ve never lost a parent, it’s unfathomable to think of something like that. But I know, it is inevitable. I have made my peace with the fact that I’ll never have a mother to cry my heart out to, but the fact that hurts the most is that Harshitha won’t be ever able to experience the incredible, mad, gut-wrenching love that my mother could display.


When I say mad, I say it in the most affectionate way, but actually, mean the dictionary version of it – I’ve seen her fight people thrice her size when it came to protecting us – and I’ve seen her challenge every norm that society had thrust upon her, while fighting her own battles – and managing to raise two children, while at it.

From travelling without tickets, without a return date or a particular destination in mind, to being the mother who’d hide my school uniform and turn all the clocks in the house an hour backwards the day I had picnics (Yes, I know!) because that was the only way she’d get me to not go, being my mother’s daughter probably has been the most adventurous, maddening and invigorating thing that has ever happened to me.

I miss the madness more than anything else, Amma – normalcy is overrated.

P.S. I hope they have chai up there, wherever you are.

Of consent, and the sheer disrespect of it.



intr.v.con·sent·ed, con·sent·ing, con·sents

1. To give assent, as to the proposal of another; agree: consent to medical treatment; consent to going on a business trip; consent to see someone on short notice.
Consent – a word that has so many misinterpretations it is not funny. Consent? That’s easy to understand you’d think! Right?
Image Courtesy : National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Wrong – if the world actually understood or even tried to have an understanding of consent, the rates of sexual abuse, assault and rape would have dropped dramatically. Did you know 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience sexual assault in their lifetime?

Although I’d like to not have ever faced it – I have, on multiple levels, seen it happen at close quarters, to me, and friends. I could tell you stories of being eighteen and in a strange city, scared sh*tless because some man couldn’t stop following me to the hostel – because I’d asked him for the time, of all things, that man took friendly banter as consent.

Or I could tell you of the friend, who’d only accepted a lift from a male colleague, who ended being felt up – because she sat in the front seat. I kid you not, when confronted – all that creep had to say was – “But she sat in the front with me, after asking for a lift.” Here, sitting in the front seat became “consent.”

Or the time another was harassed, with threatening phone calls, love letters in blood, and messages, and maligning Facebook posts from a jilted ex, right until her wedding day, and even after. Like the picture says, consent means asking every time. Just because she liked you in the past, doesn’t mean she has given you consent for the rest of your life.

Do we really not understand that consent to touch a woman is only when she explicitly says so?

Ever since I’ve been technically “single”, I’ve faced multiple instances where people assume that my friendliness or general camaraderie is consent in some form. Thankfully, every instance is a learning lesson to be more safe-guarded the next time, but when will we actually understand that a no means just that – A fucking NO?