Musings on a plane ride…

April 14, 2018

We are 26000 feet about ground, my seven year old daughter Anji and I. What is it about being high up that brings such perspective? It is finally April break, and we are on the way to seeing my dear buddies from college – a last minute impromptu trip. And all my morning struggles of getting laundry done, packing, having breakfast and getting ready to leave for our trip seem so minor right now up here in the sky. I feel more relaxed and happy than I remember feeling this week, and Anji seems much calmer as well. Without the distractions of everyday life, I have enjoyed her company these last few hours, of reading a book together, hearing her talk about her toys, watching a service dog together, commenting on various peoples’ shoes, checking out others luggages…you get the gist! We finished Spiderwick chronicles book 2 together and now we will have to wait to borrow the next one from the library.

Anji even slept, head on my lap, on the coach to Boston, sweet darling warm and sweaty and in her own thoughts and dreams. Maybe this is why I love traveling, going somewhere and getting out of my usual routine, this chance to witness my loved ones up close and seeing the amazing qualities they possess that makes me love them so much!

With love, S.


Simple pleasures…and happy-ness!

You know how sometimes you need that break to reset the clock, and remind you to slow down? It was wonderful to get away during spring break. We returned on Thursday and I spent the next two days frantically cleaning our home – reorganizing furniture, getting rid of clutter. With the nice weather, my soul now feels more at peace with my home and surroundings. Feeling the wind ruffle my hair, the air cool on my skin as I went for a short walk during Anji’s music lesson. Riding our bikes around the condo after we returned from school…Just hanging out on the table after dinner, coloring in my book, listening to Anjali play music while Abhi filled her bath upstairs… Simple pleasures make the day. Somehow they always have, for me.


We had a fantastic time in Orlando – it has been a while since the three of us traveled together as a family, especially involving plane travel. Looking up from the book I was reading on the plane, I saw Abhi engrossed in his reading and Anji engrossed in hers. We are all so alike – our love for books, for independence and for time and space to just be. It’s one of the reasons I love my family and I feel grateful that we are similar in that way. We are also each different and unique and that’s fun too – to navigate during a vacation and figure out things that each of us likes. Probably, Abhi gets the rough end of the bargain – since he usually goes along with what Anji and I want. But every now and then, he gets what he likes best too – watching a movie or playing a solid game of chess. Simple pleasures make the day.


Even though, we did the Disney trip and even saw a rocket launch from the space center, want to know my favorite part? Lounging by the pool, feeling the heat on my skin, watching Anji do the water slide, and dipping into my book. Adventures are fun! But for me, it is always the down time that makes me appreciate everything else and brings me a sense of gratitude and wholeness. That’s all we did, the last day – lounge, swim, shower, get a massage, eat delicious food and yummy key lime pie. Somehow, it was the best day of all…


What is it that makes your day? What makes you happy? Did you see clear blue skies today or twinkling stars in the night? Or the smile on the face of an eager child? Or feel the rush of something new? Or the comfort of something old? (like your favorite snuggly pajamas!). Here is an invitation – pay attention when you get happy like that, shining from the inside. It will light up the space inside of you. As Rumi says, “No one knows what makes the soul wake up so happy! Maybe a dawn breeze has blown the veil from the face of God.”


With love, S.

The details…

Today I feel a loss of words I want to write so much but I am unable to! Everyday I see people who inspire me. Ordinary people, who bear their burdens, who have lesser than I do, but also have something more that is sweet in its humanness. The woman who did my pedicure yesterday, migrated from Darjeeling India where there are mountains and tea and cold weather and people speak a different language, to here, chennai which is coffee drinking, very hot and people speak Tamil. It was her acceptance that struck me- this is how things are – and the something else she brought to her work, a sort of gentle attention to detail. You can do anything well, with care, that’s what I learn.

Like Mary, who gives me a massage every other day, for Rupees 120, which is the equivalent of 2 $. She comes at 11.00am, after having worked in three houses, since 6.30am. She tells me she hasn’t eaten anything because she is fasting for her youngest son to get married, and will only eat after finishing her work and prayer, at around 2.00pm. And yet her massage is perfect, the pressure, the gentleness, and mainly the attention.

I love the cd of carefully chosen Tamil songs that our driver Chandran has made, that makes you want to drive forever. When he plays with Anji on the beach, I wonder if he plays like that, has the time to, with his 2 year old daughter. Our driver in Mumbai whom Anji calls Abbu, tells me that he still hasn’t seen his sister’s kids, who are 5 and 3, because there hasn’t been any time. When he picks up Anji, his face lights up, the way we have never seen.

I love the way the vegetable vendor chooses the chikkus for us. 40 rupees he says, which is less than a dollar.

Perhaps it is because I’m visiting that I can be a witness. I can hear the different sounds in the morning, of crows, and cars and dogs coexisting and not get annoyed at being woken up, or see the cluttered dining table with fruits and snacks, and medicines and glasses and mosquito vaporizers and not feel the need to clean up. I can simply be. And in being there is this space in which it seems obvious that my problems aren’t much. Here people deal with much more, with a smiling face and a brave front.

And that I have so much. So much to be grateful for.

With love, S.