Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts

Friday, July 30, 2021

today in vignettes

An early morning walk with L after SO MANY days. Between her travels and mine, it's been way too long. The Radiology Gardens (where I snapped this pic) had a fundraiser, and we bought a giant planter of coleus each and lugged it around with us.

At took me to the car dealership earlier in the morning to drop Bluey off for a two-year service. When the check-in person asked if I needed a loaner or a ride back home, I felt so proud telling them that I "brought my son." The son in question was amused that when he stopped to get gas, I hopped out to help him, but was so lost around all the slots and buttons after two years of plugging in Bluey.

A boozy cousin B called as we were getting dinner on the table. A bunch of cousins are getting together at his new beachhouse in Pondicherry and he MISSED me. I've been seeing pics on cousin chat since, and everyone is talking about a big reunion in December. Today I'm pretending (even to myself) that this might actually happen.

And today is officially the day Nu picked their new name. We had tried a name that started with "N' for a while. But then one day as I was getting dressed, I saw Big A's money clip with his initials, and the thought that At would be able to use it one day slipped into my mind...  I wanted that for Nu too. Nu's new name begins with "A" too, so they'll still be the "Baby A" who debuted here in 2007. And even better, it kind of starts the same way as their old name, so I can course correct before I reach the end and avoid slip-ups. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021


I will not fail fall falter--
what is history but 
a storm that left 
us all bowed

although not forever long
I watch waves touch
shores and ships
--be calmed 

(I remember how old colonizers 
told us of monsters on maps
even--while wielding:
their sword-gun-pen)

Pic: Flying home--skies never fail to fascinate me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021


  • I haven't left the hotel in 48 hours.
  • I haven't had as many moments of panic as I typically have at home!!!
  • I have slept well--at least six hours every night!!!
  • Perhaps related, I've have had half a glass of wine with dinner/reception both nights.
  • (I should probably keep ^ in mind before I make plans to run away from family and home.)
  • And YAY, I get to go home tomorrow!!!!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2021

some more (travel)

Once more into the skies and on to D.C. where a long postponed conference-workshop awaits. 

Big A took me to the airport at 5 am, the plane took off at 6 am, and when I got to the hotel around 10 am-- they gave me a room right away.

Like me, it seemed everyone else too was grateful and eager for connection and collaboration after the pandemic hiatus, and people at our table lingered over half-full glasses of wine long after our formal welcome and orientation concluded. It turned out that one of the new people I met is an IRL friend of the fabulous Sarah from Harry Times. We were discussing academia and motherhood, and I had mentioned how seemingly effortlessly Sarah excels at parenting FIVE kids with an academic job and a spouse with a high-profile job--unsurprisingly perhaps, it appears there's only one of those 😀.

Speaking of kids--I haven't missed my kids since I kissed the human kids sleeping faces and the puppy kids furry faces at 4:30 am. 

[Pic: A nearly full moon at sunrise.]

Tuesday, July 13, 2021


Seaplane back to Seattle today.

I got to play copilot too.

Play copilot--I didn't actually touch any of the controls... 

I guess that had a lot to do with how I made it to Seattle, then to Detroit, and finally home today.

Monday, July 12, 2021

island times

Off to San Juan Islands --> 
Friday Harbor --> 

Day tripping to Cattlepoint, the lighthouse, lawn games, barbecue, dancing, laughing and snarking on cousins' old Chennai stories about 27D (bus # not Apt. #), cousins learning to play the parai, slideshows, baby cousins, laser-point astronomy demos, and chatting until I fell asleep on someone's couch... 

I have this seascape with the seagull on "loop" mode on my phone and know that I'll come back to this when I need a mental/emotional breather.

Sunday, July 11, 2021


Another day of catching up on the last year with fam, and so many I hadn't seen in years. S Auntie and I always end up reminiscing about when she babysat us and I always remember the pencil eraser she had that was shaped like a bulldog. 

Meanwhile back at home, Nu loved the Boss Day presents I packed for them before we left.

Saturday, July 10, 2021


It has been magical. This gathering of happy faces and hugs... congratulations, commiserations, reminiscences, and sweet sillinesses. Turned out, seeing A+M getting married was the cure to my pandemic year.

So much group dancing practice, group dancing, dancing with Big A. Turns out I still remember all the words to the Spice Girls, and when the DJ slipped into Bohemian Rhapsody for a minute, Big A and I promptly decided... it was a slow dance. Ha. 

Friday, July 09, 2021


 I guess this is really happening and we're headed for A+M's wedding in Seattle after all. Big A was going to do whatever I wanted to... which made me feel even more pressure to vet every tiny detail and decision.

But here we are, about to take off, it's beautiful, and... I'm so excited.

Friday, April 02, 2021

Daffodils Etc.

It's spring in England, and my mother visits,
So there is her readiness in colonial desire 
like urgent rain--where squandered things 
find great reception. Electronic billboards! 
Gargoyles in Oxford! Museums are free!
Hunger satisfies easy when you're eager.

Until one day at the grocery checkout she sees
daffodils--papery, plastic-wrapped, "solitary"
not a "never-ending line," "dancing," or "gay."
And Amma--at least a third-generation learner 
of Wordsworth's praise--is first silent in disdain,
her outstretched words rebound as if swindled:
"This? This is what he made such a fuss about?"

In her contempt, I hear comparisons--to the
languor of unkempt jasmine, lotus, plumeria... 
the warm, unlocked softnesses of oleanders, 
parijaths, ixoras... In her derision there hides 
history's list of pain, the sharp bite of the ruler 
when she couldn't say "jocund" right (at least).
And Babu: fish and chips were disappointing too.


I first wrote about Amma's reaction here--so many years ago.

Picture is from Daffodil Hill at the Radiology Gardens earlier this week; they seem to have been bigger this time last year?

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Rising Up

I've loved this tree on the Red Cedar River from the first time I noticed it. Especially the branch that looks like it was laid low but decided to aim upwards anyway.

As we close out 2020 (with LB's food exchange, SD's Zoom party in MD, and calls and texts from all over the world), I want for all of us to rise up in every way in 2021.

And I'd really, really like to see my sister and parents.

Monday, October 05, 2020


So I'm coming back, I'm coming, I 

run rabbit tongue 'neath rabbit teeth.

Sift half a laugh through salty hands.

Lift away grand new memories, but

only say: So-sorrySo-sorrySo-sorry.

Remember when I traveled--was it last

winter--and you said I'm with you, but 

you aren't me, never will be. I still bring 

prayers to this plague. Will sing through 

whispering airways: O-stayO-stayO-stay. 


Saturday, September 19, 2020


And we're off for the day, making the trip to Yellow Springs to see MIL who's had a few surgeries in the six months of the pandemic. Four hours there and four hours back, and the plan is to return home later tonight so we don't expose MIL to our germs or pick up icky hotel cooties ourselves.

(I've packed an extra change and puppy supplies, just in case!)

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

The Other Side

These signs mandating face coverings on MSU's campus (indoors and outdoors!) have just popped up: I'm so happy to see them; I'd be so much happier if all the panting runners and cyclists would wear masks already. 

In other news, while waiting for my 11:00 am meeting to start, I snatched about 40+ minutes to do some work on a writing project and that felt really, really, really good. 

I didn't get a lot done, and I definitely didn't get great work done, but I got started! I'm glad I didn't let the lack of scheduled time or the fact that that the clock wasn't precisely aligned at the top of the hour throw me off (this is a ridiculous but real procrastinating trigger for me and has been since grade school days). A good lesson to remember for tomorrow if our departmental meeting goes on for longer than planned and I have some magic minutes before my noon meeting. 

And I'm getting in some sustaining one-on-one time with the human kids--the alternating walk-talks have hit a rhythm and I watched a couple of good movies--Misery with At the Stephen King fan and Never Let me Go with Nu who at 12 read the Ishiguro novel last month. (Yes, bragging; sorry! Byeee.)

Monday, July 06, 2020

Food (related) notes

These are the first of At's tomatoes and he has high hopes about serving them with breadcrumbs and mozzarella whenever they he happens to be ready.

I watched a few eps of the new Masterpiece/PBS orientalist fantasy Beecham House--somehow simultaneously overblown and underdone. William Dalrymple is a historical consultant on the show and it's directed by Gurindher Chadha, but despite those two it's really, really bad. I got so irritated almost immediately that the hindi dialogue gets mentioned but not translated e.g., "X speaks in Hindi"--What did he say?! How could it not matter?! Anyway, it inspired "Anglo-Indian" elements at dinner prep time--the peach chutney, ghee toast, and curry-poached cod came together from whatever we needed to use up before our Imperfect Foods box arrives tomorrow and the steamed veg was tongue-in-cheek homage to stereotypical Brit cuisine/me running out of time and imagination.

At dinner, it got us talking about trips to England (especially last year's "Cosmopolitan England" Spring term trip) and all the good meals we've eaten there (some straight out of Sainsbury's). I miss travel.

Friday, June 19, 2020

It's getting hot in here (SO HOT)

I've just embraced the non-AC-having, south-facing double-storied-windows-and-skylight having solarium as my personal beach: working on my tan, reading trashy novels, drinking cold drinks, and falling asleep in a sweaty heat haze. I guess it's not as hot as last summer because of the tarp over one skylight. which we're not fixing until next spring? I mean--I don't know if we'll get to a beach this summer. So I have some travel books up there too (Greece!). Sometimes I'll text the family chat to say, "at the beach--bring your books and drinks" and might get a kid or two to read with me for a while, but no one loves this sweaty lounge spot more than I do.

And yes--it always makes us chuckle that Nelly's transparent play to get women to take their clothes off has somehow been my (conservative, India-raised) mom's favorite summer song since At was a baby. But yes, it's a good idea to take off some clothes.

And it IS getting so hot--I was going to cook, but it turned out that we got some pizza from Art's instead.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Notes on 'camp'

Quick overnight trip to Chicago. (In classic irreverent fashion, the human kids called it the great Corona Virus Vacation.) Actually, it was a birthday trip organized by Big A as I love long chatty road trips with all the lovies, having carpet room-service picnics, and falling asleep to a range of deep snores.

As I texted KB who was incredulous that I'd do this to myself--it's the closest I'll ever come to camping.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

So Bae

I'd taken the BART in to the city when I arrived, but I was running a bit late and took a taxi back to the airport. I'm so glad I did! I got to see the sunrise over the bay, have a great conversation with my Eritrean cabbie, and got an upgrade at the gate from a kind, young woman who called me "milady." OK.
Late yesterday I was elected caucus chair for the year, and I'm not sure if that deserves congratulations or commiserations yet. Not bad for a day which started with me and my roomie EH poring over the weather app and trying to figure out what the wavy gray lines were. (Fog, duh.)

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Madras Madcaps

SR and I have been taking this picture we call the "Madras Madcap" series at NWSA because we both spent time in Madras and like to wear hats and things:

            2019                                        2018                             2017