“Valiachan” only to me-

Gautham, his uncle and aunt
Gautham Vasudev Menon- With his Uncle and Aunt

Wanting to write is a good thing. What sets that off is not necessarily a good thing. Today, it’s a lot of sadness. The last of the old frontier men in the family is gone. Yes, I would like to call them that. He was one of the best, actually. All of them led very simple lives. KMP Menon’s was filled with grace and dignity amidst some trial and tribulation. When a teacher goes on to become every student’s best friend, you know that’s an exceptional man we are talking about. Almost every post sent in by his students in the wake of his passing away calls him that. Soft, gentle, grace and dignified are words that come to my mind whenever I’ve met him too. My dad’s older brother, my earliest memory of him is a wedding in the family when I Read more

Motherhood- Up close and personal

With the birth of my daughter, was born lofty ideas of motherhood. In many ways it felt like a destination was upon me. How could anything else that life had to offer be of more importance than this bit of perfection?! A brand new life, who I would shield from the imperfections of the world and mould with loving care. In my naïveté, I believed it would be as simple as knowing that and methodically going about making it happen.
As parents, we wanted her to have the kind of childhood that we did. My parents never fretted over what I wasn’t or couldn’t do. My mother’s practicality and strength of character, my father’s wisdom and kindness. Their unconditional love. They never denied me the freedom to fly nor the security of knowing they are there to catch me if I fall. That’s what I wanted to pass on to her. Read more

Now that the Oscars are behind us… !

2015 Oscars
American Sniper

My take on some of the movies that were nominated in the “Best Picture” category… American Sniper (Dir. Clint Eastwood) The story of America’s deadliest sniper, navy seal Chris Kyle received quite a bit of criticism soon after it launched due to the glorification of the killing of women and children in Iraq. This is the 11th Academy nomination for director Clint Eastwood and despite all the criticism, I feel that he pulled off a taut well directed gem. While it is a fact that a large number of Chris Kyle’s kills were women and children, they didn’t come easy to him. Bradley Cooper is a talented actor and his acting shone throughout the movie. He visibly showed the toll on his soul being taken every time he had to pull the trigger as he covered his marine brothers going door to door clearing buildings of militants on the ground. Read more

Selma – A review

Selma…

The story of the march that convulsed a nation, shattered carefully maintained hypocrisy and discrimination and thrust forth a raging thirst for freedom that just would not be denied. A must watch for our budding young citizens of the new world. To recognize and appreciate a seminal period in the still young life of their birth nation. A good movie, though one that can’t surpass the visual and soul shaking experience that Gandhi was. It still exposed long buried wounds – At least one older member of the audience in last evening’s movie had to leave overcome with emotion.

Our girls learnt about the power of the people and how their burning desire for the freedom to vote just would not be denied. All while getting a close up glimpse into the life of the great Martin Luther King Jr and the personal demons he was forced to face and overcome.

Kudos to the Fremont Unified School District (SF, Bayarea) for working with the Century theater in Union Landing, Fremont to allow 7th, 8th and 9th graders to watch it for free, opening up their young minds to a powerful period in American history.

The Moth and I

It was fall of 2006. On my way back home one evening, I had stopped at the red light, when a moth, flying carefree, decided to meet face to face with me. Unfortunately,  the windshield between us stopped him in his “tracks”. Luckily for him, the collision was not life threatening. Although frazzled and slow in his ascent, he managed to fly along his way. Read more

Reflections on Fall, Dog, and Messages from above

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There is something exciting and mysterious about the month of October. Maybe it’s the unpredictability of its days. Maybe it’s the way fall sneaks up quietly, stunningly, and there is an anticipation in the air, a thrill. A warning in the evening chill, a reminder that summer is long gone. A cold wind comes swooping down every now and then as if to say ‘fasten your seat belts!’- for the plunge into the long cold months of winter. Read more

Repurposed

redo

Have you had one of those days when you wonder what the point of it all is? I went through a particularly severe bout of it recently where I sat paralyzed by the thought- what now?? I wasn’t depressed, not in any sense of the word, just completely lost. A need to move in some direction but a sense of being hopelessly stuck in a spot. I wanted to do grand things with my life, make big differences. There must be some reason for my existence other than the usual cycle of life. I went through a mental list. If I was a cartoon character (and there are some in my family who will say I am, but let’s ignore my sister) I would have those thought bubbles over my head which pop up and explode, options considered and discarded. If only I had a cape, a wand and Bill Gate’s bank account. Read more

One marriage, many anniversaries

Pink-Floyd-The-Dark-Side-of-the-Moon

A marriage anniversary is coming up, or so I thought! On the stroke of midnight, I wished him, well, I texted him. He responded, “thanks, same to you”. Long story, yelling child and what not. Eventually we have a drink, just the usual, a pre bedtime routine. The following evening, we take the older kid out for her swim and I “expect” (the unspoken desire)  him to take me out to dinner. But we drove home instead. Of course, I was seeing red by then and things just derailed from then on. But he had a good point  two minutes into our tirade.  He said, “Our anniversary was two days ago”. Read more