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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In the Moment . . .

I love my children.

I really, really do.

But there are days where all the things I am caught up in - be it family drama, work pressures, the news on the television and all of the social media outlets I am behind on just distract the hell out of me.

So yeah. I love my children.

But I love them in kind of a haze. Like - I look at them and I have this feeling of "God, you are just so freaking cute! I am so blessed!" but at the same time I am thinking that, another part of me is thinking:

"Shoot, did we get the car inspected? Are we late again?"

"Did I get that deliverable out for work? Argghh!!"

"Are John and I supposed to travel at the same time next week? What are we going to do?"

"How much fat was just in that sandwich I scarfed down in less than two minutes?"

"Will my life always feel like I am in running in circles? Is this what it is?

And after all of that - there is a part of me that thinks - and yes - I am not proud - but at the deepest recesses of my mind, I think . . .

"Wow. So this is it, huh?"

And that haze takes over. Sometimes I am good at acknowledging it is there and I recognize the beauty of the words and actions of my children. And sometimes I slow down enough to really REALLY enjoy and savor that moment where none of the noise - all of that discordant bullshit - can really block me just enjoying them for everything they are.

For just that moment.

The thing is - I don't slow down enough to really enjoy or understand how lucky I am to have those moments.

And all of those moments? Well, they seem to be passing me by.

And I get caught up in all the background noise.

Tonight, as I put Shaila to bed, for just a little while, I had a moment of clarity.

I could fib and tell you that I always have clarity when I am with my children, but that would make me a liar. And I think you know where I am going with this, because you know me too well.

Tonight - just for a little while - I couldn't hear the noise.

All that stupid noise.

It hit me like a ton of bricks to the gut. Her breath against my cheek. Her eyes. Her little teeny voice that won't be a little teeny voice before I can even imagine. Her cute little laugh. Her button nose. The way she says "I love you, my mommy."

Those moments are there. Every second of every day.

Maybe I just need to open my eyes a little more before they pass me by.

And so I do not sit here looking back ten years from now, trying to asses where I was today - April 2010 - and being able to vividly recall all of the minutiae of the pressures of work - but with little to no recollection of:

Shaila's sweet little breath as she says, "I miss you, my mommy."

Nico's newfound ability to crawl backwards.

Shaila's love for all Willy Wonka candy.

The feel of their arms around my neck.

I hope they always embrace their moments and don't get caught up in the noise like their mother.

Because I don't know how and when I started thinking it was ok to let so much of my life pass me by.


Friends - I know that I have been absent in the land of blogging. I have not been writing. I have not been commenting. I have hardly been able to read any of the writing my friends have been doing out there. Forgive me.

In the midst of life - I have been trying to keep up.

Oh. And I forgot to mention . . .

To capture more of my moments.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Writing Your Own Story

He closes the book.

He is tired.

He has written his stories and there are many, many chapters. More chapters than he expected to ever have written. Because his life has been prolific enough on its own to warrant the extra pages.

He feels like it could be mistaken as vanity, but when your story spans continents, spans different centuries, spans across a lifetime of "what ifs" and "could haves," well . . .

Circumstance makes the longer table of contents and the numerous footnotes necessary.

While writing this book, chapters have come about in ways he did not envision when he first started his journey.

Because when writing, what you start with is never exactly what you expected to end up with.

Characters have taken turns he did not expect. The plot veered off course all too often and tragedy and pain, often times unexpected, pepper the chapters throughout the book.

In his naivete and innocence when he first started this book, he had hoped for more of a romantic comedy. That would have been nice.

But that's not what he looks at as he scans the pages of the book before him today.

And that's ok.

It is what it is.

And so his story is written.

But he is tired. And he doesn't want to write anymore.

Because at this point, he is looking for someone else to finish the book.

He knows that no matter how much he labored on tying everything together and giving each character meaning and substance, that each character developed a life of its own. That not all characters will bend to the pen.

He knows that in this story he has forgiven. And he know what it means to be forgiven.

He knows that in this story, what often seemed wrong or right, was never really quite so clear and that shades of gray made some chapters harder to close then others. Made some characters harder to vilify.

Because there were no villains. There were no heroes or maidens.

There was just life.

And he realizes that no matter how much you want to create a happy ending, some characters just can't give that to you. That over the course of developing some of these characters, that they go their own way. They create a new path for themselves and twists in the story he could not have anticipated.

And it's hard to bring them back.

He wants to take chapters and re-write pages and pages. Maybe even rip them out of the book if he can.

But he can't do that.

None of us can do that.

The story has a heart of it's own, a life that he may have given it. But one which now speaks its own mind. And takes directions that cannot be edited by his pen with much effect.

He closes the book.

He is tired of writing. At least for today.

But he knows that this is his story.

And he will finish it.

There are chapters to go still. And while things may not tie up neatly the way he expected, he is alright with that.

He will finish it.

But just not today. He has way too much living to do.


"You must have control of the authorship of your own destiny. The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand."

- Author Irene Kassorla

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Remember Me?

Yeah - it's me, Kiran. The one who pretends that Alyssa Milano is her middle school bestie.



I have been busy. Some priorities with family and work have shifted. Blogging has fallen off the radar for me. And obviously I am even more devastated that alyssa milano didn't reach out to let me know that we still could be besties.

so, so sad.


Other things need to be addressed. A few weeks ago - I put up a post for our neighbor's and the adversity they were dealing with as Declan, 8 months old, continues to fight cancer.

Some days the news is good.
Somedays the news is bad.

Some of you have asked me directly about Declan.

I would ask that in honor of the Declan's family - this week, I not write and instead you can go over and read about Declan and his fight and you can absorb the details of this family's journey.

Please go to - read and mostly, pray? (If you are not religious - just put all your positive thoughts together and send them over). The end goal is nothing other than that we want Declan to come home, healthy and happy.

Miss all of you.

Thanks for being there.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Are You There Alyssa Milano? It's Me, Kiran

I have to be honest with you.

Because, I must admit, I am not always so honest.

And, well, it's about time that I freaking come clean.

So . . . I have been reading "Are You There Vodka, It's Me Chelsea?" by the comedic God-DESS Chelsea Handler.

Now, since I am into not lying, I will be honest with you again - I knew who Chelsea was, but did not want to be her BFF until one of my bloggy friends, Surferwife made it her duty to educate me and the rest of the "internets".

Cuz she's good peeps.

But now? Well, I freaking love Chelsea. I wish I could have been at her Bat Mitzvah. I was raised Hindu, but to hell with all that shiz. I am supposed to get reincarnated anyway, and God, what I wouldn't give to be one of Chelsea Handler's Jewish friends from synagogue in my next life.

I'd eat matzohs and kugel with her anyday.

So, in one of her stories, she recalls a time where she tried to impress a boy in her class by telling him she had a starring role in the sequel to Private Benjamin, and she would play Goldie Hawn's daughter.

And so, OBVIOUSLY, well, this reminded me of the time I told everyone in our middle school that I knew Alyssa Milano.

And that we were like, friends.

Pals, really.

I had a real pulse on what might get me some attention at Jonas Salk Middle School.

Cuz lord knows my boobs weren't cutting it for me anytime soon.

The truth is, everyone in the late 80's had a freaking crush on Alyssa Milano. I think even Ricky Martin might have.

Guys in my middle school wanted to do her and girls wanted to be her.

She was the hottest thing since those crazy ass Pound Puppy dolls.

She was a cute chick, a sassy little sweetheart, and a smartass talking Brooklynite. She was a badass - before we even knew what a badass was.

And as much of a badass as I guess you can be when you are co-starring with Judith Light and Tony Danza.

So here was my gig. Brilliant, really.

See? I pretended I had an old friend named Carissa Milano (Yeah - no coincidence that it rhymes with Alyssa), who happened to live in the same town as her cousin Alyssa. Through some diligent research from "Teen Beat Magazine" - I discovered that Alyssa lived in a place called Studio City, California.

Studio City. So exotic.

And so I decided that this exotic little town is where my friend "Carissa" would also hail.

Could I have been any more creative?

So at lunch, I would cough and make lots of noises to attract attention to myself. I just wouldn't burp or fart, because that's just gross. So as I coughed up a lung really loud to cause just the right amount of a commotion, I would whip out my special stationary and act like I was writing the sequel to The Bhagavad Gita.

I would make sure to talk out loud as I wrote these heart felt letters, the words to my old (fake) friend Carissa, spilling from my heart.

Dear Cari,

(She liked to be called Cari. It made her more approachable and gave her a stamp different from Alyssa)

I miss you! How are you? How are things going in Studio City? Are you like, super busy? Hey did you get that part in the Francesco Rinaldi spaghetti sauce commercial. I hope so. I would buy spaghetti sauce if you were in the commercial. I hope your agent can land you the role.

(Did you notice how smooth that was? I was down with the lingo. Agent.)

The other day I was doing something really cool. I forget what it was, but for whatever reason, I thought of that time when you, me and your cousin, Alyssa, did x, y and z. Do you remember that Cari? That was awesome.

I saw "Who's The Boss" last night. I can't believe Sam got a hickey. Tell Alyssa not to be such a ho.

Love ya!
Your best friend,

Now - I know it is wrong on so many levels. But sometimes, to survive, we all have to tell a lie or two.

I am also not saying that most of my classmates bought it. But people were too nice to call me out on it. Well, except for that one bitch, Jen - but she moved away in the seventh grade anyway.

Probably to go and ostracize some little Indian girl in another town who told everyone she was friends with Debbie Gibson.


Thanks to you, Alyssa Milano for all the memories. And if you really do have a cousin named Cari, tell her I want my pound puppy back.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thank You, India

A few weeks ago, my family (in the United States) got word from my family (in India) that something terrible had happened.

A cousin of mine, whom I call, Mukesh Bhaiya (Bhaiya means brother), had passed away.

His death was a tragic one. He was a cameraman for a news crew and on the way back from an assignment, the car which he was traveling in (along with a reporter and driver) was in a terrible, terrible accident.

He left behind a wife and a one year old son.

Two weeks later, my parents called me to tell me that another uncle of mine in India had also passed away.

My parents did not cry as they told me the news on the phone. But I could tell that they were devastated by the loss. The distance. The memories.

I didn't cry either.

Not because I'm not sad. I am terribly, terribly sad.

It's more because I don't feel like I have the right to cry.

In many ways, I feel like I have let my family in India down.

Actually, it's not something I feel, it's something I know.

I have cousins I have not seen in years. However, some of my happiest childhood memories were spent with them during my summers in India.

I have aunts and uncles who I ran to with open arms as a child, who showered me with love and candy and sunshine and laughter.

But I can't remember their faces anymore.

I have family in India, who don't have "much" if you just consider possessions. My family is from the Northern villages of the state of Bihar, which is known to be one of the poorest areas of India.

Which, I guess you can imagine, says something.

However, they would give you the shirt off their backs if you went into their homes. They would feed you food that would not be easy to afford for them, but they would do it with joy and love and complete and utter affection.

Even if it meant they might have to go without something later that week, to give you something they could be proud of today.

My sister, her husband and my niece recently came back from a trip to India. They had a whirlwind trip, but they made an effort to see ALL of the family, which means a whole lot of travel and a lot more hecticness.

But my sister thought it was important. She wanted to make the time.

To make the effort.

As she told me about how everyone was, emotions swept through me and clenched my heart tighter than I knew possible.

How was Lal Didi?
I asked.

Did you get a chance to see Hema and Reshma? Did you see Mala? Are they still as beautiful as I remember?
The tears had started to fall.

What about Nidhi? Is she going to college? She was always so smart!

My sister answered all of my questions. I could tell how much the trip had meant to her too. She answered as I asked about everyone I could think of. What were their children like? Were they happy?

She told me that she had never laughed harder. That she forgot how much joy our family had in them.

That she laughed and laughed and they laughed and laughed and she will never, ever forget that sound of their laughter.

I have never forgotten the sound of their laughter.

My children will know where my parents come from. They will know their distant aunts and uncles. Maybe not today, but I have to do this, not just for me, but for them.

They will understand the opportunities that they have. That perhaps their own cousins have never had.

They will understand what it means to have plentiful food, heat and air conditioning.

They will understand what it means to love with such openness and joy that it could make your heart break.

I can't wait to take them to India. It is one of the strongest legacies I can give them.

To my family in India - you may be far, but I will never, ever forget you.

You are a part of me. You are a part of my children.

I am humbled. And I will see you soon.

Thank you.


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