I can only read and sigh

At 44, I am a mother of two kids, and married to my college crush for 21 years. I browse dating articles with the attitude of the broke guy in the marketplace. I can never buy anything, but I do like to see what is available, and what other people complain about when they buy things.

Teenage girls dating

On Medium, I’ve read arguments between parents about how soon their teenage daughter can date.

In India, a girl would never date, teen or older! At least not with her parents’ knowledge or consent. Parents of teenage girls argue, about if she should be…

Here’s what’s cooking.

Reflections on living 24/7 with your husband

My husband and I after attending a wedding, back in 2019. Photo courtesy of our daughters, I don’t recall if the teen took it or the tween.

In Gillian Sisley‘s story about cake smearing of the bride’s expensively made-up face by the groom, she writes a piece of satire that hit close to the truth, for me.

First, guys look for the perfect girl. The good looker, the energetic one, the one you can take home to momma, and the one who can explain why booking losses is as important as booking profits at the end of the financial year.

Then they start to try and diminish her at the very wedding by smearing cake on her face.

Well, we don’t have cake at Indian weddings, and…


He was five, old enough to remember

Photo of my dad’s family. This is a 1958 picture. My dad and my uncle are the two oldest sons, who emigrated with their parents in March 1947. My uncle in the Western-style suit to the right of my granddad was the one born a week after they reached India. The three younger siblings have no memory of Rawalpindi, but even my generation has heard the stories.

I’m 1976 born. I’ve lived in a bunch of Indian railway towns. I’ve shuttled between the North and the South, of India.

I’ve enjoyed pineapple straight from the hillside, in the Karbi-Anglong North Cachar Hills. I’ve seen wispy cane crafted in front of my eyes into a sturdy chair, in Badarpur. I’ve tasted the Chole Bhature of Nand Di Hatti in the Paranthe wali gali in Delhi, I’ve purchased Kantha Kadhai, a kind of embroidery stitch for salwar-kameezes, in Calcutta. I’ve ridden in a diesel locomotive in Chittaranjan, West Bengal, and enjoyed the delights of the white sand in Mangalore…

GiaB prompt #15 illumination

Baridih Recreation Club, a common wedding feast location in my city. Photo by author.

When I first saw the GiaB prompt of the fortnight – Illumination – in this article where Victor Sarkin talks about fairy lights in a glass-conservatory-turned restaurant, in the UK, I thought,

Oh. There’s no way I could talk about anything as beautiful as that. This is India, there aren’t any such lighted restaurants here.

Then my mind turned to darker thoughts still. Nights in Chittaranjan, West Bengal, spent without electricity. The saying was that the first English word children in Chittaranjan learned was “load-shedding”.

In Fisher-Price Has Turned Our Remote Work Hell Into A Toy, Rob Walker had me laugh out loud with his satirical and on-point article. The story discusses a toy digital workstation aimed at pre-schoolers.

Working from home hasn’t been easy for a lot of us. I’m used to reading about America, on Medium.

Then, I looked around me.

Photo of last year’s books, by author.

I mean, I’m in India — I just handed over last year’s textbooks to parents of a child a year younger than mine, now in the eighth grade. They can’t afford a new set of books, or they don’t want to waste…


Some of the things I miss as a South-Indian living in North India.

My daughter outside my parents’ Bangalore home. It is always cool, but never cold there. Photo by author, 2005.

In Five Things I Miss About The South, Joshua Darien talks about his South, the American South. His story is relatable. I had never heard of Zaxby’s, a restaurant Joshua drives 9 hours to visit, but I’ve heard of the sweet tea, because a Texas girl on Medium, Robin du Plessis, who’s now in South Africa, mentioned it in her very funny article on onion tea.

I miss the South, too. My Indian south. I love living in North India, where I’m respected and revered, for simple things like doing a root canal. …


What’s in the clay bowl?

Me and my mum-in-law at the sweet shop in town, today. Photo by author.

A sweet shop, brand new
The recipes, old. Feeling
Blue? Yogurt, eat sweet.


Heavy vegetable, light child

Vegetable seller. This is a poorer man who sits on the ground to sell his vegetables. The lady and her kids were here. Photo by author.

Yes, The little boy and
his sister were with their mom,
A burkha lady.

Small, light family.
Mom handed him a bottle
gourd, it was heavy!

The boy sat down in
the dust, unbalanced by the
load. Mom and sis helped

Together, they got
Their vegetables home and
Heaved after hefting.

Today, in the vegetable market, a lady in a niqab, with two children — a boy, no higher than her hip, and a younger girl — was carrying a big bag of vegetables. She handed the boy a 2-kilo bottle gourd. He was unbalanced by the heavy vegetable just…

Tooth Truth Roopa Vikesh

Jamshedpur, India. Dentist, mom of 2 girls, lives in a joint family, in love with the written word.

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