Grab a cuppa, tell a story or listen to one.

Everyone loves stories. Everyone has a story to tell.



Dear Ma, Happy Mother’s Day !

Dear Ma, 

I know this is completely unexpected and I have never written a note to you before, but I am a mom now and am learning a few new things from my daughter. I promise you though I will not write anything clichéd, not reveal any family secrets or make you teary eyed. 

Thank you for making me the mother I am today. You said the last time you were here that I was pretty good at this thing. I learnt it all from you. I am exactly like you in many ways. Like I always start waking the children thirty minutes before they have asked to be woken up. “Wake up, it is 6am, “ I tell them when it is actually 5:30am only. They wake up rubbing their eyes and look at the clock (or their smartphones) only 15 mins later. When they eventually get mad at me, I smile back innocently just like you did.  A little extra time on hand hurts no body, it is all for their own good they will realize someday, just as I did. 

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Henry : The Special Visitor

Henry is nine year’s old. Like most children his age, he loves to play. But he prefers to play by himself on the bars in the school playground. He flips on them, hangs upside down and catches the sunshine. He likes to walk and wander around the school. He stops in front of every classroom and intently watches the art display on the windows. He smiles a lot but does not like talking as much.

It was my day of volunteering in the third grade classroom. I had crossed paths with Henry while picking supplies from the office and making trips to drop them in the classroom. Amidst the cacophony of a school recess, I had noticed him pay attention to everything that other’s were not paying attention to.

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Do the curls or the makeup really matter ?

There are few times in a year that I wake up in the morning to wear formal attire, do my hair, put a little kohl under my eyes and slip into my heels. This is rare as most of the days you would find me in my jeans and converse, sans any makeup and my hair staying whichever way they decided to stay that day. But on those few mornings, I make a little effort as I ready myself for my business meetings.

It is not necessary to do any of that but I cannot walk into those meetings in my jeans and converse either. Most often, I leave things mid-way. This morning I leave dabbing the concealer on the dark acne scars halfway through. I remind myself that it does not matter. There are far more important things in the world than my acne scars. I take a final glance and notice that my hair has decided to behave today. The natural curls are not standing out and are obediently falling on my shoulders. I rarely have a good hair day.

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The Last BookStore – Los Angeles

It is the World Book Day! Bibliophiles all over the country are talking about their favorite books and authors. In today’s times, we usually do not talks as much about the bookstores. The online e-stores have become an easy and convenient replacement to the traditional bookstores. But the charm that a bookstore exudes can never compare with what the e-store offers.

On a recent trip to LA, instead of soaking sun on the beach or strolling the streets of Beverly Hills, we the chatoveracuppa ladies took a trip to the The Last BookStore in Downtown Los Angeles. The store definitely deserves a special mention for the way it’s aesthetics and the enormous collection of used and new, books and records. It would make the book lovers never leave the place.

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Benign or Malignant ? The Thin Line In Between

Sometime early last year,while I was making an important presentation at work, a text message popped up on my phone . “Call me”  – it said.  An unusually short text from a friend who wrote dangerously lengthy ones and who was also returning from a MRI that day. I remained distracted for the rest of the presentation.

In the days to come, my friend and I shared numerous calls and texts as she underwent further more tests and scans, took second opinions, pondered about her life and then awaited results. What if it was true ? Who would raise the kids? What would I tell my mother ? I should go visit her once. What did I do that may have caused it ? Is it the stress at work or may be it is because I stopped exercising ? I need to go to the gym more often, sleep on time, eat kale, drink more water – she had an endless train of thoughts.

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2017, So now that you are here.

The champagnes have been popped, the toasts have been made, the celebratory jig has been danced and the wishes have been made. We have welcomed 2017 like we welcome any new year with open arms, loads of hope and a tiny dash of anxiety. 2017 could turn out to be what 2016 could not be.

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No HashTags Here

It is 9pm at night. On a small TV screen that is playing in mute, Guy Fieri is in that diner show. I have forgotten my glasses home so I cannot see clearly either. I am still staring into the TV screen while watching Gina do things around the room and use the foamy hand sanitizer every 30 seconds. She looks at another little screen behind my bed and makes some notes with great concentration. She shuts the blinds and layers another blanket at my feet.

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The Wedding Guests

Strings of tiny lights shone around the three-story house in the dim evening light. A large canopy decorated with garlands of marigolds and jasmines stood next to it. Inside the canopy, other than the hustle –bustle that a wedding usually witnesses, there was the whispering sounds that a tussar kurta makes every time it rubs on the crisp dhuti, the vases of blooming rajnigandha, the brightness from the yards and yards of silk and dhakai draped by the guests and the sounds of the shehnai in the backdrop.

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Where Is Home ?

Where is home?

I have always struggled in my mind and searched my heart for the right answer whenever confronted with that question.

“Home is here,” I tell the lady at Starbucks who has picked up a conversation with me because the barista is brewing a fresh batch.

“No, I meant where did you grow up? ” she asks after she has told me about her recent trip to New Delhi and her upcoming trip to Bangalore.

“Many different places, I have never been at a place for long. This is home now.”

“How many (places)? ”

It always seems very interesting to people when you tell them you have been through 8 schools from elementary to high, you have lived in few different places in the course of it.

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