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

Everyone loves stories. Everyone has a story to tell.


Photo by Soumi Haldar

To Mom With Love

Dear Mom,

You recently asked me to write an article for your blog for Mother’s Day, so here we are. Should I make this cheesy, funny, emotional, or the most popular post on your blog to date? Well, here goes!

A lot of things in my life are meh. “How was school today?” “Meh.” “Learn anything new?” “Meh.” “What do you want to eat?” “Meh.” These questions go on for a while until my brother, S starts talking.

Continue reading “To Mom With Love”


Imagine yourself as a poor little bug, about to be squashed by an alien human. So what do you do in your defense? You either bite, spray out venom, look all creepy or start smelling horrible if you do get killed. It’s not like you can help it. First, because it’s your instinct to do that, like a human’s instinct to cry as a baby, or blink every five seconds. Why are so many people against bugs?

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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.

Continue reading “Do the curls or the makeup really matter ?”

Spring of 2016 – Part I … Quincy Market, Boston

One always leaves a part of themselves in the city that they have once lived in. The part that you get to re-visit along with all other wonderful memories on trips back to the city. Boston is one such place of memories for me.

Spring break took us across the coast, west to east of the US and the travel started on a bit chaotic note. After a delayed flight, missed connection, forced night halt at SFO, we finally landed at Boston’s Logan airport almost 10 hours late, but happy we had finally made it!

Continue reading “Spring of 2016 – Part I … Quincy Market, Boston”

The Girl In The Green Dress

You know what’s worse than breaking up with a boyfriend of two years? Breaking up just a week before Valentine’s Day!The breakup didn’t come as a surprise to Natasha, but she wasn’t prepared for it either. The couple had been having arguments and disagreements for quite some time now. Each passing day the “I Love You’s” were getting occasional and the “I told you so” more frequent.

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Travel For A Better World

When people travel they tend to understand other’s ethnicity, culture and mannerisms better. When they travel they get a deeper insight into other people’s life. When they travel they start knowing what people really are and not just interpret by what is told to them on wiki.

Continue reading “Travel For A Better World”

Eavesdropping On A Back To School Conversation

I am infamous for my love of people watching and eavesdropping. The latter may sound a bit atrocious but usually I am just listening in on a conversation happening next to me. A conversation that I am part of while still not being in it. 

Twice a week, life gives me that opportunity now. The daughter takes a swim lesson and I have a full 30 mins to watch her swim from behind glass windows, while watching over a toddler and eavesdropping into conversations happening around me. Earlier this month, three moms were discussing going “back to school”. Two of the moms engaged themselves in an extended conversation about what the school is doing right and what it is not, which teacher is best and who is not, how learning is lacking creativity and how their child will fare in the new year with a new set of friends. Questions and anxiety that we are all too familiar with already. 

The third mom was listening intently but not commenting at all. Her eyes were focussed on the pool. She was nudged by the fellow moms to give her opinion or share her experience. She cooly remarked that nothing matters more than the children being happy and joyful and enjoying their childhood. Ah! Such a cliched answer I thought to myself. 

“It does matter what kind of school they go to, what happens in the school. These are the formative years after all,” said one of the other two moms. 

“We all came here for the academic advantages and opportunities, “ added another voice. Indeed, this was the voice of many immigrant parents in this country(US). 

“I agree with that. But my expectations are a little different. My son has some special needs and the fact that he still goes to the public school system and is learning well there, that is an opportunity. He can swim a lap in the pool now and he is the happiest when in the water. Every small thing feels like an opportunity,”  said the third mom her eye fixated on the pool. 

There was a moment of pin drop silence after that. That humbling moment in life. Instant reality check as well. Every parent has a set of unique expectations. But the apprehensions and expectations are mostly ours, the parents and not of our children. 

Children go to school, learn a sport or a musical instrument or any activity for that matter without any benchmark in mind. They want to have fun, they are eager to learn something new, they want to be treated well by peers and teachers and they want to feel appreciated. Most of everything that they “want” is enveloped in those few things. They adjust to a new teacher, make new friends and play along with everything new in the school year. 

The maths olympiad, the band or orchestra, the swim or the soccer team, the solo piano recital, the art exhibition – much of it is driven by what we want our children to do. A fact that is probably a hard swallow. If left to our children, they will want to choose and do many things differently. 

Every once in a while, a conversation like this, a blog post or an article that I read somewhere or  a few words of wisdom from my own mother grounds me and helps me retrospect on how complicated we sometimes tend to make everything surrounding parenting.  A happy, fun, curious childhood is a great gift that I can give my children.  But it gets overlooked and forgotten very often. 

I think my mom rightly puts it. She tells me, “You have too many options and thus too many expectations.”  You must never argue with your mom, so I don’t. But I know she is right (which I don’t tell her on the phone). 

That was my “stopped in my tracks” moment last week. And if I had not eavesdropped on the conversation, I would not have done all this retrospection and shared it here. So eavesdropping is probably not as bad as you think it is. Listen in to a conversation, you never know what you may learn. 

Written by : Piya Mukherjee Kalra. A mother of two, a blogger and in her own words a people watcher and a eavesdropper. Her posts are mostly from the observations she makes in her day to day life. You can read more of her posts here.  

Photo credit: Soumi Haldar

A Tribute To A Virtual Friend

For a friend, for a mom, for a fighter and for a beautiful life. #FightLikeSarah

I first met Sarah through her Huff Post article around two years back. “Cancer does not define me, I am redefining cancer”.  I have known her since then, though I have never met her or spoken to her or even chatted with her. But like many others,  I have read every one of her published articles, watched her fight fearlessly for the last two years, followed her FB page, website and twitter. The closest I have got to interacting with her was leaving her a message or wishes on her FB page or telling her how she inspires in many different ways. 

Now, that she is gone, I have been secretly grieving her passing away. I have been thinking about her for more than a week now. I am saddened by her going away. I have not been able to put my thoughts aside. So I chose to write about it. Write about a person I knew only virtually yet it does not feel that way. 
Sarah Amento was a fighter, a ferocious and a graceful one. She fought for her kids. She fought to be a mom. She fought to stay alive because she loved being a mother. In her own words – “Fighting Breast Cancer, with strength, laughter, grace and a few tears! ‘Cancer does not define me, I am redefining cancer!’ StageIV Surviving!~Sarah”
In the last two years, if there is one thing that I have learned from observing her, is to live your today.  Live your dreams today. Live the smallest of your wish today. Tomorrow is unpredictable. Tomorrow may never come.Be the kind of person or parent you want to be today. Don’t procrastinate anything.

Yet I have done very little to implement it so far. I still live in the hope of another day, a new day, in the hope of doing everything tomorrow. She is of course not the first one or the only one to talk about it. Most people with life threatening ailments would tell you that.  There is no guarantee of life. 

Sarah never let Cancer conquer her spirits not matter how tough it got. It was not easy for her always but she was a true fighter. She wanted to live to see her five beautiful children grow and to be around them when they needed her. She wanted them to have their mom around to take care of them and just be around them. As a mother, I related to the sentiment the most, the desire for life not for yourself but for your kids. 
It became a habit to check for an update on her FB page. It was almost like checking in on a neighbor or calling a friend. When the frequency of updates decreased, I would worry for her. But she always came back. She always shared her story candidly. It must take a lot to share a slice of your life when walking through such trials and tribulations. She spoke extensively about her treatment and thus helping many in the same boat. It wasn’t just me but many looked forward to those updates. It was re-assuring in a way. We were all strangely interconnected in this virtual world. Some 10,000 or more strangers praying and hoping for a miracle for a person we knew only virtually. 
A few weeks back, the frequency of updates decreased again.  There were new tumors she was fighting with, we knew. There were more radiations, she shared pictures of them. There were more sick days, she wrote about them too.  And then after a while Sarah became too weak to update or write posts herself. But no one ever gives up hope for a miracle.There were whispers of hospice. More prayers and stronger wishes for a miracle poured in from all. Sarah was a fighter after all. 
So when the news of her passing away came, it seemed unbelievable at first and then sunk in gradually. It felt like losing a friend. It felt like losing someone I personally knew. Even while writing this post, I am overwhelmed with sadness, sometimes struggling with my words.

Sarah’s story is not the only one in the social media that witnesses such relationships develop and such outpouring of love and kindness. It is not the only one where people share personal stories with complete strangers. Stories of hope, miracle, agony, loss and lot more. Stories of a lifetime. 

Social media has a lot of perils but then it also has the power of connecting and bringing people together like never before. Just as Sarah touched many lives, I am sure the love from everyone made her own life more beautiful. The love does not diminish here. It stays on for her family, her beautiful children who meant everything to her and her husband who stood like a rock by her. 
As for me, I will keep reminding myself of doing what I love doing the most. Being a mom, being around my kids and loving them. Most importantly, remind myself of doing all the fun things with them and doing it today. Little things, little promises made to them. Little things like taking them to the park with the bigger play structure that they are so fond of or doing the clay project that will create a hell lot of mess or enrolling for a dance class with my daughter or just enjoying them without fussing over trivial matters. All simple things to do but sometimes we all get too caught up in the discipline of life and take it too much for granted. 
And whenever the Fight Song will play on the radio, I will always think of Sarah. (How she loved the song!)


We started on a dark rainy night…

Siddharth Joshi, is our newest storyteller on the block. We had to pursue most of our storytellers so far. This is the first time a very interesting story came in to our Inbox unannounced. The story and the storytelling style is new and left us with goosebumps all over. 

We started on a dark, rainy night.

Continue reading “We started on a dark rainy night…”

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