6  months of my master’s degree is over, that is one full semester and how fast it went !

I am glad I am doing this.

If you have ever thought of studying further, trust me when I tell you this, studying in a Uni outside India is like a walk in the park. Of course there are plenty of assignments, but your professors do not make you go through emotional trauma/bullying like they do in India. There is no rot learning either. Most of my exams are open book. Usually when I have an open book exam ( via blackboard, not pen and paper), my classmates also do it simultaneously and we chat on FB to make sure everyone got the right answer. My son quipped when he saw me doing this “Mom, it is supposed to be open book, not open facebook”

I met a lot of nice people.

I am happy.


Last Saturday, Yaya wrote her SAT subject test ( Spanish and Biology)

I live very far away from the test center and no shops are open at that time of the day when the test starts ( 7.45 AM). So I end up waiting at the car park till IKEA (nearest shop) opens and watch parents dropping their children who are writing the SAT.

Caucasians and Asians: They drive to the car park, stop for a few seconds, student alights from the car, they drive off, student goes to find where the test center is.

Indians: They drive to the car park. Park the car. Student alights from the car, so does Mom and Dad ( plus the rest of the family in some cases). Mom checks the hall ticket, pencil case etc the student has, Dad gives last minute instructions. They all walk  to the test center. They discuss exactly where the student should wait for them after the test. They wait, till the student enters the hall. Plus an extra few minutes, just in case the student needs something the very last minute. Then they leave.

I am not picking on the Indian parents. My mother was exactly the same. So are all my cousins. Somehow we refuse to teach our children resilience. We think we would be bad parents if we don’t walk every step of the way with our children.

I saw this article in the local newspaper. Imagine sending your 14 year old daughter alone to a strange place with just 5 Hong Kong dollars knowing that your child is going to be homeless.

Article is here


( page 13, Q weekend, Courier mail + Joyce Chiu June 6-7 2015)




Revenge best served old

Nope, that wasn’t a spelling mistake.. I meant ‘old’

First, let me talk about him.

He is the oldest son of his parents, the undisputed heir of the family. He was given everything  even before he asked for it. And then it was time for him to get a wife. His parents wanted only the best. She must be good looking, not very educated ( so she is amenable to be taught..how to be a perfect wife) etc were their demands

She was beautiful and fit all their criteria. And the marriage went ahead and her life sentence began.

He only ate typical Suriani cuisine. There must be meat/fish everyday. Food must be ready and hot when he came at lunch time, house must be spick and span every single minute. She was never allowed to have friends or go out with them. He held the economic power too and didn’t let her buy anything new for herself. One saree for Christmas was all that she was entitled to.

If she didn’t follow the rules, she was beaten.

Today, he is old. He can no longer walk, let alone raise his hands.

He can’t go to the market anymore and even though she is still fit and strong, she doesn’t like the smell of the market and besides he was the one who did all the marketing all these years, she finds it very difficult to do the necessary negotiations with the sellers. So no meat or fish. She developed a liking for peanut butter sandwich for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

She is an active member of the Matha Mariam samajam now. She goes for all the meetings, retreats etc, wearing her new sarees and matching blouses. ( it is a joint account and he can’t go to the bank to change anything and even if he did, her children give her money)

40 years of life sentence, she is free now.

Revenge is best served old.


Sometimes you learn so much from your kids.

Yesterday, I had to fetch Yaya from the library and it is a pretty long drive. So, I asked my son if he would like to come along. ( mostly so I could spend some time alone with him and partly to alleviate boredom).

As I drove out from my house to the main road,  the road is a steep hill and as I  reached the top, I noticed that the moon was rising in the horizon. It was such a magnificent sight and I told my son, “look it is a full moon”. Reluctantly, he switched off the game he was playing on his hand phone and watched the moon.

“Isn’t it amazing mom, how the sun’s rays shine on the moon that has no light and make it so pretty to look at”

“Indeed” I replied

“Mom, have you ever thought that there is actually no darkness?”

“What do you mean? There is darkness” I answered

“No mom, there is no darkness, there is only absence of light”

I had never thought that darkness is a temporary phenomenon of not having light..

It was a good lesson.. that when you feel that your life is all gloomy and your days are all dark …it is only temporary..

light is omnipresent. And for moments like this, I always make it a point to spend time with my children.. you learn so much.