• silhouette of person flying a kite

    “But, Mummy, the old man says this is the strongest maanjha (kite-flying twine).” Mummy smiles at seven-year-old Sudhir’s words and shakes her head. Then with a frown, she repeats, “No, it is not. This is kacha dhaga (raggedy weak thread) quite useless. You better go return it.” And hands the spool back to Sudhir, who ...
  • Romantic surprise

    I thought he would never changeA man of a strong, bold bravadoTo match his towering stature. We met in days of childhood,He never cared for me thenA young and naive schoolgirl. I knew not how ideas of romanceThe world or human nature,Can affect a meek soul like me. The boy I knew in childhoodShowed no ...
  • Lake Shore

    When searching for my biological family, people asked me, ‘what are you looking for? They wanted to understand what motivated me, but I wasn’t sure.  In the early days of searching, I had wanted to locate my biological family and know who they were. It would be a bonus if I could have a relationship ...
  • A buffalo being manually milked

    Some mornings I wake up to a parade of memories—whiffs and tastes of childhood emerge from a dream and linger on vividly and wistfully. Moments ago, not quite awake, I savor the rich, warm buffalo milk in the kitchen of my early years. Then, in a flash, I am back in Mummy’s kitchen of long ...

    She gave her birth, breathed life into her. Fed, caressed, soothed, punished. Comforted again. She got her to believe in all things unreal or what seemed real. But today, child’s grown enough to be self-reliant. She needs no womb, no feeds, nor caresses. Her own strength guides her, and she forms her own beliefs. Mother ...
  • Hope Lake Lodge

    Being adopted has given me a feeling of being from two different worlds. I describe it as ‘nature and nurture.’ As I matured into understanding my adoption, I wondered about my traits, mannerisms, and thoughts. I needed to assign ‘nature or nurture’ for each behavior or tendency and ask myself if this comes from biology ...
  • Marbles and Gangajali

    Tulsi Bhua (aunt) is beside herself. She cannot find her Gangajali (a receptacle for holy water). Mummy is helping her search; it cannot just disappear. It is not a tiny thing that can fall through cracks. It is heavy, silvery, and shining, with a latched lid. And it holds the holy water from the river ...
  • Park Tabernacle

    ‘You look just like your father’, the family doctor would say at every single visit. It would only take seconds before he read something in my chart, making his face turn flush. I’m sure he read the words ADOPTED but between visits he would forget just as I did. When I was a child, I ...
  • woman watching the ocean

    I love to be rightwhen it bringsclarity.I feel giddy with wisdom. I hate to be rightwhen it highlights signs of separation and magnifies heartache.Then I feel frozenwatching you shivering. Feeling right,I could do withoutsince it’s not a feeling but a state of mind,And what if I’m not?
  • Scene from the "Milni" Ceremony": Stand-in Brothers of Bride and Groom

    There is a strained quietness about the house. Mummy is terribly upset! Rita abandoned her Graduate Program at the University of Delhi after one semester and has returned to Bangalore. Too homesick! However, at Ravi’s encouragement, she has been applying to Canadian Universities. Her rationale is Ravi and Amita will be there, so I won’t ...