The “goods” in the week of October 4th.


Today, as I write this, ma has been dead for 5 months. Today is also Panchami, the beginning of the biggest festival of Bengalis – Durga Puja. Every year, around this time, I get terribly homesick. I used to call up home to listen to the sound of dhaak (drum) as the neighbors welcomed the idol of the goddess in the pandal. Baba took initiative to light up the entire apartment building. And he sent me a photo of it. One year I even made it back home for the Pujas. This year, the first year (of many to come) without them is especially hard. So why am I writing this in my list of “goods”?

I walked in the woods with Sean this morning in companionable silence. As I walked I thought about how peaceful ma’s exit from this world was. Even though she had very high count of the virus, she never felt ill. Her oxygen level was depleted and she was extremely tired so she went to sleep and in her sleep, her soul left the vessel.

Her alter ego, the obstinate ma plant, has bloomed beautiful flowers.

Sahana’s papers to go to India arrived this week, 10 weeks after the application was submitted. She is now all set till she is 50. I do not know if either of my children will ever go back to India now that the reasons for going back are no more, but I want to make sure they have the hassle free option. It makes me happy. Ryan’s papers came earlier this year. I had filed for his papers before his grandparents died. When his papers came, they were dead.

I have had lunch by the pavers dedicated to ma and baba at work whenever the weather allowed. I have walked out and stood by the stones every day.

My delight this week was finishing Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier again. I read it as a 15 year old – almost in another life.

There were many tears this week. They are cathartic and cleansing so I put them in my list of “goods”.

Ryan had two days of great swimming. He got his best tines in all his events. His excited voice is definitely in my list of “goods”.

It has been so comforting to have Sahana home at this time. One day this week was especially hard. She picked me up that night from work and we went to a frozen yogurt place after 9 pm. We both sat outside and had big bowls of frozen yogurt with all kinds of unhealthy topings. It was the best.

Last evening the four of us went out for dinner. These dinners are rare now and hence, special. We talked of all the places we want to visit.

Hope your list of “goods” is long. Have a great week.

The “goods” in the week of May 17th.


Again, it feels quite morbid to find the “goods” in a week when baba died. Thinking about the “goods” is therapeutic though and it shifts my focus away from sorrow.

Baba’s end was peaceful. Like ma, he went gently into the night.

He never had to know that ma had passed away.

He was in his own home cared for by people who cared about him.

My friend from Hyderabad called long distance to arrange for steady supply of oxygen cylinders to make sure baba could breathe.

My friend’s husband, a physician, took baba’s caregiver’s call at any hour and guided him over video call. He took charge of my father’s well being and did his best to help him recover. When I approached my friend regarding his fee they declined.

My cousin registered him for health department in case he needed readmittance to hospital.

My friend from school and her husband stayed in constant touch with the caregiver, ready to help.

A friend from social media who I never met in real life jumped into action making calls for oxygen.

I write all this to show that people fought with him and for him.

My flowers look beautiful and there is not a single weed in sight. Weeding, watering and tending to the plants have been truly comforting.

Sahana graduated from college with magna cum laude in both her majors.

I went to Sahana’s graduation and met my big, beautiful family that I married into. They held my hand, lend a ear and just loved. I could give my mother in law a hug after over a year.

Ma and baba would be happy to know I am enveloped in love and kindness by friends and family near and far in my time of need.