• Celebrating Life…and Death

    Last week I was in Banaras, the ancient holy city on the banks of the river Ganga. The city was shrouded in mist, creating an ethereal aura, which made me feel like I had stepped back in time. As the boat sliced through the placid water of the Ganga taking us to our hotel, the ghats were dotted with people and bustling with activity. Banaras natives and a few tourists walked, sun-bathed, wiped themselves off after a dip in the holy river, prayed and simply loitered around the stone steps of the ghats, which must have been trod on by generations of humankind from all over the world. Plumes of…

  • Building Resilience

    Resilience is a much-admired virtue. However, the acquiring of resilience requires that an individual go through a trying situation, difficult circumstances, in some cases, even tragedy, to “strengthen the muscles in our backbone”, as Sheryl Sandberg writes so eloquently in ‘Option B’. My moment of difficulty, my precursor to acquiring resilience, came 12 years ago. One crisp, sunny morning, my son Vir, my sweet, shy little boy, received a diagnosis of autism. With that, my world was shattered. I spent days crying my eyes raw and nights agonizing over Vir’s future, conjuring up worst-case scenarios in my head. But unknown to me, during those wretched days and sleepless nights, the…

  • Ever wondered why you live your life in a certain way and not another?

    Ever wondered why you live your life in a certain way and not another? Why you follow certain traditions and beliefs?Why you have a specific attitude or mindset about everything from how to bring up children to what to serve for lunch on Sundays? To find out what shapes our beliefs, read on… Growing up, I had very fixed ideas about most things. My life, my thoughts and my beliefs were neatly slotted into two precise compartments: black and white. In my mind, 25 was a good age to get married, women who smoked were ‘bad’, and Sunday lunch had to have two vegetables, one dal, rice, rotis and a…

  • Acts of Care

    When I worked at Ummeed Child Development Center, where we worked with children with disabilities and their families, all staff got together during one quarterly meeting to ideate on, design and develop a document called ‘Acts of Care’. These are simple things, the small acts of kindness, that make a difference to the lives of the children and families we work with, and our lives as well. Included in this list were giving the families a reminder call a day before the scheduled appointment, asking them if they would like a glass of water as they came in from the hot sun, or even checking if a colleague wanted to…