Tag Archives: memories

Day 6 | Paper Boat Ride

When I think about my parents and siblings, whether they will ever accept us, I listen to this song. It seems to have been written just for me! The music, the lyrics, the videography – is simply amazing! I play this song on infinite loop ever so often and it brings solace to my aching heart. Please do watch the video Kagadada Doniyalli

I’m trying to translate the beautiful lyrics in English, although I don’t think I can do justice to the way it is penned in Kannada!

Is the time ripe for me to sail in a paperboat?

Did the invisible tear drop, misting my eye turn into a pearl yet?

Will the heaviness in my heart ever lighten?

Will I ever reach the cool shore?

Will I find the future pathway?

Beyond all my imaginations

Just show me another miracle

A tiny bag filled with memories I collected on the way is on my back

A silent bridge of thousands of unspoken words is in front of my eyes

Dear monsoon, all my foot prints in the journey are getting erased by you

I want to be the bare footed child in your lap

Will my heart ever be exhilarated?

Will I ever reach my home?

Will I find the future pathway?

Beyond all my imaginations

Just show me another miracle


Posted by on November 6, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Last single digit birthday!

Every year I open my letter on your birthday like a broken record quoting my favourite ‘time flies’. How very true when we remember the day you were born and realise how far we have come together in what seems like no time at all. In the initial few years of your lives, when our lives had become topsy turvy, I would always wonder when you will grow up! I couldn’t wait for your next milestone and wished if your growth could be fast forwarded in some way. I longed to enjoy the luxurious ‘Me’ time. Now I can have as much time for myself as I want, as you both have become so independent. But I sometimes do wish to go back to that phase where you were still dependent on me for the most basic of your needs (though I was the one who was in a rush to teach you those skills). I miss those innocent questions that were asked by the dozen, even if I would get annoyed at times. At times like these, I can’t pat my back enough for having started blogging and recorded those simple moments of joy along the years. No matter how many photos or videos we have collected, these snippets of conversations are much more precious as they bring the magical moment alive, which would have otherwise got long forgotten.



Like I always say, “What would I have done without you sweetheart?”. You are my Girl Friday. I could barely function if it were not for the assistant like you, who is blessed with so much care, love and responsible nature. You are a leader and always impose your own rules and/or orders on Tammu. As much as she enjoys you taking care of her, she detests your bossing her around even more. We keep talking to you to work on this, you have improved to an extent. But I can’t blame you in totality as Tammu does act kiddish all the time and you cannot handle it. You are an adult in a child body, aren’t you? Abbas and I absolutely admire your ‘never-say-never’ attitude. Tammu and you both joined Gymanstics class, Tammu was a natural due to her body structure and flexibility. It was an uphill task for you, but you refused to give up. We learnt heaps from you, dear, to step out of comfort zone and punch your scariest demon in the face, and with gusto. Atta girl!

Cleaning is something you are obsessed with and I can’t thank my stars enough (Abbas still thinks I have used some kind of black magic to brain wash you into this because we have hardly seen adults work with such precision) I remember the day when we went to our Tax Consultant’s office and it was extremely untidy. When we came out of there, without a moment lost, you commented “Mumma, how dirty was that uncle’s office. I was so tempted to clean it then and there” I was in stitches laughing at your craze for orderliness. You follow me like the proverbial Hutchison dog wherever I go. I declared that I would start going for walk over the weekends. You started setting alarm next to your bed so that you could accompany me, even better wake me up in case I bailed out in the morning. During our walk, you started picking rubbish strewn on the way. Your tiny little hands weren’t enough to hold the amount of rubbish we encountered. So we came up with a plan to carry a garbage bag along. You teach me to do a lot of good dear. I wish you never let go of your attitude towards life and care for people surrounding you.




My cute little baby, hope you always remain my teeny tiny bundle for life. While Mannu acts all mature and grown up, you are still holding on to innocence to a certain extent. You are a happy go lucky personality with a jovial persona. Your creativity never ceases to amaze us. The funny stories that you spin spontaneously, the hilarious expressions, weird poses you strike in front of mirror, the minion language that you speak… bring so much of zing to our lives. You care a damn about the worldly responsibilities and rever in your own beautiful dreamy space. Due to this nature of yours, you inevitably get to hear the lectures from us about how it is important to do your duties, take up responsibilities, yada yada yada. You try to adhere to the best of your ability. But the carefree soul in you takes over more often than not. Well, it’s not all that bad as I have realised that it is this very trait of yours that makes you forgive, forget and move on like a piece of cake. You hardly ever carry any baggage. So, be the same little nutcase that you are!


Your love for dolls and toys are still in tact. You really take care of Johnny like your own son. He is one fortunate doll, I tell ya! This year around Grandparents day at school, you cried because you have never seen your maternal grandparents. That was the day I felt so helpless and incapable of consoling you. Thank you for always cheering me saying you would go to Kundapur when you grow up to convince them to speak to me. You have been going to different classes but you don’t seem to keep your excitement for long. The only thing you have consistently kept at is writing and drawing. You wish to become an author and illustrator one day.




No matter which path you choose in your future, all I wish is for you to be great human beings. Always be kind, helpful and caring towards everyone that crosses your way. Remember to celebrate the simple joys of life as they go a long way than any material possessions. Never be afraid to take chances, as you would either end up with success or a lesson. There is nothing you will lose. Live, let live, be happy and spread happiness!





Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Day 29 | When Amma spoke

This happened in October 2015. I wanted to write about this on the blog but somehow it never made it here.

In 2015, when Amma’s birthday was nearing something made me look for online gift delivery services to my town. I had done this search many times even before but there was no such facility available as Kundapura is a small town. But that very time, I landed upon a website that would deliver to my town at an additional delivery fee. I was beyond ecstatic to find that I could finally send something to my family. My mom is not a fan of cakes or sweets as much. I thought flowers would be the safest bet and ordered flowers and a card for her.

On the day of her birthday, I got a confirmation that my order had been delivered. After returning from work, I called Amma. This is how the conversation went:

Amma: Hello?

Me (hesitantly) : Huh… huh…looo

Amma: Haan Hello

Me: Amma, Seema here

Amma: Yes tell me

Me (thinking Amma didn’t hear that it was me, coz this was the first time she responded after hearing my voice, otherwise she would just go on silent mode): Amma, I’m Seema speaking!

Amma: Yes, I know!

Me (thought I was dreaming, heart paced faster than ever, pinched myself hard, didn’t know what to say next, mumbled in a single breath): Happy Birthday Amma

Amma: Thank you

Me: Amma, did you get the flowers?

Amma: Yes I got the flowers, they’re good

Me (Still overcoming shock that she spoke to me, but clueless what to speak next): ?!?!?!

Amma: God bless you. Be happy.

….. And she hung up

I was still in a daze. It all felt surreal. Abbas kept asking me what happened? And I took some moment to collect myself together and told him how that call had gone. We were both astounded at what had just happened. We couldn’t believe it, Abbas asked me many times if I had really heard her say all that! And I was like ‘Yes, yes, yes!’

Although our happiness knew no bounds that day, I still had a doubt that she had to speak to me normally as I had heard some background noise with a lot of people chatting in the background. She might have just done so to avoid an awkward situation. I dunno why but it was too good to be true that your mom had spoken to you after 9 years. In spite of the doubts, our hopes of being accepted had suddenly shot up. We thought this could be a small beginning. Abbas told me to call back in a few days to keep it going. I was terribly scared to call back again, I wanted to live in the exhilaration of having heard my Amma speak to me. I was scared that the next call would break that euphoria and that is exactly what happened. Next call went back to the usual scene of me calling and Amma not responding. Sigh!

Cut to 2016 October, I ordered a combo of flowers and some sweets. I think the website specifically asked for a mobile phone number and my Annu’s (dad) number was all that I had. So I gave his number and placed the order. Come 9th of October, I was waiting anxiously to receive a delivery confirmation and to call her. I had a tinge of hope that the history could repeat again. I received an email saying the order could not be delivered to the recipient as they had rejected to receive the delivery. I was devastated. I made a call nevertheless and this time asked Mantam to wish Amma first. But my dad had picked up and as soon as he heard Mantam’s voice starting to sing ‘Happy…’, he bluntly hung up. I was too stunned to react. Tammu started crying profusely, Mannu was visibly upset too. I decided from then on that I would not ask Mantam speak to them unless the relationship comes to good terms. I don’t want to paint a negative picture of my parents in their eyes.

Honestly, I was shattered beyond repair after that incident. I resolved not to contact them ever again out of disappointment. But I found myself texting my dad (dunno if he reads them at all) the very next day. The hope of reuniting with my parents is gradually dwindling in its strength. I just wish them well, that’s all!


Posted by on January 29, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Day 25 | Mantamism – special edition

This post on Mantamism is specially dedicated to dear GB. She had commented on my previous Mantamism post saying it made her very happy and that’s why one more coming her way:

Mannu told me one day that there was this guy L in her class who repeatedly kept telling her that she had an ugly face. I stopped in my tracks and thought about how I must make her understand that what other people think of you in none of your business. But my train of thoughts came to a grinding halt when Mannu said “Mumma, I don’t know why he says that because it’s wrong to judge others on their appearances, right?” Instead of her feeling bad about being called ugly, she was worried about L’s actions. I grinned ear to ear for two reasons. The first reason was that being shamed had zero effect on her, it did not bother her one bit. Second reason was that she believed that judging other people based on how they look was not right.

Mantam get a report card by their class teacher twice a year. As their progress is not measured here based on exams, they get evaluated based on their behaviour, sports, Math and English skills demonstrated in the class on a day to day basis. The report is usually sent along with the kid in a sealed envelope. The teacher always stresses on the envelope not being opened before reaching home.

The last term when Mantam came back with the report, Tammu had a Eureka moment. She said Mrs.Stone gave me the report card. I am going to prepare a report card for her about how she has performed as a teacher. I just let her do what she felt like. She made a report card similar to what was given to her. It had a page with the description of how she fared, other page had the evaluation column. She listed different attributes and rated them as Good or Bad. She then sealed it in an envelope to present it to her teacher. I missed clicking a picture but I was in awe of her ideas.In the evening I was too curious to know how her teacher had reacted and couldn’t wait to know. Tammu told me that Mrs. Hall laughed on receiving the report and after reading it she said “Tamanna, you are so funny”

Mannu is the helper of her class as she she is at home. She proactively lends all her friends a hand and needless to say the teacher too. Mannu says that her teacher once asked her “Mannat, your house must be clean all the time as you are living there.” One day they had an activity where each kid took turn to face the class and was given an impromptu topic to speak on. Mannu’s turn came and when she picked a random chit, she got the topic “The chore you hate doing” And guess what? Mannu’s teacher voluntarily told her “Mannat, I think this topic will be too hard for you as your love doing your chores. Why don’t you pick another topic?” And Mannu proudly came home and told us this.

One day Tammu was making up a story. She said “There was a girl and a boy. The boy was a Hundred air”

Mannu and I were stumped “What was the boy??”

Tammu: “A hundred air”

Me (thinking that this must be some Aussie term that is out of my limited vocabulary’s bounds or some familiar word that she is pronouncing in a heavy Aussie accent): “Tammu, I really don’t understand. Can you please explain?”

Tammu: “Mumma, you know how you once told about a millionaire is a person who owns million dollars. But this boy in the story only had hundred dollars. So he is a hundredaire na?”

Me: “Yeah, you’re right. Why didn’t I ever think about it?”

During our vacation, one morning Mannu kept saying that her ankle was hurting. After a while, she started limping. I got worried and we were in a place where she had to walk. All I had in my handbag was Amrutanjan (pain relief balm) and I offeref to apply it on her ankle.

Me: “You are limping na? Shall I apply some Amrutanjan?”

Mannu (pain filled frowning face): “Ok Mumma”

Me (sits her down): Can you bring your ankle forwarf so that I can apply the balm

Mannu (brings her foot closer to me): There!

I nicely apply the balm and lightly massage her. Then we start walking again.

In just about a couple of minutes,

Mannu: Mumma, I’m feeling a lot better now. Thank you for the massage.

Me (patting myself on the back at a well done job): You’re welcome my dear. I’m glad you are feeling good now.

In just a couple of more minutes,

Mannu (in a concerned tone): Mumma, you know what?

Me: Has it started paining again?

Mannu: No Mumma

Me: Then what happened?

Mannu: Mumma, I actually gave you the wrong leg to massage. The pain was in the other leg.

Me: Whatttt?? So does that mean the pain is still there?

Mannu (chuckles): No Mumma, strangely the pain has gone away.

Me: Hmph! Next time wherever you have pain in one body part, I’ll apply medicine on the other. Seems like it works magic!!!

Every night when Mantam go to bed, Abbas and I go tuck them in and say good night. I always give them a hug and we kiss one another. Most days I even lay down with them for 5-10 minutes chatting about everything under the sun. Somehow, that chat feels really precious and at times it gets dragged on for more than 10 minutes. Abbas then starts nagging me to let them sleep as it would be hard for them to wake up next morning.

Today, Mantam went to sleep a bit late as I came home late and relaxed more than any usual working day as tomorrow is a public holiday here. Before going to say Good night to them I asked Abbas to let me speak to them tonight as there was no rush to wake up at the usual time tomorrow morning. He said “No problem. Talk away as much as you want tonight”

Mannu was very sleepy as it was past her bedtime and was not so much in a mood to chat. Tammu is an owl and can stay awake whole night if you let her. Tammu and I started talking and giggling. Mannu was trying hard to sleep and got very irked with the noise we were making.

Mannu: “You both are not letting me sleep”

Me (in a disappointed tone): Tammu, see today your Baba was ok for me to chat with you both but Mannu is irritated.

Tammu (in a naughty sarcastic tone): It’s ok Mumma. Life is unfair after all!!

Me: ?!?!?!?!?!

Tammu: (Starts laughing hysterically)



Posted by on January 25, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Day 23 | Granny tales continued

Continuing about my Annamma from the previous post:

Annamma had a few unique qualities which I really admired. She was very detached from the worldly expectations of her or obliging to the norms of the society. She did what made her happy and did not give a damn about what others thought about her. For that reason, she was the best mother-in-law one could ask for. She let my mom take the reigns of the household and enjoyed her life from the backseat. She would provide my mom with advice only if it was sought from her. I have never seen the two of them argue or even bitch about each other to a third person, which was very rare to be seen. My granny would keep herself occupied with stitching, crochet, crosswords etc and my Amma always made sure that she procured all the resources for Annamma to keep her hobbies going.

Do you know that my Annamma was addressed as ‘Honnie’ by all her children and grandchildren. Brother’s wife is usually called ‘Honnie’ in out language Konkani. Then why was Annamma addressed that, you may ask? When her kids were small, they would hear her brother-in-law call her ‘Honnie’ and they learned by imitating him. The grandkids also followed suit later on. I used to ask her why she had not corrected her kids and taught them to call her Amma. But she brushed it off with an attitude of ‘Who cares what they call me?’ See I told you, she was very hip 🙂

Sindhu and I used to practice our Henna / Mehndi patterns on her hand ahead of Mehndi competitions in our town. She was an enthu cutlet when it came to encouraging us in anything under the sun.Sindhu would draw patterns on one hand and me on the other. When we were done, she would go wash her hands to let us try more patterns. Once we even talked her into letting us draw patterns on her back, arms and belly button. Boy oh boy, she was game for everything.

One of Annamma’s daughters inherited her passion for stitching and she had gifted Annamma a pair of quality scissors from Bahrain. Annamma loved those scissors to the core and enjoyed stitching more than ever with her new found toy. One fine day, she took a new sweing project and sat down on the drawing board to do the cutting first. Guess what? Her one and only pair of scissors were nowhere to be found. She got so enraged that she declared “Till I get those scissors back, I’m not going to sew anything”. It was like she had declared war and there was no way she would retreat.She stayed true to her words after that very day. She did not sew even as days turned into weeks, and weeks into months. My Amma felt really bad for her and even offered to buy her a new pair of scissors. But Annamma blatantly denied. My Amma then prayed to Lord Ganesha at a famous temple called ‘Moole (read as Moo Lay) Ganesha temple’. The specialty of this temple was that if you pray to the lord to find any lost object in exchange of a service or a task that you would pledge to do, it will happen. Believe it or not, soon after Amma’s prayers, the attendant from our school had come to our home for some reason. Just out of nowhere, the topic of sewing came up and Annamma narrated the story of the missing scissors (for the millionth time, she had been narrating to all and sundry). On hearing it’s physical description, the attendant had a Eureka moment and broke her the news that there was one such pair of scissors at school which was there since the exhibition day and nobody had claimed its ownership till then. He volunteered to send it through one of us kids the very next working day. All three of us refused that it was our deed, but Annamma was on cloud nine to have found her prized possession back and didn’t bother to take us to task 🙂

My Annamma was suddenly diagnosed with psoriasis when I was in college I think. It was a terrible disease as it spread throughout her body like bush fire. And she would say that the itchiness it caused was unbearable. Our family doctor prescribed Ayurvedic medicine and also a certain medicinal oil, which she had to smear all over her body and leave it on for an hour or so every day and take a shower. Annamma would just smear on a few parts of the body but that did not help in curing it. I started doing this for her every single day morning before leaving for college. I felt so good about doing something for my Granny who had always supported us all through our lives. It took many months to cure, but it did happen eventually. She got cured of the disease completely.

I really miss Annamma, she was like that friend we had so much fun growing up with. I dunno if I will ever be able to meet Annamma but I hope and pray for her good health all the time.


Posted by on January 23, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Day 22 | Gala Granny

In the previous post I wrote about how my Annamma got on our nerves and drove us crazy. But apart from that, she was the coolest granny anyone could ever have and we loved her to the moon and back.

Annamma was one of the highly educated women of her generation. She had passed metriculation (Class 10 of her times), was an avid reader, crazy cricket freak, fun loving and the most doting grandma. She solved crosswords and answered quiz questions alongside us like a pro. She knew names of all cricket players and watched cricket with us even burning midnight oil. She used to call “Brett Lee” battery :-D. She said that by mistake for the first time and cracked us up. She would purposely repeat it to make us laugh. Annamma was very interested in our acamdemic and extra-curricular activities at school and would always keep herself updated with all that was happening in our school. She used to feel so proud of our achievements and always appreciate us. God spare the guests who would visit our home, she would brag about our accomplishments to no end. We would hide our faces in emabarrassment.

Ajja and Annamma had an age difference of just 3 years. But in terms of education, Ajja had failed in class 4 and was forced to earn a living at a ripe young age. That was never a factor in their relationship as they loved and respected each other immensely. We used to hear stories about how they got married. Ajja was one of the most handsome men I have seen and he was known to have been sought after by many young lasses. The proposal for marrying my grandma apparetly came from a relative who knew both families. When they matched the horoscopes to predict the fate of marriage, they were told that marrying Annamma would bring prosperity to Ajja. He was going through a rough patch of life what with getting his sisters married, his brother educated and being the sole bread winner of a large family. The marriage was arranged and as per the soothsayer’s prediction, their union brought welfare to the family in all respects.

For as long as I can remember, Ajja and Annamma used to sleep in the same room but on different single beds with a distnace between them. I really wonder why! On occasions such as Annamma’s birthday or their anniversary, we grandkids used to request them to give each other a kiss. The embarrassment on their faces would be priceless. They would act as if they had never had any physical contact with each other. Ajja would wake up as early as 4 AM almost everyday. Annamma would follow suit, she would make 2 cups of coffee and they would sip them together. Both of them would then start walking in our front yard waiting for newspaper. On exam days,  I would wake up early to study and ask Annamma to make coffee for me too.

With Annamma by our side, we did not need any physical alarm. If we asked her to wake us up at a certain time, she would do it unfalteringly. With her skills to haunt us during our early age, we would be rest assured that her waking mechanism would put any snooze feature of alarm to shame. Apart from studies, Annamma was a pillar who supported us with our other activities as well. She became the audience when we had to practise singing, she would become the hair model when we had to try out new hairstyles, she was the hand model when we prepared for Henna competitions, she would help us in practistind speeches or drama dialogues. She was our companion while playing board games, card games, art and crafts. She was the guinea pig who was more than happy to taste our experiments in the kitchen. During the early years of our life, all the clothes we wore were stitched by Annamma.

More about Annamma in the next post….




Posted by on January 22, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Day 21 | Sibling Saga continues

I felt that I abruptly ended yesterday’s post as I still had lots more to write about. Continuing on the same lines today too:

  • Sindhu and I both went for craft classes together during our summer vacation. Sindhu was really good at painting and I could come nowhere close to her. What I was good at was cutting, stitching and crochet which she disliked. If we took up any project as a team, we would do a great job together.
  • I am going to embarrass myself by revealing that Sindhu and I used to bed-wet even when we were in school. Both of us used to sleep in a separate room on a double bed. My granny would get so pissed (pun intended) off with us. She would come to our bedroom every night like a haunting ghost and check our beds in a very evil way. She would make more than a couple trips every night. As soon as she would find a wet bed, she would bring the roof down even if was the unearthly hour when everybody would be sleeping. She would swicth on the lights, start yelling at us saying “You both are grown up donkeys now and still peeing on the bed. Shame on you.” We had to just get up, get washed and changed, then change the bedsheets and go back to sleep. We used to thoroughly ignore her presence and drift back to sleep. At times, we would be so irritated and would be in deep sleep that we would just tell her to go away, “It’s not bothering us to sleep on the wet bed, just leave us alone”. She was a fighter woman, my granny. Putting an end to our bed-wetting habit had become her life mission. I remember one night, we didn’t budge even after her repeated nags. She pulled our blanket away, we were snoring away to glory. She then pulled the bedsheet, pillows and everything she possibly could do. We didn’t give up and slept on the bare bed and she finally left. I think we were adamant and didn’t want to give in to her midnight madness. We both badly madly wanted to get rid of this habit. But it wasn’t in our control. We were then told that it was hereditary, so no fault of ours you see?
  • We both loved singing and I can confidently say that we have beautiful voices too. You would find us humming all the time. Ours was a very old home, that was built by my great great grandfather. So the bathroom and toilet were in the same room but later they would’ve been separated with a nib wall that didn’t touch the roof fully. There were times when Sindhu would be in the bathroom and me in the toilet and vice versa. There have been times when we have been there for hours playing antakshari for no good reason that I can now think of. We have even splashed water to the other end and it used to be so much fun. I’m laughing so much now, we were such mad silly bums 😀
  • There came a time when my Amma got very angry on both of us as we were being very careless with our clothes. We were wearing one set of clothes for an hour or two and then throwing it in the laundry basket without a care. She got mad at us and said “You both don’t understand the amount of pain others go through to get your clothes washed, hung for drying, ironed, folded and organised back into your closets. I am not going to fold or iron your clothes anymore”. I don’t remember how old we were, must have been in high school or pre-uni.  We didn’t see much weight in her words and thought they were empty threats. We didn’t give a damn and thought Amma would forget her anger after a few days. But to our surprise, she didn’t. After the next round of washed clothes dried, she ironed and folded everybody else’s clothes but ours. She crumpled the clothes and mercilessly dumped them in our wardrobe to teach us a lesson. We were still hopeful that she will soon be back to normal. We too ignored the crumpled mess and continued to pick the remainder of folded clothes. After some days, came a time when there were no more neat clothes left there to pick. But we were our Amma’s daughters too, we wouldn’t give up so easily. We started scouting for clothes that didn’t need ironing and continued wearing them. Neither did we bring the topic up nor did Amma, it was like the taboo that nobody spoke about. One fine night, when Sindhu and I had had enough of wearing only a selected set of clothes over and over again, we discussed and decided that we would make history that night. All the adults had slept, Sindhu and I switched the radio on, emptied all our clothes from wardrobe (which was in our grandparents’ room, using a torch) out to the hall without making noise. Luckily there were two iron boxes, we made do with some blankets as a base to iron. We kept on ironing, folding and piling up all the while listening to melodious songs, chatting and laughing away till about 4 AM. We then neatly arranged our fruits of labour in the wardrobe in a torch light silently. We went to sleep and eagerly waited for Amma to appreciate our efforts. Next day she didn’t tell us anything, we kept quiet too waiting for her to make the first move. Surprisingly, she still didn’t utter a word about it. Finally, we complained to her how she didn’t bother to acknowledge our efforts but is always the first to point our mistakes.  She mellowed down and cheekily said “I didn’t think you girls would have ironed all the clothes. I just thought you had folded and arranged them”. We were stumped! I think I have taken after my mom with the no-nonsense attitude.

Posted by on January 21, 2017 in Uncategorized


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