A Love Letter to Appapan and Ammama

I met Appapan and Ammama during my summer vacation of 1997 in an apartment that we used to live in. Cochin being a conservative city at that point of time, my mother was quite forward about my clothing (shorts and t-shirt). Some of the residents of this apartment were not pleased about the same and hence I was restricted from playing downstairs during the evenings by my mother. In this scenario Appapan and Ammama a retired honorary lawyer and teacher moved their residence from Mumbai to Cochin into the same apartment. They came into my rescue and told my mother, “we cannot change people’s minds and attitudes, our grandchildren wear what your child wears, so do not be bothered”. This marked the beginning of a friendship between a 7 year old and two probably 60 year olds which turned out to be epic.

Through these two wonderful people, then came into my life Tony, their grandchild and my childhood best buddy. Appapan and Ammama gifted him with a gear bicycle on the 5th of March 1997 on his 6th birthday, which was my initial motivation for the friendship. Though he was not very fond of sharing this birthday present, he was forced to do so by Ammama. Later, I became Tony’s temporary replacement during his absence on some of my vacations, where I had full possession of his birthday gift.

Appapan and Ammama’s house was like a child’s heaven where there was unlimited food, TV, games, free stock market classes and no restrictions. Appapan also used to be my partner is crime for stealing roses that our neighbor grew on the terrace (to keep under the Jesus picture). Appapan’s mundu became my secret spot when folded to hide these roses. Though, Ammama would come up with the “Thou shall not steel commandment”, we never bothered and their apartment became my primary house. At times when they were not home, I used to slip in small flowers and letters for both of them to read when they come back.

During the end of one of my vacations, I went to say goodbye to both of them and still remember Appapan hugging me so tight, then he ran into his bedroom and started crying. Though Ammama’s eyes teared up she had more control over her emotions. Later even though they moved out of that apartment, I tracked them and made surprise visits to them at a place called Koraty. When I met with the accident, even though they were quite unwell and Appapan was hardly able to walk, they use to manage to come down in a cab to meet me.

Yesterday when Tony messaged me about Appanan’s death and funeral, my first thought was to cancel my ticket and fly to Mumbai to bid farewell to him but then again my mother told me that he is somewhere there watching me. My last memory of Appapan was when he was alive and let in remain that way forever.

Some people come into your life and leave footprints that can never be washed away. Three such people in my life are Appapan, Ammama and Tony. I could say that I loved Appapan and Amama more than my own grandparents and they mean so much to me.

Thank you Appapan and Ammama for making my childhood so beautiful. I am going to miss you so much


All about my mother

I love my mother because she is really unique, sweet,  simple and the most loving person that one can find in this world.

She loves me more and more, no matter what I do.

unnamedOwing to my grandmother’s death, my mother was married off when she was 18, and then I was born when she turned 21.

She always said, that she never liked me when she saw my face for the first time, since I was the person who was responsible for all the stretch marks and sutures on her tummy.

She was always scared to hold me because she thought that I was so small that I would slip right through her hand.163784_474418618906_3837446_n

From the time I remember, she used to go to the University every day and come back in the evening bus.

I would climb on the gate looking for her. She used to get me Frooti and Banana chips on the way back from East Fort.

For her by then I was more of a friend than a daughter and it was the same for me too. She used to share all her troubles, anxieties and hopes with me. Though I did not understand most of it then, it makes a lot of sense to me now.

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When my grandfather was not at home we always played in the rain and finally I would end up sick which led to the removing of my tonsils when I was 6.

At the age of 8 I got my own bicycle in which I tried going to school by. I still remember my mom waiting nervously on the road looking for me, waiting for me to return.

When I was 9 she broke her leg on my birthday. On that same day, my grandfather passed away due to a heart attack. She was bedridden and hence couldn’t go for the funeral.

Fr Charlse who went to help my Mommy grabbed my birthday gifts and colour chalks from the road which I had asked for.

That was the first time I saw someone in the hospital with broken bones and I thought that she would definitely die and I cried for days. Mom had a huge plaster on her leg for 6 months and she feared that bed bugs would lay eyes on them because somebody had said so.

She always came to school in the afternoon to feed me and all the children would later make fun. She was the one who completed my notes post the lunch session, taking the books of my classmates.

One time, for perhaps the first time when we did not get tickets for a movie, I was sad all night. The next day she came to my school much to my surprise and informed my teacher, that my paternal grandfather had passed away and then took me for the same movie which we had had no luck with earlier.1009948_285844334898326_927973318_n

One day she came home after her German class and told me that she saw a toy for 500 rupees. Though I had not seen the toy, I said that I wanted it and she sold her German book that she had got as a gift to buy me that toy.

She worked all her life to send me to the best school in Dubai, sent me to the best tuitions, bought me branded clothes, the best food ,everything that she did for me was the best.

There were never ending fights and arguments with her but then everything would end in a day’s time.

We had big plans for my wedding which we had been planning for since the time I realized that I had a memory, but most of it did not work out as I met Joe and got married in a month’s time.

  1. 419197_10150601080343907_2025331895_n (1)But the only problem was that I was always open with her and she gets involved in unnecessary situations and gets me into trouble.

For Example, Once there was a rumour that my 12th grade class teacher was pregnant which I happened to tell her. She congratulated her for the next open house which got me into serious trouble.

The second instance I remember was when one of my classmates during my first year in the University poured ink on my hair right after a haircut. I told this incident to my mother during the final year of college. She brought this topic up while having a casual conversation with the HOD. The HOD raised it as major issue where the student was almost about to get suspended.

Mom was never a social person. She spent most of her time at home reading books and praying. She even had her own library in our Dubai house and in our native place. I was her all time partner in crime. We have done so many mischievous activities that I can neither write nor even tell anyone. Dad was like a school teacher and we were like his students trying not to get caught.


Towards the end she even left the job as the CFO of a group of companies and flew down to stay with me near the university.

Honestly speaking, I think she never wanted me to marry and go far away, neither did I want that. But then I guess this is life. But our friendship will be till death and beyond and I cannot love anyone like how I love my mother.

We even have the same close knit friend’s circles since the time I opened my eyes. They are the people whom I hold close to my heart and their opinions matter to me. They are my real family.

You & your life path

The only things standing in the way of you and New Life, filled with Love, Joy, Peace, Abundance, Respect, etc. is doubt, the past, unworthiness, non-deserving and other beliefs that are limiting and tell you that you cannot move forward; that life will always be the same.

I tell you that in Truth, you are free. You are free to create if only you will know it and release all else. Don’t believe it; know it; deep within you.

Let go of anything that tells you that life cannot change. This is a lie. Let go of the lie and know the Truth; that you are Love and that all is not only possible; it is so.

What life should Mean to you?


During my recent visit to Dubai I fortunately happened to attend a two day seminar conducted by the name “How to live your life as a Leader” based on Dale Carnegie’s books and lectures. I wasn’t even 1% interested attending this seminar and happened to attend it just to kill time. But this particular class that I went through made a lot of changes in my life

It mainly dealt with 8 major topics namely honest appreciation, Criticism, Greeting and response with a smile, being interested in other people and being a good listener, self encouragement and encouraging others, talking in terms of the other person’s interest, making the other person happy about the things you suggest and taking up challenges

Let me start off with a question by asking how many of us bother to appreciate our fellow beings when we see them doing something nice? I am sure that not even 40 % of us do that. Appreciation is a form of verbal reward. The best way to initially tame an animal would be by appreciating and rewarding it. We have even studied about this in subjects like Human Resource Management, Business Communication, Entrepreneurship Development, Organizational Behavior and Management Concepts about the theories of animal response and learning skills at a faster rate when it is rewarded. Man is a social animal and this particular theory even applies to any mankind. I remember when I was small my mother use to tell me that she would get me a present if I keep my room clean. From the moment someone tells you that you are going to be given a present your mind would wander around thinking about what the present would be and automatically you would be made to satisfy the condition for which you would be rewarded.

The second topic is criticism. I would like to bring up two quotes. The first one is from the Holy Bible and the other by a wise man. The quote from the Holy Bible says “Judge not, that ye be not judged” and the second one “any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do, but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving, a great man shows his greatness”. While dealing with people let us remember that we are just not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity. Rather than criticizing someone, let us first analyze about how many faults we do have, which can be criticized by others. A few people enjoy criticizing other people in front of a group. They may go for group discussions and seminars just for this purpose; they show the character of a lion ready to pounce. When you criticize someone you automatically hurt the feelings of the other person. Thus let us first think mature and sensible before criticizing someone because you may have things to be criticized 10 times more than the person whom you are criticizing.

The third is to smile. When you come to the college everyday or may be any place and you find someone smiling at you or wishing you would make your day a pleasant one. Just imagine meeting a person who frowns every morning when you come to college. Your entire day would be spoiled just because of that one frowning face. An approach towards any matter with a smile show how positive and confident you are. It takes only 26 muscles on you face to smile and 36 to frown

Being interested in other people and being a good listener. “it is an individual who has the greatest difficulties in life, provides the greatest injury to others. It if from such individuals that all human failures spring – Alfred Adler, a famous Viennese psychologist tells this on his book, what life should mean to you”. Most of the people who we meet on the everyday basis are only interested in themselves and in other words nobody cares about others but themselves. This in a way can be called as selfishness. Since people are selfish to an extent, if you show genuine interest in those people, mostly everyone and be a good listener, they would be your friend automatically and show interest in your matters.

People at times become invalid in order to win sympathy, attention and get a feeling of importance. History itself has proved several examples namely George Washington who wanted himself to be called “His Mightiness”. Catherine the great refused to open those letters which did not address to her as “Her Imperial Majesty”. So in the past present and the future people would be looking just for self importance and we should understand this fact. Everyone likes people who listens understands and puts the other people’s point of view seem like theirs

Self encouragement and encouraging others is another important thing to be done. According to me encouragement increases the willpower of a person, whether it is self encouragement or encouraging others. Self encouragement brings in self confidence and from within he feels that he is capable of doing things at the best of his ability. But by encouraging others they gain confidence in doing a job as well as it develops a bond of trust and friendship from within to the person who is encouraging. When someone tells you that he is not capable of doing something, you could say that it is possible and you have faith in him with a smile, this brings in a big deal of change in the attitude towards the task for the other person from within.

Talking in terms of the other person’s interest and making the other person happy about the things you suggest is the best way to get things done in a group. By justifying, what you have said is the best alternative. It would be the best if you could be a good listener at this point and club the suggestions of every individual and put it across by clubbing everyone’s opinion in a positive manner. By doing this every individual gets satisfied that his/ her point is through in the application and we could come up with a better alternative

Finally taking up challenges, this would be the most important step that an effective leader. A fellow classmate of mine in school was blamed for scoring less mark in exams. His parents were continuously called for meetings. While I observed him, I found that he was studying much harder than any student in his class. He himself and his parents told that he was studying just like every other student. One day his class teacher called his mother and she was so heartless to tell that her son was a waist in every way right in front of everyone. She also told that he would never achieve anything in life. This broke the poor mother’s and child’s heart. Every teacher told that the boy responded well in class but nothing was reflected in the paper. From then onwards he started studying hard, taking those words of the teacher as a challenge. He scored distinction in 10th and 12th grades and got into one of the best colleges in the country. Soon after the 10th boards he was taken for a medical examination and found that he had a neurological disorder that caused his learning disabilities. After his diagnosis, the result was told to the teacher who blamed him. She felt so ashamed about what she told about the poor little child and was so proud of his achievements. The next time when he went with his report card to show the teacher, her eyes watered and told him that he was the best student that she ever had. What the teacher did the next time was a form of understanding and admitting her own mistake which made a great deal of difference in the child’s life.

So let me conclude by saying that, time is slipping away, and people remember you for the good that you have done. Try to be honest, appreciate, try not to criticize, smile, be interested in others, take up challenges and responsibilities. People who think that they would show off their talents at a later stage would remain the same way forever, but God favors the people who are ready to take up challenges and give it a try. God would always favor the needy and hurt ones. You may think that the person sitting next to you is good for nothing. The reason for him being like that may have several issues behind. So never underestimate someone because in a long run he may be a much more successful person in life than you