Monthly Archives: January 2018

A holiday letter to our loved ones

We love receiving holiday letters from those of our friends (you know who you are) who continue to send them to us year after year. We love looking at the accompanying pictures, and our fridge door is always adorned with the faces of these long-but-never-really-lost friends whose kids have never met ours, yet are familiar to them through these annual letters. It feels like such an undeserved honor to remain on the holiday mailing lists of so many friends when we never reciprocate.

For some reason, we never picked up this particular American tradition of the annual Christmas / New Year holiday letter, bringing one’s loved ones and far flung friends all up to date on one’s family life; pausing to reflect upon the year gone by, to celebrate the good things, to share some of the misery of the bad things, and perhaps to mourn some loss.

The best we’ve ever managed is a family photo or collage, cobbled together in the last week of the year, and shared only in electrons. And here I am now, at a time when wishing someone “Happy New Year” is just about becoming passé, musing about the annual letter… and not even writing it properly, but blogging about it! So, without further ado, let me do it properly… here’s our review of the year:

Dear friends,
(and random readers of this blog, if people even read blogs any more…)

Thank you for thinking about / writing to us – and Happy 2018! What a remarkable year this has been for us so far!

The year started with Madhu finally getting the go ahead from the bank to purchase a home. So we started the year off—after waking up late—by driving around Raleigh looking at houses for sale. This will be the year we finally become homeowners! We can scarcely believe it!

Then it was time for Madhu and Kaberi to celebrate 26 years of being married. Over a quarter century of being married! And in typically romantic fashion, they celebrated by rehashing one of their long-running arguments about… oh who really cares at this point? Besides, she also finally sent him away to her favorite local hairdresser to get that long overdue haircut, and she likes the new look. The girls merely rolled their eyes at the arguing parents and groaned, “Not again!”. And “I can’t wait to leave this house and go to college!” said Sanzari, who is, indeed, all set to do that this year.

Sanzari’s year has been consumed with writing college essays, and applying to various colleges up and down the Atlantic seaboard, and even venturing tentatively inland into the Midwest. She didn’t quite forget her California roots, but isn’t ready to fly that far away from the nest quite yet. She’s really flexed her creative writing muscles in whipping out so many essays – we urge her to publish them somewhere, at least on Tumblr.

In exchange for his help in last-minute editing of some of her essays, Sanzari promised to hold Madhu to his commitment to read one new book every week of the year. And remarkably, somehow, he has kept up his end of the bargain all year. Let’s see he if also manages to re-up his writing game as well.

Nilavi, meanwhile, has managed to somehow not go to school at all this year! After a relaxed winter break twice as long as poor Sanzari got from her school, the cold weather got to Nilavi’s throat just before her school was to open. Then the bomb cyclone hit, bringing a whopping inch or two of snow to the Raleigh area, putting the schools out of commission! Snow days!! So she’s back to relaxing and recovering from her cold. And she’s good with that!

So that bomb cyclone brushed past us late last night, depositing some snow for a whole hour or two, which meant we woke up to a world blanketed in white. A thin blanket it was though, which melted away by the middle of the day, so we had to scramble outside into the park across the street, in all our colorful winter gear, to take that picture you see at the top of this missive.

See how happy we look? Because it has been a bomb year so far! And it promises to only get better. New home! College! One chick ready to fledge from the nest! So much to look forward to… what a year!

We wish you all a wonderful, productive, happy year as well.

If we’re still around. Because rumor has it that a powerful/pitiful orange headed beast is boasting about the size and readiness of his red button, and the power it can unleash to set the world on fire. But let resist dwelling on that too much just yet.

Wait… were you expecting this letter to be about 2017? You really want us to relive that year? (OK, Sanzari says she had a great 2017, but the rest of us just want to move on, ok?). Besides, as the sage Neil deGrasse Tyson reminded us last week, January 1 is an astronomically insignificant date to start a year anyway. Get off that Gregorian calendar, you fools!

Time itself is an arbitrary construct!

So from our family to yours, here’s a wish that your arbitrary time construct is arbitrarily good and wholesome, and we look forward to seeing your faces again over the arbitrary future.


Nilavi, Sanzari, Kaberi, and Madhu