Signs of Spring

This persimmon tree went completely bald in winter.
Last couple of days, it has been sprouting leaves.
I could write an essay on how I find the sprouting completely magical. But, I don’t have to.

Because Dr. Ian Malcolm Jeff Goldblum said everything there was to be said in “Jurassic Park” – “I’m, I’m simply saying that life, uh… finds a way.”

My huge crush on Dr. Malcolm (and the writer behind him Michael Crichton) hasn’t died in the 2 decades. It is because he said one of the most brilliant phrases ever said about life.

Today was a beautiful rainy day in Austin.
Wherever you are, stop to smell the roses.

Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises. – Pedro Calderon de la Barca

All the beautiful shades of green in Spring.

The Smell of the Ground

Today, my thoughts are about “munn vasanai” (In English: the smell of the ground)


What does the word mean to you?
Is it a place? A house…..4 walls….nice roof? A mountain perhaps? A country? A town? A sweetheart’s arms?

Is it a thing? Is it a feeling?
What is it?
What does home mean to you?

Not house.

It means so many things to me. I have moved so much…that the material world meaning of house doesn’t mean anything to me anymore.

I still remember Thatha’s house. His fields. The tamarind tree in the back. The swing on the tamarind tree.

I still remember Appa and Amma’s house. My favorite spot there to hangout….where I spent 1000 hours of reading, studying, chatting with Amma or Appa. My favorite spot there to eat.

I still remember my dorm rooms. Filled with cheer and fun. Filled with so much studying.

I still remember the first apartment that Kumar and I were together in as a couple.

I still remember the first house that we moved into. All the lil things. All the plants we planted. The house that the boys were born in.

I still remember all my friend’s places where I felt like I home.

I still remember all that. Yet, I don’t.
Those “homes” have passed me by.

There is a term called “munn vasanai” in Tamil. It literally means, the “smell of the ground”. Figuratively, it means a place that you remember and cherish. As the first rain drops fall, the ground gives out a fragrance. That is “munn vasanai”.

Today, as it rains, here is Austin, I can smell the same “munn vasanai” of Thatha’s fields. I can smell the backyard in Appa and Amma’s house.

I think, home is where you are.
The rest of the mumbo jumbo about home is just biochemicals in your brain.

I am home. I am happy wherever I am.

I hope you are home and happy wherever you are too.

Rainy Day Snack

It is a rainy day here in Austin. So, I made chai and pakora for the boys.

I know what some of y’all will ask in shock. That is right. The pakora came from a frozen pack. I just stuck it in the oven.


The evening got better as my neighbor Jyothsna dropped of another hot snack!


Rainy Day in Austin

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. – John Ruskin

Rainy Day in Austin - Ambal Balakrishnan

Nature vs. Nurture

#‎Harsh‬ ‪#‎Nature‬ meets ‪#‎Nurture‬ in Austin today.
Thunder…lightning…pouring rain.
Guess what parents do?
Form a long pick up line to get the young’uns.

My hypothesis: There is no end to humanity. Why? Humanity will continue to thrive because it has gotten so good at caring for its young over eons.