Meet Me

Me and my family

I write about my family, politics, feminism, music, books and I *constructively* *complain* (bitch) about a lot of random things. Disclaimer: I like gay people, immigrants and the homeless.

Be forewarned.

Here is an introduction I wrote in 2012. I may need to update it because I’m sooooo much cooler now. Yeah, ok. Maybe not.

**********************************

I’m a mother. A wife. A sister. A daughter. A friend. A professional.

Some days, I am very, VERY good at all of these things.

And well, some days, I am not.

Because in playing all these parts where I feel like I have a supporting role to play for everyone else, I have forgotten about many of the other things I wanted to be.

A writer. A singer. An athlete.

(And I always wanted to learn how to do Celtic line dancing, but I can part with that dream for now).

This blog helps me recapture two of the things I love to do that make me me. I will still be the mother, the wife, the sister, etc., but I think I will be a whole lot better at it if I can be true to these things that make me full, give me light and often take my breath away.

In writing about my life through the lens of song-writing and my appreciation for music, I hope to blend two of the greatest passions I have had together.

Music. And cutting past the bullshit with words.

Maybe by fulfilling these core needs for myself, I can be a better mother. A stronger daughter. A better wife.

I grew up in New Jersey in a family that was far from “normal” and an upbringing that left me filled with a great deal of pain and insecurity and grief that I was never very good at dealing with. I come from a passionate family but a family that has a hard time talking about our past. Instead we let the wounds heal at the surface, we pick off the scabs, allow the wound to bleed until we are left with an infection so deep that no amount of salve can fix it.

We wait till we are in critical condition. And sometimes, there is just no getting back to normalcy from there.

But then, what the hell is “normal” anyway?

I can’t change the past, but I can acknowledge it and make sure I don’t do to my children what all the statistics say I am likely to do.

Mess them up. Royally.

In Hindi, one of the most spoken languages in India (Because just to be clear, there is no language called “Indian” or “Hindu”) the word “Masala means a combination of spices, flavors and array of essences. I thought it was an appropriate way to start my blog title since I was raised with a combination of cultures. While I was born and raised in New Jersey, I spent most of my summers in the northern most villages of India. The lives I lead seem starkly juxtaposed against each other in many ways.

Though, to be fair, the state my parents are from in India – Bihar – is kind of like the “New Jersey” of India. Except there are no shores. There is a lack of clean water. Oh and most of the population lives in extreme and utter poverty.

I selected the second part of my name, “Chica” to acknowledge the continuation of cultural diversity in my family’s lives. My husband is half Puerto Rican and half Italian. Somehow, his rich combination of genetics has left him looking like a cross of “Ponch” from Chips and some kind of Bollywood actor (Exhibit A).

Exhibit A

While I acknowledge I am not always the perfect mother – the kind I dreamed I would be – these two inspire me every day to smile, to laugh and to count my blessings. Meet Nico and Shaila (Exhibit B).

mis quartoriquenos

Exhibit B

I have a lot of vices and many faults, but I make sure that my Facebook profile always reflects the best of me. You never know who is looking at it and I want anyone who was mean to me in high school to realize how “perfect” I am. I mean, NOT that I care or anything.

I drink too much, I watch “The Real Housewives” on Bravo and I complain often and passionately. I also give up on myself far too easily. I am a people pleaser who reacts irrationally when I reach my limits.

Just perfect, you see.

I also am just a tad bit hard on myself and want to learn to be more forgiving to the person I   am hardest on. My husband would say “It’s about time! Since that person would be me.” (Some days he is right).

But right now I mean myself.

So I tell myself things like this. I am a kick-ass singer. I am a devoted and loyal friend. I don’t allow people to walk all over me, Which makes me the opposite of a doormat.

These are just some of the things I can say make me want to pat myself on my right shoulder. And then of course, my left.

Because it’s important to be balanced.

I have been blogging since 2009. The past year or so I lost myself. Woefully. I could not write. I could not sing.

It was a dark year.

I have made a commitment that there is no point to singing or blogging if I I can’t be honest. And if I can’t be honest, well, there doesn’t seem to be much point in writing – songs or this blog. So I am committed to finding the balance where I can tell my story and share the music that drives me without having my family all cut me off for the next ten years.

Which may just happen. But I am hoping that blood is thicker than the water they are likely to throw at me.

Thank you for sharing my journey with me.

Humbly yours,

Kiran

P.S. I really do try to get back to all comments but I get behind sometimes. I read every comment and they all make me happy. I can take the good with the bad, so just bring it!

21 Responses to Meet Me

  • LisaAR
    Twitter:
    says:

    After your visit to my blog, I am returning the favor and visiting yours. Glad I did! We have some fun similarities and some lovely differences. Nice to “meet” you, Kiran! I look forward to reading more of your great words!

    • masalachica says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for coming over to my neck of the woods :-). Same here – Got you in
      my Blog Reader too which I downloaded (Bloglovin) and updated all my blogs
      last night – feeling VERY put together at this exact second.

      The feeling usually goes away very soon whenever I feel it so I will savor
      it ;-)

      Kiran
      masalachica recently posted…Family SongsMy Profile

  • Mini says:

    Hi Masalachica,

    I’m a huge fan of your blog. I know you typically write about fun & humor but thought I’d see if you’d consider posting about an organization I’m currently working with, More Than Me, that works to lift girls off the street and into school in Liberia, West Africa. We are part of an online Facebook voting contest called the Chase American Giving Awards, and if we win, we get a $1 million grant!

    Over 1,000 blogs are coming together to post about our story and this $1 million opportunity that would impact the lives of thousands more vulnerable girls. I was hoping that you could join them in posting the below. Let me know if you’d like to join in – it would mean so much to us.

    More Than Me, an education and girls’ empowerment non-profit is gaining notoriety through its guerrilla-style marketing, inspiring hundreds of people to write “I am Abigail” on their foreheads and post their photos on Facebook.

    This really begs the question, “Who the heck is Abigail?”

    Abigail was an orphan in West Point, Liberia. You may have read her in a previous article here on the Huffington Post. At six, she was left with prostitutes. She learned to work the streets in order to get access to drinking water and food. Education was not an option.

    Then Abigail met Katie Meyler, the founder of
    More Than Me, an organization dedicated to getting girls off the streets and into schools. Katie and Abigail became fast friends, and More Than Me has raised the money to put Abigail through school. She is learning to bake, and aspires to one day be a Senator, so she can, in turn, help other girls like her.

    So, why are all these people also “Abigail”?

    Abigail could be you. Abigail could be your sister, your niece, your student, or your neighbor. Remember, we live in a global community; there is no “me” without “we”, Abigail is because you are, and you are because Abigail is.

    Join the community. When you’ve done that, help the community grow by spreading our story. And most of all, get inspired.

    Take 15 seconds (yes, just 15 seconds) to make the lives of these girls a bit better by doing two very simple and extremely meaningful things: VOTE NOW through 4th December for Abigail and girls like her at voteabigail.org and… then share it with others. (Maybe even make your OWN “I am Abigail” picture!)

    Thank you,
    Mini Verma
    MoreThanMe.org

  • Becca Cord says:

    Yep, my eyeballs feel assaulted by your prettiness. Just like Ericka said they would! But then they feel better because of the soothing layout of your blog.

    • masalachica says:

      Hi Becca,
      Please don’t feel assaulted. I am really a 6′ tall, hairy (well, mostly true), yeti that was smart enough to invest in Photoshop classes many years ago. I basically blur everything up real good so you can’t see what I really look like.

      You think my blog is soothing? That’s so nice. It’s new, you see (just moved from wp.com) so I haven’t gotten a ton of feedback just yet. Soothing is good. I like that one.
      Kiran

  • AJ Collins says:

    awww, I love your new layout… and I love your honesty here. I am lurking at all the old bloggy buddies who I used to visit and comment on when I was regularly blogging 2 years ago. I am also back from a non-writing time… tho my reasons are different than yours I am sure. Glad to see you writing again. I missed you. ;)

    • masalachica says:

      AJ,
      How are you hon? Yes, I took a trip down memory lane when I started writing again and was like “where the heck did everybody go?!!”

      I hope you do get back to writing again. I always loved the gentleness and calming impact of your voice through writing.

      Missed you too :-)

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  • Snehal Naik says:

    I have just started reading your posts after coming across your blog page on FB, You are really pretty! You remind me of actress Sonali Bendre. I love to read your posts, although I have read just a few of them. Your half Puerto Rican and half Italian husband reminds me of my teenage days when I wanted a non-Indian partner. Giggle! The four of you look really great! God Bless you always! Like you, I too am a devoted and loyal friend but have been treated like a doormat quite often. But after I decided to change for good, even I don’t allow people to walk all over me, It makes me feel proud in this big bad world. Hope to read more of your posts when I get time!

  • Really love what you wrote about yourself. Your husband does look like a Bollywood actor and his features could pass for Indian in that bw pictures. Your kids are so cute, beautiful family!!!
    honeywhatscooking recently posted…De Santos | New York City (west village)My Profile

  • Hi Kiran – I am visiting your blog now after a long time and so glad I found my way back. I love your voice! I’m an ABCD who grew up in Jersey too;) Look forward to reading you more and have added you to my Google Reader!

    Best,
    Chitra

  • Just came across your blog via lurking around other blogs – love it! Beautiful family :)

    ~ Shaza ~

  • Andrew Paul Schettino
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great to “meet” you. I look forward to following your blog. I’ve got lots of stuff on the web so just google my name to see any of it…

  • Amelia says:

    I saw your blog on the side of The Bloggess’s blog, and my attention was immediately attracted by your blog’s name (I love to cook [chicken tikka masala is my favorite], and I love Spanish,so it seemed perfect). I look forward to following your blog!
    Hugs :), Amelia
    Amelia recently posted…Jack O’LanternsMy Profile

  • Roshni says:

    Hi! Just found your blog via the Circle of Moms madness! :)
    Nice to ‘meet’ you! Hope to pop in from time to time!
    Roshni recently posted…Twenty questions (actually more!)….in case you were dying to know more about me!!My Profile

  • Ankit says:

    Hi Kiran,

    I am glad, I read this blog and it is “simply” awesome….

    I have lot of things in my mind to write and share with world….
    Can I write here??

    Well by profession I am a scientist but trust me I’ll not make your readers bore…:)

    Thanks!
    Ankit

  • Joey
    Twitter:
    says:

    I’m nominating you for the Versatile Blogger Award tonight. I do hope you’ll accept, but not as much as I hope you’ll always write! Best Wishes!
    Joey recently posted…A Redder Shade of PinkMy Profile

  • Indrani says:

    Hi Kiran,

    I read about you on your page. You and I are similar in many ways. I too drink and watch the Housewives of NJ as well as the others when I get a chance.

    I have a question in which you may understand more so than others since you have children that are 1/2 Indian and the other 1/2 mixed. I am 1/2 Indian and 1/2 white. I am adopted and I have mix feelings about all of it. I am drawn to the Indian side more so than the white. Why? Good question. I have no idea. Maybe because I don’t see myself as white and am confused.

    I haven’t met any Indians that I could be friends with. I think that would help a bit too.

    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Indrani

  • Amelia says:

    I just found your blog and love the honesty in your writing. Your family is so cute! Looking forward to reading more, I’ve just followed your blog :-)
    Take care. Amelia Grace

  • Priya Rai says:

    Hello,
    I just went through your site, I loved it!!! I hope you will have a look at my site as my well. (no, no I do not want it to be a symbiotic thing just a request………)

  • shereen says:

    i LOVED your post i just saw on scary mommy, i usually never read blogs that are longer than 2 maybe 3 paragraphs, but your tolerance piece was amazing. AND so i thought i’d come and visit your blog and after reading just your ‘about’ page, i realised how little of myself, is in my blog, because im too afraid of what people will think of my opinions, so i don’t voice it. had a lightbulb moment and from now on i might just not give a shit and write whatever i want. so thanks!! Okay so maybe not right away but it will happen!! looking forward to reading more posts :) xx starringmaya.wordpress.com
    shereen recently posted…7 baby clothing brands that we loveMy Profile

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MEET KIRAN

I'm Kiran, I'm a dreamer. A writer. A singer. A mother. An ugly crier. An Indian-American. Who loves Gandhi. My stories are full of truth that is sometimes hard for me to say out loud. This blog is where I overcome my fears and live (and love) out loud. Read More....

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