Music

Songbird

Right as Rain

I don’t know if you guys know this about me, but when I am not working, parenting, wasting time on Facebook, watching “Housewives” on Bravo, or writing this blog, I write songs.

I picked up a guitar for the first time late in life – my late 20’s and have been playing less than 10 years. But in that time, I finally figured out a way to channel my love and passion for music.

When I did my first open mic and did some Indigo Girls and Jewel covers, I was astounded when I received a standing ovation. Never mind that 20 of the 30 people there were my friends and had all been drinking heavily that day.

The feedback I got was. “Well, you don’t play guitar that well, but you sure can sing.” Which was nice to hear because in High School I tried out for “Grease” and didn’t even get into the Chorus.

And so I sang. In cover bands, in bars and sometimes at private parties.

But covers are not very fulfilling – not for me anyway.

This is a song I wrote earlier this year mourning the loss of someone I loved very dearly. It’s called “Right as Rain.” It’s not finished – I have some work to do with my friends, Guitarist Buddy Speir and Producer, Scott Spelbring. There will be a lot more instrumentation on it. Right now it’s fairly stark – you hear my voice and guitar and not much else. Oh, you also hear the click-track (the little tambourine) which helps keep the song tight and on beat.

Would you give it a listen and provide some feedback?

XOXO,
Kiran

Yesterdays

This is a personal question. Feel free to answer in your own mind with as much honesty as you care to.

Have you ever loved someone in your youth and seen that love end? A love where maybe you knew in your heart, maybe in a place where even YOU couldn’t face it, that you loved the person just a teeny bit (ok, A LOT) more than they would or COULD ever love you? Is it possible that they assured you that your misgivings or concerns were crazy and to stop being so insecure? That everything would be “ok”? Then they would do something nice which would give you hope and give your doubts a breather.

But your instincts were right and things didn’t end up “ok.” What if it took you a long time to recover from that to heal? And what if you had to see that person after they admitted the truth to you – that those feelings that you were ignoring (telling them to shut up, shut up, shut up) were … right?

Ok, friend. I can call you that now, right? Because you have come this far with me. Now go one step further with me. What if you had to continually see that person? Maybe because you worked with them (which would be bad because its always risky to date someone at work) or had the same close group of friends (umawkward)?

And that is why I wrote this song: “Yesterdays.”

Not all the songs I write are about me, but I went through something like this in my twenties and did remember how painful it felt at the time. Years later, I saw the person who had broken my heart so glibly. I don’t know what it was, perhaps the lack of closure? Of respect? They brought all of those memories back in a bittersweet rush of recollection. Just like it was Yesterday.

Get it? Good.

I remember hearing that Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray on “One Tree Hillwere married for a short period – I don’t know – a few months? Something less than a year. And then they divorced and they had to see each other every single freaking day while they had to be professional and do lots of scenes together. I think maybe even some romantic scenes.

WTF? Eff that shit. I couldn’t do it. In my last post I told you about how John and I almost ended our marriage and as the official separation got closer I couldn’t walk five feet without having to blow my nose and tell everyone who asked that my red eyes were from allergies.

“Hello! It’s just allergies people!”

Of course nobody believed me because I was also sobbing at the time.

I did this song in the studio a while ago but just had it mixed and mastered. I hope that you enjoy it.

If you haven’t seen the hyperlinks – click here –> YESTERDAYS. If you could listen to it while reading along with the lyrics, I’d love to hear if the point came across.

Yesterdays were all we had, yesterdays weren’t all that bad
Yesterday seems so  – far away
You stumbled and I caught your fall, and yesterday it seemed so small
But yesterdays –  come to an end

And you said you’d remember me, but now I’m just small company
Yesterday when all I had was you.
And you said we would be ok, but now we go our separate ways
Yesterdays; Oh Yesterdays

Was it all some big disguise? You won’t look me in the eyes
Walk around like strangers by and by
Was it all a big excuse, you’ll dismiss as petty youth
Yesterdays passed us right by
Yesterdays go by; Yesterdays go by

Yesterdays when we were bad, yesterdays we were never sad
Those yesterdays seem so  – far away
I stumbled and you let me fall, and yesterday it seemed so small
Yesterdays –  they always end

And you said you’d remember me, but now I’m just small company
Yesterday when all I had was you.
And you said we would be ok, but now we go our separate ways
Yesterdays; Oh Yesterdays

Was it all some big disguise? You won’t look me in the eyes
Walk around like strangers by and by
Was it all a big excuse, you’ll dismiss as petty youth
Yesterdays passed us right by
Yesterdays do fly

You might not think I remember – I remember
Days gone, years past, no matter what these feelings last
Frozen in my mind
Frozen for all time

Was it all some big disguise? You won’t look me in the eyes
Walk around like strangers by and by
Was it all a big excuse, you’ll dismiss as petty youth
Yesterdays passed us right by
Yesterdays do fly
Yesterday flew by
Yesterdays go by (Repeat I don’t know – like a lot)

I’d love to get your feedback before I go in the studio to record and finish up some other stuff. Thank you friends. You rock. And I hope you think the song does too. If you like this post (reshare the post link) or the song (reshare the reverbnation link on Facebook) I appreciate your support and love as I get back into writing, singing, laughing and living again.

All my love,

Kiran

Strum This

I have a problem. I like to call it a quirk or one of the unique things I do which make me, well.

ME.

Me - the one on the Left. But if you don't like this post, I am the one on the Right.

However, my husband thinks I have a “problem” and for that reason, I guess I need to honor that he is allowed to have an opinion. I mean, of course he is allowed to – Lord knows he always has one to give me.

He likes to call it constructive feedback.

I like to call it being a pain in my ass. NOT constructive.

So my problem is something I know many of my readers will understand, if not empathize with.

I like to spend money. Like, according to hubby (nag, nag, nag) more than we have.

Oops.

It’s not like I am going around buying Manolo Blahniks for my feet or Louis Vuitton purses or anything like that. I am more of a DSW girl myself and my feet are too wacked to wear anything much sexier than the geriatric brands like “Aerosoles.”

(You know, the brands that try to make you think they are cute but really are nursing shoes in disguise).

I don’t need fine wines. I am happy with the ten dollar bottle from Costco. Even cheaper sometimes.

I don’t buy the kids clothes from Nordstrom. It’s usually Old Navy after I have trolled every coupon site to basically walk out of the store feeling like I really did a number on those guys.

Fade to me fist pumping as I leave the store with the “Chariots of Fire” music playing in the background.

But for some reason, I just spend too much. Some (yes John, I am talking about you) might even call it, well.

Impulsive. Compulsive.

I think that’s a bit harsh and I think people should be more careful about what words they use. I like to think of it as “frugally deficient.”

It’s not big things. It’s just a LOT of little things. Yes – I buy a LOT of little things, which – well they feel like big things when you add them all up.

We are on a first name basis with our FedEx and UPS guys. We receive packages almost every day at our house. Some of the packages are for things like quinoa. Did you know it’s much cheaper if you buy it in bulk on-line?

But here is an honest example of what has arrived on our doorstep over the past two weeks.

1) The “lipo in a box” girdle – I saw it on the Dr. Oz show when flying from Dulles to Boston on my last business trip. I knew at first sight that I HAD to have it so I could be a little more lenient on using my gym membership.

Spend less time at the gym! Or just be a sucker like me! (I saw this on Dr. Oz too!)

2) A new supplement which Dr. Oz says will make me feel more youthful. Because apparently, I don’t take enough already. And friends, let me be clear. If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia – you take a lot of pills a day. (Most of which I continue to buy via Amazon).

Supplements are good for you, so this is more like a co-pay. An insurance policy of sorts. I refuse to allow this to be  used against me by anyone who might be taking count of all this (yes, I am talking to you, John).

Plus, Dr. Oz said it’s ok.

Geez – I am sensing a theme here.

3) Another Deepak Chopra book. Because you can never have enough inner peace. Even if it means running to the door before John can pick up the packages before me and I get the chance to hide the box in my office.

So, it’s no surprise that John is getting a little annoyed at me. Plus I have this habit of rounding down when he asks what something costs. Our conversations usually go something like this.

John: “How much did that cost?” (So romantic).

Me: “Oh, like 20 dollars.” ($28.99 to be exact. Marked down from $60, thank you very much).

John: “But why do you have two?” he’ll ask, pulling out the other pair of offending pair of shoes, sweater, guitar picks, (insert other things that offend my husband).

Me: “Oh, it was buy one, get the second one free,” I say, grateful that he hasn’t yet seen the third pair which I accidentally left under the driver’s seat in my car.

Or the receipt.

John: “Really? Wow, what a deal.” He looks at me suspiciously. I think he wishes he had a lie detector but if he mentioned something like that, he knows I would probably offer to go buy one on Amazon in a jiffy.

So, John met with our financial planners the other day. Unfortunately for me, this was also the same day I just happened to accidentally drive 20 miles out of my way (clear chance) to browse through some things at Guitar Center.

I walked in looking for a cable.

I ended up leaving with a new guitar.

Uh oh.

How could I say no? I couldn't turn away once it made eye contact with me.

I knew this would not be good. Perhaps had I known that John was meeting at the same time with our financial planners for his birthday lunch, I would have taken greater care. I still knew I had to do this on the DL though.

“I need to use a Guitar Center credit card for this purchase,” I explained to the Sales rep. “I know this is going to sound really weird but….” I didn’t even need to explain.

“You’re trying to hide it from your husband. Gotcha.” He started typing into the system to pull up and reinstate my account. “It happens all the time.” He paused his typing. “Well it usually happens with husbands trying to hide their guitar, drums, bass or (insert expensive musical instrument here) from their wives, but dude, it happens all the time.”

Well good. That made me feel much better.

I drove home with my new guitar. When I got home, I asked our Au Pair, Monica if she thought that John would notice that I had a new guitar. She thought there might be a problem since this one was red and my current Martin and Yamaha were light brown and black, respectively.

I wondered briefly if John was color blind and I just didn’t know it.

I couldn’t lie. I had to tell him. After all, color blindness did not run in John’s genes.

So I called him. And I told him. Still fresh from the excitement of the lunch where he got to talk about money and other things that fascinate him the way that Suri Cruise’s wardrobe fascinates me, he had a long talk with me.

And that night we worked on a budget. My eyes glazed over a lot but I nodded my head at what I thought were appropriate points in the conversation.

I know the end  goal is to make me more conscious of the impact of all my stupid “little purchases.” Though, yes – the lipo in a box, not so small. I know it’s to make me a better person, yada, yada, yada.

So. (twiddling my thumbs). Guess we’ll just have to see how that goes.

I’ll let y’all know how the lipo in a box works if your are interested. Email me ;-)

Kiran

Get Me Some Man Pants, FAST.

A little over a decade ago, I bought a guitar so I wouldn’t do recreational drugs. When I realized that I wouldn’t just learn through osmosis, I decided to pick it up and teach myself some songs. Mostly Indigo Girls, Patty Griffin and some Dar Williams – you know, the really “bitchin” stuff.

Well, let me be clear about one thing. I use the term “learn” loosely. If by saying learn, I mean that I could actually hold the guitar in my hands and make sounds to accompany my voice, then we are both on the same page. I was no Jimi Hendrix. Or even Taylor Swift for that matter with the 8 open chords I knew how to play at the time.

During one of the indie performances I went to see, a young woman named Kris Delmhorst played, opening for Dar Williams. (I say these names assuming you do not follow Indie folk artists like me. If you do, ROCK on. Totally bitchin!)

I fell in lurve. (This is what I call love when I develop non-sexual crushes on really cool women).

So now I am in “lurve” with Kris Delmhorst. I would drag my friends to go see her at all her shows in the Northern Virginia area. I would be near tears like I was at a Bon Jovi concert, while my friends would be trying not to fall asleep.

I brought my friend Deana, a pretty solid fashionista, to one of the shows. While she was impressed with Kris’s singing, she was not impressed by Kris’s fashion sense and as what she called them, her “man pants.”

Some people just don’t get true “lurve.”

Anyway, fast forward a few years later. Kris is back in town playing at a Washington DC venue called the Birchmere. My boyfriend at the time, John (now my husband – he was okay with this whole “lurve” thing) came with me. We had some beers and split a pizza and I was pumped to say the least. Kris ended her set, and another artist took the stage.

As we turned to leave, we walked out through the concert hall’s gift shop. And that is when the stars aligned (or didn’t) and my heart just crashed in my chest.

There was my true lurve. Standing right in front of me in her awesome man pants.

“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my GOD?” I said to John through clenched teeth. “What do I do!?”

“I don’t know. Go ask her for her autograph?” He asked dubiously.

As if it was just that simple.

“No I need to have her sign a CD!” I was frantic now. What if she left? What if my true lurve walked away?

I looked at John.

“Go buy a CD! Hurry!”

“But we have one in the car,” said John. Why does he always try to sabotage me?

“GO GET A CD NOW!” I said in my best Linda Blair voice. I am fairly sure John thought my head was going to start spinning, so he hurried off to get the CD.

I tried to play it cool, idly looking through a bunch of other CDs from other musicians, leaving pools of sweat from my palms all over the poor artists’ heart and souls and CD covers.

I was a mess. A hot one, because my palms were so sweaty.

John came back with the CD and we casually (?!!!) walked over to get her autograph. She was talking in her totally chill manner to a couple, with her hands in the back pocket of her man pants. I was enamored.

Her pants were just as unflattering in person as on her CD.

So cool.

And then she was done. She smiled at us and reached out to shake our hands, reaching also for the CD to sign it.

GO TIME.

Like Eminem says, “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo.”

Oh, shit.

So there I went. Seizing that opportunity, yo.

“Oh my god, I just wanted to let you know that I am such a fan of yours and I saw you open for Dar and then I went to Iota and Jamming Java a few times, and oh my god, I just want to let you know that you are one of the reasons I picked up guitar and I just love you, even your pants and if you ever, ever need a back up singer, you see – i am a singer too – and I can do backup vocals for you and we would be great together – it would be magical.”

I looked at John. He seemed bemused. To his credit, he did not blush or deny that he was with me, though he seemed to be  few feet further behind me.

I don’t think I let her get a word in edgewise as she tried to collect herself. She probably wanted to know where I got my pants from.

But I wasn’t done.

I reached into the pocket of my own non-man pants and pulled out my business card.

Yes, people. I used to have a singing business card.

She reached over as I threw it in her hand – she really had no other choice as I crammed it into her non-suspecting hands.

“SoAnywaysJustCallMeorEmailMeandMaybeWeCanJam (did I say that?)TogetherIfYouAreBackInTOwn.OhGreattoMeetYou.BYE”

And I ran out of the store so fast. I couldn’t believe it.

I actually spoke to Kris Delmhorst.

I turned to John (who did NOT look embarrassed at all) and said, “Well, how do you think that went?”

“What do you mean? Kiran, you gave her your card. How do you THINK it went?”

Oh. Was that kind of weird? Was I NOT supposed to do that?

Hmmm.

Here is my card that I gave her.

Suffice to say, she NEVER did call.

Here is a performance of one of my favorite songs. Man pants or not, I still lurve her. Listen and you will know why.

“But sometimes I take your picture and I turn it to the wall
You are still a cliff and babe, I still know how to fall.”
– Kris Delmhorst, “Broken White Line”

I wonder if she still keeps my card with her and turns it to the wall. I guess I will never know.

P.S. John has been asking me for years to write this post. It is one of his favorite moments of mine where I look like an asshole. 

Little Lion Man

Nico - My Little Lion Man

But it was not your fault but mine,
And it was your heart on the line,
I really f^%$#ed it up this time.
Didn’t I my dear?
Didn’t I my dear.?

– Mumford and Sons, “Little Lion Man”

I have a confession to make and perhaps you will judge me, but I said that this blog was about telling the truth and cutting past the phoniness, so I have to come clean.

I have a really bad habit. I listen to songs with curses in them. If the songs are on when the kids are around the room or if they walk in while I am singing my lungs out, I may NOT turn them off right away. I may not sing louder or turn up the volume.

Most of the time, anyway.

This is distressing to John.

“Kiran, turn it off – we don’t want the kids to hear that!”

And yes, I know. I don’t want them to be hearing songs where women are being disrespected and objectified and called names. I also don’t want them to hear cursing in rage and directed at people. Nothing like that.

But every once in a while, well, I think it’s ok to be listening to a GREAT song and let a little F bomb drop.

My rationale for this is the following:

1) Most adults, never mind most kids, hardly know what the heck they are singing along with on the radio most times anyway. I mean, I used to gyrate on the floor when I was 9 singing “Like A Virgin” thinking it was just a song about a girl who had never been on a date. Seriously, who gives a rat’s ass? I still didn’t get any action till I was 19, so who really cares?

2) They are going to hear it anyway and probably in much worse context than in the songs that they might overhear from my Pandora playlist. I just don’t make that big deal about it, and I think they probably won’t either.

3) Well, the reality is that their father curses like a sailor anyway. Let’s just say that John stubs his toe. The likely result is that John’s toe now hurts. (Poor John).

So, now, my husband has a throbbing toe and a desire to let the world know about how upset and hurt this makes him.

(Now, I know that this is just a re-enactment through prose, and I know its just instinct on John’s part, but this is kind of what it sounds like.)

I hear a loud crash coming from the family room.

John: “Oh shit! Oh MY God! That fu^$^$g hurt so bad!”

Me: “John, the kids. Seriously?”

John: “I am fu%^%ing hurt. Don’t you care?”

Well of course I do, but I am too busy listening to profanity filled music in the kitchen to deal with it right now.

So the long and the short of it is, it’s finally caught up with me. I have received my comeuppance for once and for all. (Though I still blame John’s outbursts more than the music).

The other day, our Au Pair, Monica went out to heat up the car to drive Shaila and Nico in the morning. She asked Shaila to stay in the house for a bit.

Monica: “Now Shaila, you need to stay inside until the car is warmed up. It’s very cold outside.”

Shaila: “Oh, ok.” Pause. “Like, is it F^%&ing cold?”

When Monica told me this I was very upset because I had no f%$%ing idea where she got this from and why she thought it would be ok to say f&&^*ing within our walls. Its just f^&*^ed up, I tell you.

A few weeks ago, Shaila dropped something in the bathroom. I was in her bedroom picking out a bedtime story. I heard her gasp and then so clearly, I heard the following:

“Oh Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Reaally, really stinky shit!”

Shaila, caught in a real shit storm. I was f^%^ing scared!

I didn’t say anything, but I had a hard time keeping a straight face.

But trust me, it was f%&&ing hard.

So, one of my favorite songs which has cursing in it, but which I personally love within the context of the song is Mumford and Son’s “Little Lion Man“.

And I am sorry, but that won’t be deleted off of my playlist anytime soon.

Go on and have a curse fest. Despite the curses, its still one of the most beautiful and inspiring songs of the year.

Here is it.

And if this is my fault, and I really did f^&^&* this up? I’m sorry, my dears.

Listen to the video and sing your heart out (and drop some f-bombs) away!

Lie in Our Graves

You might wonder why I am writing a song about graves on what is actually my birthday. Give me a second, and I promise I’ll get there. I like to take, as Patty Griffin says, “The Long Ride Home.”

The Amphitheater - 12 freaking bucks! And no I did NOT go. Duh.

When I got to my college at the University of Virginia as a straight up thug Indian kid from New Jersey, I remember about everybody talking about this guy named Dave Matthews and his upcoming show at the UVA outdoor pavilion called, the Amphitheater.

“Who the f@#! is Dave Matthews and why would I spend 12 dollars to go see him?” I asked in my thug Jersey way.

Yeah, I know. What a dumb. ASS. Twelve freaking dollars.

And regarding how others might have seen me, I wasn’t very thug (it’s so relative, right?), but I did (DO) curse a lot and have an accent. Plus, I was brown and I said things like “water” as “wahttuh”. It’s understandable how I could intimidate so many with my dark Indian looks and overwhelming stature (5’4″ to be exact). Especially my one “sweet as honey” suite mate who proudly hung her Confederate flag a few doors away from me. I used to give her dirty looks and yell things like Boo! when she’d walk out of the bathroom. I also used to talk about how many people how I knew from the Mob as I stared at the flag in her room shaking my head.

I really didn’t “know” anybody (not confirmed anyway), but it was fun to “reinvent” myself. It’s always good to start a new experience solid, I say.

Anyway, back to original point. (See long, long rides).

I quickly learned who Dave Matthews was and fell in love. It made me love Charlottesville, his hometown as well as UVA’s college town, just a little more. And though I already loved music, I fell a bit deeper into my obsession.

When I came back to New Jersey for the holidays, people still didn’t know who he was. But by the summer, they were playing “The Best of What’s Around” on all the radio stations. As normally occurs in these situations, I did not want to share. I wanted to make sure I could still get into concerts where he was only 20 feet away from me.

That of course, would end. And I never had any idea just how big he would become.

If you like Dave Matthews, then I am going to go out on a limb here and say that you love “Lie in Our Graves” off of Crash. If you really love Dave Matthews, then I would further venture to say you love his collaborations with Tim Reynolds.

Credit: Jeff Kravitz

So take a walk with me. Its my birthday, so if you want to wish me a happy birthday, do it by sitting back and listening to not only this song, but this particular version of the song. Play special attention to the guitar solo.

I never really paid attention to the lyrics of the song but always thought it odd how a song with the word, “graves” in the title could sound so damn happy and make me want to roll down my windows and blast my speakers and sing until my throat hurt. I would bop my head  around (a non-thug trait) with a smile on my face and listen as my spirit SOARED through the guitar solo.

Well once you listen, the song is about not facing your grave. It’s about not lying down and letting life pass you by as if each day is just another day to prepare for death.

I THINK it’s also about the joy you experience as a child. When everything is new and everything feels free.
It MIGHT be about climbing to your summits and letting go, letting your legs dangle and enjoying the things you achieve.
And POSSIBLY about looking at life with fresh eyes and letting it absorb you, embrace you – up to your toes, to your ankles, to your soul.

And I KNOW its about being blown away.

How often do you let yourself get blown away? Like really BLOWN. AWAY? For me, it’s not often enough – and that’s not anybody’s doing but my own.

When I hear the guitar solo, one of the most moving compositions EVER (not up for debate, its my b-day!), I just think of life. The highs, the lows, the leaps, the falls. But overall I think of joy. The joy we have the ability to look towards every day in our lives.

No matter how bad things are you can choose to live, really live.
Or you can take a seat, or better yet, a bed – and watch everyone else do it.

Let’s face it. I can’t believe that you would not like to be.

ok.

OK.

OK

Listen to the song. I said it was for my birthday, but make it about your birthday and your every day.

Happy Any Day to You!

Enjoy!


Thanks for posting Ujio7!. You made my day :-)

“When I step into the light
My arms are open wide
When I step into the light
My eyes searching wildly
Would you not like to be
Sitting on top of the world with
Your legs hanging free
Would you not like to be ok, ok, ok?

When I’m walking by the water
Splish splash me and you takin a bath
When I’m walking by the water
Come up through my toes
To my ankles
To my head
To my soul
And I’m blown away

When I’m walking by the water
Splish splash me and you takin a bath
When I’m walking by the water
Come up through my toes
To my ankles
To my head
To my soul
And I’m blown away

I can’t believe that we would
Lie in our graves
Wondering if we had
Spent our living days well
I can’t believe that we would
Lie in our graves
Dreaming of things that we
Might have been

I can’t believe that we would
Lie in our graves
Wondering if we had
Spent our living days well
I can’t believe that we would
Lie in our graves
Dreaming of things that we
Might have been

Would you not like to be?
I can’t believe that you
Would not like to be
Would you not like to be?
Ok, ok, ok”

Go on now. Be MORE THAN OK.

GET BLOWN AWAY.

Kiran

The Storytellers

I have a problem.

Well, to be fair, I have many, but right now I want to speak specifically towards one. I think it would be unfair to burden you with more since this might even be the first time you are visiting my blog.

I like to let the crazy out slowly. Gradually.

So, the problem du jour is my spending problem. I like the color of money. But apparently not enough to save lots of it in our bank accounts. I also don’t feel a need to stare at piles of it on the floor. Instead I make sure our credit cards get a frequent workout and find lots of creative ways to spend that green stuff.

Which I think is a talent.

Add to cart, enter coupon code, enter payment info, submit, confirm order and take it from the top! Its a great cardio burning workout and you can break a real sweat.

John is not happy about this and does not appreciate my credit card assisted cardio.

If he sees me in a new shirt, he will kind of narrow his eyes and ask, while trying to sound very lighthearted (doesn’t work), “Oh, nice shirt babe.”

Don’t think I don’t know where you are going with this, babe.

“Have you had that for a while?” he asks. “Or is it new?”

And this all really annoys me. Irks me. Why doesn’t he trust me? I know how to spend money. But he won’t understand that the shirt was on sale and the color does amazing things for my skin tone. Plus he also doesn’t realize that on top of everything, the shirt goes awesome with the new necklace I bought with it.

You know the shirt to go with the necklace. Or the necklace to go with the shirt.

It’s kind of the whole, chicken before the egg thing.

So in my confusion, and knowing full well that he knows the truth, I do what any smart wife would do.

I lie.

“Oh this old thing?” I say, which is absolutely true if you think that old is at least a week old. It’s all relative. After all, there are some insects for whom that would equate to centuries!

“No it’s been sitting in my closet forever.” (Forever = whole week).

“Oh, I’ve never seen you wear that,” he says, suspiciously.

“That’s because you don’t pay attention, honey.” See how I turned that around? That takes skill.

“Well it looks nice,” he says, walking away still watching me out of the corner of his eyes. Probably to make sure I don’t buy anything while he walks from one room to the next.

Snort, yeah, good luck with that, John (I’ve got Amazon one click set up on my iPhone)

In all seriousness, I am getting a handle on this need to spend. I don’t think of it as a problem with spending as much as a desire to be really prepared in the event of an emergency disaster.

Because you can NEVER have too many Ann Taylor cardigans when a natural disaster happens.

Anyway, another thing I actually do save our money for is annual family pictures. Every year, John and I get a family session done with our family friends, Julie Monticello and Emily Hellmuth. Julie and Emily are an amazingly talented sister team. They are bubbly, relaxed, amazingly easy to work. Most importantly they have gob loads of talent.

They have a way of capturing a fairly non-camera friendly family and transforming us into the most photogenic versions of ourselves. No spinach in our teeth, no lazy eyes and no studio posing, which we are honestly just terrible at. Like, Chandler Bing terrible.

Julie. She has 6 kids. 6 KIDS.

Emily and her cute boyfriend and beautiful dog.

(Yes, you can observe that fact that they are very beautiful. More like, gorgeous. They look like the mean, snooty cheerleader from your High School but they are WAY nicer and cooler. But in hanging out with them I would say they are more like the coolest band geeks. EVER.)

All joking aside, one of the things John and I have spoken about doing this year is taking pictures with each set of grandparents in our family. Over the past few years, we have gained an even greater appreciation for how quickly things can change in life as we have braced ourself for one loss after another. My perspective on how valuable family time is has changed as more loved ones have passed in recent years than I was prepared to handle.

I don’t mean to sound morbid, because its not just about taking these pictures for the extreme scenario of, “Well, what if someone dies?” God, how terrible! But I can’t dismiss that. What if the health we take for granted fails us? What if that light in my daughter’s eyes vanishes for reasons I can’t foresee today? What if the most precious things in my life are taken from me?

I need to take advantage of the time I have and capture it as best as I can.

You see this picture of Nico? Its from October 2010. It seems like it was so recent but when you talk about how fast your children grow, a lot changes in 1.5 years. More than I can remember at times.

Do you see the beautiful corners of his outer eyes? It’s hard to notice, but do you see the remaining signs of the eczema that left me thinking his face might be scarred forever? Do you see the plump roundness of his cheeks?

I do. But I can’t say that I remember those things exactly that way. But its so vivid when I look at pictures like these. Because it all goes so darn fast that at times I feel like my memories and pictures and stories and recollections are blurred together.

So Julie and Emily help me. By doing what they do.

Life is too short and its just so fragile. I don’t have many pictures of my kids with their grandparents but beyond that, neither John and I have that many pictures of ourselves with our parents – and we both agreed that we would finally commit to making this a priority and do these shoots in the next few years.

This is a shoot we did this year with my parents, good old Kameshwar and Moti Kairab. Let me know what you think – or actually let Julie and Emily know what you think. If you like their work, go let them know and “like” them on Facebook at Tellchronicles.

What I believe makes their pictures so beautiful is that are not just photographers but storytellers.

Have you gotten someone to tell your family stories and capture those smiles and those eyes and those images that you sometimes think will stay frozen in your head forever, but which have a way of slowly fading, as if there is a slow leak somewhere in your brain?

Because images in our heads do fade. And I don’t just want to tell my stories to my kids. I want to tell my parents’ stories to my kids and I want them to share those stories with their kids.

I feel like in life we are always in such a rush to get where we need to go. Where we want to be. But how often do you just stop and realize the richness of where you are? And how often do we look back and say, why didn’t I pay closer attention to that?

I love Julie and Emily and the stories they weave. The gifts they give me with these images is one of the most valuable things I do spend our hard earned money on each year.

And I think that for this case, John would agree.

Enjoy! Book with Tellchronicles and tell my girls I sent you. No, I don’t get a kickback – I just want people to know how amazing they are before they become way too expensive and you can’t book with them any more. And I will just shake my head disapprovingly (kind of how John does when he catches me with a brand new shirt) and tell you I told you so.















All of these lines across my face, tell you the story of who I am.
So many stories of where I’ve been and how I got to where I am.
But these stories don’t mean anything
If you got no one to tell them to – it’s true.
I was made for you.

Brandi Carlile, “The Story

Here is the video from that day, if you would like to see it. Julie and Emily make that for their customers as part of some of the packages, along with a great bound photo album and copies of all the images. You will hear two of my favorite feel good songs on it – “Simple as it Should Be” by Tristan Prettyman and “You and I” by Ingrid Michelson.

That was a day when everything, in fact, was simple as it should be.

Kiran

Heartsong

Do you ever feel like your day just kind of ran away from you? I sit here and it’s 11 PM. I know I should be in bed, because I know the trouble I have when my kids get up. I want to stay curled up under the covers and no amount of coffee can make me move from out and under the lovely, comfortable, soft and downy warmth of my bed which all make me want to ….

snore.

Sorry – that’s about how easy it is to pass back out in the mornings, so excuse me while I get some coffee.

It’s just…

Well, I feel like whether you are a working mother or a stay at home one (I will include daddies in this too, because I know plenty who fulfill both roles), by the time everything (and I mean EVERYTHING, as if I really did sweep every last bit of rice off the floor) is done and the kids are FINALLY in bed, I feel a little like…

“Ok what the HELL just happened?”

Because the day is done. Finito. Pretty much gone. And while I had some great highs in my work day (maybe some lows) and some amazing moments with my kids (or not), I just feel like, when the heck do you get to do the things that YOU need to do. NOT the laundry. Not the bills. Not even time on the phone with family.

I mean the things that make you more balanced as individuals – you know – journaling, exercising, writing, playing music. Just examples, please don’t throw a rock at my head because I left off basket-making or pottery or anything. Those are very noteworthy as well.

Everybody has a heartsong. So how do you find yours? Or recognize that maybe it has gone someplace to hide with the sentiment, “hey she is not ready for me now with all this crazy stuff going on, but she will be ready by the time the kids are both in school” so you can put it in the drafty part of your closet right next to the old BCBG dress you refuse to donate because you JUST KNOW you will fit into it again.

Someday.

Are you delaying singing that heartsong or maybe just saying goodbye to your dream?

Are you maybe, just a teensy bit scared? Of not being successful? Of risks? Of what people might think?

Still a mother.
Still a professional.
Still a wife.

But also…

Still a dreamer.

I have friends who have found their “heartsong.” It’s the ability to take what they have passion for in their hearts and make it integral part of their lives in some way, a way that it is woven in that it cannot be denied or perhaps made into less of a priority. For them, fulfilling these heartsongs has allowed them to live to new potentials they would never have known. Yes – they were mothers, but beyond mothers, they are also artists and needed a push in finding that song.

I think that I want these moments because right now my heart is kind of “skipping” in terms of playing the song. Its got a lot of static and it just sounds like a really crappy recording, probably similar to the recordings I used to tape off of Z100’s top 5 at night on my radio/cassette player.

I can hear it, but because maybe its singing a few different tunes, I haven’t found my “song” yet.

Is that crazy? Do you believe that you have a heartsong that you were meant to pursue? Something that always brings you back to a dream that you feel is unfulfilled.

Now listen here. If you tell me your heart always wanted to be Eva Longoria, I know that this will be a LIE because she only rose in popularity in the last six years. It needs to be a legit heartsong. A yearning, really. A yearning to pursue something which you have captured and mastered in your dreams in a way that you are comforted by the thought, and saddened by its absence in life.

For friends who I have who have taken that leap of faith, I must say that I applaud you. You are braver than me, and definitely more talented than I will ever be in the areas you found your heartsongs.

You make me want to be brave and own up to my own dreams.

And do you think that maybe if we listened a little harder to that song, and muted all of the other crap in our lives while also paying less attention to all of the areas that we are weak or make excuses for – that we are denying ourselves and our families a better life?

Just because YOU would ultimately be happier.

The journey to find your heartsong is a tough one. Sometimes realizing you have not achieved it makes it hard for your heart to sing anything, even happy Christmas songs. But you are brave and you can do this. Maybe in 2012 we can all listen a little bit HARDER and sing a little bit LOUDER.

It’s not easy. Hard things never are. That’s what makes them hard.

But soooo worth it.

I may not know my heartsong yet, but I can sing a bra off a drunk girl in a crowded bar. (True story, I HAVE done this). So I think its important that I really give this whole thing a try.

Don’t you think you should too?

Dig deep. Don’t tell me resolutions. Tell me your dreams. What have you always wanted to do? What made you stop? Could you, WOULD you – if you knew that it was an option?

If you could, but you won’t, why not? Are you scared?

Please don’t stop dreaming sisters and misters. You are brave. You CAN do it. I will try with you and I guarantee that if we do – we will sing this song in really kick ass harmony together. Like a “Feed the World” meets “USA for Africa” kind of harmony.

Sing your heart out. Just don’t let you heart ever stop singing. Even if right now, it may only be a whisper.

Kiran

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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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