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I answered the doorbell. Two young women, probably in their early 20s, smiled brightly at me and said, "Good morning Ma'am! Can we speak to you for a few minutes?" They were decently clothed, each carrying a backpack, and looked like the office-going women one sees everyday on the streets."May we come in?" They asked sweetly, totally ignoring my perplexed expression.
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My own mother was so busy working full-time and keeping house, she hardly had the luxury of a leisurely chat with me. Though she was a rock solid influence in shaping my health, conscience and general happiness, my emotional growth was pretty much dependant on my grandmothers, aunts, older cousins or sometimes even neighbours.
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Exactly 15 days before I wrote this post, I fled from home, jumping on to a rescue boat from my first floor balcony. The boat bobbed a few feet above my husband's SUV. Once we jumped in, we zipped and zoomed against the flowing current for the scariest eight minutes of my life.
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Why is it so important to overtake a woman driving? Is it an insult to your masculinity if you don't? Unlike you, my dear Stone Age man, I drive to serve a purpose, not to feel powerful.
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I remember sitting at my desk brooding about the whole thing. At that point I didn't care if he was drunk or irresponsible or anything. All I could remember was a kind old man, who'd made me feel good about myself and gave me what I needed most at that time - self esteem.
Recently, I bought a <em>choppu</em> set (miniature kitchen utensils) for a friend's daughter. Delightedly, she ran to her room to start playing. After a while, she came back to us, looking puzzled. "Amma, what's this?" she asked, holding up a <em>kal-ural</em> (grinding stone). "It's something you use to grind <em>mavu</em> for idli," my friend explained. "But how?" the little girl demanded.