Thursday, November 15, 2018


Scared of

A short story

Oh I am so glad to learn that this story ranked Second place! in a Flash Fiction Contest

Here it is:

Scared of  

I knew something was strange but could never anticipate it this way because Zina is a brave girl.  She is four and a half and she is afraid of nothing.  Almost nothing. 

When Dracula laughed out showing its bloody teeth sitting at Didun’s porch kicking fallen leaves all the children freaked out.  Not Zina.  

“It’s just a fake one, a record inside is doing the trick” she commented. 

When the wind howled hoo-hoo, crisp autumn air swung the hanging ghosts on the clothesline, Zoe pointed that in the wee morning hours when it is still dark, real ghosts do come and visit.  She even showed their spits on the morning glory flower bed. 

Zina shook her pigtails. “ I’m not scared.  They are not ghost spits.  They are just bud spits.  Soon you’ll see white flowers coming out.  Daddy told me so.  Trust me, Zoe, there are no ghosts, Really.” 

When Didun brought cookies for the children and Robin shrieked out, 

“A spider!” Zina held her head up, brought a plastic cup and a junk-mail envelope, slid the spider into the cup, covered the top and took it outside. 

“ Spiders are good things, Robin, nothing to be scared of.” She assured like a big sister. 

When Aria pointed out that their neighbor Melissa who dresses up like a witch  for Halloween is a real witch, “ I am scared of her mole, her real mole…” Zina came and caressed her. 

“Aria, she can’t help her mole.  It happens to some people but she is the kindest person, Really.  Trust me.  She feeds the birds every morning, cures sick baby orchids, and helps me cross the road.  She is not a witch, just pretends to be one on Halloween nights.”

Didun exclaimed all of a sudden, “Oh Zina, I forgot, I have something for you”,  and gave her a big bag. 

Inside, there was a coat.  A silver grey coat with two iridescent blue buttons.

“That’s a beautiful color!”  Zoe clapped. Aria brushed her fingers on it,  “So soft!”  Robin smelled it, “Umm!”  But Zina kept quiet. 

Colors from her tomato-red cheeks drained. Twinkles from her dark eyes dimmed.  All the giggles from spunky Zina turned into a frown,  Zina started sobbing. 

“What happened, Zina?” Didun held her chin up. Tears rolled down. She hid her face on Didun’s bosom.  “I am scared.  I am scared of buttons.” 

“Scared of  buttons?”  Everyone laughed.  “Look Zina, they are pretty easy.” Zoe showed buttoning and unbuttoning the coat several times. 

“Zina, other people will see your buttons, not you. They are too close to your throat, See!” Aria tried to comfort.   Robin poked the two buttons 
“Like fox eyes, Zina?  that’s why?   But they are not real!” 

Zina cupped her ears. “ No, no, no. Stop.  I just don’t like buttons.  I won’t wear buttons.  I don’t want other people to see my buttons.  I am scared of buttons.” She jerked. 

Didun held her. “ That’s fine, Zina.  We are all scared of something.  I’ll fix your buttons.  You don’t have to wear them.”  She yanked them out and replaced with velcro circles.  It managed to keep the coat fastened. 

Zina wiped off her tears and sniffles. A rainbow smile beamed on her face.  Didun helped her with the arms and she skipped and danced and rushed outside to play 


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Rule out Writer's Block

  Rule out Writer's Block with this fun game. 

Yes, no excuse for writer's block anymore.  My granddaughter showed me a game recently and I thought this is just not for kids.  It can be easily be implemented for my writer's block situation.   

The game I played with my nine-year-old granddaughter is called 'Tell Tales' and available in Amazon.  I am not an affiliate and I may not rush to go buy it spending money unless I want to impress other nine-year-old kids. 


Several tiny objects were hidden in a not-see-through pouch or you can keep your eyes closed while covering the objects under a piece of cloth.


You have to take out 8 objects and tell a story.


You may get a piece of paper and write it with a timer or sand timer on. 

You both may write and read to each other at the end of the time.

You may choose to write three pages or two pages instead of setting a timer. 

You may use the enclosed stack of cards for the setting of your stories.

How I implemented it in adult writing:

I collected various different small things like a single earring, an orphan sock, a hair clip, an old theater ticket, a restaurant bill, bus ticket from a coat pocket that I had taken in one of my vacations etc. 

 I also have a stack of old pictures ( before the digital life that did not get the honor to be in cherished albums.) These are excellent for memoir entries. It is working. 

I am sure if you are a writer you must have tried various suggestions too. Please share some of YOUR ideas that worked. I love to see comments at the end of the day. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Ultimate Goal as a Writer

What is your ultimate goal as a writer?

WHY write? 

This odd question poked me as I was having my wonderful morning walk in the park yesterday.  The air was cool, birds were chirping. The path was draped with comfortable shades given by the affectionate tall trees. Rolling green hills lifted my spirit.  I was in such a peaceful mode until this weird question just cropped up and hit me. 

What d’you mean ultimate goal as a writer? I just want to write..that’s all. - I felt annoyed to think any more.  My alter ego turned with a smirk- Just write?  Any rubbish? What is your real goal as a writer?

Of course, I want to write something that the readers would love to read and be glued to the pages and feel a kind of satisfaction mixed with a sadness when the last page is done. Something the connoisseurs would approve and agree that it was a good enough one. I would leave something for the future. Tall order but yes, that’s what I want,  these three main things.

You write to entertain, to educate and to inspire.  My alter ego nodded with a wise look. If you can do any one or two of them properly I say you are good. 

I remembered that Ayn Rand in her essay explained that ‘it is the projection of an ideal man’ that was what she strived to bring in her writing. 

Seth Goin says,“The goal of a writer is to make you think. Incite, disturb. Probe the reader.”   

In our California Writers Club, a fellow author brought up something that touched my heart.  A writer’s ultimate goal is to help:  help the reader, help fellow writers too who are striving in this journey.  With resources on the craft of writing, publishing and promoting a fellow writer is also an important goal for the writer. ' Probably that will be my ultimate goal'  he said with a slap on his thigh.  

 Writing is a solitary art.  It takes away a whole lot, without guaranteeing anything in return. Yet, writers strive.  Each year the number of books written are growing.    Writing is only half the story..the other part is completed by the reader. Without a reader,  writing a book would be just waste of time, energy, and papers.   

I think my ultimate goal as a writer would be to create the best art I can.  But that lofty goal needs many parts.  The parts of the puzzle -HOW, WHEN, WHAT are to be put together.  I have only dealt with the WHY part. 

Now it’s your turn:  What do you think?    What is your ultimate goal as a writer or what do you ask as a reader?  Looking forward to your comment. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Aspen Grove

The Aspen Grove in Wyoming

Silver silhouettes of aspens shimmy with moonbeams. Light flirts peek-a-boo through a cluster of leaves. Lacy, dainty leaves form patterns, like filigree windows in ancient palaces of Jaipur.

Wind hums. Whisper-soft susurrus lulls the lonesome cottage that stands alone in the wild wilderness.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Hearing Ngugi wa Thiongo

An Afternoon with Ngugi wa Thiongo, an African author who wrote his book on toilet paper in the  prison.

I had a unique experience in the Book Festival in Berkeley last Saturday. 

 The hall was jam packed but I had no idea who he was when I entered the dark hall where an interview was going on with Ngugi Wa Thiongo. I had one hour to kill and the lady said that there might be one or two seats left. 

In the beginning, I was having trouble deciphering through his heavy accent in English, but in a short while I got hooked especially when the interviewer asked him -“ Tell us your experience about writing a whole book on toilet paper roll?” 

What! I sat straight.

I came to know that his play I Will Marry When I want 
( translated into English) cost him imprisonment in his own country. He wrote this in his mother tongue which was produced and performed by amateur common people in open air stage. He was impressed by Brecht’s style.  This play was against the local government system and the government stopped the play and locked him in the prison where no paper, pen, radio or books were allowed. Ngugi managed to get a pen convincing the jail keeper that he intended to write a confession. “ Then I started writing the story on toilet paper”, he chuckled. 

Born into a large peasant family on January 5, 1938, Ngugi had his education in English. Ngugi is pronounced as ‘googi', it means work.   

Joseph Conrad was his favorite author along with R.K.Narayan, Achebe, Brecht, Tolstoy and many others from the whole world.  And as he started writing his own in English, Weep Not, Child ( 1965), Devils on the Cross, and many other novels, essays, plays, and memoirs, he established himself as one of the most reputed and articulate authors of Africa. But then he decided to write in Gikuyu,  his own mother tongue, abandoning English.


This is where I got super excited as I found some answers to my quest as a bilingual writer.  

How much of my own native language should I bring to the main steam English?   Why and why not?  How is my own language missing something with my decision of writing in English or does it matter?

He said that the Colonials not only suppressed us,  they took all that was precious to us to their land enriching their own museums and estate mansions, the worst is -they took our language too.  They instilled the notion that you are not really educated unless you can write in English (or in the ruler’s language). 

Your name may change for the ease of their pronunciation,  for the convenience of the Western tongue. Your identity would change. Your mother tongue  would die, your native songs vanish.  And you succumb to that. Not only that, the Colonials also  managed to create a middle class that oppressed the ‘have not' class in the very same way. They crush your self-esteem until you can speak their language. 

I know exactly what he was talking about. 

 His answer: Yes, kind of, since I can speak and write in English. But the point is that is why we need to do our part. We need to write the stories of the oppressed,
talk about the injustice, etch their/ our pain and tears to make the world aware. 

Do you expect uprise? 

No. Art does not incite”.   He focused on the word imagination. Imagination will bring change. It has to be a collective effort. Imagination is nourished by art, songs, books.  It is our job to nurture that imagination.

“Look at the African Americans- I was impressed when I came to Harlem,  the first time I visited New York.  From all that oppression, all those tears grew a new linguistic system, out of which emerged spirituals, jazz and all that.”  He mentioned that in his talk in Berkeley.

So keep on writing my friends, he encouraged, write every day,  just write a paragraph, but do it. “ I do it until I die.” 

That energized me.  



Sunday, April 15, 2018


  India’s Daughter

Erase away all fatigue, 
Take away the filth
Let the New Year shine 
With glorious joyous blithe

People join the hymn,  sing the Tagore Song, they embrace each other with affectionate hugs and respectful bows.  Today is the first day of the Bengali New Year.  Our New Year -1424.  Temple bells chime, the fragrance of incense and flowers fill the air.  A young girl comes to me to offer the blessing elixir, an auspicious concoction of sweet yogurt and honey after the homage ritual. 

I startled, awaken from my imagination. I was meandering in another world.


Far away, in a remote village in Kashmir, India,  a little girl,  eight years old was hopping, skipping down the pebbled hilly path. Her fuchsia colored frock with golden flowers was worn on top of a long salwar, it had a matching oorni that she was supposed to wear like a headscarf, but it was a windy day, so she wrapped it around her waist. Her pigtails swung as she pranced. 

She was supposed to take care of the cattle and she’s usually good at them.  But the donkeys have their own silly ways and often went to the other side giving her trouble. 

Little Asifa, a typical eight-year-old girl was curious.  When she heard the bells tolling from the Pashupathi Nath temple her head got tilted, she found that they sound different from the ones her cattle made from turning their heads.     

One day she tagged along with her friend to that Hindu temple.  Shubha, her friend carried hibiscus and white gardenias in a brass plate with some yellow laddu sweets to offer to the God. 

“Umm,, smells good.” Asifa commented. “ Don’t you do that!” Shubha had  brushed her away, “It’s for the God.”  “But the God can’t smell. He is all stone, isn’t he?”  She wondered with her big dark eyes. Asifa remembered the look the priest gave her, the man in a saffron robe with a red streak on his forehead. 

Asifa’s mother shrieked when she told her that story.  “ What business do you have to go there?  It’s your fault.  Why did you follow Shubha to their Hindu temple?  Don’t you know that we are not Hindus like them, we are Muslims.”  That day Asifa had decided that she would not tell every little thing to ma anymore. 

The butterflies that are rust and ochre, and the ones that are teal and turquoise with indigo strikes did take her to incredible places to reveal a world of treasures inside the forest. And Asifa could not resist that. Even though these were daring adventures she could not turn her face from them. 

“ How come Asifa does not go to school?” Shubha’s mother asked Asifa’s mother one day.

“She’s a little different,  you know, different from my boys, a bit naive, immature…too young, you know…so my husband thinks… give her another year. Maybe next year..” she replied, adding, "besides, she is my youngest, my baby.  Her two brothers go to school, but she stays at home and helps me here.  She does a lot though. Milks the cows in the morning, tends the cattle..

She’s my doll…such a joy. When her anklets jingle I feel so happy..she is home.  A girl..” she waves her palm in the air, “is know.”  Asifa’s mother confides to her neighbor. 

Shubha’s mother was the only neighbor who talked to her, accepted the food she’d offer. None of the two dozen other Hindu families that live in this tiny village did. Were they jealous of the fact that Asifa’s father owns all this land, bought it with his own money when they relocated from Kargil, and built this pucca brick house with his own two hands? 

The boys came back from school and Asifa’s mother was feeding them hot rotis fresh from the chulli though her mind was restless.  Like a buzzing fly, it was irritated, anxious, Why is Asifa not home yet?  

“ Did anybody see her? “ she asked every passerby, standing in front of the door. She sat out on a stool at the door finishing up the embroidery on Asifa’s kurta, the one she’d be wearing for her aunt’s wedding next month. How excited Asifa’d feel to see it all finished today she thought.  The girl had been asking that every day after her chores. Asifa’s mother tore the last bit of thread with her teeth and shoved the work away. She cupped her fingers on her forehead to see if she could see Asifa’s little body running down the hill. 

The day was foggy, this January afternoon.  The gray solemn sky was indifferent, the sun scurrying to dip and hide its face fast behind the snowcapped mountains of the Himalayas.The animals returned home chiming their bells. But where is my little Asifa?

The next few days were beyond description. 

Asifa’s body was found in the bushes, dead. Police dogs located the temple. Further probing the puzzle was solved regarding the people who had abducted her. She had been seduced with drugs for several days, gang-raped in that temple, and finally was killed with a stone. 

I say this all in one breath because I could not imagine that. It was all information that was bombarded to me from the media. As I write this my eyes blur with tears. 

My eyes blur with tears because the neighbors and the whole nation take it as a political issue and in the name of religion people are actually defending the culprits. 

Even the Hindu neighbors of her village didn’t let her family bury her body in that village, so her family had to take her eight kilometers away from her home.

My eyes blur, I choke with emotion as I cup my hand to receive the blessing elixir from another eight-year-old girl today.  The girl got a bit perplexed to find me in tears in such a joyous occasion.   


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Snow Baby (a Short Story)


                                                        Snow Baby

“ This is for you,  Gramma,  in case you feel scared at night.” My granddaughter Reba handed me a heart shaped fluffy pink pillow.
 I flew from California and reached Maryland this very afternoon to help out my daughter’s family and care for Reba as Tara, my daughter was going to have a baby soon. 
I looked around the room that I’d be sharing with Reba. Stuffed animals of all kinds, a teddy bear, an owl, Ernie and Bert, Peppa Pig and Olaff were all sitting or standing, piled up on her dresser. Reba’s artwork -  several drawings of loving families with smiley faces and stick figures holding hands adorned the walls.  Even there were glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling assuring help in darkness. And Reba’s bed was just across from my futon. 
“ Why’d I be scared, Reba? You are right next to me.” I  hugged her. Reba gave a big smile. Then clutching a reedy rag doll she rolled her eyes flapping her pigtails, “You never know!” 
She pulled the blanket and cuddled next to me with a stack of books. 
“ Reba, time for just one-bed time story today. You were chatting too much with Gramma, but the clock does not stop. It’s way past your bedtime.” Her mom declared. 
Reba gave me a book to read that tells a story of a seed. It has roots under the dirt and wings up in the air. It has arm like branches and leaves that look like fingers. 
The branches sway and dance in the wind and invite the birds and bees. Birds and bees come and kiss them and flowers grow. Flowers become fruits and the children enjoy eating them. 
Then comes a day when the plant shivers in the cold as the wind blows. It can not dance anymore. Leaves fall, branches wither and drop and everybody says that the plant is dead. Indeed it looks dead. But the seed stays under the ground and when spring comes next year it shoots up again with leaves,  flowers, and fruits. 
“ What a lovely story, Reba!”
“ Do you think the peas I planted on Mothers Day will be alive again, Gramma?  Mommy said it is dead and we threw it. ”
“You never know!” I mimicked her,  rolling my eyes just like she did a little while ago. 

The following day Tara’s friends threw her a baby shower. The weather was bad, so the party had been rescheduled to our house. We hurried to clean up the apartment and make it pretty.  Joshua, Reba’s dad bought some daffodils and some yummy pastries. I learned that they were called hamantaschen. They are Jewish cookies, a specialty of Passover. Tara hurried to get ready and Reba was watching her intensely.
“ Go, Reba. Go brush your teeth and get ready. Gramma  can help you with your outfit and hair.” 
Reba rushed and slammed her door. In a short while, I heard a big commotion coming from  Reba’s room. Reba with mascara on her eyelids and coffee brown lipstick all around her mouth was caught. She tied the heart pillow on her belly under a white dress and attached little blocks on her shoes to make them look like high heels. 
Tara dragged her out of her room as it was discovered that in the process Reba had broken Tara’s favorite coffee colored lipstick.  And now Reba has ruined her pretty white dress with mascara strained tears. 
“You look like a raccoon.  Like a Dracula. Why on earth…” Tara screamed throwing her arms in the air, not sure how to vent her emotion.
Joshua rescued, yelling from the kitchen as if an immediate attention was needed for some other catastrophe.  I took my granddaughter to the bathroom and wiped her face with a face wash towelette. 
“I just wanted to be like Mommy, Gramma.” Reba looked up with raccoon eyes. I gave her a hug and tried to undo her mistakes. 
“ You will be like her, my dear. For now, let’s settle with this pink dress and a nice french braid, how about that?”  I let her share a bit of my colorless lip gloss and showed how to gently put it on the lips, not around the mouth.  Reba, now happy, skipped out of the room. 
I remembered the day when I got a slap on my face for stealing my mother’s perfume. That was fifty years ago. Yet the memory is crisp as a photograph. How beautiful Ma looked when I was a little girl and how much I wanted to be like her.  Then came a day when I did not like hearing that I looked like my mom.  And a time when I hated her mannerisms and prayed not to inherit them. 

The party went full swing. Reba and her mom both forgot and forgave each other for the morning mishap and were thoroughly enjoying the games and other activities. While I was in the kitchen, cleaning up I overheard,
“ Well Tara, if you ever need a break, … I know how much we love our moms and how useful they are…yet…you know..I have  an extra room in my basement” Rolls of laughter drowned the rest of the comments. 
I was shocked. I had never thought of this possibility.  Could I exhaust her while I thought I was helping?  Could I be that one-too-many in this family, soon one day? My heart ached. 
Later that night Tara did not feel well. There were some complications and  Tara had to go to the hospital.  The doctors were worried. She was admitted right away. 
When Joshua and Tara left with the little suitcase, Reba looked lost. She stood in front of the window waving them, though it was dark at night and nobody could see her. From the ninth floor kitchen window, we stood still until the backlights of the car illuminated; the two tiny red light flickered and slowly swerved merging to Westbard Avenue. 
Reba turned to me, eyes welling up, “Will my Mommy be okay?  When will she be back?”
“ Mommy will be okay, and she’ll be back with the baby.” I brushed her hair kissing her forehead. 
“ Will my Mommy die, Gramma?  What if my baby dies?” Reba brought her face very close to mine and looked straight into my eyes.
“Mommy will not die, Reba. There are doctors to make her feel better.” I gulped. 
Reba stirred and left. Then she brought her lanky, reedy rag doll again and told me that she had inserted a  tiny plastic baby doll that was given as a party favor earlier this afternoon,  in the rag doll’s belly. Reba cut off the rag doll’s belly with a pair of scissors and now all the stuffings were on the table. 
“Gramma, I can’t find the baby!”  She looked worried. She churned all the cotton and now the little rag doll looked really pathetic. 
“ Fix her Gramma. Fix her please.”  She pleaded sniffling.
To cut the long story short we managed to find the tiny half-inch plastic toy baby under a chair. I brought some thread and needle, put the cotton stuffing back and sewed up the doll’s belly.  “There you go. All better, see. ”
Reba wiped her cheeks that were streaming with tears and a wide smile like a rainbow beamed on her face. 
“The doctors will make Mommy all better.”  She kissed me and hurried to the kitchen bringing a couple of plastic bowls. 
“ Let’s have some ice cream, Gramma.” I knew Reba was feeling fine. 
In a short while she fell asleep on the sofa, her head on my lap, all cuddled up, while I tried to keep myself distracted with an old show of Golden Girls.
But I drifted. 
Down the memory lane, I came across a lost world. It was a stormy dark night and I entered a haunted house. Thunders clapped, the wind howled. Doors and windows flapped with loud thuds and clanks. Bolts of lightning flung brief glimpses of rooms and corners that were dark and inky. Memories were buried here. Memories that taunt and mock, whimper and moan. I was scared. I wanted to get out of here, I looked for that pink heart pillow, but I was stuck. 

I remembered my mother. I remembered her last years when she was stuck in bed as a stroke victim and the guilt I felt.   I could not be with her when she needed me most.  My father thought Ma would be the first one to go as he was in much better shape, health-wise.  But that did not happen. Ma was left alone with hired caretakers in Calcutta, while I was twelve thousand miles away in America. 
A young girl, Rani, used to take care of her at night.  I could be with my mother for only ten or twelve days each year during her last four years. 
 One time, when I went to visit her  I happened to sleep next to Ma under the same mosquito netted bed. Rani slept on the floor in a sleeping bag without the mosquito net. She believed that mosquitoes didn’t bite poor people. They only go for good, rich blood. 
“Rani, I need to go to the bathroom” Ma called her. 
“Ummm!”  Rani mumbled. A few minutes later Ma whined again, 
“ I really need to go, Rani, or I may wet the bed.”
No response.  Deep breathing and snoring sound from Rani’s deep slumber floated. 
“Seriously, Rani.  Can’t hold anymore. I’ll have an accident.”
“Yes, yes…just a little…. “Rani mumbled again turning to the other side.  At this point, I sat up and yelled
“What’s going on Rani? Is this why we hired you? Is this how you take care of her? I just happened to see it today.”  Rani startled, hurried and took Ma to the bathroom.
That night I couldn’t sleep. I thought of the day when I overheard Rani scolding Ma. Rani thought no one was around.  As soon as I entered, she straightened it like smoothing out a bed cover. 
I felt miserable thinking Ma’s helpless situation.  I felt guilty and hopeless. She shouldn’t deserve this, oh God! I had a conversation with God and prayed to let her go.  Please take her now God, I can’t see this anymore. 

The next morning the sun shone through the window. Ma woke me. 
“ Look what a beautiful day.” A kokil chirped kuhu kuhu.. and Ma said, “Look, spring is here. Check the flower pots on the rooftop. The lilies must be in bloom.”  
I took a sip of my tea and gave Ma a tight hug.
“ Ma, I can’t see all that you are going through. The way the physiotherapist pulls your arms and legs making you scream, the way Rani treats you. I decided to have a different night care for you. This is not what you deserve. Life should not be like this. “
“Life is fine, Khuku (my nickname).  God has given me enough in life.  These things happen in old age.  When the physiotherapist makes me do those exercises I feel like ants crawling all over me and pins and needles pricking…but he was only trying to make me better.  And don’t you think of firing Rani.” 
We both stayed silent for awhile until,
“ Rani loves me.  She brings cakes, though cheap ones, but with her own money to share with me.  She is like my Tara.  Remember they were born in the same year, the same month?” I did.  Rani’s mother used to work as a cook in our house. 
“ She is young like Tara, full of energy, hard working and so they sleep well at night.  Only Rani is poor, She needs the money.  She will have to take another night shift somewhere else if she loses this. Don’t fire her, please.  Only if she gets married, let her go. And if I am not there give her the gold chain that I kept in the locker. You don’t live here, Khuku. I don’t get to see you when I want.   I look forward seeing her face every morning. 
I felt a deep pang.  I knew Rani could do things that I couldn’t.  I would not be able to help her in the bathroom.  I tried that once and it was a disaster. 

Rani stayed with her all along. I was not there when Ma passed away. My heart filled with a strange emotion now and I felt ashamed of me. What did I know of life that I wished my mother’s death, who made peace with her own problems.  How selfish was I to pray like that just so that I could wash my hands and end my guilt feeling? 
Today I prayed for her forgiveness.  I was ready to show how much I can love if I had one more chance.  
But Ma’s gone.
A chime in my phone woke me up.  
It was Joshua sending me a message. 
‘Tara gave birth to a beautiful baby girl an hour ago. Her name is Eira Sabita Goldman. Eira means snowdrop, and Sabita was your mom’s name, Tara told me. Mom and baby  are doing well.’
My eyes welled up. I looked out the window. It was early morning, snowing. Treetops shimmered with icicles and dollops of snow. The Westbard Avenue was cloaked with a white blanket. The cinnamon brown buildings looked yummy like chocolate cake with frosting.  I kept on enjoying this view from the ninth floor window until the morning sun dazzled with a rainbow smile.  Now I could wake Reba to give her this big news.
A couple of months later I received a letter in the mail.  It was from Reba- a picture of a flower on a long stem that she drew with a caption. It was with all misspelled words but I could make out what it meant. 
‘The seed didn't die.’