From Marissa B. Niranjan

THE ALTRUIST
Marissa B. Niranjan is a quarter Italian, only child, married to an Indian who happens to be an identical twin. When she’s not chasing after her tiny hooligans, she’s saving snow leopards at the world’s largest conservation organization dedicated to protecting the endangered cat. She is constantly editing emails to pare down her excessive use of exclamation points, and you can tell what type of mood she’ll be in based on how many times she’s had to warm up her morning coffee in the microwave. She loves her kids to the moon and back, but she really misses hot coffee.

Memory Lane is Paved with Dandelions

I looked at my sweet boy who seemed to be transforming before my eyes.  His bouncing curls had all but disappeared, and his course hair now only yielded a hint of a wave around his cowlick. His ankles peeked through the bottom of his jeans that are now two inches off of the ground, and he…

Golden Opportunity

“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien I had seen this photograph of my grandmother riding a tractor in an album at my aunt’s house for years, and it…

Blossom(less)

I had big plans to drop my son off at preschool and come home to a freshly brewed pot of coffee and try to write something funny, poignant and thought-provoking for this month’s KINDRED. Perhaps something about how I want to teach my biracial kids to own who they are and speak up for themselves,…

Caring Loudly

“What I hear when I’m being yelled at is people caring loudly at me.” – Leslie Knope   Every toy that my husband, Akash, picks up with a sigh hits me like a mini, personal, attack. My own insecurities kick in:  Another one you missed? Why is it so hard just to put things back…

Sock it to me

“Mamma, are these daddy’s socks?” I continue to stuff crumpled up tissue paper into the recycled gift bag, pretending like I don’t hear.  Maybe he will get distracted, and I will be spared. “MAMMA, ARE THESE DADDY’S SOCKS?!” No such luck. I sigh and turn around. I feel like a teenager who has just sneaked…

2016: The Year of the Groupie

I got asked out on a date the other day. At first, I didn’t know what to think.  Since I met Akash (my then boyfriend, now husband) when I was 18, my ‘adult’ dating experience was limited to the first few weeks of college, a little over fifteen years ago, so I was a little…

Wide Corners

When my son Roman was just shy of a year, we were at Target picking out thank you cards in anticipation of his upcoming birthday party.  When I refused to let him toss the cards all over the aisle, he lost his mind. He threw himself onto the floor and pulled a move that I…

Manicotti Meets the Microwave

“The Indians are the Italians of Asia…It can be said, certainly, with equal justice, that the Italians are the Indians of Europe…There is so much Italian in the Indians, and so much Indian in the Italians. They are both people of the Madonna – they demand a goddess, even if the religion does not provide…

My life in Valencia

I recently traveled to Europe for a conference and somehow in the midst of attending my brother and sister-in-law’s beautiful week-long Hindu/Jewish wedding, planning my daughter’s second birthday party, and preparing for the trip itself, I managed to get everything ready, packed, and zipped-up one hour before I had to leave for the airport.  That…

The Kneaded Seed

I hear the rustle of plastic and look up to see both kids speed around the corner from the kitchen with a piece of bread smushed in each hand.  I didn’t even know we had any bread left, but they must have foraged the last remaining rejected end-pieces from the depths of the countertop.  I…

Canyons

As I went about my usual bustle out the door, I looked at Roman and told him, “Hurry up, or we’ll be late.” These words come out of my mouth as if they have been programmed into my brain by autopilot robots, and I wondered how many times I have said that sentence, in the…

Nomad’s land

Navigating through the open desert in a packed van en route to our snow leopard research station in Mongolia’s South Gobi, I looked at some homemade sausages we were transporting to the base camp. They were tied to the grips above the windows, and every time we went over a bump, they would swing back…

The Sandbox of Solitude (S.O.S)

I plop down at my post. A little corner on the edge of the sandbox. My legs awkwardly dangle over the side, and I try to ignore what might be living in there as my daughter sucks on the end of a broken shovel. I take a gulp of my now lukewarm coffee and, out…

Elastic

I.Can’t. Breathe. “It’s all going to be okay,” I tell myself as I try to inhale, barely able to squeeze in enough air to fill my lungs. 1…2…3… I try again. Straining, I can see blackness creeping into my periphery and still, nothing. “We’ve been here before,” I say to myself, “and we’ve always gotten…