Sunday, November 2, 2014

Socks on a Radiator

Socks on a toasty radiator
Make my feet feel great-iator
Icy toes now happy clams
Fruit-of-loom socks melt to jam.

Maybe work can wait-iator
Think I'll sleep in late-iator.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Zero to Seventeen in 60 Seconds

The other night, I flew back to Boston from a last-minute trip.  My eyes had the dusty feeling of wanting to close; it was well past anyone's EST bedtime.  I was in one of the very last seats to de-board the plane, and as the last few of us got ready to leave we noticed that a few stray dollars and a plastic bag lay crumpled on a seat ahead of us. Since no one had claimed it, I offered to take it up to a flight attendant.

Of course this happened to be the first time in history that no flight attendant was at the front of the plane, so I waited at the gate in the dim airport for an attendant with the roughly seven dollars worth of bills and change in hand.  Five minutes. No attendant.  Drowsy eyeball dust said it was time to leave.

The money wasn't mine and I felt weird about having it.  Lord knows I could spend it on lattes, but I didn't "need" it.  So I waited to have a chance to give it away.  Funny how soon that chance came.

As a few sleepy travelers waited for the metro (the "T" here in Cambridge), a very vocal man came onto the platform in obvious need of medical care for exposed chronic sores on his legs.  I've seen my fair share of impoverished people in New York City and India, but this was the first time in my life I had ever seen a homeless person crying.  "There's a bus to an HIV facility leaving in a few minutes, and I need $8 to get there. Please. They'll give me a bed for three days.  They'll treat me for free. But I need to get there and I have no money, and if I don't get there I lose my bed." At that time of night, I decided to put my skeptic mind to rest and I looked down at the money in my plastic bag.

I walked over, and started to reach out my bag of seven dollars, feeling a little bad that it was a buck short.  What was so freaking awesome was at the very same moment, another woman on the other side of the platform walked over, opening her wallet.

"Here," we both unexpectedly said in chorus to the man in front of us, me holding out seven of someone else's money and she holding out ten of her own.

We and the rest of the metro platform were left without words.  His eyes spoke volumes, though.

"Thank you. Oh my God. What? Thank you. Thank you so much," he finally said and took what we offered- albeit small, a momentary abundance- and darted back up the stairs, turning back every few leaps to say thank you at us.  My head hoped that he was heading for an actual bus ready depart. But my heart didn't and still doesn't care.

Lady-who-gave-away-her-ten-dollar-bill, wherever you are. That was awesome.  High five.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Drop your planner for a sec.

Today I was reminded of one very simple, very important thing.  Just get yourself onto the mat, and your practice will unfold.

Friday, July 4, 2014


Sometimes I gotta wonder.  Is it normal to get excited to come home, settle into pajamas by 8pm and watch free Golden Girls episodes on  On a Friday?  I could blame it on a full time plus job in a bustling city.  But I think I've liked this routine since I was 5.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ice Cream Saturdae

A sundae on a Sunday
Is a sweet within a sweet
Wake up at noon to eat
A tasty ice cream breakfast treat
A scoop of soft vanilla
And some chocolate chocolate chip
A dollop of raspberry swirl
And wafers (good to dip)
Some hot fudge sauce and sprinkles
And a cherry on whipped cream
I serve myself a spoonful
Of my Sunday sundae dream
No better treat I know of
And for SURE no better day
An ice cream saturdae on Saturday?

-Rina Deshpande, 02-26-13

Happy Poetry Month!

Also, you know what's hilarious? Over a year ago I had started a different blog that I managed to not come back to until today.  And this was the single posting I had done. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Single Girl’s Guide for Dealing with a Cockroach

Preface: Before judging, please know that regularly Lysol, swiffer, and vacuum, but I am utterly shocked to find that my surface level cleaning with happy smelling products has not eradicated my 100+-year-old building’s inner walls of dust and bugs.  Biannually, one somehow emerges and scares the pants offa me. 


1.   Stop dead in tracks when see something from corner of eye on kitchen floor.
2.     Pull body out of catatonic state and swivel in direction of suspected movement.
3.     Be disappointment and horrified upon confirmed discovery of cockroach.
4.     As unattractive creature crawls on floor, resume pseudo-catatonic state while loudly wailing, “Nooooo” as if it were ex’s new girlfriend showing up to house.
5.     Watch in state of paralysis as uninvited guest casually makes way across floor under dresser.
6.     Chant, “Oh God WHY?” (repeat 3 times)
7.     Locate Tupperware, Gladware, or Rubbermaid item in ineffective wooden dish rack.
8.     Upon reemergence of building-dwelling lobster ancestor, trap in clear plastic Gladware dome.
9.     Stare.
10. Practically cry, “I’m sorry!”
11. Find Oprah magazine and tear off back cover page perfume ad featuring Julia Roberts.
12. Anchor top of plastic dome with one hand while stealthily sliding magazine page underneath entire open base of Gladware bug conservatory with the other.
13. Find tape and secure ¾ of circumference of upside down recyclable bowl onto perfume ad page.
14. Chuckle with total disgust as cockroach now has flooring made of Julia Roberts’ 2D exquisite face.
15. Think to self, “If I had a man here, I wouldn’t have to do this s*** by myself.”
16. Apply pressure to top of dome-magazine apparatus and slide across wood flooring all the way through front door and down common hallway to trash chute.
17. Wave to neighbors.
18. Open door and pull chute open.
19. Fearfully and rapidly pick up ¾ secure contraption and fling down chute with piercing shriek.
20. Slam chute shut and imagine cockroach happily finding freedom and fulfillment in giant basement dumpster eight floors below.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

And the Oscar for best man goes to...

My sister and I decided to go to a bar together the other evening.  "We're DOING this," we verbally high-fived before enthusiastically tapping the red "end call" button on our cell phones.   She had gotten her makeup done at the MAC counter and I finally wore an outfit that went a little more appealing than my typical Frauline Maria collection.

And like moths to a subtly curvy flame, there they were.  Men.  The formula was that simple.  Two chicks alone at a table in a room full of dudes.  Guys watching football checking us out during commercials.  Hooray, right?

Now I am not one to sit around with my homegirls man-hating because I really do like me some mens, but before we get ourselves all hyped up about these particular suitors, let me 'xplain a couple of details, k?  Mom and Dad, hope you're reading.

First, very kind Indian guy approaches.  Thick black hair that looked so good it could've been an ad.  Warm, subtle accent that resembled that of Northeast Hyderabad (i.e., I had no idea where he was from in India) sweetly offered us to join his table with his friends.  My sister is actively dating someone, so it was up to me to open myself up to...forcing myself to be open.   As nice as he was, I just wasn't feeling it, but thanks to my pretty profound reserves of female guilt I considered accepting.  Until the moment he cut through my forced open-mindedness with a desperate gasp:  "Please don't say no. My friends are videotaping this." My sister and I peered around either one of his shoulders, and sure enough, there were his American work friends(?) looking over with obnoxious smiles, one of which holding up the back of an i-phone to us that was no doubt blinking "record."  I felt for the guy, but it was clear to me that it would be four courtesy laughs for the price of one.  "Thank you so much.  We'll come over in a bit," is what my sister and I managed.  "It'll be more fun over there," he tried to convince more out of fear for returning to his "friends" empty-handed than actually wanting our company. "My buddies over there are funny, especially if you like racism and sexist jokes," he said.  We smiled up at him in such awkwardness that even our cocktails winced.  When they sent over a couple of drinks a few minutes later, my sister and I rallied ourselves over there to say thanks to the supposed racist sexists, who all turned out to be named Matt.

I'd say "A for effort" but it really was more like a D+.  But great, great material.

Next (yes! there's a next), our waiter who was a triple-win: Cute, sweet, and excellent obvious dental hygiene left us his number on the bill.  Fun!  So there was the mantra in the chorus of my parents', friends', and bosses' voices in my head, "Rina, just see what happens!  Stop holding yourself back, sistuh. Own it."  So I went with the i-phone times (in spite of having a Blackberry) and sent a text.

"Hey, ___! It's Rina. You were cute and nice," I typed.

"You too!  We will have a great time," he responds.  Not bad.  Grammar is ok.  Until he sent...

...a photo of himself shirtless biting his lip.  Here's the most wonderful part.  It was night time. The photo was clearly shot in daylight.  Like it was on hold and archived for moments just like this.

No biggie.  I'm sure my mom dealt with the same kind of typical behaviors from her marriage suitors back in the day.

I love how hard I cackled by myself on the subway steps and immediately made a note on the 3 train to write out this story when I got home.  And who knows? Perhaps one day it'll become a film.  Or perhaps, it already is.   On Youtube.  Two Indian women, guiltily letting down an Indian man with perfect hair with the sounds of laughter from his drunk buddies behind the camera.

Monday, January 20, 2014

"When Rina became Sally"

Like any long weekend for a single 30-something in NYC, I listened to the latest Billy Crystal audiobook (geared toward our nation's AARP population) as I cleaned and lightly feng-shui'ed my studio apartment.

Naturally, the thrill of sucking up five bags worth of hair and dust bunnies combined with Billie's narration of how he "now pees in Morse code and his lady may need Depends" got me excited to pop in one of my all-time favorite movie classics, "When Harry Met Sally." It had been a year or so since I last watched it - a perfect, comfortable close to a successful cleaning day.

So it's coming to the scene where Sally is tossing around barely-used tissues crying about the news of her ex getting married.  I've seen this movie over and over since I was eight; I could perform it for you in my sleep.  Which is why I never, ever anticipated to experience the realization that paused me in my decaying robe and fuzzy slippers as I watched the scene while getting ready for bed:

Sally: "And I'm gonna be 40!"
Harry: "When?"
Sally: "Someday!"
Harry: "In eight years."

I stopped in my tracks.  My God.  I am Sally Albright.

Maybe not cute and blonde and endearingly quirky, but I am the age of Sally Albright's character.  Somehow, a time-warp has taken place and twenty-four years have gone by.  The concept of being a woman in New York experiencing difficulties in dating and struggling to drag the Christmas tree by herself to her apartment always seemed like a distant fantasy of some future adulthood.   But the present is now what was once the far-off future.  And what is even more unbelievable is that in the next year, it will soon be the past.  I will become Sally Albright's big sister (adopted, obviously).

Here it is, the final New Year's Eve scene.  She's in her blue strapless gown faking a great time, he's eating Mallowmars at home in bed.  But whether I'm fifteen, twenty-three, or in my thirties, it still strikes me as if I've never seen it before.  I forget where I am or what year it is, and I am who I've always been - presently rooting for Sally's and Harry's love. That won't ever change.  Even when I'm wearing Depends.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

An Unintentional Model of Humility.

Over the last decade, I have come to realize that there's a fine line between sharing day-to-day conversation with friends and family and unintentionally imposing myself upon them as a free and all-knowing life instructor.  We teachers love to hear ourselves talk and advise.  When I was three years old, my uncle labeled me "Pati Rina," which translates to "Grandma Rina."

It's for this reason that I am humbled and awed when I interact with someone who embodies truest humility without meaning to.

My dad has been a devout and practicing Hindu for his entire life.  I'd wake up as an angsty middle-schooler and high-schooler to the sound of his meditational ocean breaths (which I now know as pranayama) in our "God room."  He commits to prayer each morning, and is the only person I know who is literate and fluid in Sanskrit.  Before acknowledging anyone, his first step is to open the east-facing door of our home and greet the rising sun.  

I, on the other hand, have spent years catching myself checking morning text messages with my eyes half-closed even though I know better.  My morning practice for the larger part of my adolescence and adulthood has involved racing out the door to catch the [fill in the blank: bus, train, plane, ride] without a moment to appreciate the miracle of dawn.

When I moved to New York a few years ago, I began to practice yoga at first so I could look good in a swimsuit (unfortunately for us South Asians, a fleshy stomach is just one of those things we'll have to accept and somehow call a gift). But in one class early in my experience, we began with the ujjayi ocean breath.  In it, I heard my father. Over time, I'm slowly coming to understand.   

I recently completed a yoga teacher training program.  Still a novice in all aspects.  But over the holiday break, my dad approached me one morning.  "What is a beneficial kind of pranayama for me to practice?  Please teach me," he said.  My dad, asking to learn from his kid without a wince.  Didn't even cross his mind to feel differently.

Sure, he's got his imperfections.  Far more than a subtle amount of "selfies" on his camera.  But his unintentional humility is the very purest kind.  It is humility itself.


Well if this isn't yogic, I don't know what is.  I just spent hours exploring the bumpy terrain of internet in search of the perfect, shiny new blogspot.  And here it was all along.  Well, tucked away since 2009 at least.

To new beginnings!