Lesson Learned


Back from his five nights

At the band camp

I bombarded my teenage son

With questions-

What did you eat?

Was it hot and humid?

Did you use the sunscreen?

What time did you sleep?

What was the best part?

Did you miss me?


He fed me

Bored, forced words 

Half-hearted phrases-

‘Okay’, ‘Not much’, ‘Yeah’,’Kind of’ 

I felt dejected, unloved and sad


But the next evening

He lingered in the kitchen

Abuzz with excitement:

You know mama?

I walked

Twenty thousand steps per day

I am so tanned

I can’t even recognize myself

I sparingly ate my snacks

Because I didn’t pack enough

Should’ve listened to you

We, the freshmen had to clean

The toilets each day

Which the seniors smeared with

You know what!

We flipped the teachers’ boats

In the river when canoeing

Please cook the spicy noodles tonight

I’ve missed them so


I absorbed each word

Relieved and exultant

And silently imbibed

The priceless

Mom lesson I had learned:

Never force a trickle

Wait for the shower

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Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar
Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar is an Indian American. Her husband came to Columbus Ohio from India in 2004 for a short project which extended beyond the realm of months. She then followed him with their two-year old son wound around her neck because marriages are not known to survive continents. Her heart was ripped asunder at leaving family behind but Columbus welcomed her with open arms. It has been home since then. Never has she felt like an outsider.She loves the diverse and inclusive culture of the city and enjoys its four distinct seasons. She will forever be indebted to her parents for educating her beyond their means. Anything good, she says, is the genes she inherited. All the bad is a result of mutations. She works as an Informational Technology Lead, reviewing codes and systems during the day, cooking in the evening and then curling up with a book at night. A cup of hot tea brings a smile to her lips, especially if it’s made by her husband. Her thoughts find words while on her usual Fitbit-powered solitary walks or in the shower. She then downloads them to her blog Puny Fingers, which is a medley of personal essays, poems, and fiction. Her son, now a towering teenager, teaches her the common colloquial expressions and corrects her pronunciations.


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