To my unbeknownst childhood hero

The year short of the 90s, appa was transferred to Patna. We left the comfort of my paternal home in Trivandrum, leaving behind thatha, thathi and periappa, on a glorious monsoon day. It was not their first time; my parents had spent a good many years before I arrived, in the foothills of Janjira-murud and later Pune. So going to unknown lands with unfamiliar tongues wasn’t new to them.

Like all of appa’s transfers, I went from “shattered and heartbroken, I hate this place” to “this is my (2nd) home” in the 3 years i spent there. We lived in a typical middle class apartment complex, all families like ours, most of the dads in government jobs. The kids did the whole “games at twilight” scenes in the evenings, went to same schools, the women had each others backs when the men traveled for work. It was a close knit group. Everyone knew everyone.

It was a time when telephone and television weren’t necessities and nevertheless to say we didn’t own either. One of the families with two daughters had a TV and VCR. And it was at their place we kids gathered to watch a movie every weekend. Sometimes we would love a movie so much (like Mr. India) that we would forgo the evening playtime to catch few snippets, if the video cassette wasn’t due to be returned, that is!

The kids who hosted the movie time were from Madras. And unlike in my case, their parents had not learnt hindi at all; so the kids were on their own to figure out the second language which was compulsory in our school. The older daughter almost in her pre-teens once quipped that, if Sridevi could rule Bollywood without any formal training in hindi, it can’t be that hard, could it?

That was the first time i learnt that Sridevi was a already a superstar in the south, I had not known about, but those details didnt matter to me much back then. I simply looked forward to the movie nights on weekends. And probably because the hosts were fans of Sridevi, it was mostly her movies that we watched most of the time.

And just like that through her acting prowess, flamboyance and seamless panache with wit, she had won the hearts of us kids. I clearly remember laughing till my tummy ached, watching her in chalbaaz! We also did a terribly co-ordinated dance routine with “hawa-hawai” ; And so when recently vidya Balan had revived that magical number for us, I played it to my kids over and over till they asked me to stop!

And just like that, without even realising or declaring, Sridevi had become a huge part of those years for me. In the years that followed and during the time I lived in Chennai, I caught on a lot of her yesteryear tamil hits too and remember weeping like a child after moondram-pirai ( sadma ). Gravitating to her movies had seemed so natural that I hadnt put a tag to it all these years. It is just that easy to love talent like hers, i suppose!

But when the news floated in and the judgments followed since last saturday, these memories had come flooding back. I didnt expect it to impact me as much as it did. May be because I wasn’t ready to feel like I lost a part of my childhood so soon. And may be with her comeback since English-Vinglish, I was looking forward to many more years of awesomeness to come. And for many like me, we may never get to find out!


Venus and Mars

Couple of weeks back, N and I celebrated the year of tin/aluminum. For the uninitiated it is another way of saying, its been 10 years since we were wedded in the presence of our parents and 2000 other people. Yes that number was not an exaggeration. I digress.

If you have been married for a while and meet other married couples in a group, I am sure you must have been privy to a jocular almost bordering on hidden-angst of rants, that can be rightly termed a gender-war. It is usually a tirade that raises from chores and routines and women taking the heavier load. But expressed all in jest; we all get a few laughs at the expense of the men who play along being the country-bumpkin when it comes to matters of domestic everyday chores that keeps a family afloat.

The truth is far from that and we all know it; we do, right?? It is no secret that if the skirmish of right-way-to-toothpaste was infact shaking the foundation of our relationships, this is not the forum we would be discussing it on. Since the matter is much more fun to create the laughs, that is exactly what is told.

On one such recent evening, amidst the peals of laughter that kept coming without a break, I felt obligated to contribute and drew a blank! No, it wasnt always like that and no I am in no means saying we have found the solution to that equal marriage, whatever that means!

We have our everyday battles. Well who doesnt. Because thats when I was reminded of the game we played on our 10th anniversary party. We were each asked some controversial questions and we sat facing away from each other and our answers were suppose to be gesticulated. ( example: who wakes up first in the morning . I pointed to me and N pointed to me ). we had a hiccup at “who calls the shots?”. Probably the only question we didnt seemingly agree on. ( 10 points for those who guess what each answered )

But when i thought more about it, it seemed like the best response i could hope for!

A friend recently shared an post on how women aren’t nags, but they are just fed up. It was a highly popular one which has been doing the rounds for a few months now. It said exactly what many women have been through and may be going through often; And what exactly was told in jest (few paragraphs above). To me honestly the article was a huge eye-opener. It made me look back on this parley from when i have been old enough to notice it.

My parents have a lot of friends and as a pre-teen and teen i often got dragged to lots of dinners, where the women helped the hostess in the kitchen and men discussed politics in the living room. When the mood would lighten, I often noticed ( while pretending to play) how the conversations shifted too. The women also joined after desserts and there is one joke that stands out for me. One man would say ” i have BP ” which meant “bharyiye pedi” he would explain ( means — Afraid of my wife ) and another husband would quip ” I have BJP ” which is ” bharyiye janmana pedi” ( Afraid of my wife since birth ). And it is a joke i have seen repeated so many times, makes the women folk cringe and men guffaw.

Now the reason it was so ha-ha funny, aside from the popular acronyms as pun was because it was not true. If a man was truly deeply afraid of his wife and considering how sensitive testosterone bearers were in the generation before ours, this joke wouldn’t have seen the light of day.

Things are not astronomically different or better now, unfortunately. Men are okay to entertain criticism for their lack of panache when it comes to leaving a kitchen sink clean, because they deeply believe that is not their department of expertise nor do they want it to be. Because it magically gets done right? When they are settling with the remote or wee hours of the morning when the wife is fuming/nearly in tears at the extra work; but doesnt pick a fight because thats the last thing one needs to get everyone out the door in the morning!

And this is exactly what all the women folk who were belting disapproval one after another sugar coated with laughs were actually trying to express. and here is where the line from the article stands out for me —

“Walking that fine line to keep the peace and not upset your partner is something women are taught to accept as their duty from an early age”

 That line is exactly what the evenings spent in the company of my parents’ friends taught me. We have a running joke about “docile-wife” in our circle, but knowingly or unknowingly through bring up and observations we all fall under that time and again.

While the article resonates with most of us and we all agree upon it, It forced me to look at a side I hadnt gone into. It forced me to a reflect upon a huge list of things that magically get done without my knowledge as well. Please tell me, you have that list; because honestly that his and her list is what is keeping you together, like yin and yan?

The generation before ours ( the one with the BP and BJP jokes ),  knew that list really well. Thats how most of them built that mutual respect, stuck to their side of the duties and moved on without letting the jokes take the better of them. The only time i saw that dynamics shift with my parents was when my father retired. It was rarely put on the table for debate.

Marrying those lists as far as they can get is probably one way to approach this. And accepting chores are well chores.. not a entity to load with peeves is probably another addendum to the approach. But hey! if it was as easy as I just typed and if we had a manual that was a one-size-fits-all we wouldn’t we having this conversation would we?

But, a third piece to it that even I have been guilty of, is an important one, I wouldn’t shun away from anymore. So it bothered me that the his-list is something the partners did without making a raucous, while the her-list was the butt of all jokes all the time. Either the his-list is too easy/too small or it is some kind of man-den-secret-sauce. It drove me to create a Loooooong list of “who Does it?” and probably i never got to completing it either.

That list helped me and eventually us in two ways – To take more active interest and participation, not just as a silent partner in matters that were handled for me! And churning that list to eliminate peeves from routines and setting priority. Well! how does this help to relieve the emotional burden women carry you may ask? I can’t give any guarantees that it will. But it is a darn good way to know where a couple stands with the equilibrium in the relationship. And very likely that is a good start!

So today morning, we skimmed the to-doist together. We decided who would handle which errand and to sync back in the evening. And before i made that beeline to the garage, I quipped with a tinge of exasperation for the 400th time (not an exaggeration) ” You know that the strainer in the sink doesn’t doesn’t clean itself, right?” And then i was gone!


morning musings

6 am is a wonderful time to be awake, especially on a friday morning. I stood by the kitchen sink, taking in the peach hues of a sunrise. The only sound in that quietude was the coffee filter going “PliP”. I paused some more. And before I knew I was cutting, grating, kneading and rolling the dough to make ‘ parathas with jam’ for the lunch boxes. The thoughts that consume me during these moments are usually the same — A mental run through of today’s todoist, a quick recap of where i left off at work and a brief rush of the runner’s high at finishing my workout before sunrise!

But today was different. I suddenly recalled a dream I had right before my alarm had gone off. It was about getting back in touch with an old friend. And funnily enough my brain had dug to the depths of remembering her mobile number which i knew byheart many moons ago. It didnt hurt, but it was a dull regret that the years of distance had reduced staying-in-touch to “likes” and exchanges of “what else?”. It was a natural run down that comes from not knowing what to say or share; and the moment it comes to a discussion of the weather, you know where its headed.

By the time the parathas were sizzling on the tava, I fondly remembered the long list of friendships that have stood the test of time and distance in my near-nomadic life; and there is that list of gently-letting-go and abruptly-ended, as well. And the third kind that emerged from blogging and twitter, which is a sort of a sisterhood of having each others back, that is so hard to explain to someone else!

“the camaraderie in female friendships are like that” I smiled, as I smothered the butter and jam, before wrapping the parathas. It was almost 6:30 and sunlight was seeping through my window. I quickly made a cup of coffee before the bustle of my morning would take over. I sulked at the first sip. It tasted nothing like what amma got me used to every morning when she was here for the summer. I made a mental note to ask her how she brewed it.

Like an afterthought, it hit me, that not all relationships suffer with distance. The every morning call to my mother is a testament to that statement. Infact, we have settled into this comfortable acceptance that we get along best when not under the same roof. I nodded a little thankyou to no one in particular for that early morning revelation. It was a near zen-like-moment; before I caught the shuffle of footsteps upstairs. My family was waking up and it was time to let the morning cave in!

Rewriting Mary Poppins

Many moons ago, I watched the broadway rendition of Mary Poppins in NYC. It was splendid to say the least. And i was glad to have the character introduced to me in the best way possible, with all the hullabaloo, if i may (Wink); umbrella flying in the middle of the theater and tap dancers performing next to you, it was indeed wonderful.

So when I watched the movie with my children recently, happily learning to sing “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” with them, little did I realise that I would be intrigued very differently this time around.

Poppins is the hero of the movie, no doubt. She is perfectly played by Julie andrews (from the sound of music fame). She is kind, yet strict; not rude, yet stern; not submissive, yet polite. And unlike most of disney’s female characters, I love that she is unpredictable; she is a mystery that doesn’t beg to be solved. It was heartening to see a woman on screen knowing perfectly well what she likes and doing what she wants! “Let me make one thing perfectly clear! I dont explain anything” — and thats that 🙂

It was all great until i decided to read parts of T.L Travis’s original, to understand the character of mrs. Banks, better. Her satirical treatment in the movie had me in wraps with wikipedia and other articles; digging deep into the suffragette movement. I learnt about Sophia Duleep Singh, who was a suffragist; her father was the one who let the British empire have India’s Kohinoor. ( that was a lot of trivia for a single night for me ! )

The book, I realised, makes no mention of suffragette at all. ( All i had to do was read more on wikipedia, instead of reading 200+ pages; oh well! I had to be sure ). And I was mildly surprised how unpleasant Poppins came across to me in the book. She was borderline contemptuous, especially towards Mrs. Banks. And Mrs. Banks was more meek and characterless in the novel. For once, I was at awe with Disney’s adaptation.

So here is where I draw the parallels and give my interpretation — To me Mrs Banks cohesively represents women who are always at odds with their personal ambitions and maternal duties. When I drew it into the present age, the suffragette movement could easily replace “equal pay”  or “#metoo” — silent battles we are waging through twitter or blogposts, not knowing exactly how to involve our spouses or families in it. And we can’t do it without the Mary Poppins, the care-givers and teachers who do the part for us to keep our children safe and happy, when we are away figuring it all out!

The ending of the movie is often quoted as the “domestication” of Mrs. Banks. But I honestly saw it as the opposite. To me it was her moment of proudly owning up to be a suffragist, to stop living in the closet, to be able to bring her voice and beliefs to her family. Of letting her voice fly high for the world to see!


navaratri musings

The labyrinths of Trivandrum’s east fort colonies, adjacent to padmanabha swami temple, with barely enough space for a cycle and pedestrian, would come agog during the navaratri days. It was probably the only time of the year, you could see so many women and girls on the streets; dressed in their best pavadais and sarees, carnatic music wafting in the air, faint sounds of kolattam and announcements of tyagaraja music festival coupled with inundated tunings of shruti-pettis and mridangams.

We attempt to recreate that world, so many oceans away, every year. What started with 3 makeshift padis in 2013 has finally reached 7. This year the dasavatharams we found at the antique markets of karaikudi have adorned the topmost padi. Like i attempted explaining to the carpenter who built the padis for us “we are recreating little pieces of our upbringing and nostalgia, one step at a time”. Nevertheless to say, I had to explain myself following his quizzical expression.

This year we had the pleasure of having so many little girls visit our golu, who are fast growing up; And before i finish typing this post, i am sure their parents must have already dropped them at college (thats how fast kids seem to be growing.. saved for another post). They came dressed in lovely pavadais and tassel earrings; that they carried with utmost confidence. They didnt flinch when asked to say a prayer or sing. They tuned the shruti-pettis, assumed cross-legged seat like they have been doing it forever and sang lovely krithis they recently learnt in music classes. Their otherwise american accents, had vanished as they pronounced sanskrit and telugu verses with such ease. It was a pleasure; it was surreal!

When the hum mellowed, followed by applause, then taken over by the cacophony of various conversations; they had slowly made their way to play soccer in our backyard. I must mention that the long skirts weren’t a bother to them and they rocked it!

I had thought so hard about a gender neutral item for their tamboolam bag. I am often chided by my family for overbearing the need to keep gender roles/gifts neutral especially for little girls. I had however not done a great job in that regard, this year i must admit. It was decided in a single visit to pier-one. But that evening it didn’t matter.

What mattered was how we helped them carry forward the confidence that had come so naturally so young. The ease to not hesitate to have fun; to let go without thought and press forward without being bogged down by gender stereotypes. Yesterday I met a doctor-in-the-making, who is also a bharatnatyam dancer. I don’t have to detail how hard every phase of a medical degree can be. She was keeping it together in a lovely bright pink kurta and quipped with easy smiles.

As I handed the little works of beads, glitter and everything shiny, things popularly termed “feminine”; this time I didn’t wince. A little femininity everyday to help us plow thru can’t be a bad thing; but knowing that we are capable of so much more is what truly empowers us.

For my little boy who loves the color pink!

And a younger me, who played kho-kho for six hours straight in a pattu-pavadai!


a short story written on 11-5-2014 for a writers club.



“Checkmate” written by Divya Durgadas

“What is that awful smell?” Grandma said, crinkling up her nose “I bet it is the mongoose again peeing on the attic!” she sighed! Grandpa’s earpiece had slid down yet again and he was oblivious to Grandma’s concerns. He sat across the table from me eyeing the soup cauldron. He hated pumpkin soup; he made a god awful face!


I laughed and stuck my tongue out, let my head fall on my left shoulder and I cocked each eyeball in the opposite direction. A trick I had learnt from the man sitting across me. “Stop goofing around and finish your dinner!” said Grandma looking in our direction.


I licked my bowl clean and reached for more. Go on, grandpa gestured, getting up from the table. Grandma was running up the crooked wooden stairs to the attic with the old wick lamp and a broom.


I gestured him to wear his earpiece. He was now sitting on the kitchen counter reading the newspaper. It was a while since he tried this trick! He loved to make Grandma mad by rubbing his bum in Elvis Presley’s moves on the clean scrubbed kitchen counter. I stifled a giggle imagining Grandma’s response when she would catch him. He winked, as if reading my mind.


Suddenly we heard a crash, and before I knew all the brass utensils tucked away in the attic were rolling down the stairs. I ran up working my way through the utensil maze calling “Grandma! Grandma!” in panic. There she was on the attic floor lying stiff and passed out. I was crying by now; I shook her vigorously. She moved ever so lightly and finally opened her eyes. I helped her sit up. She was exhausted “It is the stupid cat” she finally said “She has been storing them, the rats in that corner” she pointed to a space cluttered with things from an entire generation ago, which now reeked of something retching.

“I will help you clear it up tomorrow when the sun comes” I told her, helping her to her feet. “I will get grandpa to help. It must be his earpiece again. He may not have heard us!” I ran down, before grandma replied.


The kitten was licking of the remains of my bowl of soup. “Shoo.. Bad kitty” I chided. Grandpa was missing. His hat was gone too. Ah! his usual night time walk, I remembered. Grandma had made her way downstairs by now “Go on. Go to sleep.” she said gesturing me to take a wicker lamp “Don’t stay up reading tonight!” she called out after me.


I couldn’t sleep that night. I lay there listening to the clangs of grandma putting away the brass vessels. I heard the bell from the town’s center. I even heard the distant whistle of the midnight goods train that passed our town. I had hated my boarding school when Grandpa first dropped me that wretched summer. But now I missed my bed there and my friends. It had been two days since I was home and I felt amiss. Grandma was cantankerous than usual and grandpa was well himself but not quite. It seemed they were avoiding each other.


I tossed and turned and finally decided to light the wicker lamp and read my new stack of Enid Blyton books. I felt cold and caught something looming in the corner. I lit the lamp shaking with fear and nearly screamed. It was grandpa setting up the chess table. “You gave me a fright! You have to tell me! Why have you been so mysterious lately? Did you fight with grandma?” “Bullocks!” he mumbled and pointed to the chessboard. “Heh! Sure! I can’t catch sleep anyway” I beamed. Grandpa usually told me stories of the kingdoms while we played chess, of ghouls, goblins and flying elephants. I looked forward to that more than the game itself.


The next morning when grandma woke me up I was sprawled on the chess board with a pawn stuck up my nose. We have to go someplace she said and had laid out my new clothes and socks on the bed. “Where is grandpa? He was up playing chess with me. Yesterday’s stories had the dwarfs too” I said. She stared at me for a moment “He left a while back” she muttered. It felt like the longest journey of my life, on that bumpy old fiat herald. We listened to Sound of music soundtrack on the radio. It was all the rage now. I sang along for “My favorite things”. Grandma just smiled, I wished she had sung along too like before.


And finally we reached. I was back at the doorstep of the ominous hospital wing, where I had watched mama and papa sleeping a sleep from which they would never wake.


I started trembling inside as I caught pieces of the conversation.

“Oh! Mrs…., there you are! we have been trying to reach you for two days”

“it’s the storm. We are out of power and phone lines are down”

“Why… why have to taken him off the support systems?”

“the coma..”

“I am sorry. I believe it has been 48 hours ago.”

“His body …”

I didn’t understand any of it. No one had told me he was here.

He was right there, I said. He even made a face at the soup! And what seemed like for many many hours, my Grandma hugged me and sobbed.


Mom, let it go!

Many years ago in the sweltering chennai heat, I read this book called “Daddy” by Danielle Steele. Although the book offers a neutral treatment of how the life of either parent pans out, how the mother’s life took turns really baffled me at first; later it intrigued me and probably now after so many years when I am a mother myself, I completely empathize with her; infact to me she is hero of the book! It takes a lot more courage for a mother to peel oneself away from familial duties than to dive into it. And the earlier we realise that the better!

Few months back, I had decided to get back on the workout wagon with a vengeance. After many failed attempts at PIIT28 and other Do-it-yourself-at-home workouts, I had come to the conclusion that I had to leave the house and stop being a parent, if I needed that one hour to myself. And in the end I had taken an approach very much like how Sarah had in “Daddy”. I had decided that my family was going to work together to figure how they would do it without me. I chose to be an early riser, leave the house and complete my workout before they woke up. Whether the kids woke up before or after i got home; I wouldnt be the one handling their morning ablutions. I had made that unwritten pact. And had completely washed myself off that responsibility and decided i was going to let my family figure out their morning routine without me.

It was very much like what indra nooyi had said in her interview about “seamless parenting”. If you don’t let your extended family (in this case the family) do things their way to help you, you will continue to guilt trip yourself and never cope. Because let me restate that little well known secret. Men have been doing it forever!

Before you jump on me to quote all the great fathers, single dads and partners out there who do their part well; I am not talking about fathers not doing their part — I am talking about the fact that men are okay to not be their child’s primary parent. They are okay if they can’t make it in time on one out of hundred times to pick up the child and ask their partner to do it. They are okay if they can’t make it home in time after the pick up and the kids have to eat pizza and fries on a Wednesday night. They are okay to leave a sick child for half day at day care after giving him a dose of tylenol.

This and hundreds of instances like these, you wouldn’t see a dad brooding and telling his friends in a whatsapp group “I feel soo bad… dropped a sick child to day care! breaks my heart” blah blah. Whereas for every one of those instances, I bet almost every mother out there would have felt guilty at some point or the other in her life.

That guilt combined with the effervescent feeling that we are the primary parent of the child is a combination of doom. And it makes most mothers get caught in this web so intertwined we have created for ourselves, that we find it hard to break out. Yes! I already hear many of you thinking — men can’t breastfeed nor carry a child in their womb. But that’s it. Everything else they are physically and mentally capable of doing for the child. EVERYTHING. I will give you a moment for that to sink in.

Because changing a diaper is as new to the mother as to the dad. So don’t let anyone guilt trip you into thinking “I am a mom. I should be born knowing this.” or “I am the mom. I should be the one cooking fresh meals for my family.”.. Its never ending.

Our partnership lines are getting blurry. With two working parents being the new norm and steps towards gender equality and pay gaps, what better place to bring it into practice than at home? And most of us are “lucky” and “blessed” ( I feel rather unfortunate to be using those words. But we only know too well how the world is turning into ), to have partners who are supportive and make great responsible parents. But mothers, if you truly want them to take on a huge piece of your mental load, you have to let it go.

Because this is where, I tell you another well-known little-acknowledged secret “Children adapt like a song. Parents take longer”. The more changes and decisions we make as mothers, founded by this expectation of being the primary parent; decisions that phase out our personal dreams and goals little by little; it gets harder and harder to break out. And the most important change that is actually happening during this time is that you are also closing the doors for your partner who may be very much willing to take on more load, also falling into a cushiony complacency. Which if you try to rectify years later will be a battle I shudder to imagine.

I understand if you are dealing with a different scenario where the partner is not willing to even begin to take on the load; then whatever I just said makes no sense. I am purely talking about the scenario where mothers often find themselves at the shorter end of the stick, where they constantly feel they are taking on more mental load, they are trying to communicate it, they are trying to wing it all and partners who are capable to doing more, are not doing enough or dont do it by their own volition. If you find yourself in this never ending cycle. Step back and analyze, if you are doing enough to let it go.

So you have an important customer meeting on wednesdays and you want the dad to pick up the kids and handle everything for them on wednesday nights. Probably the first two times they may eat pizza and all go to bed without brushing their teeth. May be even the first 10 times. and may be by the 30th wednesday, they no longer find it odd that mom wont be around and they fall into a routine. Some wednesdays they may even make Dosas for dinner ready for you. And by the 50th wednesday, they are eating good meals, doing their homework, bath, brush their teeth, read books and are fast asleep before you get home and the dishwasher is also loaded!

I can hear many of you think “Ya right!” .Well I did too. But it will happen. Only if you dont allow your guilt to take over during the time you build that trust on your family to handle it without you. You have been “handling” it for them for so long. It will take them time! But you have to let them do it their own way, to ease yourself.

The same scenario above, lets say you spend most of wednesday worrying about how the kids will handle the evenings; Some wednesday mornings you stress out and end up cooking a dinner and freezing it. You get upset when they ordered takeout instead of what you cooked. You worry that the last parent teacher meeting they complained of behavioral issues and start to guilt trip yourself that it is probably because you are not around. You fight with your partner on that way the bath and brush routine is carried out. And finally after the 20th wednesday you decide to tell your manager (completely out of your own guilt of not doing primary parenting) that you can no longer do the wednesday meetings. It becomes a bad career move. You miss out on a promotion. But you tell yourself its a sacrifice you made for motherhood.

To me it looks like the hypothetical scenario above could have been made so much better by simply letting it go. I have been there. I have done similar things. So by now you know why I am writing this article! 🙂

So that brings me to what I said at the beginning of this post (thanks! if you stayed with me so far); that pulling oneself away from family duties and chores is harder than taking it on for many mothers. It took me over five years and two kids and after to get a full sense of it. And realize that I can’t expect my partner to switch, learn and unlearn when he is not used to doing for over 5 years ( not used to doing, only because I decided to not let it go), within a week. And unless i do things to help myself, my family is not going to magically understand my feelings and immediately help me through.

We have enough and more battles as women. Let us as a first step remember to let our near and dear ones work along with us and not for us. Only by doing that, we can shed the baggage we add on ourselves as mothers. All the expectations and judgement we pile on our shoulders and continue to make decisions which get incrementally hard to break away from. Let us help our partners help us. They are absolutely willing to and we know it. Lets begin by letting go!