Soupy Tales

One day while Basil was getting bored in the fridge and so it started going around saying ‘hello’ ‘hello’ to other folks in the area. It ran into carrots, and they seemed very happy in the company of other carrots. All of them were flushing with color and looked really fresh. Basil approached them and asked if the carrots were interested in playing with him. The carrots gave it a look, and discussed amongst themselves, and then bluntly refused to play with Basil. They said, “We wouldn’t know what to do with you?” Basil was disappointed, but did not lose hope.

The next day, after finishing some chores, it went out for a walk in the neighborhood. Tomatoes were taking a walk around the same time and passed a smile in his direction. Basil got super excited and went towards them. Tomatoes took a closer look at the Basil and shrugged their shoulders and went past him. Basil was completely heart broken.

Basil went back to it’s camp that day and tried to pair with Rosemary and then Thyme. He just did not find any synergies there, and so he sat in his chair, and decided to think about this issue in depth.

A few days later, carrots were playing together and realized that they are all so sweet and crunchy. And although they could continue to play together for a long time, they could use some different flavors. May be something tangy, and some thing with umami.

On the other side of the fridge, the tomatoes were also in two minds about “just how tart’ish one can really be?” They started playing the blame game amongst themselves and blamed each other for not being sweet enough to balance the citrus in them. So they were also looking for friends, who could fill in for the sweetness.

When Basil heard about the news brewing in both these camps, it took upon itself the responsibility to solve the problem. He called a meeting and asked the Carrots and Tomatoes to present their problem. When they both defined their problem, they realized that the solution was always in front of them, just that they had never thought of playing together and complementing each other.

After some effort from Mommy, they all dressed up in some olive oil and pepper and enjoyed a sauna time in the oven. When Mommy took them out of the sauna, they were all drenched in each other’s flavors and one could not tell who was tart and who was sweet.. they were one delicious and rich soup.

Just like these ingredients, if we blend a variety of thoughts and people in our life, the outcome of that harmony is more precious than the sum of its individual parts. 

With this story, Tara learnt about the richness in diversity. As mommy tells her about carrots, tomatoes and basil coming together to make a rich delicious soup – each coming from a different food group – fruits, vegetables and herbs, Tara learns how a diverse group of ingredients add a rich flavor to food, and similarly a diverse set of friends help in making a rich set of memories.


She was a bright and energetic woman in her late twenties . He was a tall and lean man with a stoop. He was very interested in what she was saying. His body was leaning over to hear her words. Her eyes were fixated at something far ahead. And he was content just watching her gaze from the side. She had the demenaor of someone about to save the world. And his was that of a proud father.

I ran into them for mere two minutes when I was waiting for the traffic signal to turn green. They were far away. Yet, I know their story. I know their relationship. I know that interest that only a father shows in his daughter’s ramblings.

The signal turned green and I had to drive on. And so I did. But they came soon. My fluid friends that love to roll and pour and trickle, just in time before the next traffic signal. And I sighed. At the opportunity lost. At the life we could have had. The joys we could have shared. The sorrows we could have divided. And the words that we could have exchanged. I will never be heard in the same way. I miss that stooping lean man who was interested in everthing I had to say. I miss my father.

Tara & Rabbit eat idlis

Today we talked about Peter Rabbit who ate an Idli and became a parrot. When all the kids got tired of his singing, he went to a naughty kid called Tara and asked, what do I do? So Tara said, Peter, eat two idlis tomorrow. You will go back to being a rabbit. And then dinner was served the next night and Peter said to Mama. Mama, can I get two idlis tonight? So Mama was all surprised, shocked, flabbergasted and gave Peter two idlis. As he munched his first not much happened. Tara kept waiting for magic to happen. But as soon as Peter finished his second, he became a rabbit all over again.

Tara eats her food

While Tara was playing in the park she ran into Peter rabbit. He was very hungry and so both of them started a scavenger hunt looking for mommy. At first Peter blindly followed Tara around and then in the middle after he was tired he asked – hey Tara I am hungry. I don’t want to eat your mommy. Why are we looking for her? So Tara said follow me. Good question. But mommy is needed. Tara finally finds mommy and introduces Peter to her. Mommy is thrilled to meet Peter. And then Tara said, mommy we are hungry, can you help us put find some yummy food? There are a lot of good options at this party. And mommy said sure. Today is Sunday – and that means it’s fun day so that means we should have some fun foods. And mommy puts together a plate for Peter, Tara and herself. They ate – sandwiches with cucumber, Mac and cheese, salad, cheese balls and grapes and some noodles :)) everyone loved their meal and cleaned their plates clean. So Peter says to mommy – what so special about the food mommy. Mommy explained – there was protein, carbs, vitamins, minerals, calcium in the forms of grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy smile emoticon
Peter was convinced. He promised to run to mommy when he was hungry and eat whatever she served on his plate. Tara nodded and smiled and said, “see I told you so.”

Tara and the two moons

Tonight’s story became quite grim. And hence it took a lil longer for lil Tara to sleep. We went deep into the woods talking about beliefs. And how everything is always open to our interpretation. But we must gather facts to back our reasoning. And put the pieces together to solve the puzzle.
Tara solved the mystery of two moons. One in her room and one outside. The one in her room shines bright each night Daddy switches the light off. But Tara observes that it does not change shape. And hence it must not be the real moon. And even though Peter rabbit comes in between to give his commentary on how you eventually believe what you want to believe. Tara gathers enough data and proves that the moon in her room is not real. And that is what she starts to believe in.

Tara, the book eater

Today Peter rabbit was tasked with an impossible challenge by Tara’s teacher. She told Peter that if he teaches Tara to not eat her books, she will give five more books for Tara and Peter each quarter. So Peter talks to Tara and finds out that she eats her book because she loves all the stories and wants to eat them so they are a part of her. Peter tells her that for the stories to be a part of her, Tara needs to read them. Read them to her friends, her parents, her teachers, herself .. And when she has read them so many times she will remember them and the stories will become a part of her. Tara gets convinced and starts reading voraciously. Her teachers are very happy and Peter gets five more books each quarter that he shares with Tara 

Tutu, the tortoise and lil Tara

Tonight’s story was about Tutu the tortoise and lil Tara. Tara got Tutu from Maui when she went there for a vacation with her Mommy and Daddy. Tutu was always by Tara’s bed side, day and night. But when Tara grew up and decided that every morning she should rage a war on all her crib friends and throw them out of the crib one after the other, Tutu became one of the first victims of Tara’s attack.

He wondered what made him a prime target for being the first to be thrown out.  Mommy once told him that because of his size and weight, it was easier for Tara to pick him up the first. But Tutu had enough of it. And he was tired of being thrown out of the crib.
So one day he decided to go visit the day care and talk to Tara’s teacher. Teacher Yuri was very nice to Tutu and told him that if he wants he can stay with them instead. And that too in his very own aquarium. Tutu was vulnerable. The love he saw in the eyes of the teacher reminded him of his Ma back home in Hawaii. His heart melted thinking about the prospect of swimming in water with his other friends, and he asked to be kept in the aquarium until Tara learns her lesson.
That day when Tara went to the daycare she found a tortoise swimming in the aquarium. She was thrilled and wanted to play with it. She kept calling him and knocking at the walls of the aquarium. But Tutu was not going to give in. 
Finally Tara said to Tutu, “I am so happy to see you here. Isn’t this amazing? I pushed you out of your comfort zone so that you would go explore and find your place in this world. And that’s exactly what you did. You made it here. You now have an aquarium of your own. And all these kids are here to play with you. Seven times more love than what you’d get from me at home.” 
Tutu was baffled. He knew Tara was right. So he waddled in the water and came to give her a high five. He frowned and then said to Tara, “But I like sleeping with you in the crib. I love Koala and hippo and googley. We are all buddies. I just don’t like it when you throw me out of the crib every morning. Just because I am small.”
Tara giggled and took Tutu out of the water and hugged him. She asked him if he was happy in water and if he enjoyed playing with the kids. He replied with a sobbing, “of course, yes.” So she made a plan. She promised that she will take Tutu home every night for bed time, but bring him back with her to the day care so he could enjoy being in his natural habitat through the day. 
Tutu was thrilled at this idea. He was smiling ear to ear and gave Tara a sweet kiss. Tara kissed him back and put him back in the water. 
Tutu and Tara resolved their problem and lived happily ever after.