Mar 29, 2021: The Menons at Lula Lake, Chattanooga, TN

To our dearest friends and family,

This is a new tradition we are trying to start and hope to carry it forward in the coming years. This project has been brewing for a few years and it was the Northenscold family’s annual letter that got me to act. So, ‘thank you’ Northenscolds for the inspiration.

We started 2021 under COVID-19’s dark clouds and have been blessed to be staying healthy. The year was a rollercoaster ride with many laughs, tearful goodbyes and moments of introspection. Sharing short perspectives from each one of us;


Mar 29, 2021: Bambi at Lula Falls, Chattanooga, TN

Did you know my father has been experimenting on my teeth with an electric tooth brush? At the end of every 60 second routine, he presents me with a treat. That immediately wipes out any trauma I suffered. Hope the ladies enjoy my fresh breath now!

This year, I visited Tennessee and with this visit, I have now travelled to 14 states in the country. Have to admit Chattanooga was a very friendly city, they welcomed me in many stores, restaurants and I also got to enjoy a full bowl of dog friendly ice cream!

I entered the senior citizen club by turning 9 this September and got introduced to new varieties of senior dog foods. My walks are a bit slower these days, however, when excited, I manage a good sprint.

I will like to end by welcoming Cash (I haven’t met him yet), Mili and Bruno to my cul-de-sac and remind Sparky that he needs to keep his nose out of my food bowl!


Sep 25, 2021: Yash riding a camel into battle

Do I really need to do this? Why? You guys always force me to do things!

The above sentence pretty much summarizes my year, but since dad is typing you’re all in for a long & boring read (sigh)!!

I celebrated my 12th birthday this year and like my 11th, we did not have any big gathering…”thanks COVID-19″. Mom certainly went out of her way to pamper me and I ended up having a great day. Loved all my gifts, so thank you again, if you sent me a gift and if not, I graciously accept extremely late gifts too! Just kidding (NOT).

It was great to be back at middle school in person and interact with my friends and teachers. Academics have been going great and this year I got to experience tennis, fencing, cross country and wrestling. Whined equally with my parents about all four, but I do like wrestling. Now, if only my parents listen to me and not register me for additional (outside of school) club wrestling! It messes with my video game schedule…after all, my thumbs need their focussed workouts.

I will call this year “creations galore”. Paper and pipe cleaner creations have been my forte, but I ventured into cardboard and 3D pen models. I continue to write and post poems to my website Feel free to visit it and praise every word!

Reviewing this 2021 summary, I seem to come across as an angel! That is not a good look for me – I better stop right now.


Jul 4, 2021: Chitra in a new dress

I wanted to send out a simple card…there, I have officially recorded my statement (eye roll).

This year has been a mixed bag. I started my 300 hour yoga teacher training with the goal of completing my 500 hours by mid next year. The schedule has been taxing but my teachers are super inspirational. They also set a very high benchmark and that has kept me going.

Yoga, running, long walks and my yoga community have kept me upbeat, but there have been days when the pandemic blues had me down mentally. My family and few good friends have supported me all along, which is always a blessing.

I lost my mother-in-law to Cancer and the most difficult decision was to stay back with Yash (the Delta variant was raging in India then). It is something that continues to weigh on me and I bring it up with Suresh often. She was a kind person and I cherish my moments with her. It may sound funny, but every time Yash wins on the mat, I know she is smiling over him.

The year is closing on a much better note. I was able to visit India in November and meet my parents, my brother-in-law and his family. Got to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary and get back to the US safely. Had a nice surprise from Prairie Yoga, to be invited to join their teachers circle. I am truly honored and delighted with this news, now looking forward to a much happier 2022.


Oct 17, 2021: Me at the finish of Naperville Half Marathon

If you have survived reading this so far, let me be brief. 2021 has been a challenging year with mom’s passing. I was fortunate to make it to India and conduct her last rites with my brother. Being the youngest one in the family, it was different to be there for my brother. Mom and I had spoken about this outcome, a long time back, and I had promised her I would communicate with my brother, like I did with her. Now, Ramesh bhai (my brother) has to deal with my almost daily calls! There are occasions when he has asked me (jokingly…I think!?) to stop this torture and call someone else. Too bad, he will need to deal with it till the end.

Compiling a short video to celebrate my Mom’s life helped me a lot, so did my new job at SAP and running the Naperville Half Marathon. Chitra has been the rock in my life and having the openness to share our vulnerabilities is a blessing.

Sharing the Menon family love

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and happy holidays. May the new year bring your way good health and memorable moments with loved ones.