Happiness Jar

I’m not really sure what this is called, but I’ve been calling it my “Happiness Jar.” Every time something good happens this year, I’ll write it on a slip of paper and put it in the jar. On December 31, 2014, I’ll take out all the slips of paper and reflect on everything wonderful that’s happened over the course of 2014.

I know the end of this year is far away–and I’m certainly not in any rush to get there–but I’m excited to see the jar fill up!


Happy New Year!

(shameless selfie)

It’s so easy to be motivated and think of ways to change your life for the better at the beginning of the year. As the year progresses, however, that enthusiasm fades away. I’m trying to figure out how to keep a hold of my beginning-of-the-year feelings right up until December 31, 2014.

I’ll let you know if I figure it out.

Snippet Saturday #18: Plot Twist

I joke about my friend’s plot twist.

She says, “My life isn’t a drama. How can it have a plot twist?”

I say, “Real life can have plot twists too.”

She says, “What’s yours?”

I hedge and don’t answer, but the truth is, I know exactly what it is.

At the time of my cousin’s wedding, my sister and I shared a bed, so every night was like a sleepover. We used to talk and giggle together and until we fell asleep.

One day, out of nowhere, I told her, “I think our cousins have ruined Marathi men for me.”

She laughed and said, “Because they’re so awkward?”

I shook my head and said with complete seriousness, “Because they’re so amazing.”

She fell silent and stared up at the ceiling for a moment. Finally, she said, “That’s true.”


When I think about my grandfather, I think about walking. I clearly remember him walking me through a leafy, suburban lane to kindergarten because both my parents were in the hospital the day my sister was born. I remember him walking me home from Jr. KG back when I lived in Mumbai when I was very, very young. I remember him visiting us in the U.S. and telling us that there was a community center within walking distance of our house. We only found out because he went exploring whenever he was in a new place. I remember him walking my family to the school where he was on the school board, despite being retired.

My mom and my uncle tried many times to get their parents to come live here in California, but both of them refused because it didn’t matter that they were getting older–they still had lives in Mumbai.

That image is of my grandpa meeting the president of India. It’s because of his volunteer work on the school board that he was able to do so. The picture so perfectly exemplifies him. He was always doing something. He played tennis right up until a few years ago. He was 85 years old, and he sent us eGreetings on our birthdays and Skyped with us.

And he always, always asked how my writing was going.

I miss you already, Ajoba.





Exactly a year ago, I had an epiphany. I’d been complaining to every single one of my friends who would listen about how old I was because I was turning 23 (gasp!). I guess age does bring wisdom, because in the early hours of the morning when it became the 26th of March, I realized that I was thinking about it the wrong way.

I was lucky to be 23. So many people in the world aren’t fortunate enough to make it to that age, so who was I to moan and complain about something good?

Although I didn’t understand it then, I’m beginning to understand now why I was so distraught. I’m already 23, and I what have I done with my life? I don’t even have a book published yet, for heaven’s sake! That’s what was seared into my subconscious a year ago.

The truth is, I’ve done plenty, and I have time to do so much more. I wasn’t ready to have a book published a year ago. My writing’s improved drastically since then.

I believe in fate. I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe in the Law of Attraction.

This is why, I want to list 24 things I’m grateful for:

  1. My family (parents, sister, kitty, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, everyone)
  2. Growing up never wanting for anything
  3. Growing up in the Bay Area
  4. Having a college education
  5. All the places I’ve been able to travel to throughout my life
  6. That I’m in good health
  7. That I have things that I’m passionate about
  8. Spring
  9. That there is still beauty in the world
  10. That there is still wonder in the universe
  11. Meeting so many incredible, talented, and kind writers at the SF Writer’s Conference
  12. How simultaneously small and huge the world is
  13. My laptop
  14. All the experiences through my life that have made me who I am today
  15. Super Junior (this had to be 15 for the 13+2 members)
  16. My job
  17. Adobe Master Creative Suite CS6
  18. How easy it is to keep in touch with people all over the world (I can Skype or FaceTime with my grandparents in Mumbai!)
  19. Books
  20. Being able to love, appreciate, and adopt other cultures
  21. Being able to speak multiple languages
  22. That the world is filled with music and art
  23. The freedom to choose what I want to do with my life
  24. Being alive

Hi, I’m Teji!

I never know if I should start a blog with an introduction or just dive in. It just seems a little strange to start writing without establishing what I’m going to be writing and who I am.

There’s an “About” section of course, where you can get more information about me, so I will refrain from writing too much of that in this post. I’ll just state the basics: I’m Teji. I’m a writer (among several other things), working on a novel (or two!). I see this as my space to talk about my passions and, hopefully, to help out other writers.

Thanks for stopping by!