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10 things for my mom on her birthday

My mom died 22 years ago and it is her birthday today. I thought about what I would tell her if I were to meet her briefly for a coffee today.
10 things for my mom on her birthday

Happy birthday, Mummy! Since we do not have that much time, here’s a list of ten things that I want you to know:

1. I have a dog. His name is Macha and he makes me so happy. His love reminds me of yours. No one had looked at me that way since you died...his puppy love healed a momlorn part of me.

2. Last year I got a silver Shakti Ma figurine. It is identical to the one you had, but this is new. It reminds me of our Navratris together and it is an opportunity for me to create my own relationship with Ma.

3. Sid and I went to couples therapy. It was lovely to be connected in that way. It taught me a lot about his commitment to our love. It settled something in me.

4. I meditate daily. I don't chant daily like you did, but I do it occasionally. I am studying Tibetan Tantra and I am beginning to find my unique path, which is an amalgamation of everything I came from and all that I am learning.

5. I am writing a book I am proud of. I remember that you were my first hype girl. All those years ago, you shared my condolence letter to Shashi Akka with the whole family...I'll never forget that.

6. Anoushka graduated from college. You would be proud of her. She is smart, intelligent, interested in studies, beautiful...she is loving like her father's family and cooky like her mother's. She is wonderful. She plays the sitar and is great at sports. Like you, she has many guy friends.

7. I am healthy - even though I have chronic issues that flare up. I am happy. I am privileged that I can move with the rhythm and flow of my body. I used to feel guilty, but now I don't. I remind myself that you couldn't rest. And I am able to surrender to it, as a nod to the needs you couldn’t meet for yourself.

8. I have learned to make my own version of my favourite childhood dishes made by you. Handwo, pulao, bhinda nu shaak. From time to time, I also make masala spaghetti - ahhhh, I have had the real stuff in Italy, but your recipe is soul food for me, much to the horror of Italians. Food has been healing, I guess. It makes me feel close to you. It makes me feel cared for. I detest Bru coffee though. Its smell reminds me of our afternoon ritual. It’s the only thing I ever had the chance of making for you…so no…I do not like Bru.

9. Festivals are still hard. I don't know how to summon the holiday spirit. Though in the last few years, I participate in a virtual celebration/aarti led by a friend during Navratri. Diwali brings forth deep sadness. I do okay though.

10. I cannot remember the name of the series about the Parsi family from the Gujarati newspaper...you used to read out loud and some of the happiest moments of rest and contentment were those...with my snuggling beside you and you playing the different characters in the story.

Oh, and I am finally learning to drape a saree. It’s not perfect, but I am enjoying experimenting. I have my own style. I wear my sneakers and my glasses, and I style the look in a way that is more me. I have no desire to fit into the classic beauty image. I want everything I wear to have my unique signature on it.

That's it from my end...for this year.