Chocolate Muffin


To my daughter:

You deserve every bit of it- the joy, the adulation, the cheers, the congratulations. You have made it into a world-class University,  to study the subject of your choice, on your own merit. I know the struggles you went through, your hard work and your indomitable will. I remember your determined little face when you faced failures,(those were many) the beautiful sunshine lighting up your face  whenever you won  (those were many too) and the stoicism , in between. I never found you complaining about life’s vagaries.

I remember the red rose your grandmother pinned next to your left ear as you stepped out for the nursery school next door, all of three.  I know that you sat on the ground, with the rest of the children, learning the letters in  your mother tongue. But that starting has done you great. At seventeen, you snort when I point out a pretty dress and shudder at the ‘name of the rose’. You listen to songs that I have no clue about and speak about string theory and the Phantom of the Opera in the same breath. You are an excellent debator and can charm the ears off a donkey with your speaking skills. You also tell me sagely that Ouranos personified the night sky and that Chronos preferred to snack on his offspring; praising Rick Riordan’s fabulous imagination.You speak  fluently in your mother tongue when you  energetically fight with your little sister. You still love chocolate muffins and hate mayonnaise.

You still mention your grandmother in your application essays and the twelve schools that you studied in during all these years(if one ignored the nursery school next door). I moved you from place to place due to my work constraints. You tell me that you have become better for the experience and can make friends easily. I think frankly that you are being nice . It must not have been easy changing three schools in a single year.

When you whoop in joy, and I say a prayer of gratitude, you tell me that the best is yet to be. I see the invisible wings fluttering strongly. You are expecting more invites, you smile. You are all set to learn from  some of the best mentors and teachers of Science. You do a jig. I watch indulgently. Today, I rejoice. If there are parallel worlds, as you tell me, inspired by both science and spirituality, I would love to be your mother in all of them. It has been a blessing to bring you up and nurture you, my dear one. All my life, it shall remain my privilege.

I wish you joy, every moment.May you keep calm when life does some unexpected twists and turns. You should trust that there will be light always- if you persevere enough. You should again re read Kipling’s ‘ ‘ If’ and Abraham Lincoln’s letter to his son’s teacher, to know much of what mothers wish to tell children.That is why both are great literature.

This article is my proud indulgence. My piece of chocolate muffin. It is also my thank you note to the Universe, my dear. After all, you are the Rhonda Byrne fan.

Now, as for tomorrow’s class….did you put the alarm on? And do tell me, why is the table so dirty? Ahhh…Penrose, hyperbolic geometry, Angels and Devils…but what about your finger nails, eh?? Are you sure you did not have time for those?




For My Daughters: A Letter


My daughters,

One day, amma might not be there to tell you all these tidbits. Not pleasant to hear, eh, but then, we will start with discussing some home truths.

The world in which you live has both darkness and light. Like your favourite movies and books have villains and villainess abounding, our little earth has her share of these horrid creatures too. Dementors, Soul-suckers, horrendous evil- name them what you may- they exist.

Remember the scene of those froth dripping mouths of evil when they attacked Frodo and Company in the Two Towers?They were trying to stop those monsters from getting to the innocent women and children.

Evil exists, in both myth and reality. In fiction, fantasy and our daily lives. In souls so dark that a six month old flesh and seventy year old flesh and twenty year old flesh are all flesh to them- to be attacked and devilled and destroyed. Hence, caution!

Amma does not want to frighten you. But awareness is the first strength. So start being aware that all things that smile need not be the Kind GrandMother. It could be a wicked wolf in disguise too.

How can you make out the deadly swamp from the pure river?

The great intuitive power which the Divine has vested in you, will serve you well. But for that, you have to value that gift, and respect it.

It is called the Ïnner voice.

By the way, there is a word called “Bestiality” in the English language. Among the various meanings are “being like an animal” or “being depraved or brutal”.

I want you to listen to this very carefully.

There is not a single living animal, bird, insect or fish…any non-human living thing which is capable of “bestiality” as much as the human being- man or woman. Animals might kill, but they kill to defend themselves or to satisfy their hunger. Even the wild lion, tiger, bear…they do not commit acts of unimagined torture on another living being. They do not rape and insert rods into innocents. They do not throw burning acid into beautiful faces claiming to love them.They do not shoot a child because she went to school. They do not hammer the head of a three year old because her parents pray to God in a manner different to theirs.

So, only human beings are capable of “bestiality”. We defined the word in the first place- no animal did.

That is a very important lesson to remember as you grow up in this world.

Have I frightened you? Sometimes, fear is a good companion, provided we let her sit afar and tell us her tales.

Does that mean, all the bright, beautiful, brilliant little souls should hide themselves away?


It means that all the bright, beautiful, brilliant little souls should stay wide awake in their awareness- of light and dark.

Listen with a smile to the cacophony around you– telling you what to wear, what to dream of, whom to desire,what to yearn for,how to worship God,which job to do, what vacation to take, how to be hot, how to be cool..go ahead, listen…but then decide for yourself.

That is another lesson, by the way. (Have you wondered on that phrase- by the way? By life’s way, as we travel..:)

Decide for yourself – all your life choices. You will make mistakes, but they are yourmistakes.

Be proud of the fact that you chose for yourself, even if you failed.

Dust yourself up, cry a bit, but then simply go ahead and choose again.

That is thousand times better than primping that you never made a mistake at all.

There is the story of an old crone in the Canterbury Tales.  Someone is tasked to find the answer from her on the greatly discussed question: What do women want?

The old crone gives the answer : Sovereignty over their lives.

How do I explain that conundrum to you?

Hmmm, let us put it this way:

Women (as well as men) have the right to dream of living their own lives. They have the right to choose their destinies. They have the right to be treated with respect and dignity. They have the right to let their inner light shine forth in whatever creative way they might choose for themselves.

Basically, they can dress, dance, walk, sing, dream, work, study, climb mountains, play football, mess around with clay and wet earth, fall in love, make love, have children, watch them grow, live happily, die gracefully…I hope you get what I mean.

But then, my girls, sadly, even after millions of years later, having been evolved from primitive animals, our world seems to be having difficulty about this simple proposition.Especially when it comes to women, let alone groups and sub groups of apparently “different” characters.

Remember the phrase ” Live and Let Live”.

It is also one of the greatest spiritual principles enshrined in all religions of this world.

It is based on one word- respect.

I have a right to live and shine in this world- as much as you have. As much as a butterfly has. As much as that evil creature has. As much as the mango tree has.


So, where were we?

Somewhere on the way, Amma lost track of what she originally wanted to tell you.

Does not matter, right now- the sunshine is bright enough.

And remember as you run off and play- be kind, be tolerant, be accepting, be yourselves.

Dare to be.

Bless you,

Your Amma