Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Letters to My Niece #2

April 28, 2015

Dear Niece,

You know how much we enjoy your free-spirited dance performances, right? Well, today's letter is about dance, and the songs we choose to groove to. 

So the other day, we were in the car together. You occupied the space between me and the dashboard in the passenger seat, while Masu drove. You turned up the radio when you heard a song you liked, (you do know you are only two years old?) and we couldn't stop laughing as you jiggled your bum and started turning both hands as if changing imaginary bulbs. Here I'd like to confirm your Punju-ness, just for the record. The lack of space didn't bother you much – hear a good beat, must dance. 

My darling niece, my concern is the Yo Yo Honey Singh beat you can't help moving to. Beta, the lyrics, they are despicable! But you are Punjabi, and all our shoulders are under the hypnotic control of YoYoNess, so I guess I don't blame you. Just try to avoid listening to the words for as long as you can ... 

I love your spirit, little one. Your determination to filter out the noise and listen to what matters. As you grow older, practice this. Focus on your song and dance to your music and you will be unstoppable.

Your mother is a dancer. She can't help but dance. And when you see her dance, you feel free, energized, like nothing in the world matters. We all go looking for this in different places, this feeling. One day – it is inevitable – you will find that you don't have to look anywhere, this carefree happiness begins at the twirl of your fingertips, your ever-so-graceful fingertips. Don't forget this, monkey. Be like your mother and dance like no one's watching. You don't need to care about what others think.

Of course, there's the song. Choose the rhythm that feels right to you. This rhythm will be unique to you and no one else. And it will make you soar ... You're lucky to have that choice, practice it wisely. 

So don't listen to me when I tell you not to dance to a Yo Yo Honey Singh song. Pick a song that belongs to you. Or better yet, write your own. For you are one of the warrior women, and you only dance to your own tunes.  

Your Admirer

Friday, April 24, 2015

Letters to My Niece #1

April 23, 2015 

Dear Niece, 

I'm writing to you today to tell you that you are growing up way too fast. I want to know, what's the hurry?

I know the world of grown ups probably seems very exciting and interesting to you - they can communicate easily, can poop all on their own (potty training is not a worry) and seem to have the world at their finger tips. You now pretend to talk on the phone, pretend I'm your 'beta', 'betoo', and you my 'mama'. You tell me 'main working kar rahi hoon, na,' so that I don't 'disturb' you. It's unbelievably adorable but also a bit worrying. Will I lose my 'mama' to this big, bad, crazy world someday? I'm not ready, mama!

So please, slow down. Be two a little longer, my little one. Let us feel our hearts pound at your giggles and melt at your silly games. Please, just stay this way.

Having said that, the lesson for today's letter is – change. It sucks, little one, but the sooner you start embracing it, the easier life will be. Change is awful, inconvenient, overwhelming, scary. It's terrible. But only for a little while. Then things get easier. You know what's unnerving though? Change happens again and again. The only way to live happily is to become friends with it ... To surrender to it ... To change a little bit of yourself with it. 
So, my banana, it sucks, but I love to see you change. And as much as I want to hold on to you right now – playing your 'horsie' games with me – I honestly can't wait to see you grow up into the thousand versions of you, you can be. 

But just do this one thing ... Don't ever change. 

Your Crazy Masi