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June 27, 2023


 Dearest Antu,

15 is a nice round number. No pressure of the 16 yet. Not too far from 13. One can get away with pretty much anything. One is either “such a responsible kid at such a young age” or “they will grow up and learn." You are a mix of both and being a second born, have the added benefit of parents taking it easy after losing it miserably in the first round. You are lucky in a hundred different ways but none of them as beneficial as having a rocking sister who has paved your way for you with rose petals while she has to forge her own path. Its a blessing and a curse to have a perfect sibling. Ask me. But you are dealing with it much admirably than I did. I still struggle. May you both remain close and be there for each other long after I am just a traumatic memory you bring up to your respective therapists! 

This year has been fun with back to regular traveling. An india trip after a while, a long weekend to Barcelona, our annual ski trip to Austria, visiting families and loads of day trips. This year has also been a hectic back to back traveling for me, the most fun being my New york trip with your sister for her 18th birthday. I made sure to ask your blessing before booking the tickets. And you were ok with it though slightly jealous that it was to NY where you have never been. And then I had a girls trip with my friends to Porto, Italy trip with my parents and the anniversary trip to Lisbon with your father. Though I failed to see the pattern, you made sure to mention that I have gone on trips with everyone except you. What a shame! Am glad you brought it up and I ll rectify this situation soon. It feels nice to be needed. Not to mention how brave of you to vocalize your feelings and not to be afraid of being vulnerable.

Music has been a huge part of your life and Taylor Swift, your own Goddess. You are continuing your piano lessons even though you are losing interest a bit. You have been wanting to quit learning carnatic music and I can’t lie that its not heart breaking for me. You have been learning for 6 years and your teacher was shocked when I mentioned your disinterest. According to her, you are the most sincere student and you have an uncanny grasp of the songs and have an insane memory power. Not to mention, a beautiful voice to go with it. You were extremely frustrated when your father and I insisted that you continue. We are at a stalemate now and I don’t know what the next school year brings but I wish you keep at it. One day you will thank yourself for not giving up. But that said, if its not bringing you joy, do something else that does. Don’t let your talent go waste. Not everyone is blessed with such a gift.

You joined me to run a 5K in May and it was a huge accomplishment for me. Thanks for the motivation and the support. I couldn’t have done it without you. You never make fun in a mean way. You are always encouraging. And you are nice while being honest. All stellar qualities straight from your father. No wonder you both have your secret club and secret smiles and roll your eyes at your sister and me for our crazy dramatics. You also made sure to let me know when I am being horrible with how it is affecting you instead of a character assassination. Its all in the attitude after all and you have it in spades. One does nt have to be cruel to speak the truth. But I fail miserably at that in every turn while you choose your words wisely. Oh teach me, Master. Happy 15th Birthday, Kanna! May your year be filled with all things that bring you joy.


April 27, 2023


Dearest Ashu,

Your 18th Birthday is here. I have nothing to say. (and then she wrote a 10,000 word essay, dear Reader!)  

Live your life.  
Be brave. 
Be righteous. 
Make mistakes. 
Be kinder than necessary. 

Ask for help. 
Love many things. 
Let go. 
Trust the Universe. 

Just go forth and conquer the world.

I am immensely proud of you and I will always have your back. Today, tomorrow and forever. Happy 18th Birthday, Kannamma! 

"How should we like it were stars to burn
with a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me."
         ~W.H. Auden~

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