Letters to my Berry#21


You might grow up to either love me or hate me, but you are 21 months old now and you can identify all the continents, and name a few countries within them!!! If you ask me, I’d say I’m damn proud of both of us for having gotten past this milestone. Basically, I am bored to read your silly storybooks and so I figured I’ll buy us a book that makes for an interesting read for me, and so I took you to the book store and bought an atlas that you picked. Simple no?

To give you some practical classes in geography, we also took you on some trips. Okay no, we just took you along like luggage because appa and I had to travel. Haha. We were at Isle for wight for my birthday, and this was your first time at the beach. You absolutely enjoyed playing with the sand by throwing it over your head, but you were damn scared of the sea. You bawled until we pulled you out of water, and I wonder if it was because the water was too cold for you.

The best part of this trip has to be you walking upto me with two glasses in your hand, handing one over to me, saying cheers and pretending to drink some imaginary drink and then singing “happy tirday” to me on my birthday, just as I was waking up. You did something similar the previous day when we’d ordered a dessert that came to our table and you started singing happy tirday. Although it wasn’t intentional (I’m guessing?), I was really touched. 🙂

You also went to Munich last week as I’d to travel on work. You and appa spent the two days exploring Munich by yourselves and appa has written a wonderful journal of your adventures. You make for a better travel partner for appa than I do, so thanks for saving me the bother. The highlight of the Munich trip for me was you crying about me leaving to work on the second day. I’d never felt so bad about leaving you and going off to work. I felt so guilty, and wish I could stay home with you all day and everyday. But I’ve heard from appa that it can be very annoying, so I’ll try not to ever do that. But no promises.

You’ve found this new fascination for planes, and I hear it comes from the nursery. We can see most take-offs and landings from/ into Heathrow and so you’ve this game where you do “tata” to every plane that you see outside the window. You also sometimes wonder if that plane is going to ajji thatha’s house, which is when you remember “bhatta” as well. Currently, “bhatta” is this massive stuffed german shepherd that you have but this is actually inspired by the stray dog that came to thatha’s house everyday. Thatha would take you out to make you feed the dog he lovingly called “bhatta”. So, I think playing with your British “bhatta” is some way of remembering thatha everyday?

Your face just lights up every time we video call him and he says his usual “onaNNa, Berry aNNa”. In fact, you are very excited to see ajji too, ever since we came back to London. I think you really miss everyone back home and this evident from how you keep saying everyone’s names and also get damn excited when you see some Indian faces while friends visit us. I sometimes wish I could raise you back home, but then I think about how hard it will be to do this along-side a full-time job, I quickly let that thought go.

The good thing about raising you here is that you have a nice little routine that works well for all of us. When you come back home at 6pm from the nursery, you take off your shoes and put them away, promptly bring a bowl/ plate asking for some kind of a snack and go away to play with your toys. You then remind us to bathe you, then eat a good hearty meal and get ready to read a story and go to bed. Now, some days this whole ordeal takes longer than an hour or two but on good days, you are in bed by 8ish. I was miserably unsuccessful in keeping this routine in Bangalore, maybe because it was a vacation?

When I watch you do a lot of things quite independently now, I feel so proud of you and I hope to preserve that sense of awe as you grow older and discover new things for yourself. You’ll promise to tell me every random new thing you discover no? I am damn excited to rediscover life through your eyes, even though you might feel otherwise sometimes (talking about the times when I make you binge watch netflix with me!). Happy 1.75 my love, and thank you for filling our lives with so much joy and madness (ok less thankful about this bit though!).

P.S – Your favourite god is Ganesha and you keep calling all statues as maamis, and I have no idea who taught you all this because appa is atheist and I am at best agnostic. Actually, I don’t mind you knowing about all gods and goddesses, which is why we bought you an Amar Chitra Katha book while we were in Bangalore (although you don’t like the book!).


Turning 31.. Urrgh


It’s been 10 days since I turned 31, and now, I finally have the time to get started on this post I’ve been meaning to write for what feels like ages. If you read my birthday posts from the last couple of years, you will see that there is a similar theme around adulating and caring less about the “day” itself. I have gone from omg! no one’s bothered that its my birthday to I’m not even bothered myself anymore. It’s just another day, or let’s say a day that just makes you confirms you are ageing. I am definitely not my maternal grandmother, who likes to think otherwise. To be honest, I envy that about her.

How do people make peace with strands of hair getting mysteriously grey? How do people make peace with their body desperately trying to hide fat? How does one make peace with less than 8 hours of sleep everyday? How does one lose 20 years of their life in just few months of being a parent? How does a spouse turn into a logistics partner with whom there is little else to discuss but the amount your child pooped that day? Actually, I’ve made varying degrees of peace with most of them over the years, or months? Okay, I am losing track of time.

The one thing I am struggling to make peace with is my diminishing social circle. I remember celebrating my birthday every year for many many years. This always involved a cake, snacks and some friends. The last time I celebrated my birthday with friends was when the husband threw me a surprise the year we got married. But soon after, all of those friends moved to other cities, including myself. I still talk to my friends but it’s all over texts. I miss the warmth of hanging out with people whose company I genuinely enjoy and vice-versa. It’s so much harder to find this, the older you get and I haven’t quite figured out why.

I miss that constant shoulder to lean on, that ever open ear to whisper secrets into (I still do have a few!) and someone who would conspire with me to conquer the world, or atleast that’s what it felt like when I was younger. I think this craving for constancy, reliability, etc. is surely a sign of adulting. I find myself wanting this consistency even in other parts of my life like what I eat, when I sleep, etc. I have begun to value routine so much more, I no longer feel that urge to be random or spontaneous. I feel like my paternal grandfather, and just like him, I feel strangely content with my limited daily choices.

The husband calls me an old lady with a cat. I have a really good friend at work who thinks the same about himself. This somehow gives me some solace knowing that I am not alone. Something about women and wanting to do hold hands and do things together, including drowning, no?

Anyway, so, in my attempt to bring more discipline and routine into my life, I have decided to spend Wednesday evenings, writing. I literally just made this decision. Okay, I guess I am not as non-random as I thought I have become. But if I don’t keep up my word, believe me, it’s adulting and the responsibilities that come with it. For instance, I spent an hour trying to put my daughter to sleep and failed so miserably. After such a fail, it’s really hard to push yourself to do anything else with life the same evening, hence, this post is a desperate attempt to fight adulting and not meant to be a fine piece of literature.

Now I feel like this awkward person who is trying to leave but has spent so much time saying bye to people around that they’ve missed the bus to leave. So i’ll just go. Bye.


Letters to my Berry#20


When you turned 20 months, we were in Bangalore. As you can imagine, going to Bangalore means camp life, which also means I hardly ever get time to write because I am either busy socialising or trying to seem momly than I’d like. One of your biggest milestones from this month was you addressing me as “Amma”. Okay, I am being a little biased when I say “biggest”, I know. You had called me Amma before but I don’t think you had fully made that association. This month, you’d keep saying “amma, amma, amma, hffdbfksdnflsbdfnsdhfb” or that’s what it sounded like to me. But to your credit, when I’d ask you to repeat, you’d say hffdbfksdnflsbdfnsdhfb again, which made me feel so guilty for not understanding you. But you see, that shows how little we try to listen as adults.

Another big milestone was you being able to climb out of your crib independently, which was scary at first, but we realised that you wouldn’t do that on your own in the night, which meant that we would get to sleep in peace for a few more days. You also did your first ride on a musical car, which we found near the mall. I used to love them as a kid myself and it was nice to see you enjoy too.

You know what, this month has been pretty significant in terms of milestones now that I think of it. This was the last month at Smithfield Nursery for you. I am not sure if you even understood this was happening, it was surely a big change for appa and me. It was bittersweet to be honest. Although moving you from the nursery would make our lives far easier, reducing our commute times, etc. I personally found it harder to pull you out than when I put you in there. It has been the best environment for you to grow up. You have been showered with so much love and care, everyone in the nursery loved you and is going to miss you and I think that’s a great sign of how good the place has been for you. I am going to deeply miss dropping you off there. *teary eyed*

Having spent half the month in London, we landed in Bangalore and you went straight to ajji thatha as if you always lived with them. You cried as soon as you saw Barbie, which was a bit surprising as you normally love talking to Barbie on the phone. As expected, you suddenly had a new wardrobe, given that Shreya mama’s wedding was round the corner. You happily did fashion show and insisted that we pair your clothes with matching shoes. In fact, I tired pretty quickly and let Barbie take over. She made you put on all the clothes she had brought for you and you were overjoyed. You’d start taking off the dress you were wearing the moment you saw a new one some distance. You definitely didn’t get this from me. Disclaimer – I might annoy you some day in life by saying, I don’t know how you turned out like this, being my daughter as if you are supposed to be my replica.

You had a blast at the wedding itself, hanging out with so many people from all sides of the family. You were as usual the star of the wedding being the only little one on ajji’s side of the family. The highlight of the wedding was you getting your own “baLeyele” for all meals. You belted like a pro. Drank off non-bisleri water like a boss. But you suffered from mild NRItis with tonnes of scary looking mosquito bites. Although you adapted to Bangalore very quickly, I realised you did show some signs of being a little Brit. When your favourite stray dog “Bhatta” came home one day and you fed him some french fries, you called it “chips”. Ahem.

Talking about adapting to Bangalore, you were saying things like “bussu, pantu, dogu” by the end of the trip. Also, you did this funny thing, where you would sleep off the foot mats in the house or randomly sit in front of the desktop, type fastly, pick up the mouse and say “Hello, hi, kathakathakatha, ok bye, see you” like one telephone operator. You also drew all over the walls in your room with crayons. While we enjoyed watching you destroy that wall, some part of me was also scared that you might replicate this here in London where we live in a rented house.

As always, you loved spending time with ajji thatha, going on hourly walks with thatha, being very well fed by ajji and then playing with Barbie the little time that she was around. She tried to help me wean you off, but in vain. Although, she likes to believe she might have scarred you. Haha. I think you loved the back and forth between our house and ajji thatha’s. You loved that you could scream and run around in our house or chase “sha” while she worked. Shivamma would try her best to tell you that her name is not “Sha” but you wouldn’t give up. Finally, I think she gave up and let you bug her everyday. You’d get damn excited everyday when she came home and also get damn upset when she left.

In terms of socialising, you had managed to not only make everyone fall in love with you as always, but also tell everyone’s names and randomly remember them even while they weren’t around. You also enjoyed hanging out with all your cousins, both on amma’s side and appa’s side. By the end of the trip, you had convinced Putti atte that you were more “cheste” than her two boys, which warrants some credit to us for managing the little terror without any domestic help.

You also had a nice photoshoot by Anuroop in Krishna Rao park, which you posed quite happily for, although you got distracted by the swing and then refused to cooperate. You did lots of style with your sun glasses and wouldn’t let anyone take them away from you. Ajji gave you a little purse to put your stuff in and every time you heard someone say “bubba”, you would run to wear your purse and shoes and go off with them. In fact, even when we were leaving home to head to the airport in Bangalore at 4am, the first thing you asked me was if our bags were ready. When I showed you the suitcases, you felt very happy.

We were very worried about returning back to London and you missing everyone back home too much, but you were quite happy when we came out of the Heathrow airport, because you saw the rain outside and said “wow!!”. But i am sure you are missing everyone and also the mangoes. We’ve still got facetime and WhatsApp, until next time!


Letters to my Berry#19


“Alexa, you 5 up up pi ba ba ba”. That’s your first ever conversation with someone, a virtual assistant, nevertheless. This is probably a preview of all that’s to follow from your generation. You know how to operate the TV, phone and every other electronic device in the house. But the good thing is, you have a way with humans as well – every single person you meet on the tube everyday gets a friendly smile, wave and if lucky, a flying kiss too, from you. I don’t know if this is any indication of how socially adept you will be as you grow up, but I’d like to believe you are shantamma’s (your great-grandmother) boss at making friends out of strangers.

At 19 months, you have shown some basic mugging capabilities as you can sing a few rhymes, say A-Z, 1-20, 10-100, sarLe verse, name all the planets and people in the house, although your pronunciation still has a long way to go. 😀 You can even count numbers on your fingers, although it mimics that of a Sushi trader in Japan (blame me for that!). You can wipe your own nose, take off and wear some basic clothes, so as per the British requirements to start reception, you are already good to go! 😛

You have shown profound interest in dressing up and putting on make-up, may be inspired by everyone you see on the tube everyday. You were trying to mimic some lady on the tube when you were using your finger to put on lipstick. The same evening you came home, stuck a finger in my only lipstick and squished it out (thanks!). You have nail polish on your toe nails since you wouldn’t quieten down till I put them on for you. Oh and you also got your first haircut recently, just a trim really, but still! We also did a photoshoot for you with all your new clothes and you totally amazed us by your various poses every time I asked you to act “stylish” – You sat down with your legs stretched, put one arm on your hip and what not.

We got you a new potty!! Every time you do kakka, we make you go sit there even though you usually have a diaper on just so we can start conditioning you before the “all reals”. You can brush your teeth on your own, although you need constant encouragement to keep going so either one of us has to be brushing with you and saying “hinge hinge hinge” so you know which direction to brush in. You can comb your own hair, although I must admit you almost always have a messy just woken up look. But that doesn’t stop you from putting your winter jacket on and sitting on your pram to head out.

First thing every morning, you go sit on your pram screaming “bubba bubba” so we take you out. It’s funny how you want to wear your winter jacket to head out even if it is 25 degrees outside because you’ve seen mostly winter all your life, so you don’t really know any other season. So, next month, being in India will be fun given how hot it’ll be. Talking about sun, you can recognise both the sun and the moon now, all thanks to Vinay and Subhashini for giving you the very hungry caterpillar book. That is your all time favourite story, you won’t even go to bed without making us read it to you – EVERY SINGLE DAY.

The parts of the story you love are – all the numbers in the book, when the caterpillar becomes big and fat and generally saying “ca ca ta ta” for caterpillar every few seconds. You’ve got a tiny toy baby now that you tell the story to, and it’s so cute because there is no way to know that you are telling that baby this story except when you keep saying “ca ca ta ta” ever so often. You love hanging with that baby, although you are sometimes upset with it when it tries to steal your thunder like sitting in the pram or if we cuddle it too much. But it’s amongst the few toys you have shown in interest in besides your teapot (which is your all-time favourite toy!). You keep serving people tea, which is so English. Haha.

I should honestly write more regularly, because I feel like I forget what you do because you are constantly doing something new. Hopefully, fingers crossed!


Crossing milestones, experiencing new pains


Every time you embark a new milestone in your life, you feel like you are alone. You feel things you have never felt before, you feel things that no one warned you about and while you are struggling to come to terms with what’s happening with you, someone comes along and tells you that what you are feeling is perfectly normal. For instance, when you loose your first milk tooth and you want to bury yourself in shame, people tell you that everyone goes through this and it’s perfectly normal. I suppose people have good intentions and want to ease your pain, but does that really make you feel better? Perhaps not. May be because you don’t care if it’s normal or not, but you just want the feeling to go away.

As a woman, when you start getting menstrual cramps and you think you won’t survive the day and people dismiss it as normal, it doesn’t help because the pain ain’t going anywhere. When you get married and you are squabbling every day with your partner about unimportant stuff, and people say it’s normal, it doesn’t make you feel better because you are so unhappy deep-down. When you have a child and suddenly no one, including your own husband and parents care about you anymore, and people come and tell you this is normal, it doesn’t make you feel better. Because being deeply unsettled is an unfamiliar feeling and people assuring you that you are supposed to be feeling this lousy is NEVER a good thing.

While the experiences feel strange, sometimes painful while we are in the midst of it, looking back, it begins to feel a lot more familiar. This probably causes people to dismiss the newness and strangeness that freshers are experiencing. If possible, we all would like to play a part in preventing someone from getting hurt, however, we can play a pretty significant role in how people perceive pain/ gain in the way we respond to them when they share their stories. When I say that I feel like a mother more often than I feel like a wife or a daughter, you could either say “Oh come on, that’s natural after having a child!” or you could say “Oh, why’d you say that? Tell me more about what you’re thinking?”

Now, depending on who you are, you might prefer one or another, but I definitely prefer the latter, because it indulges me and allows me to own my experience as my own rather than let every other mother on earth take credit for it.

Letters to my Berry#18

cooling glassI can’t help but comment on my lateness at the start of every letter to you, giving you the impression that I really need to be more disciplined in my life. May be I do, but if I haven’t already, I want to give you some context. I juggle several different things like a demanding full-time job at Amazon, running Marriage Broker Auntie, my side matrimonial advisory gig, running a household, looking after you (where I am supported equally if not more by appa, and thank god for that!) and trying to keep you connected with the rest of your family across the world. So, I hope you’ll cut me some slack, whenever you are old enough to read this, which might be soon given the pace at which you are going.

This month has been quite an eventful month with us moving house, you being sick and all that, but you have been so cooperative, that I can’t think you enough for your patience. You might think it’s strange that I am thanking you, but sometimes kids can be damn exhausting to deal with and you have been good, and so this deserves some appreciation. You are just about getting used to your new house having been here for almost a week now, but in the beginning you woke up every morning crying, running around the house wondering where you’ve come and all that. there are more changes to come in the next couple of months with you going to India for a month, moving to a new nursery after, etc., and I hope we get through it in one piece.

In the last couple of weeks, as we visited a few nurseries in the area, I feel we are a minority as appa and I don’t seem to have thought much about what schools you should go to – if it should be a Montessori or not. I know that personalities are forged pretty early on and our environments have a huge role to play, but it seems ludicrous that one needs to think about all of this when their child is 18 months old! I suddenly feel very underprepared for all this, but given that I always see how best to wing it, I might just manage this one too.

Apparently most parents nowadays, prefer that their child’s learning foundation be laid right and so, they like kids to start school late. I don’t even know what that means. I think the only choice one has to make in life is whether to be a part of the system or whether to escape it. Once you have decided to go through the regiment, you are better off getting ahead of the game rather than simply playing by the rules. So, if you are two and you can do 2 digit addition, you should find a way to nurture your abilities rather than wait 4 years till everyone else catches up.

I have obviously mentioned that you can say your numbers, but now you can even show off with it. Whenever I mention to anyone that you can say 1-10, you immediately begin reciting, making us very proud. In fact, you can even show the numbers on your fingers now, which is commendable. We were visiting nurseries close to home yesterday and when we were taken to the topmost floor with the pre-school class that is about to join Reception, you found some number blocks. When asked to recognise some of the numbers, you immediately did, like a pro. This is all too exciting to watch you learn everything, but by no means does this mean that we want you to go study Math at Princeton. Hahaha.

You have this really cool ability to suddenly switch from singing ABCD to Twinkle Twinkle. I think you have always had a flair for music, given that you sing sa ri ga ma with taLa and all. You love dancing too, as any peppy music gets you to get grooving. You are always singing something with your own lyrics that no one can really understand. We can only catch a few words here and there, but as far as I have noticed, you can understand and speak in both English and Kannada. We consciously talk to you in Kannada at home, and thankfully. that’s had some influence over you, which is great, especially when we go back home in May as you can communicate well with everyone you meet.

Also, in preparation for going home, we bought you some fancy clothes along with sun glasses for the summer in India, and may I say, you are addicted to your kannadi. You love showing off by wearing it everywhere. You will make thatha proud, which you already do by religiously reciting every number, alphabet and animal sound you know. You also love jumping up and down on the bed now, guess thanks to Peppa pig who has showed you how to jump up and down (in muddy puddles!). Not just that, you have been a major climber this month, not only tires us to no end, but makes our lives more fun. Berry climingIt is also quite evident this month that you are very very attached to appa, probably because you spend thursdays with him now when he takes you to the park and does fun things with you outdoors, which you are a big fan of. You both are very similar in terms of wanting to go out always, picking out kadlekai from your chitranna, etc. He calls you a mini-me. It’s quite cute how you keep screaming “Ka-ha” and trying to find every excuse to hang out with him, which he absolutely loves but also gets bugged by sometimes. He thinks I manipulate you to seek him out and he fights with me about it. You get so upset about us fighting, and try to calm us down by crying yourself or coming to give one of us a hug or a kiss. Despite everything we do to scare you (unintentionally!), you are so forgiving and the very next minute, you come give us a hug or one of your infectious smiles, and it totally melts our hearts.

One day, you gave us a silly smile and we happened to say you look like “Paapalakshmi”, your ajji’s cousin and ever since, whenever we ask you to make “Paapalakshmi face”, you give us that same silly smile. You can also recognise people you speak to regularly on FaceTime, you keep chanting their names – Ajji, thatha, Barbie, Avva, Addu, Avani and you know when the phone is ringing, it’s one of them you are about to speak to and so you run towards the phone. By run, I mean run. You have also picked up new life skills like brushing your teeth well (although you have been brushing for some time now!).

I am always amazed as to how you are learning so many new things at once, and that’s the bit I love about being with you on this journey apart from being showered with kisses/ hugs randomly. You know, I could go on about everything you have learnt over the last one month, but I’ll stop for now and save the rest for next month.

Happy vonendoff Berrima!




Letters to my Berry#17

IMG_9213Warning: This is going to be a very disjoint letter with a random collection of thoughts coming together in a random order as we have all had a very tiring day trekking King Henry’s mound in Richmond Park. So, please bear with the incoeherence.

You’ve turned 17 months and are running 1.5 years now. It’s crazy how quickly time has flown. You are the oldest in your play group at the nursery and you’ll soon move out to the next level in a month or two. You can eat on your own with forks, spoon and chopsticks. You can take off your jacket all by yourself. You are pretty self sufficient in most of your day-to-day things, which is very impressive especially because your appa and I have had such an insignificant part to play in it. All thanks to your nursery and your carers.

This month I realised that you have some strange fascination for veils, blankets, throws and other flows things. Every morning, when I am making the bed, you come running to go under the blanket as I sway it in the air. I realised this comes from the veils used by your music and movements teacher in the nursery, whose class you enjoy so much. So the other day, you found this stole of mine and kept playing with it. I decided to wind it up around you like a sari and you seemed to fascinated to have a tail like pally hanging behind you. This is probably one of those rare moments when you’ve let me put a clip on your hair and take a photo, else you usually pull off hair clips the moment I put them on. Anyway, you got so mad when I took the veil off after this picture.

You are a bit short-tempered, you express displeasure pretty quickly, although it is very rare. Couple of weekends ago, we took you to the park and let you play there for about an hour after we which we tried to put you in your stroller, and you got so angry. You clearly seemed very pissed, and we could tell by your face. Of course you got over it pretty quickly as we wheeled you by the duck pond and you’d forgotten all about the swing and the slide by then. It’s funny how these things come to us so young.

Talking about things that we are pretty good at early on in life, is pattern recognition. We were in the tube one morning on the way to work (and nursery), and you suddenly screamed “Cece” (Cece is a girl in your nursery, who has some Vietnamese heritage). I looked around to see who you saw and it was a woman, who looked East Asian. When I was young, I thought all men with Mongoloid features were called Danny, thanks to Danny Denzongpa.

Although it gets misconstrued as cultural insensitivity as we grow up, I would say it’s some fantastic pattern recognition. Think about google photos, it uses the same concept to classify photos. Just like how with more data, google learns better about differentiating between baby photos of you and your cousin as being different individuals, we learn better with more exposure.

For a brief period this month, we had moved the sofa close to the book shelf, so you learnt to climb up to help yourself to some krishnamurthies (jumping jacks). You pulled apart all of them and even tried to eat some of them. You found a few pens and books, so you happily scribbled away to glory. You also learnt that you can jump from the arm of the sofa onto the sofa and so you kept saying “deddy deddy wow” (ready steady go) and jumping till we decided to save ourselves some anxiety of you rolling over and moved the sofa away from the book shelf.

You are also now beginning to watch our lip movements very closely so you can imitate some of the words and sounds we teach you. The number of animal sounds you can make is growing in scope. You haven’t gone beyond 10 in numbers, you say ABCD until around P, but just start clapping immediately after. I’ve mentioned several times before that you have some strong connection with music, so it’s not surprising that you can sing sa ri ga ma with such great melody. It would be great if you want to learn more and pursue music more professionally at some point (ok, I am acting like a tiger mother now).

Not only sounds, you even imitate actions. When I do yoga sometimes, you come lie next to me and try to imitate my moves, and pretty well that too. You want to do everything we do. If we are on our computers, you want to be on it too. If we are putting stuff into the dishwasher, you want to play a part too. If we are hanging clothes, you are daddy’s little helper and so on. I am so going to miss all this as you grow up because the older we grow the less like our parents we want to act. No?

When you woke up this morning, you were hungry and asked for milk. I passed the bottle that was next to me, but the milk was cold. You wanted it warmed up, so you said “bisi” (which means hot in kannada) and I said “drink it as it is if you want or leave”, because I was still sleepy and was in no mood to get off the bed to warm up your milk. And to that you said “No! No! No! and murmured something babbles that sounded like get your ass of the bed and go heat my milk” and so, I did. You are fairly manipulative you know? I think kids are designed that way, and hence, we return the favour when you grow up. Haha.

Ever since we came back from India, I always worried that you’d be very sad to not have too many people around you, but you make up for it by being quite friendly with random strangers here. You also absolutely love speaking to people back home on FaceTime, and so you keep wanting me to call your ajji thatha Barbie and avva. When I don’t do that often enough, you pick your toy phone and make pretend conversation with them anyway. It makes me wonder if you are too Indian to live here in the UK. It makes me miss home. So, guess what, we’ll be going there soon, so you can meet everyone again. Whee!