I have never told you this before but now I must.
I remember that day so well. I was all of 10 years old myself and waking up from a vivid dream, I grandly announced “I’m going to have a daughter. She will be the most beautiful girl in the world and I will name her Kaveri” Your “Thatha” that is grandfather – had laughed out loud, teasing me that I needed to first find myself a husband for that. That was easy. I had seen your daddy on TV a few times and thought, “Oooh, wouldn’t I like my ‘to be born daughter Kaveri’ to have those twinkling eyes”…?
So I set out on the task to find the perfect father for you. The one with the twinkling eyes.
And so your daddy and I, we got married. Always talking about you and the day you would come. But you were naughty and teased us from the skies delaying your arrival.
Was my dream of having the most beautiful daughter in the world and naming her Kaveri going to remain just that- a dream? I was losing hope and embarked on a three-year music scholarship at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
It’s when I discovered that I was pregnant with you. My joy knew no bounds. God had answered my prayers. My dream was coming true. I immediately gave up the idea of moving to Berklee to pursue higher studies in music delighting instead in your gentle kicks in my womb, singing you lullabies and praying for you every single day. “Hichki” we nick-named you. “Hichki” means hiccup in Hindi by the way because of the way you hiccupped non-stop inside me, causing my belly to twitch and quake like a giant whale.
Did you know you were discerning and picky even then? The hiccups were only for the lullabies you didn’t like.
I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday- you were indeed the most beautiful girl in the world. Brown hair. Brown eyes. Skin like butter and the most mellifluous cry. Gentle and soft. A symphony. And then the first time you said “mamma” so tunefully I knew you were a singer. My heart sang with you.
Remember how you would complain about going to your music lessons at 6 and try and find every excuse to bunk them? Remember the time you wanted to be a gemmologist and went around collecting rocks and pebbles from all over the world?
And threw them all over the house? How you hated your name Kaveri and wanted to have it changed to Sitara? Or the time I found those poems you had hidden away in your school books? And how you would softly put the words of your poems to tune but be too shy to sing them loud? It took months of cajoling before you let me listen to your songs.
I knew then that you had a very special talent. The astuteness and empathy in your words astounded me as did the emotional tonality of your singing. You have a wisdom way beyond your young years and a kindness that is the domain of angels Kaveri. Don’t ever let anyone or anything steal that away from you.
When you wrote your first song at 11 and recorded it at 12 we encouraged you as all parents do not knowing where this will go. I was always cautious about not imposing my ambitions on you and not pushing you beyond what you wanted to explore.
You were such a soft and shy child I often wondered how I could toughen you up a bit, make you rebel a bit. But it wasn’t necessary. The dedication and commitment you have shown towards your music. Writing and recording song after song ever since has filled my heart with so much pride and joy it brings tears to my eyes.
I love you so so very much Kaveri. So much that it makes me afraid. I’m afraid of being without you as you make your way into the world. I’m afraid for you.
Afraid of you ever being hurt. Afraid of the disappointments and heartache that may come your way and steal your smile. Afraid that I won’t be able to protect you forever. But more than my fears know my faith. Know that I trust you and always will. Because I believe in you. You are hardworking, grounded honest and sincere. With the purest heart filled with treasures. You’re the sweetest child any mother could have asked for.
Today as you bring your first song “Did you know” and step out into the world I would like to tell you this. All the very best my darling child. Enjoy the journey. Stay focussed on your passion. Follow your heart. Don’t ever let anyone dull your shine. Don’t take anything too seriously or too lightly.
Choose your friends wisely. Always respect your elders and their experience even as you make your own decisions. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Find Grace. Find love. Live free.