Happy Birthday, Ammi.
Thank you for Pedro Almodovar.
Thank you for T.S Elliot and Virginia Woolf and Germaine Greer.
Thank you for that time you woke us up at 2 AM in order to watch the sun rise over Konark, in Orissa.
Thank you for always believing that life is worth living, that it is beautiful and fun and interesting and that it should be lived.
Thank you for every full moon you ever noticed – and for every time you switched off every light in the house so we could just look at it.
Thank you for Where the Wild Things Are, Princess Smarty Pants, The Paper Bag Princess, Paddington Bear and your voracious appetite for socially conscious children’s books, which, luckily continues to this day.
Thank you for Akram Khan.
Thank you for Pina Baush and Merce Cunningham.
Thank you for Frida Kahlo.
Thank you for always doing what you want, saying what you believe and for your belief in the pursuit of happiness – in things simple and grand.
Thank you for showing me that having a good life was not about money, houses, jewellery or cars – it was about watching films together, eating good food together, talking with each other, arguing, fighting, making up, paying attention to the world around you.
Thank you for annoyingly micro-managing the day-to-day, but actually very rarely telling me what to do with my life. Sorry I didn’t become a dancer. Who knows, though, right?
I could thank you for Akira Kurosawa – but I think I have my grandfather to thank for that.
Thank you for having responded calmly to everything I’ve ever told you in my life – thank you for being the kind of mother I could say anything to.
Thank you for always respecting my choices.
Thank you for being the kind of person that has made difficult choices for what they believe in, but remains endlessly happy, optimistic and joyful – and for making this all seem so normal.
Thank you for never being jaded, cynical, bitter or resentful about life, people and the world – though you have many reasons to be.
Thank you for wanting to watch fireflies over the paddy-field in the middle of the night.
Thank you for never imposing your views on me.
Thank you for showing me that social change must occur at every level – and that it is meaningful even just to argue with the Supermarket Cashier about the use of plastic bags.
Thank you for being a real feminist – you did the most challenging thing of bringing up a son that not just respects and loves women, but is drawn to strong, powerful ones.
Thank you for always answering my questions truthfully.
Thank you for always knowing when I need you.
Thank you for everything, really.
I sure am glad you were born.