on your 11th birthday, I dream
of you befriending Kelly, Darbie and Hannah,
to create a magical potion like in your favorite TV show – ‘just add magic‘.
So steal the magic cookbook from the mysterious and amusingly named character – ‘Mama P‘,
to cook your secret soup,
and use it to cast a spell on the bullies that taunt, daunt and haunt you !

on your 11th birthday, I hope
you find friends like the characters in Peanuts
so you learn to wriggle your way with a friend as bossy as Lucy,
be a pillar of support for a chum like Charlie Brown
who is always low on confidence and luck.
And a Schroeder like pal with whom you can play your Violin alongside his Piano
but be sure not to disturb him or push him to buy you a gift.
Amidst your group of friends, if someone calls you their sweet baboo,
just do not scare them by screaming out loud, “I am not your Sweet Baboo !!

on your 11th birthday, I imagine
you singing the Tamil songs that you discovered recently,
roaring the zingy, funny lines –
nama nama nama ney, na na ney, na na hoi hoi (no translation, just blabber)”
And I will be your male singer to accompany you
in this zesty adventure, blast away full throttle, to be your counter point.
Together, let us run after this white rabbit with no hint of meaning or context
and jump into the wonderland of Tamil sounds and rhythms – “Just like that”
Did you just croon – “Paranthu Sella Vaa (translation – ‘come lets fly‘)”

on your 11th birthday, I guess
in your quest for the smallest building block
that is underneath every living and non-living unit,
you will come across atoms, molecules, compounds and cells.
In your eagerness to unravel which binds which,
do not forget that below and beneath all these particles there is
another intangible, life-altering force that drives us all, and
learn to keep that closest to your heart, and guess what that is – curiosity !
They say, curiosity killed the cat…but you are not a cat, are you ?

on your 11th birthday, I wish
that you stir aimlessly, robustly and endlessly in Barcelona and elsewhere.

Love you to Paris and back.

— from ‘Papa P’ 🙂