Happy Birthday Mom!

I know everyone thinks they have the best mom in the world, but dudes.

Mine puts up with me.
And Paps.

Sometimes at the same time.

And in almost thirty years, she’s never sold us to human traffickers.

That’s pretty impressive.

In addition to that, she makes really good Indian food from scratch, yells at the TV while watching football and totally backs you up when you make the assertion that your father looks like a smaller version of Erik Estrada.

So, to Mom on her birthday:

Sorry I curse so much.
And whine like, all the time.
And yell about pretty much everything – good, bad or indifferent.
And don’t drink enough any milk.

Basically, I’m sorry for being your kid.

You deserve so much better…but I can assure you that no-one will love you as much as I do.

And there is absolutely no-one alive who will take as much glee in mocking Paps.

Happy birthday, Mom.

I love you.

Your Jemika xx

Happy Mother’s Day 2012

Twenty bucks says Mom is thinking, “What did my idiot daughter do to her hair?”

Mom is currently teaching me how to cook Indian food.

I’m constantly griping about how the stuff I buy is never as good as the stuff she makesĀ (except for Trader Joe’s Paneer Tikka Masala which is legit the hot boys) so I figured this would probably be the smartest way to get around that issue.

Now, this seems like an idyllic mother-daughter bonding activity. You know, the stuff of Hallmark commercials – a cozy kitchen burnished with golden light, soft piano music, two women who look alike laughing together, their faces dusted with flour.

Yeah…no. It is actually the polar opposite of that.

Mom teaching me how to cook involves:

– A series of increasingly panicked phone calls
– Me wandering around the Indian grocery store looking utterly lost.
– Skype calls where I stalk around my tiny kitchen like some sort of deranged warlord wielding a vegetable peeler instead of a machete and Mom peers at the screen and asks why my hair looks like that.

And the yelling. All the yelling.

Mostly from my end.

Actually, all from my end.

Mom: Is your chili pepper really hot?
Me: I don’t know.
Mom: Well, taste a little before you add it.
(I lick my thumb, jam it into the chili pepper and go to town on it like it was Fun Dip. Why? Because timidity is for jerks)
Mom: Has your day turned*?! I said a little!

Couple this with the constant interjections from Paps and the yelling gets even louder.

Me: How much do I put in?
Mom: A little bit for now and if you think it needs more, add more.
Me: How much is a little bit? I don’t know what that is! I need exact or comparative measurements!
(Paps chimes in with some damn fool suggestion)
Me: That’s a terrible idea! Why is he saying things?! You stop saying things! MOM!

And to her credit, Mom never gets flustered. Never gets annoyed or says things like, “You were adopted!”

She just calmly tells me to add and taste. Mix and chop. And if I don’t have something — no big. Everything will be OK.

And it always turns out well. Not as well as if she would have made it, but a reasonable enough facsimile for when you’re a thousand miles away and jonesing for a taste of home.

So to Mom — Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you for teaching me how to cook. For keeping me sane when I get all worked up (which is like, all the time) and for the continual reassurance that everything will be OK.

I love you.

xx Jemika

P.S. And thanks for never saying I was adopted.

Unlike some people I know.

Like Paps.

I’m not adopted and you know how I know that? Because I become more and more like you every single day. HA!

Oh wait….awwww, crap.

* The direct translation is, “Has your day turned?” but I think it actually means something along the lines of, “Have you lost your damn mind?” I think.

Happy Anniversary Mom + Paps

Mom - who is that dude in the back with the rockin' mustache?

We have four different couches at Mom’s house and yet, she insists – insists – on smooshing next to Paps.

In the middle of summer.
In South Florida.
In a house where they don’t really like to run the air.


They’re kinda sweet.

Happy anniversary, guys! Here’s to 32 more.

Love you both.

Your mouthy older kid who calls with stupid questions and spends a majority of her time arguing with Paps*

* Look, I wouldn’t argue with you if you didn’t say such preposterous things. Also, you make up bald-faced lies about things and then when I repeat your lie – operating under the assumption that it’s the truth – I get yelled at. Hey, you know what’s not amusing? That! How the hell was I supposed to know that there’s some sort of tribal ridiculousness about the definition of the word ‘Marvari’? Also, the caste system makes no sense to me. NO sense. And the fact that it’s been Balkanized even further, segmenting castes into separate groups based on geography and identification with a particular deity? It makes it even more complicated. You would think that a nation with a billion – Carl Sagan with a B Billion – would actively work to make things easier, not more convoluted. I mean, Christ! You need a phD in Indian anthropology just to make sense of the damn thing and yet, it’s common knowledge to everyone who isn’t me. Where was I? Oh yeah — stop saying things that get me in trouble in a roundabout way. You’re making me look bad…and I do an excellent job of that all by myself.


Happy Mother’s Day Or, Whatever Else is Unsure in this Stinking Dunghill of a World, a Mother’s Love is Not.

In honor of Mother’s Day, here is a picture of Mom and I. She is a tiny, adorable pixie of a woman and I am the sulky, hairless ape-like creature clutching onto her for dear life.

Twenty something years later, little else has changed.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy. I love you.


This is what Mom looked like when she was 40. If this DNA hasn’t been handed down to me, I’m going to take that as a definitive sign that there is no God. Seriously — she looks like she’s 25. What the hell kind of black magic is that? (To which I’m sure Mom will respond, “I eat yogurt, Jemmy.”)