In the evening today, I have to go for a little girl’s birthday party. She is my friend Kabir’s daughter. A heart- breakingly pretty girl, with serious eyes that seem to be asking questions about life: both its sadness and beauty. Her name is Ayesha. But I call her ‘Tara’. I have always loved this name. In Hinduism, ‘Tara’ is one of the ‘Dasha -Mahavidyas’ or great wisdoms, representing the Divine Mother or supreme,cosmic ,female energy. The name means “The Goddess as Guide and Protector, or Who Saves.Who offers the ultimate knowledge which gives salvation” . She is the illuminator. ‘Tara’ always reminds me of Scarlett O Hara too, who is a favorite literary heroine of mine. Oh, Tara in a way of mutual admiration calls me ‘Lara Croft’. My Ma is the only one who calls me ‘Lara’. That’s my nickname actually,after Boris Pasternak’s “Dr Zhivago’.
Tara and me have a very special bonding.So much so that she once seriously told her parents that they should allow me to adopt her.We have struck a deal instead, and I am her God mother.If you have seen the movie ‘Stepmom’ ? Well, Tara & I have the same relationship like Julia Roberts & the little girl Jena Malone. Here , watch this :
She is going to be 11 today.
I got up very early in the morning today to bake her, before leaving for work, my famous chocolate cake which she loves.I have stuck a card on it which says ”Be Fabulous, Be Classy”. And I am of ,naturally, going to gift her a book.Yesterday, I was wondering which one.I decided that she needs to be introduced to Pablo Neruda 🙂
So I chose this exceptionally brilliant book :
“Pablo Neruda : Poet of the People”, by Monica Brown;illustrated by Julie Paschkis.Henry Holt & Co.( BYR) http://us.macmillan.com/pabloneruda/juliepaschkis
The book goes :’Once there was a little boy named Neftalí who loved wild things wildly and quiet things quietly. From the moment he could talk, he surrounded himself with words. Neftalí discovered the magic between the pages of books. When he was sixteen, he began publishing his poems as Pablo Neruda.
Pablo wrote poems about the things he loved—things made by his friends in the café, things found at the marketplace, and things he saw in nature. He wrote about the people of Chile and their stories of struggle. Because above all things and above all words, Pablo Neruda loved people.”
As I type this, I am reminded of Tina Fey’s book ‘Bossypants’. She says ” First, Lord :May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty…..Guide her, protect her…..Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels…..May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.”
That is what I wish for Tara as well.And I will tell her his evening,do your own thing and don’t care if they like it 🙂