My dearest Nayantara,
This is your mother, your Maa. In my head, you always call me Maa. The place where we took this photo has beautiful krishnochura (Delonix regia) trees, lined up and firing up the streets. When you were born, krishnochuras were everywhere, and how I longed for you to be able to see them.
I shouldn't be writing my own personality, I tend to be unusually biased *wink wink* I could tell you a secret about me that no one knows. See, your mother is somewhat of a tomboy and she's always loved football, rainy days, mud and cycling. Deep down inside, however, she's had a very soft corner for flowers. She doesn't like bouquets or dressing up, yet the soft smell, the bright colors, the overarching trees, the little petals all mesmerize her. Flowers aren't too bad, my dear, and I know you would have loved them secretly too.
Oh, and the hair? That's your Baba's doing. He decided he likes the way Chinese girls cut their hair, so when we were roaming around the streets of Shanghai one night in December, your Baba dragged your Maa to a hair salon, showed pictures of Chinese teenagers with baati chaat and there, your Maa was doomed forever. Just explaining to the hairdresser on which hairstyle we wanted and how his assistant had to call up his girlfriend to translate our English to Chinese... ah well, that's a story you'd live to hear. Here's another secret though - your Maa eventually fell in love with the weird hair your Baba designed for her, and in time, right after you were born, your Maa gave your Baba a long due hair cut. Oh, the joy! The pictures would crack you up, I promise.
We can't wait to cut your hair, regardless of how much you dislike us after we're done with our baati chaat. All the more reasons for you to come home, eh?