Letter To Mamma

Artwork by Riya Nagendra

I looked at the envelope for a few more moments and then kept it back into my secret journal. A place where I knew it would be safe and hidden until the moment I gain the strength to deliver it. I took a deep breath and opened the journal again. The envelope was a decorative one, the only one I had received once from a friend on my birthday. Yet I had utilised it in keeping something else. It had the most important letter of my life, a letter which may change my life upside down. It may make everything easy and real for me or, fill my world with chaos for which I would regret for so many nights. Yet reading it made me feel relieved and real, full of some strange love for myself and a pinch of fear from them.

I unfolded the letter and looked at my clean handwriting. It was dated 30 December 2018. I had written it on my 19th birthday and it was addressed to someone very important to me. I read;

Dear Mamma,

You have always been the best parent ever, supportive, understanding and the best buddy I can never find. Hence, I feel that you must be the first person after me to know this. I have kept it as a secret for so long now but it’s choking my throat now. I have wanted to tell you about this but didn’t know what you may think about me then. The truth is I am a lesbian….

I am sure you never expected me to say that but it’s true. I heard Ria’s mother say to her that gays are diseased…. But I promise maa, that it’s not that way. I am as normal as you. I am still as much your daughter, your Bhavu, as I was, it’s just a matter of sexuality. The girls and boys at school tease each other as gay if they do something which isn’t very normal and common to their gender which makes me feel like I am wrong, undesirable maybe. Till now I have shared all my goods and bad with you but this one isn’t bad…. It’s unacceptable… They treat it as if it is something against the laws of nature. I wonder if that makes me less of a human…?

You asked me last night if I have an interest in any guy and warned me about how it’s not the correct age for dating. You said I am not mature enough for that. But I wanted to tell you that I may never be interested in any guy… Never ever… and in the same way, I may never find someone who is interested in my real self. No girl may like me and I will be alone that way.

Mamma, I am afraid. I am sure there is nothing wrong in me or my body, but they are making me believe that something is unnatural in me. I hope you will understand me…Please. They really terrify me!

I have no dreams of shouting out to the world about what I am, the only one who matters and deserves to know is you. Just love me the way you have always done and help me become a better me…. The real me.

I love you mamma.

Your loving daughter


I read the letter and my eyes were filled with tears again. I heard a knock on the door and I knew Mamma was back from market. Before I could keep the letter back something forced me not to. I wished to deliver it today. May be there would be no better moment than this. I opened the door and mamma stood there with her friend. She handed me the grocery and said, “will you please make some tea for aunty?!”

I nodded and stuffed the page in my jacket pocket and headed to the kitchen.

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