People write letters to one another out of love and in confidence. But what if letters are written out of complaints in the age and rage of growing up? This is the foundation of the ‘Dear Mama’ letters. Based on the timeless format of letter writing, these pieces are a young girl writing letters to her not-so-beloved mother in an effort to make peace with life and herself. These heart-wrenching letters are written out of love, written out of despair, and written in the loneliest of nooks for all that needs repair. By bequeathing these letters to them, I wish my readers an immersive, epistolary journey into girlhood and beyond.

-Heena Khan
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

(Date stamp: Sometime after I was introduced to my grandfather)

Dear Mama,

Dada has bought me a packet of ‘Uncle Chips’ from grocery stores, and we were walking homewards hands-in-hand, with a careless banter, the air fresh and crisp with cow dung and something sweeter. The crimson sky is turning a shade darker, as mustached Dada in his fur side-cap and wisps of salty hair looks into me, “Farooq is not your father. He is your uncle. So, you should always eat Uncle Chips.” There is a mischievous smile playing on his lips, his cane toying with the concrete ground, as I latch on to his left hand, my tiny legs pacing and trotting with his wobbly legs. I feel a ray of something reflect from his frame, wisdom perhaps, or a flurry of angels guarding his visage, as he holds steady to my hands walking under the twilight sky of my childhood. There is a firmness to them, and gentle kindness in decision to share his secret. It seems I am not my Dad’s little girl, but will you ever tell me? To Dada, I blink back innocence and have no questions for him. I am scared as to what might I come to know. 

Yours not-willing-to-face-the-truth, 

Little Girl

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