Things my mother has done that I’ll never do- rock a miniskirt, get married, have children, make roti, go to Mecca. We are oil and water- mutually incomprehensible to each other. Where you get all that passion from? she asked throughout my childhood, looking at me in bewilderment. Tears are her default; rage mine. I never wanted to be like her; for a long time I patterned myself in deliberate opposition. But there is no escaping or denying your mother. At age forty, I have finally accepted this fact. Now I try to call her before she calls me. Now I try to remember to count from one to ten before deploying the verbal missiles. Now I try for a 50-50 mix of compliments and critique. I don’t always succeed; she will always push my buttons in ways no one else ever could. But the wounds we inflict on each other are fewer and shallower as the years go by and for that I am glad and grateful. We have a long way still to go though and I hope we get the time. Happy 66th Birthday, Bibi!