1.       So finally! You are here, looking at old mommy for some good old advice! About time! And this is the first step towards making it big in life. I promise. 

2.       Learn a few things early. Once inbred, you will never forget it and it will help you figure out which direction your life should take at the right crossroads. Few things include one musical instrument, one form of martial art or self defense, an European language, to make one complete meal, to sing and math. 

3.       Give good directions and take directions. This will help you find all your destinations, in life and on the road, always. 

4.       Take care of your teeth. I know you don't like to brush now but toothache cannot be drowned with a bottle of wine like heartache. 

5.       Enjoy a glass of wino once in a while. Note that I said 'Enjoy' and not 'Drink' a glass of wine. There is a huge difference. 

6.       I know you will try vices and make mistakes. Choose carefully only those that do not scar you for life and or ruin your reputation.

7.       Take enough care of your body not so much that you don't enjoy anything in life and not too little that you can't enjoy anything in life. 

8.       Preferably do not do anything with your hair until you are 21. Prom-night, first dates, bridal showers, wedding, Vegas, junk food and childbirth will take a huge toll and you do not want to already come in with bad hair. 

9.       No matter how queer or weird your relatives act, you need them. They will be the first ones to lend you money, have your back and perhaps leave something to you in their will. 
10.    Your dad and I are never queer or weird and we will not always lend you money or perhaps never include you in our will. 

11.    Be kind to everyone. It does go around and yes, it's true - Karma can be a b!tch. 

12.    Practice a good smile. Let much of the time that you ever spend in front of a mirror include finding your best smile. You will need it for good pictures and someone else will need it, just to get by for another day. 

13.    I am on the fence about make up. A little make up never hurt anyone. It picks up your day, covers bad hair days and gives you some color. But some days just use soap and water. Those days will be fresh and carefree. 

14.    Be ready for an adventure, always. This means that on most days you should be wearing sensible shoes, underwear and should definitely be wearing a deodorant.

15.    A lady never smells. Never. PERIOD. 

16.    Bathe daily. Even if it is cold. Even if it is cold and you never left the house or your bed in two days. Even if you have a fever. Bathe. It washes away more than dirt.
17.    Love your sister. Years from today, I and Dada will be long gone and somewhat forgotten. Only your sister will be ready for that quick call or coffee or ready with a shoulder to cry on. She will scold you, comfort you, watch your kids and feed you. Love her now. 

18.    Save for a rainy day. With global warming and sh!t, rain is more frequent now.

19.    Do not contribute to global warming. The world I am leaving in your hands is already damaged and repleted of its best. Save the world. 

20.    There are good people and there are bad people in this world. And you are not the one to decide this. Do not judge anyone. 

21.    NO. Learn to say it. Like you do today as a child. And when you learn it, learn to mean it as well. 

22.    YES! Learn to say it. Then say it to new experiences, new learning, new clothes, new shoes, new colors, new friends and to those who need it the most. 

23.    You know very well what a good man looks like. You know him. You love him. Your dad. Do not bring home someone that doesn't match up, atleast some parts. You know we already do not believe anyone is good enough for you.

24.    Be a good neighbor. You need them to borrow a cup of sugar or milk or to run to your rescue in the middle of the night and to call 911 for you. 

25.    Curse once in a while. It is liberating. Curse only when it is funny. If you really feel it, then that is the exact moment when you should never curse. 

26.    Read. I cannot tell you how important this is. If for nothing else, you will atleast pick up words unheard of and someday you will feel them too. 

27.    Chipped nail paint is worse than no nail paint. And no nail paint is not all that bad.

28.    Own a great expensive pair of stilettos. Ok, own a few. Know when to wear it and how to wear it. If you find yourself walking like a pigeon in them, toss them. 

29.    Be funny. Develop it or learn some jokes. Just be funny. And Laugh. It helps through so many rough patches. 

30.    Learn to defend yourself. Not just verbally, physically. You can do it, you just need to figure out how.

31.    Dance. When in doubt, always dance it out. 

32.    Enjoy some cheese and chocolate with that wine. Do not let the cheese and chocolate go to your waist and do not let the wine go to your head. Both you will regret.

33.    Say 'Sorry'. Even if you really are not and even if you did not need to be. Sometimes that alone fixes things. 

34.    Be thankful. Kiddo, you have no clue how lucky you are. Seriously. 

35.    Pray. Let not prayer be the last option but the very first and you will see that suddenly your options have indeed multiplied. 

36.    Leave Soap Operas to themselves. Be your own drama. You will have the best laughs, most soulful thoughts, deepest emotions and thrilling adventures in them.

37.    Take care of your grandparents. You bought out the child in each one of them with your smile and giggles. They now hold on to life because of it. 

38.    Clean your own sh!t. You do not need someone to wash your dirty laundry or clean your toilets. Get help with everything else except that. 

39.    Celebrate beauty when you see it. It's worth it. And more because you recognized it. 

40.    Spend the first few paychecks that you get. Just go to town and blow it up. Get it out of your system. Then plan, budget, save, invest and spend. In that order. 

41.    No matter what. No matter where. No matter who. I am your back up. I am your plan B. I am IT. You will call me when in trouble. You will call me for bail. You will call me if gangsters are after you. You will call me when drunk and you need a ride (not your friends - ME!). You will call me when you are sinking. And here's the best part. I will get you out no matter what and I WILL NOT ask you any questions. We will put it all behind us and move on. No obligations either. I just want you safe, alive and happy. I will forgive everything else. 

42.    Forgive people. And definitely go to sleep angry. When angry, shut up, walk away and go to sleep. If you are still angry after a good night's sleep, let's deal with things. 
43.    Celebrate your birthday even if you need a blow drier to blow out all your candles. I did not bear 30 hours of labor and brutal C-Section pain for you to whine about your age or your gifts. It was the greatest day of my life. 

44.    Learn to groom yourself. So when someone invites themselves over, you have 10 minutes to do your over-grown eyebrows, get rid of your mustache, get a quick pedicure, clean off your chipped nail paint and throw on some perfume. That way they will forgive you for the mess your house is in. 

45.    Get your own house at the earliest. The world is getting all bought up and I don't know where they are going to build more homes. 
46.    You must keep a few friends who know you from your baby-hood. And you need to keep them forever. Look how your Aunt Mins has worked out for the both of us!

47.    Please assemble your own furniture, fix the hole in the wall and change the light bulb yourself. It is not rocket science. Unless you are indeed a rocket scientist, in that case, call me I will send Dada to fix everything for you. 

48.    Please remember this: two people made some sacrifices, a lot of tears and sweat and dedicated their whole lives to you. Four elderly people have knelt down in prayer not for their various ailments but for you. You are important. You are not weird. You are loved beyond words. You are precious. You are kind. You are smart. You are beautiful. You are who you are and that is who all these people love. No one can take that away. No one can bully you. NO ONE. 

49.    There is never ever a good reason to photograph yourself naked or in any state of undress. NEVER. Not for yourself. Not for anyone else. And definitely not to put on Facebook, Tweet to anyone or mail out. Again - NEVER. 

50.    Defend those who cannot stand up for themselves. If you see injustice, it is your duty to help. That is how I have negotiated it with God, that in my absence may you have a guardian angel wherever you are and in exchange I offer my children to be someone else's. So you must help. 

51. Lastly, Listen to your mother. She rocks. 
Do share this so that one day it will go around and come back to find these girls! I thank you. 

Update: I did a small post on 41 Little messages for little boys

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02/28/2013 9:50pm

Loved this post Jency! It's funny, thoughtful and touching. My fav was point 48...Keep writing it's something we all look forward to reading each day! :)

02/28/2013 11:23pm

Thank you Sandra!

02/28/2013 10:14pm


02/28/2013 11:24pm

Thank you Saumya!

02/28/2013 11:59pm

This brought tears to my eyes.... it's a beautiful post. Loved the post, loved the pics and loved the tips!!

Your little girls are indeed very lucky. I am sure they will grow up to be responsible, kind and good human beings with amazing sense of humour and appreciation for sarcasm :P (what with a mother like u!).

And if they are in a part of the world where Aunt Jigna is (I hate the aunt part, but what the heck), they have an extra back up!

Love, hugs and kisses :)))

03/01/2013 12:32am

Your note bought tears to mine.

52. For everything else, there's Aunt Jigna. (yeah, if I am mommy, the least you can do is assume the Aunt title)

Love, Love, Love

03/01/2013 12:12am

that was beautiful!! for the most part it is life lessons for boys too.. I love it... I esp loved 50... am important lesson oft neglected coz u want to keep ur children safe... I hope I am this kind of parent...

03/01/2013 12:34am

Some of these I am learning along the way and God knows that I do not do all of this myself.

Yes, these are for little boys too. I am thinking of one specific to the adorable little boys in my life.

Rima Patel
03/01/2013 8:37am

loved it!

03/01/2013 9:23am


Thank you!

03/01/2013 9:15am

This is an amazing post.. You have beautifully captured the 51 learnings!! I find most if them to be applicable for my son one day!!
Love it!! Keep Rolling in

03/01/2013 9:24am

I am glad to have you say that. Thank you!

03/01/2013 9:18am

Gins!!! I absolutely love this post - the thoughts, the pics, the way u have put it....JUST EVERYTHING.... n am crying while writing this.....
I am sooooooooooooooooo flicking this for my children......U seem to have covered everything.........
O n A are super duper lucky kids...to have u as their mom....

03/01/2013 9:28am

I was so lucky myself to have wonderful parents, an entire family and awesome friends to glean these lessons. I may not walk all the 51 ways but I just feel it would have worked.
You are most welcome to anything here... it is for you and ours - My little Mamuni and Mamu! ;)
And no, a mother never feels she covered everything. I am sure I will keep adding to this - I want to protect them in every little thing.

03/01/2013 11:47am

Such a beautiful post. I truly wish soem day when I have a daughter I can share this post with her, maybe just to save me a little time in teaching her life lessons .. hehe ... Thanks fjor sharing your beautiful thoughts.

03/01/2013 4:46pm

Why, thank you very much. I am glad that my little quirky thoughts and tips make sense.

03/01/2013 2:00pm

Very Beautiful! You should write your own blog! :) I am so glad you already do!
I love the fact that in point 48, Smart came before Beautiful! Your daughters will be wonderful people... but they are definitely going to have a tough act to follow!
Lots of love

03/01/2013 4:48pm

Smart is always beautiful - always. Thanks Munz. I am humbled!

03/01/2013 3:16pm

Hi Jency,
I havent gotten a chance to comment on your blog before,but trust me,I've been reading each and every post of yours and truly,its simply beautiful and makes my day feel lighter every time! It's more like a 'strong tea' sort of kick it does on me! Do keep writing,ur truly gifted.Your girls are blessed to have a mom like you and I'm sure their going to be amazing daughters!

Diana(one of ur Kuwait cousins:))

03/01/2013 4:50pm

Strong Tea is the best! I hope my girls turn out to be good human beings above all else.
Thanks cousin!

03/01/2013 6:30pm

WOW Jens....this post is amazing....!! Soo thoughtful and meaningful....am totally giving a copy of this to my lil boy too...!! O and A are truly blessed to have such a wonderful mom and to be surrounded by such an awesome family...!!

03/01/2013 6:55pm

Aww.. I am touched. Thank you.

03/02/2013 11:41am

love it! O and Lana have no choice, we decide their BFF's

03/02/2013 3:58pm

Yeah and next time we see them fighting over some toy, they are on their own.

03/03/2013 1:16am

omg.. u tugged at quite in few strings in there.. gonna steal some of these.. or maybe turn this into a poster (for whenever its time for me).. credits to only you of course!!

03/03/2013 9:59am

Oh Lor, you always say the loveliest things! Thank you... yes, I shall start on that Poster idea and paste it all over lil O and A's posters of Justin Beiber and whoever they are fan-ing over as they grow up.

03/04/2013 2:19am

This is absolutely wonderful Jens! Your post made me smile and shed some tears too! Your little princesses are indeed blessed to have such an amazing mom and I'm sure they're gonna grow up to be beautiful human beings just like their mama and dada! You made it easy for most of us...like the rest, I too will share these awesome tips with Anahi as she grows up! Love all your posts and this one for me tops all of it :) Keep writing :)))))) love and hugs

03/06/2013 3:07pm

Thank you so much Tania! We love Anahi! She is one adorable lil Princess!

03/06/2013 12:51pm

Beautiful read!... with mixed emotions (sigh!)
Hey Jency, gosh! I've been wanting to comment for so long. As far as possible, I try to read all your blogs whenever I'm online… some that make me laugh hysterically (while colleagues think I have gone bonkers!) or others that turn me gloomy (and they still think I have gone bonkers!).
You're among few people, who are so candid in your blogs with absolutely no qualms about describing the imperfections of everyday life. (People I know steal online recipes, 'twist' them and pass it as their own!). At times, you write things, esp. about events like the school killings etc., that are exactly my thoughts (...things I'm personally afraid to express online!).
You made me realize that 'no matter how hard we try, we cannot have 'the perfect life''...(and now I've found myself thinking at times; "Hmm, What would Jency do?".)
Man, you had all the fun didn't you? while few of us (read me) were trying to be 'goody two shoes' through out our lives, missing out on all the fun.
Jency, I want you to know that Your kids have a wonderful mom and pray that your family always remain blessed and continue to inspire the rest of us.
PS: You MUST write a book; and I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be a NYC Bestseller ! :D. ...... GOD BLESS!

03/06/2013 3:09pm

Oh my Goodness! I can't believe the things you are saying here. Such lovely lovely things. You attribute too much to me. I enjoy putting things down in writing and I am so blessed that I have friends to share it with and who appreciate it, that too this much.

Yes, that book. Someday.


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