Monday, November 29, 2021

Happy 40th Anniversary to our parents!

40 years ago on this day, our parents tied the knot. ❤️

It’s a family joke that they have two anniversaries - which isn’t entirely untrue. 

While their civil ceremony was in June, the traditional & religious ceremony took place in November - which I’m sure was so special. πŸ₯°

I just love this photo of my parents, both looking good and healthy. πŸ€— I always told my Mum that if I could be half the wife she was, I’d consider myself pretty awesome. πŸ˜‰

Not a year went by that Dad didn’t gift Mum with flowers. Although it’s not the same, my brother and I - despite our geographical distance - tried to make Mum feel as special as she is. She deserves it! 

Life without our Dad is just different. For me, especially - it still feels unreal. It’s going on two years that I haven’t been with my family. We’ve come to peace with it, but there are moments when all I just need is a tight hug…the kind that can only be received from a mother.

Happy 40th anniversary, Mummy & Daddy…in heaven.  πŸ•‰πŸ™πŸΌπŸͺ”❤️

Monday, November 15, 2021

The Taare Express

Asking me to choose my favourite part is impossible. I loved every moment of The Taare Express! 

The concept, colours, scenery, music, choreography, costumes, performers - it was all just spectacular. ✨

As always, a reminder of the rich culture & heritage we share.

Congrats to you all! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ’–πŸ‘‘

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Diwali 2021

I wasn’t going to post anything today, but I had to share something incredibly special that happened this morning. πŸ˜‡πŸ’•

Our family isn’t observing Diwali this year.

We’re not sad. There’s just an absence of festivity. No dozens of diyas, my mum’s delicious mithai. It’s different.

However, I wanted fresh flowers for this auspicious day. 🌸

Early this morning, walking in the rain to the supermarket, I thought of my Dad. By that time - 08:00 - we would have already called to wish each other Shubh Diwali. 

As I entered the store, my heart literally skipped a beat. 

I don’t usually pay attention to the music playing over the sound system. But today blew my mind! 

Stevie Wonder. 


It was my favourite song as a little girl. My dad had the LP of this and it’s also on the VHS of my second birthday party.

I caught the song at this very point:

“But what it is, is something true

Made up of these three words that I must say to you

I just called to say I love you

I just called to say how much I care

I just called to say I love you

And I mean it from the bottom of my heart”

For a few seconds, I stood in front of the flowers - frozen. And then, with teary eyes, I reached for my phone to capture the moment and share it with my Mum.

To others, I probably seemed lost or confused. But the truth is that I was receiving a very clear message from my Dad. 

Our favourite song from 37 years ago played as I walked in while thinking of our Dad on Diwali morning. You can’t beat that!

Shubh Diwali, love & warm wishes to all who are celebrating today. πŸͺ”πŸ™πŸΌπŸ€—❤️

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Pitru Pooja 2021

This past Sunday for the first time in East London, our mandir (temple) carried out a “pitru pooja” (prayer for ancestors). πŸͺ” 

To me, ancestors were always my great grandparents and grandparents who passed when I was much younger. 

I never thought of my Dad as one of our ancestors - until now.

I followed along virtually with our Guruji (priest) as I made an offering to Vishnu Bhagwan. It took about 1.5 hours and I honoured all our family members who’ve left us, especially those of this year. 

2021 has been brutal. 

Seven months later, the pain of losing a parent is still crippling. That my mum, brother and I haven’t been able to grieve together is harder than I could have imagined. 😒

The last “proper” phone conversation with my Dad was on Diwali morning last year. 

I held back my tears as I noticed his speech had already changed and he was slurring a bit. I never shared this with anyone, because it’s almost like I didn’t want to speak it into existence.

I sent photos to him of my Diwali decor and he told me on the phone: “everything looks so smart”. I always beamed with pride with compliments from him. πŸ₯°

Yes. My Dad is now my guardian angel. I speak to him daily. I still turn to him for guidance, but the truth is that my heart still pains. πŸ’”

It certainly doesn’t get easier - it’s something we just have to learn to live with.

I feel like while we speak about death and grieving, we don’t openly speak about how everything changes after a loved one passes.

How the family who is left behind has to pick up the pieces, create a new sense of normalcy. Shopping, cooking & sleeping habits all change. 

Trying to move on…minus the king of our castle.

In my eulogy, I wrote: “my Dad wasn’t only my hero, he was my superhero”. 

Even as an adult, to me - there was nothing that our Dad couldn’t do. When it came to his family, he made everything possible.

Grateful & honoured to be his daughter. πŸ˜‡


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

My Dad visited me in my dream last night

It was as if he was getting ready to go to his office. He was happy… being his mischievous self and making me laugh. πŸ˜ƒ

But then I was confused.

“How is Daddy here when he’s passed on?” I asked.

So [in my dream] my brother explained to me that Dad’s cancer made it impossible for him to continue life “as normal” but he would still be around with us. Just, not like before…

The message I take from it?

As long as our love for our Dad is strong in our hearts, he will always be with us. 

I’m so grateful to vividly remember a special dream like this! 


Sunday, August 1, 2021

I had a wonderful birthday last week!

I had a wonderful birthday last week! ❤️

Thank you to everyone who took the time to wish me. I received some beautiful messages which I really appreciated. πŸ™πŸΌ

My parents have always made a huge deal when it comes to our birthdays - with countdowns, cakes and all the extras! πŸ₯³πŸŒˆ✨ (They even went out for cake & coffee in my absence!) ☕️🍰

This year I wanted to do something I wouldn’t usually do. Like…walking across a “hanging bridge”! 😬 It was a bit “eeek” but at least I have the pic to say: been there, done that. πŸ˜ƒ

Despite all the heartache this year has brought, my day was a HAPPY one! πŸ₯°

Lots of love to you all. πŸ€—πŸ˜˜

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Five months since Dad's passing

Today marks five months since my Dad’s passing.

Every year on the 1st of July after our “Good morning” message was exchanged, my Dad would say something like “Birthday month!”

This year (as if he knew) my brother sent me a text: 

“Someone’s birthday month πŸ‘€” 


There isn’t a single day or special moment that goes by that I don’t think of my Dad. To share the books that I’m currently reading or what’s the latest on Netflix.

I miss his Dad jokes, selfies with Benjamin or showing me what he’d be eating, made with love by my mum. ❤️

Dear Daddy, 

We feel you with us even though you physically aren’t. I can’t believe that I hadn’t seen you in a year when you passed. And that I haven’t been able to grieve with Mummy & Bhai. 

Have a slice of birthday cake for me up there. We miss you more than words can express. We love you. Forever.


Saturday, July 10, 2021

Farewell Foa

Yesterday, we lost our Foa (uncle) in East London. πŸ’” Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

πŸ™πŸΌ Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti πŸ•‰

Sunday, June 27, 2021

My gran & I were like friends

I don't even know how to articulate how I feel. 

We're told not to hold on to our loved ones who have passed on. While I agree with the reasoning behind it, the past few months have been something else. πŸ₯Ί

My grandmother's funeral was at 07:45 this morning.

I watched the live stream without a single teardrop. It was unreal to think that she's no more. 

Over the past few years, she wasn't like a grandparent to me. Although we didn't see each other often, we talked on the phone like we were friends.

Losing a loved one is already painful. But the shock of losing another within weeks (and days!) of each other feels like a cruel prank. 

My heart goes out to all who have experienced the same pain. I am aware that there are many families with the same kind of loss. 

Today is four months since our Dad passed. Just over a week since my uncle passed. 

It seems like when the heartache is too strong, we become numb. At least that's how I feel today. πŸ’”

Grief comes in waves - it crashes harder on some days than others. What I'm slowly learning is that it's okay to just feel it, experience it. Our smiles and laughter are on the other side of our tears.

This photo was the last time my Ma and I were together in Johannesburg (2019). Ma, my mum and our aunty stayed up chatting until 05:00! The sleep-deprivation is evident in my eyes. πŸ˜„

Anyone who knew my granny will vouch that she was young at heart. I already miss her voice & laughter. But we know that she is now our guardian angel.

Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti. πŸ•‰πŸ™πŸΌ

πŸ’– Friends, I’m thankful for the many messages  I’ve received over the last few weeks. I appreciate your kindness and support so much!

Friday, June 25, 2021

My grandmother left us yesterday

We’ve run out of words and tears. πŸ’”

My grandmother (mum’s mother) left us yesterday. 

Exactly one week after her youngest son.

It just isn’t natural to lose loved ones within the mourning period of another. 😒

I’ll share more tomorrow, but today - we’re just quiet. Reflecting. Praying for her soul’s peaceful journey.

At the same time, we’re grateful to the doctors, nurses and hospital staff who took care of our granny and uncle - who were in the same ICU, and didn’t know it.

Aum Shanti πŸ•‰πŸ™πŸΌ

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Father's Day - our first without our Dad

Thinking back to Father’s Day, 2019.

Back when seeing my parents was merely a short flight away & when our Dad would open up his gifts so dramatically and then pose for photos!

At the time, we obviously didn’t think that it woud be our last Father’s Day together. In fact, the word “cancer” was still unknown to my mum and me.

I was dreading this weekend, the first Father’s Day that I wouldn’t hear my Dad’s voice on the other side. However, I did something small to honour my hero today and it was special!

I hope that all dads out there had a lovely day. πŸ’™

And for our Dads who are in heaven...they’re pouring their love on to us today and everyday!

Love to all! πŸ€—

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Our precious Dinomama

“Everything happens for a reason.”

What is this reason?

Having to say goodbye to a loved one through a live-streamed funeral is something we’re almost getting used to.

I cried bitterly. 😒

This is truly a sad story in our family. Almost four months after my Dad passed, my mum had to say goodbye to her youngest brother this morning. All while her mum is still fighting in ICU. 

Dinomama (Dinesh) was charismatic and ambitious. He walked the talk. His long list of accolades is really something to be admired. 

He had so much to still give the world. My brother and I were looking forward to learning from him - even more after losing our Dad.

I was so happy to have found this photo from 2015. Dinomama was in Cape Town for a work trip and ended up staying at a hotel across the road from my apartment. We met for an early morning breakfast and he encouraged me with his innovative ideas and drive to better himself.

News hits completely different when your loved ones make up the horrific daily statistics. πŸ’”

Aum Shanti πŸ•‰πŸ™πŸΌ

Friday, June 18, 2021

Farwell, Dinomama

How can this be happening? 😒

My mama (mum’s brother) left this physical world yesterday evening.



So many questions.

We continue to pray for our grandmother who is still in ICU - the same one our precious Dinomama was in. πŸ’”

Aum Shanti πŸ•‰πŸ™πŸΌ

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Our parents' anniversary

Today marks the 40th anniversary of my parents. πŸ’• 

Daddy, our guardian angel, is smiling from above.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

For the love of Qawwali

Dear Daddy,

Although my “good morning” messages to you are still sent daily, you can’t imagine how I miss your replies.

Thank you for still visiting me in my dreams. It feels like you’re checking in on me.

Earlier today I longed to hear your voice again. I wish we could have just a quick call.

I miss sharing YouTube links with you of music we both loved, especially Qawwali. 

Look at what just popped up on my screen! We loved this. 

This is for you. 🎢❤️

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Thinking back to the Jazz Festival


Hanging out with my Dad at the Cape Town Jazz Festival is a memory I’ll always treasure. 🎢❤️

Sunday, March 28, 2021

I see you, Daddy!

Dad’s one-month prayer was held today, on his birthday. It was hard observing it virtually but I'm still grateful that I could be part of it.

Battling to sleep.

Went out onto the balcony.

I see you, Daddy! πŸŒ•❤️πŸ™πŸΌπŸŽ‚

Goodnight...I love you 😘

Saturday, March 27, 2021

I still feel numb

This is a difficult weekend for our family. Today marks one month for our Dad. Tomorrow is his birthday. To be honest, I still feel numb. Grief was something I'd heard others talk about, but never thought I'd experience it myself so soon. I've learned that grief can be calm...and without warning, it feels like a knife piercing your heart. Going through this without physically being with my mum and brother is probably the hardest. Never before have I had consistent dreams as I have these past few weeks. I wake up remembering them vividly - with our Dad - always smiling. Love forever.❤️

Friday, March 19, 2021

Daddy's Girl

I still find it hard to use the words “passed away” when speaking about my dad. Instead, I refer to it by the date it happened or say “when my dad left”.

The most challenging question to answer these days is, “How are you doing/feeling?”

I wondered - in our culture, especially - when faced with death, after the funeral and 12-day prayer...does one start to find acceptance and peace?

The answer: There is no deadline when one will start to feel “normal”.

Tomorrow marks 3 weeks. My heart feels heavy and empty at the same. It’s confusing & painful. While death itself is difficult, I have learned that losing a parent is like losing a part of you. 

Those who were close to my dad have reached out to me and shared how he openly expressed how proud he was of me. Regardless of my age, that will always be music to my ears. πŸ₯°

This photo was taken about 13 years ago just before returning to my crazy adventure in South Korea. I’ve been told that my dad was especially proud of how independent I was. 

Despite that, I know that deep down I was always “Daddy’s Girl” and this photo reminds me of that. πŸ’•

Thursday, March 11, 2021

uBarry made a choice and he lived to leave a mark


Dear Daddy,

“You either leave a mark on the world or the world leaves a mark on you. uBarry made a choice and he lived to leave a mark”

This is just one of the many incredible tributes that I heard at your memorial today. 

Your comrades spoke of you as someone with strong ethics. You were known throughout the city and beyond as a man of integrity, who never thought twice when it came to helping people.

There are moments when I feel like my heart ‘should’ be healing, yet it feels like it’s breaking into smaller pieces. Time heals, I know. But as I heard, “what you call as a parent is the basis of this body, there is a very deep memory connection between the two.”

Mummy wishes that you were just on a business trip and that you’d be back soon. Don’t worry - we’re taking care of her (me too, from a distance!)

Darmesh performed every step of your baarmu yesterday with the utmost grace. We see you in him more than EVER in the past few days. He is being told that he has big shoes to fill, but he’s already keeping the Makhan flag flying! Keep guiding him, please.

I love you.

Your baby,

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

There is a greater plan for all of us

Dear Daddy,

I opened my laptop now to write to you. It's helping me work through my emotions, and it feels like you're listening.

As I started typing, I heard music playing from one of the tabs on my browser - only to realize that it was the streaming playback of your funeral. (I couldn't get myself to close that tab last week) 

Our Wi-Fi cut in the first ten minutes of the broadcast, so I missed when you'd just arrived at the crematorium, until right now. πŸ˜”

It was/is heartbreaking seeing Mummy & Darmesh on the screen. Watching your family, friends & comrades put roses (your favourite) in your coffin, I can't imagine that you were in there because I couldn't see your face.  

Not once did we give up hope on you, but there is a greater plan for all of us.

It's your baarmu tomorrow - I'll be there virtually and spiritually. My tears are flowing now, but what gives me peace is having faith that your beautiful and selfless soul is going to be free and at peace. 

I love you. Forever!

Your baby,


Sunday, March 7, 2021

Darmesh and I seem to have the same feeling today

Dear Daddy,

We may be oceans apart, but Darmesh and I seem to have the same feeling today. We're both quiet. A little numb. Emotional. 

Last night when chatting with Mummy, we talked about a time I was visiting East London - during winter. You didn't have an electric blanket back then, but after I heard you say how cold the bedsheets were when you got into bed, I made a plan for you!

I knew your bedtime routine, so I sneakily watched you in the lounge from the kitchen - trying to time when you'd make your way down the passage to your room.

I heated three hot water bottles for you and put them on your side of the bed - one at your feet, one in the middle, and one on your continental pillow so that your back would be warm when you'd be sitting in bed with your iPad. 

I remember how happy you were when I did that for you. And you made sure I’d briefed mummy on “the process” before I left back to Cape Town!

Daddy, it's minute for all the sacrifices you’ve made for us. I know I speak for Darmesh too - we're grateful for any little acts of service we could have done for you.

Thinking of you and feeling you in our hearts.

I love you. 

Your baby,

Friday, March 5, 2021

...because I’m Barry Makhan’s daughter

Dear Daddy,

I was supposed to write an exam on Monday, but it was moved to yesterday for me. I kept a photo of you in my bag and while it took a few minutes for me to focus before I started writing, I imagined you saying “Nah man, don’t worry - you’ll be fine.”

Daddy, my teacher just let me know that I PASSED!
I know that you were giving me all the inspiration for my essay because I scored full marks for my ideas & arguments. 

There were many instances in the past few weeks that I wanted to quit. But I pushed through - because I’m Barry Makhan’s daughter. πŸ₯°

I missed your text “Jumah Mubarak” this morning. Few know that for the past ten years (after learning it from my students) you’ve said this to me every Friday during our morning texts.

I turned to you for so much - from career to financial advice. If I was unsure of anything, you’d respond: “Don’t worry. I’ll sort it out.”

Mummy & Darmesh are doing as well as can be - we all have little triggers throughout the day. We try to stay connected, though. We’re preparing for your baarmu on Wednesday and Mummy is ensuring that she gives you nothing but the best.

I love you.

Your baby,


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

You finally get to travel the world!


Dear Daddy,

I watched Darmesh gracefully place your ashes into the water this morning. You finally get to travel the world!

I told Mummy that you’re on your way to me. ❤️

Scrolling through my gallery last night, I found a treasure of photos & videos from my trips to East London. They were mostly of you and Benjamin! He misses you and apparently went to all the rooms looking for you.

Daddy, we’re making a memory book so that we can look back on all your stories for years to come. Your friends and work associates are sharing their special moments with you.

My days are filled with waves of emotions. I know it will get better, but I’m also not going to rush this process. I have peace in my heart because I have zero regrets. I never held back in expressing my love and gratitude for you.

I love you. 

Your baby,


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

I woke up crying again this morning


Dear Daddy,

I woke up crying again this morning.

After a year of not seeing you, I can’t fathom that you won’t be there the next time I come home. Sitting in your lazy boy - asking me to bring you snacks or telling me about a documentary that you’ve watched.

I spoke to Darmesh this morning. He stepped into your shoes a while back, but I have to say: he is remarkable. He’s sharp and compassionate - like you!

I was so honoured that you left this physical world yesterday wearing the suit that you had on for our wedding.

πŸ’•  I’ve been inspired to do something to commemorate your life and I will soon share it with ALL who knew you.

Daddy, look - I made sojji for you today!

I love you. Forever.

Your baby,

Eulogy for my Dad

My Dad wasn't only my hero. He was my SUPERhero.

In my mind, he was immortal.
He could fight anything - even cancer, round 1. 

Daddy, it would take a long time to list all the lessons I’ve learned from you. But here are a few...

Lesson 1
Treat everyone with respect - whether they’re a CEO or a street sweeper.

Lesson 2
Give openly without expecting anything in return.

Lesson 3
Life will throw you curveballs. Learn from them and try to do better next time.

Lesson 4
Be independent. Figure it out on your own.

Lesson 5
Rising with the sun is a sacred time.

Daddy, for the past 72 hours I’ve been talking about you in the past tense.

My Dad loved music.
My Dad used to watch that show.
My Dad was so generous.

It feels unnatural to speak about you in the past tense. 

What cannot be past tense is my LOVE for you. I will always love you, Daddy. You have my respect and admiration and I promise I will keep saying it with pride: ”I’m Barry Makhan’s daughter.”

They say that daughters often choose husbands with the same qualities as their father. I just wish you could have spent more time with Tom. He is kind and gives unconditionally - just like you. 

And do you remember at our wedding you said, ”Tom, look after my child.”
He is, Daddy! You’d be proud of what a humble person I chose as my partner.

You lived humbly and quietly - the same manner in which you left. No drama or fuss.


Mummy, I’ve told you before. If I could be half the wife you are, I’d consider myself pretty awesome. You will always be Daddy’s angel.

Bhai (Darmesh) also known as my Dad no2. We see Daddy in you. Your walk, your talk, your expressions. Your kindness, your love for people.

Daddy, Mummy, Bhai - I once captioned our family photo: “The Awesome Foursome.”  That is us!

I love you with all my heart.
Always and forever.

From across the ocean,

Monday, March 1, 2021

“Are we ready to rock & roll?”


Dear Daddy,

As we wait for the procession to start, I can almost hear your voice: “Are we ready to rock & roll?”

My stomach is in a knot right now. 

I wish I could be there holding Mummy & Darmesh as we say “till we meet again” to you.
Daddy, it brought me such joy when I was home and you’d ask me to make coffee for you, which you enjoyed with a few biscuits.

Look at what we’ve set out for you today...Some of your favorites: Marie biscuits (European version) and Bounty chocolate.

We chose yellow tulips because this colour represents enlightenment, remembrance, honour, loyalty and happiness.

Daddy, SO many people are celebrating you today! 

I love you. ❤️ 

Your baby,

We can’t help but feel sadness today

Dear Daddy,

It’s Mummy’s birthday today. 

It’s going to be a tough day for her...for us all, as we pay tribute to your extraordinary life.

Today I’m going to live through one of my biggest fears. Attending your funeral. And virtually, too. 

You never wanted tears shed over you, but do you realize how gigantic your presence was? I’m overwhelmed by the number of stories shared about you. 

We can’t help but feel sadness today. My heart has never felt this heavy. πŸ’”

Daddy, I love you.  Fiercely!

Your baby,


Sunday, February 28, 2021

I never knew pain like this


Dear Daddy,

I never knew pain like this. πŸ’”

I can’t believe that you’re not going to be there the next time I come home.

Mummy says that you went quietly and peacefully. Pain-free. 

I know that you fought hard, Daddy. Your courage gave me strength in my own challenges. 

There is so much I want to say to you and about you. But I told you daily that I love you and that’s the most important thing. 

Promise me that you’ll still guide me through difficult decisions and push me when I forget to believe in myself. 

I am so proud to be the daughter of Barry Makhan.
I love you forever, Daddy!

Your baby,