Give Your Old-School Desi Ma What she Really Wants for Mother’s Day

Many a curated listicle circulate this time of year as publications impress upon you the perfect gift options for Mother’s Day. That’s all fine and dandy but seldom do these sites take into consideration that cute gifts don’t impress old school desi moms like mine. My Ma and her ilk are not about schmaltzy “World’s Best Mom” coffee mugs, or aromatherapy candles and colorful pashmina.

For many years all I heard is “Why you give me gift basket? Give me good grades, weekly phone calls, grandchildren instead,” etc depending on what life stage I was in. So save your money, save your sanity! Do these things and give Ma what she really wants this Mother’s Day.

6 Best Gifts You Can Give Ma for Mother’s Day

1. The Perfect Cuppa Chai

That’s right, the perfectly steeped and sugared tea is a god sent particularly to old school desi moms. Look at the perfect shade of brown! To really wow, the doodh to tea and masala ratio should be on point and you’ll be on your way to hashtag adulting for Ma. Want extra points? Wash the vessel and cup you made and served the chai in because that’s the least you can do since she gave you birth, a fact she reminds you of every single day.

2. Making Perfectly Round Roti/Chapati

Ladies, this gift idea is more for you since perfectly gol chapati = you being a primed marriage candidate for a brown man. So you’re not really gifting Ma roti. No, what you’re really gifting Ma is an antiquated skill set that will nevertheless send her over the moon with joy because behold! The sexist patriarchy lay a heavy hand on our culture still and Ma buys heavily into that ish. Gentlemen, you, too, should/could stand to learn how to make perfect round roti but honestly, your acquirement of this skill will be lost in the vacuum that is The Patriarchy.

3. A Desi Spouse 

What greater gift could you give Ma than telling her you’re ready to settle down with a desi partner? Already married to a brown person? Give her a grandchild! Extra points for a brown grandson because, see #2, The Patriarchy.

And yes, I am aware that this “gift” is actually more expensive for you in the long run but the act of producing said gift is, how to put this delicately, free.

4. Return Their Plastic Containers/Dabba

Ma loves her dabba. Remember, return old dabba she has already given you subji in. If you try and be cute/thoughtful and gift her new dabba, she will scold you for thinking money grows on trees.

4.5 Or Be More Thoughtful, Give Empty Yogurt Containers

You could even give her your old empty and cleaned yogurt containers so she’ll really know you think of her on other days besides Mother’s Day. Good beta.

5. Ask For Her Advise/Make Her Feel Needed

This may take a great amount of patience on your part but it’ll be worth it. All you have to do is say is something along the lines of Ma, for Mother’s Day, I’d love for YOU to give ME a gift… (Pause for dramatic effect) and that gift is the gift of your wisdom. Please advise me on how I should live my life. Watch how her face lights up. Hell, she may even cry.

6. The Gift of Time

Finally, perhaps the best gift is giving her, rather, giving you both the gift of time because real talk? Ma won’t be around forever.