Momma, What is your Superpower? A Mother’s Day Special in Partnership with ‘Ladki Power’

The following photoshoot is done in partnership with Brown Girl’s apparel line — Ladki Power — produced by Rootsgear Clothing and designed by Badal Patel. Make a purchase here using MD15 for 15 percent off. Photos are courtesy of Kamini Ramdeen, creative direction by Rahil Chunawala, and makeup by Nehal Mehra.

Mothers have undeniable superpowers. They birthed us with more resilience than we can imagine, paved the path for us so we can break glass ceilings, cooked and cleaned with no thank yous in return, and loved us unconditionally with no expectations. So, to celebrate this year’s Mother’s Day, we asked some of our favorite moms what their superpower is, and as you can imagine, their answers spoke volume. Because grandmas are wise and deserve more recognition IRL, we then asked them what is one life lesson they took from their mom’s that they’d like to pass down to the next generation. If you feel inspired, share this with a momma who could use the loving on Mother’s Day.

Diana Thomson Alexander (@dee_t_alexa) & daughter Ariah Grace Alexander

Former teacher, stay-at-home mom, and interior designer in-the-making.

My superpower is my faith in God and relying on His help in every season of life, especially motherhood. From my pregnancy to Ariah’s birth, there were a lot of joyful moments but also fears of the unknown. My pregnancy wasn’t easy, I never thought I’d quit my job or be a stay at home mom but the only thing that kept me going was relying on God for strength, direction and purpose as I’ve discovered what it means to be a mom (all the glorious moments and the challenging ones too). I am beyond blessed to have this time with Ariah, to create memories with her, teach her all the big and little things, watch her change and grow in each stage and simply be present in the moment. Motherhood is a gift and it has taught me to be sacrificial, selfless and strong — more than I ever thought was possible.

My mom has taught me to be strong in my faith and to be confident in who I am. She has taught me to stand apart, never give up, and pursue my passions. I can already see Ariah’s little spirit that perseveres and doesn’t give up. She loves to be independent, is strong-willed and very determined, which are all strengths that I hope to steer her in the right direction so that she can be confident in who she is.

Saritha Venkatesh Muddu and son Karthik Karl Muddu(@karthikkarlmuddu)

MRI technologist, entrepreneur’s (aka my husband) motivational speaker

To make six-plus-foot men in my life bend their knee because I am their 5’1 foot mama Queen. Seriously though, my superpower is being able to predict when the kids are about to get sick and take precautionary measures, quarantine them or evasive action and stay away from them.

The biggest life lesson I learned from my mom is to take people with a grain of salt, depend on yourself and no one else. Taste all the sweets served, and help others unconditionally.

Kanchan (Kan-Chan-The-Man) Patel & daughter Avisha Patel (@notyouraverageladki)

Registered Nurse

My superpower is my daughter. She stood by me during the toughest times but never failed to make me smile or laugh. I passed my RN boards at the age of 60 after years of failing. She would study with me and encourage me to keep working hard. I am a single mom, but my soul is never single when my kids are with me. They are my most ultimate superpower.

A life lesson I want to pass on to my children from my own mother is to always handle any situation whether good or bad with a level mind and strength. Always be strong with whatever is going on and never give up because fear and anxiety does not always last forever.

Nisha Pawar (@lovelaughmirch) & daughter Arya Pawar (aka Mama Mirchi & Little Mirchi)

Self Employed, Creator/Writer

A superpower that I think most women gain post-motherhood is the ability to multitask. I never knew how much I could get done within a day, a few hours or even a few minutes until I became a mom. I used to wonder how my mom would fit so much in within a day and after having my daughter, I understood that it comes with the territory.

My mom has always taught us to stay true to who we are and be proud of our roots. She continuously encourages us to be proud of the person we are and give everyone that same love and respect. I want to pass that on to my daughter so she is confident in herself and respectful of others.

Deepti Sharma (@deeptinyc) sons Zubin and Chetan Sharma

Founder of @FoodtoEat and @BikkyHQ

Bravery. There are so many things I don’t know, and each day is laced with uncertainty — in my business, in my ability to make an impact on the world, and in my capability to raise my children. Well, there is a saying that having a child is our way of acknowledging that there is so much in this world out of our control, but we’re ready to be brave and meet that uncertainty. I just want to be the best version of myself as a mother, wife, and entrepreneur. All that comes down to being brave in the face of life’s challenges.

To embrace your f*** ups and failures and to not always stick to the plan. Things in life change when you least expect them to, especially as a female entrepreneur with two young children. You have to roll with it because you can either be hard on yourself or your can learn from it. That resiliency is a core part of my mom’s character, as an immigrant who came to this country just after getting married at the age of 18. She didn’t have it easy, and still built an amazing life, a few successful businesses, all while raising two children. My bravery superpower is all down to her strength in navigating her own challenges in life.

Avani Sarkar (@avanimsarkar) & daughter Naavya Sarkar

Co-founder of @ModiToys

Being a mom is a superpower in itself. From growing, delivering to nourishing a child is no easy task — with a million opportunities everyday for something, somewhere along the way, to go astray. But we, moms, have this intuitive ability to just ‘figure things out’ as we go along. It’s that gut feeling we all have. My superpower is that I trust my intuition, in a world where it’s easy to second guess yourself.


A life lesson I learned from my mom that I want to pass on to my daughter is that nothing in life is permanent. Your money, your home, your loved ones. Nothing. The only thing you can truly hold onto in life are your values. It’s the only thing that withstands time and can be passed on to your children. I hope Naavya always remembers to be kind, confident and grateful above all.

Chhaya Barot & daughter Hima Barot (@himabarot)

Former accountant and currently a stay-at-home mom

My superpower is definitely always knowing the right thing to do and having the best instincts. I will pick on the smallest things, from which I make the best and fairest decision. No matter what, my children can rely on me to give them the best advice for every situation.

Heena Mehta & daughter Ashni Mehta (@ashnii

Manager of SAP CoE (Information Technology)

Wearing many hats while valuing and respecting others.

I learned skills to find positivity in people and situations. Leading and collaborating to achieve meaning, lasting results. This is true in my leadership role in corporate America, with my family as well as in promoting culture while supporting community.

By Brown Girl Magazine

Brown Girl Magazine was created by and for South Asian womxn who believe in the power of storytelling as a … Read more ›

Celebrating the Spirit of Eid-ul-Fitr With Meaning and Fervor


Eid-ul-Fitr is a special holiday that marks the end of Ramadan — the month of fasting — for Muslims worldwide. Ramadan is a time of gratitude, spiritual focus, forgiveness, celebrating community and helping the needy. Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations mark the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan.

[Read Related: Tips and Resources to Teach Your Children About Ramadan]

This Ramadan, Brown Girl Magazine had the opportunity to connect with five popular immigrant moms and discuss how they make Eid celebrations meaningful and memorable for their children.

Rubab Bukhari 

Rubab Bukhari is a busy mom of five based in Calgary, Canada. She shared that Eid, for her family, is a day of gathering with loved ones and sharing a delicious meal together as a symbol for breaking fast. “Eid is celebrated as the most joyous occasion where we put up Eid decorations and exchange gifts with everyone in the house. New clothes are made for everyone; the girls get excited about getting henna on their hands and the boys get more excited about receiving their Eidi (gifts/money).” 


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A post shared by Rubab (@lifeofmamabee)

While many family traditions are often passed down from generation to generation, these moms have added some newer customs to the Eid celebrations, giving the festival a personal touch.

Nazhah Khawaja

A published author, spoken word artist and dance fitness instructor, Nazhah Khawaja shares how she’s built new traditions with her two children and husband in Illinois, Chicago despite not being exposed to the “Eid flavor” herself while growing up. 

“My sister suggested decorating the house for Eid with the goal of getting the kids in the holiday mood,” she said. Regardless of the exhaustion that followed due to decorating while fasting, Khawaja realized that her sister “was onto something.” She added that “kids are very visual learners and interpreters — the visual display of decorations helps them to feel the festivity more. Forever grateful to my sister for encouraging this tradition that our family has embraced.”


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A post shared by Nazhah Khawaja (@nazhah_k)

Another new tradition that she has embraced is celebrating Eid festivities with her husband’s family who are non-Muslim. Furthermore, she insists on taking photographs during Eid-ul-Fitr to keep memories alive because one never really knows if the people in the photos will be there next time around. She also includes that the “Eid nap is a must — which means adults are dozing off while the kids are running wild; ample heavenly chaos and beautiful noise.”

Passing down familial customs from her mother, Khawaja remembers a story she had told her of how as soon as the dawn of Eid arrived, the villagers in Pakistan walked down unpaved streets welcoming Eid with a tune: “Mubarak Eid Mubarak/ Mubarak Khair Mubarak/ Saheliyon Eid Mubarak!” Khawaja’s mother used to sing it every time. “Growing up, my siblings and I would sing this tune in our not-so-refined Urdu, giggle at one another, create our own, often goofy lyrics, and even dance silly moves,” she shared.

Janan Sarwar

Meanwhile, Bengali shemai, Kashmiri kheer and ma’amoul are the favorite Eid desserts in Janan’s household! She is the founder and CEO of the publishing company, Global Bookshelves Intl., a pharmacist by profession and a mother of three young girls, based in Louisville, Kentucky. They look forward to dressing up their best for Eid prayers the most.


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A post shared by Janan (@rxjanan)

“We love to create small gift bags for friends and to hand out to small children on Eid day,” Janan shared. 

Ursula Sarah Khan

Likewise, Ursula Sarah Khan who is a mom influencer and an accountant by trade, said that they fill their Eid-themed gift bags with all sorts of goodies like candy, bubbles and pencils. On Eid-ul-Fitr, her eight-year-old son, Ibrahim, distributes these bags amongst the boys after Eid prayers, while her five-year-old daughter, Eliyah, hands them to the girls. 

They also bake Eid cookies together in addition to swapping their Ramadan decor with Eid decor, while still in their Eid pajamas in their Northern Virginia home! 

Blending older traditions with some newer ones, Sarah carries on her mother’s age-old tradition of making sheer khorma — a Pakistani dessert made with vermicelli, milk, dates and nuts — in the morning. 

[Read Related:6 Muslim Content Creators Share Their Favorite Eid Recipes ]

She also explains to her children the importance of Zakat or charity, which is what her mother taught her: “I now take this same approach with my children to ensure they have a deep understanding of the generosity Islam teaches.”

Haffsa Rizwani

Speaking of home and family, Haffsa Rizwani — a Canadian, currently residing in Stockholm, Sweden, as a PhD candidate — said: “Living away from home, Canada, where my immediate family resides, we have a tradition of traveling from Stockholm to my aunt’s house in Oslo, Norway, every Eid. Especially to mark the celebration as a family event for my children.” Together with her aunt, Haffsa’s daughter gets her henna done and goes shopping for bangles! She goes on to explain how Eid-ul-Fitr is an opportunity to not only dress up, but also regain that morning ritual of chai and evenings with games like carrom board; “a game played till my uncle wins.”

As Rizwani so eloquently puts it, “While my children are still quite small, my daughter is now of age to appreciate and understand the meaning of gratitude, blessings, and giving back. She now has the empathy to comprehend the inequalities and injustices in the world. Ramadan is therefore a month of being thankful and making extra duas. Eid is a day of celebration with gratitude and blessings.”

What these moms wish for their children to learn from the spirit of Eid are the values of gratitude, generosity, compassion, togetherness and knowledge. 

By Rumki Chowdhury

Rumki Chowdhury was born in Bangladesh, but grew up in the USA. She has also lived in the UK and … Read more ›

Holi Celebrations: A Time to Reflect on Diversity and Inclusion

Holi Celebrations

Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates the coming of spring and is observed near the end of winter. It’s also referred to as the festival of colors or the festival of love. Although my daughters and I are not Hindus, (we are Sikhs) we still celebrate Holi. Our Holi celebrations always include reading about this festival, making colorful art, playing with the colorful powders, and making some delicious, traditional sweets. This is always such a great occasion to discuss the diversity of Indian culture with my daughters. I use this opportunity to teach them about inclusivity and respect for different cultures around the world. All across India, different states celebrate this festival in their own meaningful ways.

[Read Related: Holi With Kids: Celebrating the Festival With Your Family ]

My first experience celebrating this beautiful festival was in university. My roommates, friends and international students put together a lovely day of Holi celebrations outside. We were completely covered in variety of colors — pinks, purples, and blues. There was music, laughter, dancing, and an overall joyous atmosphere (including bhang, which is essentially a cannabis milkshake). It was particularly heartwarming to see so many Indian students coming together as a community, so far from home, to connect with such a beloved tradition.

For those of us, brought up in Canada, such celebrations were amazing opportunities to genuinely experience the true spirit of Holi. Similar to how it is done in India, everyone became one – there were no small groups or cliques doing their own thing; class lines and caste systems, predominant across India, disappeared. Everyone joined together; our skin tones hidden under the bright colours of the Holi powders. It surely was an unforgettable time.

As a child, I got to experience Holi only through Indian Cinema. Bollywood films like “Silsila,” “Darr,” and “Mohabbatein” stand out in my memory. The actors are dressed completely in white at the beginning of the song, enjoying Holi celebrations, and are then painted from head to toe, in various bright colours, by the end of the song. Since then, I’ve learned that certain colours hold meaning and significance. Red symbolizes love, fertility, and matrimony; blue represents the Lord Krishna; and green stands for new beginnings.

Now, as a mother, I don’t want my children to experience our culture through a screen. So we bring these Holi traditions into our home in our own creative ways. We certainly tend to get creative since around March there is still ample snow on the ground outside and a chill in the air!

The activities we have fun doing are:

  • Making rangoli designs using coloured powders (this is a helpful site we’ve used)
  • Making paper flowers to decorate the house with (like the ones here)
  • Making tie-dye shirts (we’ve got a kit for this because the girls love it)
  • Baking a traditional Indian snack, like gujiya (we bake them because I get paranoid about the girls being around hot oil).

[Read Related: Mithai Memories from Holi to Eid and Diwali]

Some of the books we enjoy reading are:

  • “Let’s Celebrate Holi!” by Ajanta Chakraborty and Vivek Kumar (for three to seven-year-olds)
  • “Festival of Colors” by Surishtha Seghal and Kabir Seghal (for two to eight-year-olds)
  • “Why Do We Celebrate Holi” by Anitha Rathod (for eight years old and above)

This year, Holi falls on the same date as International Women’s Day! To combine the two celebrations, my daughters and I plan on sketching South Asian females we look up to the most, and then adding bright colours using different types of paint. For another element of texture, we might add the paper flowers to these as well. I’m thinking these are going to be frame-worthy pieces of art!

By Taneet Grewal

Taneet Grewal's passion for storytelling began at the age of six with many fictional/magical characters. This grew into a love … Read more ›

Raising an Atypical Child in a Typical World

Raising an atypical child in a typical world

Hi! I am Sara and I am a mom to a beautiful, neurodivergent child. This piece explores some challenges of parenting an atypical child in a typical world.

It is a sunny day in the summer of 2020 and I am trying to enjoy the only entertainment that has finally been “allowed” by our province. Parks. Sunshine was always free; scarce but free. I have eyes on my daughter, running and somersaulting, with that untethered quality they say she gets from me, while socializing with two girls her age from a distance.

All of a sudden, the distance called ‘social’ gets smaller and as I run and call out in vain my child has the kid in a tight and loving but forbidden hug. I understand that pandemic or no pandemic, physical space is a basic right but for my daughter, it falls under the ‘but why?’ category.

The next 15 minutes are spent apologizing to an exasperated mother asking me why my kid was not taught the dangers of COVID-19 and personal space. She is four, I tell her, she just got excited. At some point, I zone out and just let her say her piece. Some of it is in a language I have never heard before, complete with hand gestures and melodrama as if it was not a preschooler but Bigfoot.

Maybe later I will do the thing we all do; oh, I should have said that. Maybe I won’t. This is not the first time my kid has drawn public attention and it is not the last.

Six months later, we received a diagnosis for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). After the reaction time (read stress eating and ugly crying) ended, we began our journey of raising an atypical child in a world that insists on the typical.


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A post shared by Sara Q | Storyteller (@saraqadeer)

Textbook wise, neurodivergence includes Autism, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, OCD, hyperlexia and Tourette Syndrome.

I could write a book on my journey as a mom raising a child who is neurodivergent (ND). I will in due time and the first chapter would be, “Fighting for inclusion in a world insisting on exclusion.” If you ask any parent with a neurodivergent kid, they will tell you that it is not finances or the fear of the future bringing them down, it is just people. But that’s been the case since the dawn of time anyway.

[Read Related: How Model Minority Myths Fails Neurodivergent South Asians]

If you are someone who is kind and inclusive but are confused by the jargon, read on for some guidance that will make you an ever-favorite ally and, well basically, just decent. It is just basic decency after all to be inclusive and kind.

  1. If you have a kid on the spectrum for ASD or ADHD or any other neurodivergence in your social circle, the first step is to not stop being friends with their parents. Yes, that happens. Parents can get super isolated and alienated because their kid is a certain way. Give ND families a chance to breathe. Invite them to BBQs, ask them what their kid will eat, encourage your kids to include them — the whole nine yards.
  2. There will be meltdowns, at birthday parties, at the mall, in restaurants. Sometimes the best thing to do is to look the other way. Ask the right questions. Rather than asking “what happened?” or “why are they doing this?”simply say “how can I help?” Maybe you can help with another sibling or give the child some space.
  3. Do not equate a sensory meltdown or otherwise to a parenting failure or a lack of discipline. ND parents face a lot of judgment on those grounds. That is one of the top reasons they scoop up their kids and leave before dinner is even served.


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A post shared by Sara Q | Storyteller (@saraqadeer)

The biggest challenge in our community is acceptance. There is a dire need to accept that around 30 percent of our population is neurodivergent. This includes adults and undiagnosed individuals. You and I might not even know if we are atypical, the world is just getting to know this word and what it entails. As for the South Asian community, neurodivergence is practically stigmatized and seen as ‘spoilt’ child behavior or ‘mom spending too much time at work, on social media, Netflix, sewing, knitting, kayaking…’ The list goes on.

[Read Related:Let’s Talk About the Desi Hypocrisy With Autism and How You Can Help ]

It is 2022 and we are all trying to make space for people at our tables. This includes people who might not look or act or perceive the world like us. As a parent I have fears that all parents have, but somehow those fears have been heightened to exponential limits ever since my kid’s diagnosis came through.

How is she doing? Did someone bully her? Does she have friends? Is she included in activities? What if she says something silly and they laugh at her? What happens when she is older? Will she go to college? I should not be thinking that. I want to think about how much she is learning at school, what game they played today, what she and her friends talk about and all other typical mom things.

Except I am not a typical mom. And that is okay.

My child has wonder; she has innocence. I see things from her lens and her computation of the world is unique. The biggest misconception people have is of intelligence. A child with autism finds difficulty in processing social cues (like sarcasm) but otherwise they are as smart as you and me, if not more. Probably more.

Some days are hard but not all days are hard, and not every moment of that rough day is difficult. We, parents of ND children, do not keep obsessing over the fact that our kids are atypical; we binge watch the same shows, we have hobbies and interests and date nights and ‘me-time.’ Some days are magical and the most important thing for people to know is that Autism families are not looking for pity parties, just kindness and inclusion with a healthy sprinkle of understanding— an understanding of the atypical in a world only rooting for the typical.

By Sara Qadeer

Sara Qadeer hails from Pakistan and has always had a not-so-secret writing life on the side, in addition to her … Read more ›