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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at York U chapter.

You know those people who radiate attractive energy? And no, I don’t mean “rizz,” (although the person I’m talking about would argue that she has a ton of it). I mean people who radiate light. They’re the life of the party, and all the introverts are thanking their lucky stars that this person is there because it means less talking time for them.

That person is my Mama. She’s a firecracker who wears her heart on her sleeve and makes space for herself when it isn’t made for her. I joke about her energy being akin to putting a “square peg in a circular hole.” She was just made different. Her aura and energy are unmatched, and of course, whatever is on her mind is on her tongue.

Growing up, I was embarrassed by my mom. She could never blend in with the scene and everyone knew when she entered a room because she was so loud. To add to it all, she joined my school’s parent council. She gave a speech at my grade eight graduation and organized workshops in my high school. No matter what it was, from a dance recital to a basketball game to a “Battle of the Books” competition, she was there, front and center. She was so INVOLVED.

The best part…me and my mother look exactly the same. Things have reached a point where I am no longer just “Riya.” I am also “Shalini’s daughter.” Our identities are permanently tied together in a way I would argue is more powerful than a typical mother-daughter relationship.

Now that I’m 22, my mother is still so involved in my life. She has all my friend’s phone numbers, joins us to talk politics on the couch, and knows just about everything that I’m going through. She is (and always has been) my biggest cheerleader and best friend. She is my confidante and biggest role model. The whole world could be crumbling and a hug from her has the power to fix it all. While she still says and does cringeworthy things every now and then, she is my whole world. She is the Lorelai to my Rory.

Crazy enough, we also have some sort of telepathic connection. One time, I was craving an Indian snack and came home to it on the table. When I’m having a rough day, she can sense it immediately, even if I walk in with a smile on my face. Mama can see right through me; it’s a super power that only a mother can hold.

After growing into a young woman, I have come to appreciate my mom more than ever before. I no longer see her as carrying the energy of a “square peg in a circular hole,” but I value and appreciate her willingness to stay true to her beliefs in a world that is telling her “be quiet.” Mama taught me that as a woman, I have the right to take up space. And I should never be ashamed for doing so.

So in honour of my Mama’s birthday coming up, I just wanted to proudly declare my love for her on the most public platform I could find. In true Mama fashion.

Riya Bhatla has been a part of Her Campus’ York University Chapter since 2020. She is currently serving as Campus Correspondent where she oversees the publishing of articles, facilitates team-building opportunities, and supports the chapter in expanding their reach across campus. Beyond Her Campus, Riya works as a Peer Mentor Team Lead with the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, where she provides social and academic support to incoming first year students. As a teacher candidate, she is also contributing to a research project that is investigating the “lived experiences of the first Master’s degree recipients at a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya.” In her free time, Riya loves going on walks with her dog Kobe, bingeing Scandal, and going for Friday night Karaoke at a local pub.