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A Birth in Goa

spiritual birth

The red circle in this picture represents the ‘yoni’. Yoni is a Sanskrit word meaning vagina or womb. It is also the divine passage, or sacred temple. The word can cover a range of extended meanings, including: place of birth, spring, fountain, home, nest and more.

It’s been three months here since I last posted – the 30th day Leaf Art (of the 30-day challenge). Autumn has long gone and we’re bang in the middle of a bone-chilling winter out here in Delhi (and so many other regions around the world); 2013 is old calendar as I get used to begin my diary entries with 2014. The topic of passionate discussion these days, across country, has changed from Cricket to Politics as the Aam Aadmi Party is writing new chapters of governance in Delhi.

So, will I say “time flies” as we’re so used to saying?

Well, I guess not. Not this time at least. For, those last three months was a slow and deliberate journey. We were in absolutely no hurry to reach the ‘destination’ or the ‘goal’. Each of us savoured every moment. We ‘lived’ every experience that came our way. And, we took some life-changing decisions. What am I talking about, you might wonder? Well, I’m referring to the event that followed the 30-day leaf art  (the birth art), you see!

Read on to know some tid-bits from the birth story. And, of-course – pictures! :-)

So, friends, I’m a mother once again – to the most amazing and adorable little girl – Sufiana. I gave birth to Sufiana on November 2, 2013. She’s a little more than two months now and I can’t begin to tell you what an incredible relationship I share with her. I’ll write about this in another post may be. But, for now, you may be eager to see the pictures more than anything else. :-)

And, to give some context to the pictures (you’ll see us on a beach!), we were in Goa for Sufiana’s birth. Yes, that’s where we went to – rather than being in Delhi (where we actually live), for I wanted to welcome my child in a place that’s so abundant in nature, fresh air and sunshine.

birth in Goa

And, besides the fact that I love nature more than any other worldly/earthly possession, it was my baby who gave me signs in every possible way; who really took us all to Goa telling us that she wants that land as her birth place. And, we agreed. There was some tug-of-war between the intuitive heart and the rational mind – the mind kept telling us it’s not practical, it’s a humungous task. And yet, we went ahead. We relied on our hearts.

birth art on the beach

We went to Goa a month before her birth and stayed on for two weeks after her birth. And, what an experience it turned out to be! I have dozens of stories – some saccharine sweet, some bitter-sweet – but mostly intense and powerful – to share about that time, place, people.

So, watch this space from now on. :-)

mandala on the beach

goa birth story

And now for the pictures – after birth.

Baby on the Beach

On the Majorda beach. Sufiana is 10days-old in this picture.

Many faces on the beach turned to me as they were shocked to see a mother carrying such a tiny, young baby out of home already. I understand their reaction, for in Indian culture, new mothers are supposed to stay indoors – warm and cozy with the little one. This approach stems from the Ayurvedic philosophy.

While I totally believe in certain post-partum Ayurvedic principles , being at the beach meant such a refreshing change in energy and aura – for me and for my baby. Going back to the ocean after her birth (for a month or more before her birth we’d come to this beach for long walks almost every day!) stripped me of my tiredness. My sleep-deprived, aching body suddenly felt re-energized. And, my soul – it felt as though I’d stories to share with the ocean – of the joy, the sadness (yes, that’s another story), the pain, the thrill and the life-time experience that this birth was….

Birth in Goa

Avie (hubby) and me. Pari clicked this picture.


sister's love

Admiration, love, wonder – Pari’s dream has come true – of having a baby sister….


Back home in Delhi, one month old Sufiana, responding curiously to Pari’s doting love….

These two sisters do have a soul connection. Sufiana decided to come with very similar statistics as Pari had. Both were 3.2 kgs at birth. Both had same length, same head circumference and exactly same birth mark!

father daughter love

This father can’t have enough of his little girl…

daddy love

It’s often just enough to be with someone. I don’t need to touch them. Not even talk. A feeling passes between you both. You’re not alone. – Marilyn Monroe

With this post, I want to get back to blogging as often as I can. Sorry friends, I’ve been away for so long. I do want to reconnect with you all, hear from you, share with you and get going with the little community that we’d formed in this space. I hope you will come back and wish me love and luck… :-)

Happy New Year!

Love is real, Real is Love – John Lennon

Sufiana - My Sufi Baby - Mommy Labs

PS. It occurred to me that some of you might want to know the meaning of her name – Sufiana. Sufiana means Sufi-like; Sufi – a mystic (in Islam) who seeks divine love and knowledge through personal experience of God. Now, how that name came to me is an interesting story in itself. :-) More on that later….

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • rashmi January 8, 2014, 10:51 am

    Congratulations .. a big big congratulations :-)
    You all looking so pretty in thse pictures..Lots of love to Sufiana :-):-)
    It seems really tough task to go and stay in Goa for chid birth…. you have really done a big job :-)

    Looking forward to hear more from you on this space…And yes
    A very Happy New Year to all of you :-)

    • Rashmie January 22, 2014, 5:20 pm

      Thank you, Rashmi, for your wishes and love. Sorry for the late reply.
      My days are so full with just baby stuff that it takes an effort to get onto the internet or social media.

      But, I do cherish your comment here :-) Will write again soon…
      Love and hugs.

  • lipi sachdeva January 8, 2014, 12:31 pm

    hey rashmie….such a good news…m so happy for you…u r very courageous….goin to goa altogether from delhi….a pat on your back dear…may God bless you with all the good in life….blessings for Sufiana which is such a nice name…

    • Rashmie January 22, 2014, 6:19 pm

      Hi Lipi – wonderful to hear from you. I was infact missing you here during my 30-day leaf art project.

      About the Goa journey – yes, it was quite an experience; a massive project for all of us! But, we’ve learned so much from it…

      Glad you like her name, Sufiana. We call her Sufi baby, too :-)

      Call me when you can…

  • Miquela January 8, 2014, 9:01 pm

    I’ve been thinking of you lately, knowing that you must have given birth some time in the fall and feeling that you would spend some time cocooning with the new love in your life. I’m happy to see you back and to read your words that always inspire me to look at the world around myself and consider how I can make any and every occasion special, not only the things that are already life-changing like giving birth.

    Both of your girls are so beautiful, and I particularly love the photos of them together. My daughter Soëlie is younger than Pari, but I hope she will have the same wonder and connection with her little sibling (only 5-6 weeks to go)!

    • Rashmie February 13, 2014, 10:34 am

      Dear Miquela,
      Am extremely sorry for the late reply. By this time, you probably would have your new baby in arms. I wish you all the very best.

      Loved reading your comment. You’re right – the key to life is to make the mundane beautiful and happy, and not just special events like festivals, births etc – those are special any way….

      Hugs and Love.

  • Meera January 8, 2014, 9:17 pm

    Many many congratulations to you! May Sufiana thrive in love, light & laughter.

    Ps: Lots of ‘laters’ in this post! :)

    • Rashmie February 13, 2014, 10:38 am

      Dear Meera,
      I agree – so many “laters” in this post! Those ‘laters’, I’d hoped, would be soon, but didn’t turn out that way. With a baby (who’s not fond of sleeping!), a homeschooling older one and a home to manage – I find that my articles are in draft mode for ever… :-( Phew…

      There’s one that I started writing couple of days back and I hope to insert pics and post them tomorrow. Happy Valentines :-)
      Thank you for being here, dear one….

  • Eula January 8, 2014, 10:40 pm

    Hi Rashmi, Congratulations. Sufiana is so beautiful.. love her eyes. Good to have you back girl, did miss your updates and yes very, very courageous to move so far away for the birth. Hats off to you!!

    • Rashmie February 13, 2014, 10:42 am

      Dear Eula,
      Profusely sorry about replying so late…
      I loved seeing you here and reading your note.
      It was courageous, yes, and may be not so ‘practical’. But, some things in life, become our calling and if we don’t listen to those callings, we might feel regret or misery. That’s how I felt our going all the way to Goa for Sufiana’s birth. It was a huge project, but the learnings were tremendous. I had to do it in this life. :-)
      Thank you, my dear, for connecting here with your heart…

  • stacy January 8, 2014, 10:57 pm

    I could not love this post or the people in it anymore, so happy for you Rashmie and cannot wait to hear more adventures of Sufiana and Pari!

    • Rashmie February 13, 2014, 10:44 am

      Stacy dear, pls forgive me. Replying so late…
      You would know how life can become – slow and yet so busy – with a little one in arms and breastfeeding all the time… :-)
      I love to exchange notes with you. It had been so long since we last connected (before this). I’d missed you profusely…
      Love and take care..

  • Anita Roy January 8, 2014, 11:59 pm


    I am so happy to hear about this very special journey to Goa and to motherhood. Sufiana is also a very lovely name. Pari and Avie and you look very fulfilled!

    Thank you for sharing your story and photos with us!

    • Rashmie February 13, 2014, 10:48 am

      Anita, my dear, so sorry for the late reply over here. It always feels special to hear from you – reading your thoughtful notes.
      You’re right – Sufiana makes us all three (Pari, Avie, myself) complete. Now it feels how could we have ever lived without her. She’s so much an integral part of our home and hearts…
      Thank you, again, Anita, for being here. Hugs!

  • Rachana January 9, 2014, 2:35 am

    Dear Rashmie,

    I have been waiting for this post for ages! Congratulations to all of you!God bless the lil’ darling Sufiana and Pari.
    Great to see you back.Stay blessed,Rachana

    • Rashmie February 13, 2014, 10:52 am

      My dear Rachana – so very sweet of you to shower this love and adulation over me. I feel special and honoured. So sorry, I kept you waiting for this article and the news about Sufiana’s birth.
      Do stay in touch. Love ya…

  • Sunita January 9, 2014, 7:07 am

    Tremendous congratulations to the whole family! Sufiana is so lovely and healthy, and you made such beautiful decisions about her birth. It is very special to share in your joy.

    • Rashmie February 13, 2014, 11:14 am

      Dear Sunita,
      It’s more than a month that I’ve written back..so so sorry, my dear. It was a pleasure to see your note here. Yes, those were some bold but beautiful decisions for sure. I’m glad we had the heart to follow our heart. Thank you, Sunita, for your love and support.
      I hope the cold out there where you live is receding by now….?
      Take care…

      • Sunita February 14, 2014, 10:58 am

        @Rashmie – Hello Rashmie! You asked if our cold was receding, and I just had to share photos from our town’s Winter Carnival because I think Pari will be very interested! (See the web link to the picasa site) Each year since 1898 our town, Saranac Lake, NY, builds an ice castle by cutting blocks of ice from the lake. The Carnival takes place over a week with outdoor games and sports competitions, music, a big parade, and huge (slippery!) ice animals for kids to climb on. Another interesting fact about our little town of 5,000 is that we have 8 Olympians currently competing in Sochi! While we love it to stay cold here, I do hope it is warming up in Delhi — especially for small Sufiana who might be wondering whatever happened to those warm first weeks in Goa? :)

        • Rashmie February 19, 2014, 6:04 pm

          Sunita, what brilliant ice sculptures! Your little town must look like a place straight out of fairytales. I’m sending this link to Pari who’ll love to find it in her email. (She loves it when I send her such pleasant surprises to see or read.)
          And those cute kiddos in couple of pics – are they your children?

  • Nidhi January 9, 2014, 9:47 am

    Heartiest Congratulations to all of you …Lots of love to Sufiana & Pari

    • Rashmie February 13, 2014, 11:16 am

      Thank you, Nidhi and sorry dear, for the late reply.

  • Ruchi Shrimali January 9, 2014, 10:43 am

    It’s lovely….Rashmie. Both your daughters are so divine and so is your approach to life. Every time I read your blog and watch all these photos, it is as if you are living at a different plane altogether.

    • Rashmie February 19, 2014, 6:22 pm

      It’s been a long time since you wrote to me here (on the birth post). Sorry for the late reply, dear one. Although late, it’s been on my mind – to write back to you and thank you for your love and wishes. :-)
      You said, it seems to you as if I live on a different plane altogether. Well, it’s just that I crave to live in harmony with nature and keep our lives as simple as possible. In doing so it may seem I’m living away from or different than the main-stream. :-)
      Thank you, Ruchi, for connecting here. Stay in touch. Hugs…

  • Pallavi January 9, 2014, 10:43 am

    Heartiest congratulations to you and your family. Sufiana is a BEAUTIFUL name. Can’t wait to read your birth story. Love to have you back!

    • Rashmie February 19, 2014, 7:14 pm

      Thank you, Pallavi. Glad you like her name – Sufiana. Will share her birth story in a while. I’ve not been able to find time to wrap my head around the whole experience and pen it down….

  • Ruchika agarwal January 9, 2014, 2:18 pm

    It is so awesome and beautiful. Love the way you are able to live life so unconventionally, always following your heart and not heard mentality. Big congratulations. Definitely looking forward to hear the way you have naturally given birth to this child.

    • Rashmie February 20, 2014, 12:19 am

      Thank you, Ruchika, for the beautiful comment you left on Sufiana’s birth blog post. So sorry I’ve taken this long to reply. It’s been tough to find time to write these days. And whenever I’ve tried to reply to the comments over here, I’ve never proceeded beyond 2-3 replies at a time. My Sufi baby won’t sleep easily! She wants to be awake most of the time so she can see, talk, play..!

  • Madhu January 10, 2014, 12:26 am

    Rashmie, Congratulations! Your daughters (both of them!) are so adorable. God bless your beautiful family.

    • Rashmie February 20, 2014, 12:23 am

      Hi Madhu,
      Thank you for your wishes and love. And yes, will share more about Sufiana’s birth. I’ve not had luck with writing-time last few months. With no extra pair of hands at home to help me out (besides Hubby), it’s been tough managing everything. Plus, the sleepless state of mind does not lend itself well to writing something as deep and profound as a birth story… :-( But then, I do want to pen it down and share here. Hopefully soon. :-)
      Thank you, for your support, dear one :-)

  • Vidyut January 11, 2014, 12:50 am

    Sufiana is so adorable. And Pari lives up to her name. What a beautiful girl! You and Avie look so at peace and WITH the moment that it took seeing it to realize how rare it is. Loved reading this update and love your artist’s soul. Always charmed when I land up here.

    • Rashmie February 20, 2014, 12:32 am

      Dear Vidyut,
      It was heartening to read your words here. So, so sorry for this late reply. Yes, at peace we were – in that specific moment/experience. Besides, there’s nothing more healing (for me) than being close to water flowing freely in nature. It relieves me and washes away the painful layers of body and mind. And, quietens the noise (within). Am truly a water baby. :-)
      Thank you for sending your lovely vibes and energy to all of us. I haven’t told you before, but I must, now – you’re an inspiration for me for your courage, your clarity of thoughts, the way you write. And, above all – the mother that you are. :-) Hugs!

  • Madhu January 30, 2014, 1:59 am

    I am eagerly waiting for more from you Rashmie! please do write more about the birth!

    • Rashmie February 20, 2014, 12:34 am

      Will do, Madhu. :-)

  • Pelkyi October 8, 2014, 5:30 pm

    Those are really beautiful pics, Rashmie. Congrats!
    I came across your blog as I too live in Delhi and am thinking of moving to Goa for sometime (a year or two maybe) to give birth and raise the kid there atleast till the first year of its life. I am hearing horrible stories of the effects of Delhi pollution. I also plan to have a natural childbirth and have heard of a couple of natural birth centres in Goa. How was yours? Can you share where you had the delivery done in Goa? Are the medical facilities good over there? Would be grateful if you could share your experience. Thanks!

  • Anath June 8, 2015, 1:50 am

    Dear Rashmie, we conceived our baby in India and would love to give birth in Goa. Do you have any recommendations for me? I just passed 12 weeks and am trying to find out how to go about it. Thank you so much and bless you and your beautiful family!

  • I read this post completely on the topic of the difference of most recent and previous technologies,
    it’s remarkable article.

  • Lily March 12, 2016, 5:18 am

    Thank you for sharing your story!
    I’m interested in giving birth (hopefully fully naturally) in Goa…any chance you have suggestions or advice on midwives or other services? Thank you so much!