Who is Sonia? I ask myself this question again and again as it just happens to be the name of my daughter-in-law. Even after knowing her for two decades, I am still trying to figure out who she is.

I first heard her name when my son came to visit us in Anchorage, Alaska for a brief summer. He looked very pre-occupied through out his stay, as though he was lost in another world. He put two phone numbers and names in our speed dial; we only had landlines in those days. One was Sonia, the other was a girl called Sonika and they were both his colleagues in his university in Ottawa, Canada.

The Sonika thing obviously didn’t work out, but Sonia stayed in our lives. My wife and I kept wondering who Sonia and the mystery was resolved when we moved to Ottawa. We heard so many stories about Sonia and Shavak (our son) that we stopped listening, when meeting friends and family.

The best story came from my mother-in-law who also lived in Ottawa. Sonia would come over to drop Shavak home from the university late at night. My mother-in-law liked Sonia and always asked Shavak “Give some juice to your sister”. She innocently thought all these girls were like sisters to Shavak.

Mostly she was right but in the case of Sonia, she was dead wrong. This became very clear within a few weeks of our arrival in Ottawa. Shavak was insistent that he had to marry this girl right away, as soon as he graduated. He didn’t ask for permission; he wouldn’t take no for an answer. At that time, Sonia was my son’s friend.

We rushed through the wedding preparations and organized everything in just four weeks. We attended the graduation party for Sonia and Shavak and just a few days later it became a marriage party. Now, Sonia became a wife and a daughter-in-law.

Just one year later, Sonia became a mother. A few years later, she became a mother all over again. She is not yet a grandmother, but that day is not too far away.

Why is Sonia coming out her house? She is quite a traveler; she just returned from a long trip to Europe, for work, as Sonia is also a career woman, happily employed in the hi-tech sector.

What does Sonia do? She is a home maker, a career woman, a good mother, a dutiful daughter-in-law and so much more. Living in Canada, her favorite activity is shopping, this is her favorite form of exercise. She once told me, in all seriousness, that shopping burns calories and it is good for the health.

Lately, she has put on a little weight. Maybe this is because she has switched to Amazon for most of her shopping needs.

Here is my answer to who is Sonia. She is a girl, a sister, a wife, a mother, a daughter-in-law, a shopper, a knowledge worker. In short, she is a woman.

She is also a thief, as she stole my son’s heart with very little effort.