Unposted Letters : to my future daughter on her 18th birthday

Often it happens, what is want to say to someone – remains unsaid. That silence and mum for years builds up in our hearts and minds. Here is a series of “Unposted Letters” which will feature emotions – feelings – thoughts of people who have something to say.

Dear Anya,

If you’re reading this letter,you must have turned 18 today. I really hope I’m alive and around to spend this day with you. 

I hope I’ve been busy enough to fulfil all your needs,yet not too busy to miss any of your important milestones.

I’m sure you must be wondering why I wrote this letter so much in advance!

Well,it’s because I’m about to step into the big bad world next year(I’ll be finishing college soon).This means my views haven’t been carved into the adult mould yet.I’m still a girl and not a woman.The advices I give right now will be quite different from the ones I give when I’m 40 or 50.

So what do I have to tell you? 

Honestly,there’s a never ending list,but I’ve tried my best to limit them to a few points(It’s your birthday after all,I don’t want you to keep reading all day!)And yes,do forgive me if you can’t make sense of the order in which I tell you all this.I’m still quite naïve,remember?

• Study what you want to : I really can’t guess whether you’re studying science/commerce/arts right now. But whatever it is, I hope your decision has nothing to do with pleasing me, your dad or any other relative.Remember, it’s your life, not ours. Fight for it, if you have to.

• Do some soul searching : If you can’t find your passion just yet, then take a gap year. And no, not the gap year in which you end up cramming in some coaching center. I want you to leave everything and do what you feel like. Write, travel, sing or go mountain climbing. When your mind is completely free, I’m sure you’ll find your true calling.

• Don’t try too hard to fit in : If you’re an introvert(like me), then don’t try to change yourself. Being an introvert is not a ‘condition’, it’s a gift. That of course doesn’t mean that you become anti-social. All I’m saying is if you like reading a book on Saturday night instead of partying,then it’s not abnormal.

• Relationships are just a part of life : If you’re already dating or planning to date a guy in the near future,then I need you to know something. Firstly, you can tell me and your dad.We’re ‘cool’,remember?However,don’t make him your number one priority. Relationships are just part of your life. You also have your family, friends and career to care about.

• Stay away from the ‘looks’ game : To me, you’re already the most beautiful girl in the world (and I haven’t even seen you!). However, if you feel that you aren’t fair, tall or pretty enough, then start looking for the other talents that you’ve been gifted with.Maybe you’re a Math Queen, Physics Empress, Poem Diva or Sports Star. Physical beauty is just one of the many other attributes that one can be endowed with. 

As I said,I don’t want to bore you with lots of reading on your birthday.There are few other things I want to tell you,but I guess I’ll save that for another time. 

I hope you had a great time reading this letter.I can’t force you but I hope you follow at least some of them.Now go  running back to the living room.Dad, Aryak, Duke and of course I have a surprise in store for you!

Loads of love,

Mom.

Guest post writer : Srishti Singh. See her blog here.

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When your hero is not your hero anymore..

In our tender years, we generally look up to the two people we’re most close to – mom and dad. For most people, mom is a synonym to affection, care, nurture etc. While dad is inspiring, motivating and a hero-like figure.

He earns the bread, looks after his family, pays the bills, takes care of every big small need of his kids and never lets them down.

During the pre-teen days, when world is a bed of red roses without thorns, most of us have an inclination to be like our moms or dads. In school paintings we draw our dads as super man and while giving a speech on “who is my hero” we describe our dads.

dad

These rosy days last long for few like me and generally end for many as they hit the teenage clock. With denied permission, checking school bags, inquiring about grades, restricting outings and friends, most dads become Hitlers for their kids.

The other category – they still live in their dreams. The restrictions and permissions feel logical enough. The denial and strict attitude feels necessary. And we still consider our dads as our heroes.

Until finally maturity or harsh reality hits. Then we realize those taunts – he actually means them. When he says he has no faith in you – he meant it. When he told you on your face that you can never do anytime in your life – it wasn’t just meant to shatter your ego. He did mean it. He wanted you to feel the shame of disappointing him. Feel the agony of letting him down amongst his peers.  Feel zero confidence because you’re not worth it. He meant it all.

Maybe you’ll try understanding why he said those things. At times even shrug them aside thinking he really dint mean to say those things. Or even completely laugh about it that he much be having a bad day today.

Until it happens again. And again. And yet again. And everyday.

father

Then you’re forced to think. Really? I am that pathetic? I am totally worthless? And you conclude that you have not achieved anything and you deserve those daily doses.

All those files full of certificates of appreciation, all those friends who boost you, all those unknown people who have faith in you – you ignore them all.

Since you worshiped your dad – he was your hero – every word he says is inked in your mind.

You cry about it every night. Some days those sobs put you to sleep and on other days the same sobs don’t let you sleep.

But it doesn’t stop anything. Nothing changes. With no family – no emotional support you finally start to live in suffocation. Suffocation of your own actions. Actions you were made believe were bad and for which you deserved such a treatment.

And your once beloved dad – stays your hero no more.

dad-father

I hope it’s not true for you.

I hope you don’t live in the constant thought of, when can I run away or death is my only way out.

I hope someone saves you from suicide, someone understands you, someone believes in your convictions and someone stays by your side and says – its okay. You can’t change your parents. You can only learn to live with them.