"I am #BreakingBarriers!" If that's you, join us at the #BreakingBarriers, the Women's Web event for women at work!

Saw The Amitabh Bachchan Letter? Now Here’s My Open Letter To My Son

Posted: September 10, 2016
Celebrating Women all of March with #BeyondTheDoors Send your entries!
Amitabh Bachchan’s letter to his grand-daughters spoke of carrying forward a legacy, but this mom wishes for her son to abandon some legacies in the interests of creating a fairer world. Read on!
Since writing open letters seems to be in fashion these days, why should I not write an open letter, I thought to myself! Everybody writes to their daughters… for a change, I choose to write to my son. (So what if I am not a celebrity and he is away in Europe!)
So here I go, inspired by the Big B, Amitabh Bachchan!
My very dearest son,
You carry a valuable legacy on your strong shoulders, that of being a man in India – the diamond of the khaandan, the ‘sun’ which illuminates the fortunes of the family!
Both your grandfathers are engineers and you chose to follow in their footsteps to keep the flag aloft, as did your sister. I chose to follow my mom and took up teaching. And your dad became a senior government officer. Were we, in our time, expected to carry forward the legacy of our parents? Not really!
But isn’t this the norm in our society? Don’t we expect people to toe the line of our ancient customs and traditions?
Now, because you are a man, people will force their thinking, their opinions, their boundaries on you. They will tell you that men are strong, that men don’t cry, men are the providers and men must be the protectors.
Don’t let yourself be trapped within these narrow boundaries. Don’t let others decide what you can do and what you can not. Make your own choices in the light of your wisdom. Don’t let society’s ‘do’s and don’ts for men’ govern you.
Don’t just carry your laptop bag to office; use your strong shoulders to carry grocery and vegetable bags from the market, carry your plate and coffee mug to the kitchen and wash them, pick up your soiled towel and hang it outside to dry, extend your ‘strong’ hands to cooking, washing and cleaning up around the house voluntarily – not just when you are asked to help.
Cry when your child is born, if you so wish. Shed a few tears when you lose a loved one if you are overwhelmed with grief…..it’s ok, you will still be strong.
People will talk. They will mock you for being a ‘cry baby’. You may be called a henpecked husband, a ‘joru ka ghulam‘. Don’t let the stupid notion of ‘chaar log dekhenge to kya kahenge‘ affect how you express your joy and grief.
This may be a tad difficult – demanding an equal partnership in the so-called woman’s domain, taking equal responsibility in ‘her’ kitchen and ‘her’ home and treating her as an equal partner in all financial and family matters too, defying the age old cultural and social norms. But I believe that it is sensible young men like you who can and who will change these deeply entrenched perceptions.
It may not be easy, extending your boundaries, exercising your own choices, rising above the thoughts and beliefs of the ‘chaar log’.
Shrug off the baggage of this one legacy….of being a ‘man’. Be yourself. Be an equal, at home, at work, on the streets…..and you would have done more for yourself than I could ever do.
With you always, with all the love,
Your Mom
First published here

Seema Taneja

Seema Taneja

Curious about anything and everything. Proud to be born a woman. Spiritual, not religious. Blogger, author, poet, educator, counselor.


Author's Blog: http://indiesunrise.blogspot.in/

Facebook Comments

Comments

6 Comments


  1. thankyou for such a wonderful letter to your son..love you for it..

    • Seema Taneja

      Thanks so much! It’s intended not just for my son but all the young men of today who, I believe, can and will change the obsolete and skewed perceptions about gender roles. Feel free to share and spread the thoughts.

  2. Thats an excellent letter..

  3. Geeta Kashyap

    A nice effort to change the paradigm! Well written.

Share your thoughts! [Be civil. No personal attacks. Longer comment policy in our footer!]

Follow Women's Web

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!