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There is so much wisdom that a mother can give a daughter, with the love and depth of feeling that comes with it. A letter to my daughter.
It’s almost a year since I wrote to you last. But last year had been one hell of a year. I was busy learning, unlearning and growing. Another year begins, so it is the perfect time to write to you.
I have come home for a break. Maa ( your Naani) has been cooking some really good food for me. As you grow older you will realize, what blessings parents are.
I have been gardening these days. This letter has been written to you while I was pruning the roses today. Hope you are a little grown up as you read this. Here are again a few life lessons, I learnt. You are always free to decide your own.
If you ever learn gardening, the most important lesson you will learn is pruning. No matter how much you love each plant or tree, you will always need to use the scissors. You have to cut the plants, the flowers, so that they don’t grow wild and destroy the whole garden. You have to learn to let go and cut off at times of what you once loved the most, to keep your garden healthy. That is the most important lesson I learnt from gardening.
In life too, you have to let go what has served its purpose. Many a times even the best of relationships come to an end. That does not make the other person a villain or you the guilty one. Sometimes we complete a journey long before we live our lives completely. That is when the end comes. We always know when something has come to an end. We become bitter. Most of the time we hang on because it is known. But if you stick to something whose purpose is over, life gets messed. And it’s not a good place to be in.
So, let it go. Just like the flowers that have died, prune it with grace. But do not regret. Every fallen flower goes to the soil and makes it fertile. So does every experience in life. People might leave, but the experience makes your life fertile for something better and bigger. Each time something left my life, I was directed to somewhere better in life. This is my life experience.
The other day I was just walking back home. I met my neighbour whose son I taught when he was in standard first and second. During that period, his father was going through cancer. I not only taught him, but let him linger long after the tuition classes were over. We would talk and eat. He is now in his 9th standard. His mother thanked me -how just being with me her son could go through the period a little more easily because he spent a lot of time with me. Her husband died two years after that. At that time, I had no idea that her husband was going through cancer. The kid just loved spending time and I let him, being kind and good to him.
I am often amazed how our small acts can make huge impact on other’s lives. Just by being kind for a few moments one can change lives in ways we might not know.
No matter what the world says, be kind, be good, specially to people who can’t give you anything back in return. Be polite. Have good manners. In the long run, these things come back to the giver. All the good I have done has come back to me in ways I could not have ever imagined. The Universe always gives back. And I am often amazed of the ways in which it gives back. Your goodness brings in grace that will help you sail through troubled waters. It brought me immense grace, it will bring to you too.
Now, this was a hard lesson. I got punched hard on my face for arguing with reality. Life meets you each day and you have to accept it the exact way it meets you. It can be poor, rich, kind, cruel or anything it chooses to come as.
The problem begins when you start arguing with it. Like I did. I was with some people because I knew them for too many years. I refused to accept that in today’s date and time we have nothing in common. Yet I lived in nostalgia and also thinking of what things can be. I lived between nostalgia and a dream. And if I may add here, nostalgia is edited memory.
I refused to see reality until I could ignore it no more. Remember, life would do anything to get your attention. The faster you run, the harder you fall. I fell. I was dragged, until I accepted where I really was and took the first step out of that. Nothing changes unless you accept where you are. Acceptance is half the battle won.
You might not like reality, but don’t argue against it. Accept it. And work a way out for it to change.
I did this. Something I regret. It so happens that some people might disclose their deepest darkest secrets to you when you are close. Those are told in absolute private and vulnerable moments. I for sure kept them with me. And in times things went sour. I was angry. I was hurt. And during a fight, I blurted all those private things that were told to me. I told the person that all this happened to you because you deserved it. It was almost as if I felt victorious doing it.
I won’t go into details, but I lost the friendship. I did apologize and cried. But the words were spoken. The other person bled. This is the most undignified thing I have ever done. I broke the sacred code of trust. I lost a friend. I don’t mind losing that friend, as much as I regret my behaviour. I never did it again. I hope you never do it. I could not look into the mirror for sometime after this.
So beta, this is all for today. As I finish this letter I am back in Delhi. The weather is so fine. I can see the balcony and the trees right from my window hugging each other. Spring is on the way, though it is very short lived in Delhi. But it still comes. At this phase of life, I feel liberated. I don’t feel the need to be everywhere. Maybe when I was younger, I was trying to have it all. It can be really tiring and sucks a lot of energy out of you. Now in my early thirties, I learnt that this unending circus is not necessary. I love my own time now. I think I love the woman I am becoming. My work has become precious. I speak less now. I pray more and advice very little.
I will write more, some other time.
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Proud Indian. Senior Writer at Women's Web. Columnist. Book Reviewer. Street Theatre - Aatish. Dreamer.
Letter To My Beloved Daughter (Part 6)
Letter To My Beloved Daughter (Part 4)
Letter To My Beloved Daughter (Part 5)
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