A letter to my daughter …… On completion of her second year to school
A son is a son till he gets a wife; a daughter is a daughter for the rest of her life….. Irish saying
My Sweetest Sanskriti,
My heart is filled with pride and joy as you complete your second year at school. Last year around the same time I wrote my first letter addressed to you and will keep writing such letters as you and your sister grow up. While I hope you will read through these letters at some point, they are for me to revisit your childhood gems, re-live all those moments that will never come again, above all celebrate your childhood in every possible way.
Technology has separated human beings emotionally
My baby, you are born in the digital era when machines and gadgets have taken preference over human values, when distance hardly matters in times of internet, you can video-call a person, thousands of miles away at the tip of a button yet the human connect between people staying within the same four-walls and a roof have weakened considerably, a time when people may claim thousands of facebook friends yet no-one to count for in times of need. Human relations used to be easy, now thanks to smart phone and social media, its all gone sideways. Yes, technology has made lives easier in many ways, finding the balance is the key.
To a Father growing old, nothing is dearer than his daughter ….. Euripides
Before I walk you through your accomplishments this year, I want to convey my thoughts on the lost practice of writing letters.
Letter writing is a precious gift you give someone by thinking and writing, expressing endless love for the recipient.
Sweetheart, few feelings and emotions are better expressed and exchanged in writing than speaking over phone or even face-to-face. There is a special charm to letters that email, sms’es, or social media cannot replace. You cannot inhale them, drawing the fragrance of the place where they have been mailed from, the feel of the paper in your hand bearing the weight of the words contained within.
Sanskriti, the practice of hand-writing letters has become almost extinct. Today, society is consumed, perhaps lost in the technological advancements. As a child, I started writing letters when I was in 6th standard. I wrote my first letter to a pen-pal in England. We were introduced to each-other through a common school forum and World-wild foundation. It was so exciting to read through her thoughts about me and India, from someone seven-seas away some 22 year ago. I still have treasured those letters and mementos she had sent all the way.
I also used to write letters to my elder brother (Bade Bhaiya, who went out for his higher studies) on Post cards and folded-blue inland letters by India Post. He was my mentor and inspired me to do well at different stages of my academic career. The return letters I used to get from him, at times made me cry with tears rolling down my cheek even before I realize. This in turn instilled confidence and boosted me to go the extra mile in academics. I wrote few letters to your Grandpa when I was pursuing my engineering about 2000 miles away from home.
I must admit before I married your mother, I wrote an infatuation-letter to one of my crush during early years at work. Well, those were times when hormonal needs were ruling my mind. And yes, I wrote my first love letter to your mother on our fourth wedding anniversary, when I was abroad, away from both of you. You can read this letter here.
Fill your paper with the breathing’s of your heart. – William Wordsworth
Sanskriti, the zest for life reduces when you start spending more time on human-made stuff than God’s beauteous creations, the people and nature. I do not want to preach things I do not follow my-self, and for that reason, I have reduced my social-media time to a great extent in last one year, persistently trying to set a family culture where love and emotional bonding prevails over any other cosmetic stuff. I have been strict on smart phone access to you and your sister for the same reason.
I do wish you will continue the practice of writing letters. The best way to start is writing letters to your own-self, which I do time-to-time in my Journal. Self-reflection is the best way to express gratitude for all that you have unlocking the fullness of life.
My advice for life: dance and sing your song while the party is still on.
Today I am writing to walk you through your accomplishments, some of the momentous and most memorable moments in your fifth year on the planet.
Your second year at school started with Gurukul Vidya Mandir, Varthur; part of the ABVK group. They are service-oriented group solely focused on the wholistic development of child unlike the most money-grilling, so-called international schools. Education is heavily commercialized these days and although I can afford those international schools for both of you, I don’t feel the need to do so.
Sanskriti, this year was phenomenal in terms of learning and progress you have made in your wholistic development. Someone has rightly said, A teacher affects eternity; one can never tell where his/her influence stops. As Parents, we are so thankful to your class teacher Naina Ma’m, your kannada and hindi teacher, Mala Ma’m along with your entire school staff for all the love, care and countless lessons learnt be it some academic learning or moral values.
Guru Brahma Gurur Vishnu
Guru Devo Maheshwaraha
Guru Saakshat Para Brahma
Tasmai Sree Guruave Namaha
Your Aya aunties took so much care of all of you. Their role in your growth and development is equally important. Tons of gratitude and regards to them as well.
Earlier this year, you visited the lush-green Cubbon Park along with your friends and school staff. You thoroughly enjoyed your first school excursion and you were so excited about it.
You participated in the food fest organized at your school and prepared Sandwich for your teachers and classmates. We did some YouTube to learn ourselves and then transition to you to prepare you for the event, certainly it was quite a fun. In the snap below, Venkat Sir inquiring about your recipe.
We celebrated your 5th Birthday at your school with all your friends and teachers. Your Dada ji, Dadi Maa and Nana ji were present on the occasion. It felt divine to celebrate the day with all lovely buds.
You also participated in the science exhibition and the topic was one of my favorites – ‘Things we get from trees’. Well it was quite a task for me as I was doing such an activity almost after almost two decades. And guess what – your UKG project work won the consolation prize for our collaborative work.
My baby, as I wrote to you in my first letter, competition from peers for rank matters least for me and I will never ask you to study just for number 1 position. All I have encouraged you to do is to give your absolute best and that’s it. Well this year, your best resulted in some happy and welcome surprises for us. You won the class topper award along with accolades for participation in science exhibition and other sports activities.
Your annual day event for UKG was organized at Green Garden school on the 28th of January this year. We were so excited about it. Why not, you were participating in couple of dance performances with your classmates. It was heartening to see you receive award from the chief guest in front of over five thousand audience.
In the below performance you along with your friends dance to the tune of kannada song ‘kande kande Govindana’ .
You later performed in the role of a boy on the tunes of famous bollywood song ‘mehndi laga ke rakhna’. It was quite a proud moment for all of us to see you perform fearlessly on the august occasion.
Snippets from your UKG curriculum
My baby these are memories I will cherish for long long time perhaps till I breathe last. I bless you with infinite strength and happiness. Your Papa love you a lot… and there is no limit to that lot.
Your Papa, Narendra Gupta