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Letters from a father to his daughter

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Vidya24, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    When I was a child, we used to visit Bombay during summer vacation. Dad joined us only for part of the sojourn since work kept him back home. And during one such holiday, Daddy bought me Nehru's book,'Letters from a Father to His Daughter'. Even at 8 years of age, the book was inspirational. And then I decided that I would preserve every shred of correspondence between me and Daddy.

    Over the years, we grew closer as parent and person. The times we were together, we needed no letters to communicate. But the times when Daddy was abroad on work, we wrote. Simply 'we wrote'. As I look at those letters now, I can almost see my long gone years unfolding. Telling him about how hard Math was in tenth standard. My feeling of disgust when I dissceted my first frog. His words of courage when I was down with severe chicken pox. There were more happy letters though. His congrats when I secured the first rank in BA. His joy when I cleared my IAS mains in my second attempt.

    And then I got married and the letters took a different shape. Addressed to both his children, me and my husband. Encouraging us to study hard when we were older students in London. And playfully adding that we should not forget that we are newly weds who need some relaxation and happiness even amidst term papers, grouchy professors, stringy student budgets and studio flats.

    Then e-mail came by. For a long time, we did not have a PC at home. E-mails were written by hand and handed over to Tandem Communications. Where in the hurried bustle of a communications centre, a reliable operative typed them out. He made his own spelling mistakes, he made inadvertent omissions in typing the news. But they had the advantage of arriving fast and friendly. On the day of my husband's graduation, I checked email before rushing for the convocation. And was thrilled to see an email from Daddy and amma, sent just five minutes back congratulating him.

    And then we moved round Europe and the e-mails continued to come. Dad acquired a PC and then the mails were twice, even thrice a day. Telling us to pad up during the Arctic winters in Norway. Reminding me of the Attukal Pongala in Trivandrum. Correcting a spelling mistake, I made in my letter and later passed off as a typo. Breaking the news gently that my dear grandfather was sinking. Conveying the news that Dad had started writing regularly in the local paper. That Rajamani's scooter was stolen in broad daylight. That he met Kapil Dev during a cricket commentary assignment in Cochin. I lived my life with my parents in absentia, all thru Dad's mails.

    And now Dad is no more. I resist the impulse to turn back my inbox and read his mails. These days, they haunt me and often fill me with my own regrets on not being a perfect daughter, though he never ever said so. In the past month, life had been really brutish and sad. Disappointments and betrayals came in quick succession. And an hour back, in a sudden moment of grief, I went back to Dad's e-mails and Bluemountain cards.

    I dunno if I actually feel better after reading them. But suddenly I feel calmer. I feel the nearness and love of a soul who lived solely for the women in his life- my mom and me. I could feel him forgiving my faults, Condoning my caustic views on life that have become so frequent these days. Gently chastising me for being a cynic. Quoting ever so often from Tennyson and Browning. Reminding me of Robert Bruce and urging me to think of the Paramacharya in times of distress. Praising my morkozhambu and channa. Telling me that the first time ever he saw me, an hour after I was born, I held his gaze and smiled from the corners of my mouth.Suddenly, I was in conversation with my father again and I did not feel bereaved anymore.

    Life goes on. I know that when this wave of downs end, we will bounce back. And then at one time, the downs will rise again. But then, I will always have my Dads words to guide me in a cruel, naughty world where the most dispensible commodities are people. He will remind me yet again that the world goes round on the milk of human kindness and warmth, that hearts and souls are more important and immortal than material gains and publicity.

    And that is a reassuring thought even as life goes on-------------
     
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  2. Sriniketan

    Sriniketan IL Hall of Fame

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    Vidya,
    An interesting and emotional piece from you!

    Parents are always motivational and inspirational to their children wherever they are, isn't it!
    Yours prove it!
    sriniketan
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2008
  3. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    My dear Vidya,

    Thanks to you that I got to read this poignant piece from you. I have no doubts about your ability to write and express. If something is written by Vidya, I am all ready to savor it like a warm drink of milk and honey laced with saffron.
    And this one had more....this one was almost physical! It stroked my heartstrings and cramped my stomach....You have brought out the love between a father and daughter all too sensitively. What you both exchanged, how warm and timely his messages were, how you seek solace in them and how they bring him to you even in his absence...all too touching and brought tears to my eyes..And of course, memories of my own dear father. BTW, even my dad gifted me and encouraged me to read Nehru's Letters from a Father to his Daughter. It came back to me all too clearly!
    Dear Vidya, knowing you, you will sail through whatever it is that you are going through right now. You know better than anyone that tough times don't last, tough people do. Yes, at times, it is difficult to be tough, but never mind, times just pass.
    In the meantime, enthrall us with your writings...you will see how the IL'ites will lift your spirit :)

    L, Kamla
     
  4. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    My Dear Vidya,

    Knowing how you have your way with words, this piece stirred up some emotions of my own, and i went back and dug up all the emails that my Dad had sent me over the years.....

    Yes it does bring solace to us reading all these mails from our dearest and closest . And i hope you found the peace that you were seeking too...

    This moment in time shall pass too dear. Till then continue reading your dad's letter. Though he is not there physically, am sure he still lives on in the form of his letters.

    V
     
  5. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dearest Vidya
    I am very moved after reading your profoundly moving and touching lines here. Its an inevitable situation my dear..I hear you ..It is distressing to the mind when it cannot see what it seeks as mind is a physical entity and needs corroboration in physical form. But our intelligence can disern and many a time we need to rely on the very small tiny but pertinent voice inside which tells us WHY.
    I strongly believe that the tender and sweet lotus emerges from the ugly and sordid mud for a purpose. When i watch small seedlings grow from tiny seeds, most often the mud would still be sticking to their tops..the poor things must have to struggle to grow..All for a Purpose my friend.
     
  6. meenakrishnan

    meenakrishnan Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Vidya,
    This emotion packed piece of your heart will make everyone feel for their parents.Your touching writeup brought back my memories.So nice of you to remember with gratitude each and every tiny moment he shared with you.I often feel that I have not done much to my parents though they never told me that.As the youngest in the house, I feel as if I have not lived enough with them.My parents are no more.My father's Death Anniversary is on March 7th after Shivarathri.I often sit with the old letters he wrote to me.As you have written, Parents' letters are full of care and concern.Nothing else or nobody else can replace that.10 years back, we didn't have e mail facility, his inlands and letters remind me of his love and care.We didn't even have phone facility then, so they couldn't inform his death from TVM to me immediately.The pain and agony I suffered after that cannot be expressed in words.Some bitter incidents need to be forgotten- I'll quote ur words
    "the world goes round on the milk of human kindness and warmth, that hearts and souls are more important and immortal than material gains and publicity.
    Life goes on.......and we follow many of their principles.That way they are not gone, they live with us...
    Love
    Meena
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2008
  7. Vysan

    Vysan Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Vidya,

    That is a great post... It shows the love and affection you have for your father... It is great... When you read the old e-mails/letters received from your loved ones, at the times when you are down... It gives you a mental peace and happiness... This will lift you again... No father would want anything from his daughter other than love and affection... So not to regret... There is nothing called perfect in life...

    In this cruel, materialistic world, the only place where you get true unconditional love is from the parents.... As long as you have love in your heart for them and remember their words of wisdom/experience, nothing can pull you down... Cheers......!!!!!!!

    Veda
     
  8. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    no word is enough here wonderful, nice and so many assuring words i could add but you have one hell of a bomb that can tick either way up ur emotions or run you down, may u save them.

    It set me thinking i had only one letter which was lost long back but i remember it was one hell of a reassurance one when i was really down in my life along with some kumkumam from some temple to cheer me that god is there, thanku for putting the rewind button in my thoughts tooo...sunkan
     
  9. sathya

    sathya Gold IL'ite

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    hello vidya


    an autograph he did sign
    many a time
    with his own style...
    to read and re read
    to relive those moements more dear
    to daughters they say
    precious
    fathers are

    we stayed together
    that my father
    wrote very few letters
    to us...
    wonder why inspite of my
    various collections of curious
    and saving habit
    i have not even one letter of his

    it would be a nice idea
    to go back to snail mail
    just once a month
    and preserve those
    written lovable lines...
    even if they are fighting
    acusing advising....!!

    a lovely poem...
    often laden with deep emotion
    is created when you are down...
    but once it is written
    there is an elevation in spirits

    this is one such cute poem of yours
    thats rings through our hearts...
    that you miss your dear dad..

    just as i do mine...

    sathya
     
  10. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    V24,

    What should I say for the treasure that you have got...It's meaning is more evident only when you don't have it. My father was very loving, and took care of all needs..but was a poor communicator...his letters will be just two lines (I don't want to write what those two lines were...)...those two lines used to mean a lot...


    A humble :bowdown:bowdown:bowdown for a great dad..
     

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