Recently, I read an extract from a book that contained ‘letters’ written by very famous fathers to their children and letters written by very famous children to their fathers. I found the words rather simple. They were simple, yet had profound thought that could inspire anyone.
Long after I read the extract, I couldn’t stop thinking about the book. Such was the effect of those letters that I wondered if I could do something similar. A sudden thought crossed my mind. That brilliant book that is lurking inside me could actually be a book of letters to my son!
I almost smiled at that thought.
I have countless memoirs about Sid’s growing years, some good, some funny and some not so good. I also have many experiences from my life, that I could share.
The more I thought, the more I was thrilled. As I wrote those lines in my head, the book was slowly taking shape. I could write about Sid’s first day in school, the lovely holiday in Egypt and also his first train journey.
It all seemed to fit perfectly, except, these events were not life lessons. They were just experiences and not stories that could inspire. A tad bit of sadness crept inside me. I had to reconcile. I mean I am no philosopher with that brilliant secret of life I could share. After all, what could normal people possibly write to normal children?
But a week later, I could not get the thought of letter-writing out of my head. So I decided to give it a try and sat down with a letter pad at the dining table overlooking the garden.
I wanted to write something that Sid would remember for ever. So, I took a deep breath and the maternal DNA kicked in. Suddenly, the words started to flow.
‘Dear Sid,’ I started writing. Then, all I had was some tears and a choked throat. I wanted Sid to know something very important — something that every parent in the world feels.
‘I love you’, I wrote and I had more tears. I wondered endlessly, how much of all that I felt for Sid could be filled in that tiny four-letter word called ‘love’. I paused a bit. I continued: ‘You mean the world to me. No matter what, I want you to know that I will love you always just much as I did, the first time I held you.’
For a long time, I couldn’t write. Yes, I wanted to give him a life lesson, words of wisdom, letters of hope. Yet, all I managed was to tell him that I love him. Nothing new.
Later that day, I pondered over my unfinished letter. The book extract was very different. Famous people had so many things to share. There were lessons on empathy, responsibility to the society, importance of being grounded and so many other things.
In contrast, my letter had just simple words. For a long time, I wondered, if my letter was worth anything. Just then, I heard Sid’s familiar laughter. I found him sitting in his favourite reclining chair holding a comic book.
I love watching Sid laugh and I always unconsciously smile. Suddenly, my letter felt perfectly fine. After all, what would be the one thing that would give Sid the strength to face the challenges, life can throw at him.
Well, Sid may not have a letter that is worthy of publication in a book with profound thoughts.
He may have simple words. Those are words of love. I sighed. As for the other lessons, I saved it for another letter. For now, I had to sign off the first one. That, I did.