Happy Birthday Tushit as you turn 10….

Rajesh K. Jha*

We are publishing a letter written by a father to his son on his 10th
birthday. You may well ask why is it being published? Well, it’s only 5-minute
read, please have a look and then decide, whether our decision to publish
it, is correct or not.


Dear Tushit,

I am so delighted to see you turning 10. It is an important milestone in your life when you have to use two digits to write your age. I pray and wish that one day you may require three digits for the same. This will require a lot of football and outdoor games, exercise and physical activity, but above all, a happy and satisfied mind and a heart full of love and compassion.

I want to reveal a secret to you on your birthday. When I see you setting up your new electronic gadget Nintendo (have I spelt it correctly?) gifted by ‘Bade papa’ after your secret discussions with him over several weeks, I also feel delighted. You may not have even noticed my happiness, as you know I am an expert in hiding my feelings. In fact, most of your elders are good at hiding their feelings.

Just try to observe Mummy or Maa when they are sweating in the kitchen preparing your favourite dish. They may appear angry sometimes, even irritated when you do not eat the items prepared by them, but actually, they are so very happy to prepare the food for you and everyone else in the family. They are just experts in hiding their emotions and feelings. So, now that you are 10, I wish you to sometimes try to understand those hidden secrets of life – love behind the anger, pain behind the happiness and sacrifices behind the achievements. I don’t want to bore you with big words, but I am sure soon you will find these words also enjoyable as you grow older……11..12…13…

I wish you to enjoy your gadgets, but of course within the time limit you have set for yourself. But at the same time, I also wish you to wonder and explore the technology, software and hardware that have given so much joy to children (and sometimes to grown-ups too) all over the world. Maybe one day you can come up with a device that is even more enjoyable? Maybe you can create a game which all children can play, even if they are poor and can’t afford to buy an expensive device? After all, your teacher at your previous school in Dhaka, Ms Ula thought that you are very good at making engineering designs and models. Though it does not mean at all that I want you to become an engineer or designer.

Needless to say, that I leave the decision to you whether you want to become a footballer, an engineer, a painter, a hiker, or whatever else you desire. I am only interested in seeing you explore your interests with your full capacity and ability. Because only when you give your best, you get your best. Remember, we all have immense capabilities hidden inside us. But  these abilities come out only with dedication and endless efforts. So, as you turn 10, you need to focus and channelize your energy into developing your skills, attaining new knowledge and growing into a wise man.

On your 10th birthday, I wish you enjoy many hours of Nintendo as well as Yuval Noah Harari, exploring and understanding the secrets of the way humans have evolved over thousands of years and are still, hopefully, evolving.  Learn the techniques of football from great players, even from Messi whom you don’t like much because one can also learn from people whom they don’t like. Wonder, sometimes alone or with your friends looking at a Van Gogh or Matisse or Picasso or M. F. Husain painting or enjoy the beauty of the mountains – snowclad or barren – in Ladakh or elsewhere.

Sometimes it is good to be sad or angry, feel the pain, even cry, on reading about the train accident a few days back in which so many people lost their lives or the war in Gaza where thousands of people have been killed including children.

Now that you are 10, maybe you can sometimes go into the kitchen, help Maa and Mummy in their sweating delight by doing some work. Take my word, you will enjoy your food much more after you have helped them with something like doing the dishes or helping them in some way. Maybe sometimes you ask Bade papa what new books he has ordered or is currently reading? Why he loves to listen to Iqbal Bano’s Ghazals or quaint Ragas sung by Kumar Gandharva where words like ‘Hum Dekhenge..’ or ‘Ud Jayega Panchhi Akela’ keep repeating? Also, you can occasionally ask him if he has taken his medicines on time or not? 

But before I end my happy birthday card, one very important thing I want you to remember: You have to teach me how to play Nintendo as there is nothing more beautiful and happier for me than to play with you and keep recharging my love for you like everyone else in the family – Daddu, Dida, Lal babu, Bade papa, Tashu didi, Maa, Buchchi didi, Kavita didi, Mamta, …..

Cheers.

Yours,

Papa

*******

*Rajesh Jha is from the Indian Information Service with over two decades of experience in various media units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. He has served as Chief Editor Yojana and Prasar Bharti Special Correspondent in Dhaka.

Banner Image : Tushit K.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of the author and do not reflect the views of raagdelhi.com, which does not assume any responsibility for the same.

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