Tuesday, September 29, 2015

To my dear daughter,

My dear daughter, it was with joy I held you 19 years back on this day and ever since the day, a day has not gone when you hav’nt given me moments of surprise, joy, laughter, pride and ofcourse tears too( but I will not talk about tears…all those are related to your not eating food)
I remember every milestone of yours and have recorded them in stills and video but some were’nt recorded…….

At 1, we realized how smart you  were.  You walked by 9 months and were such a sweet child who attracted all those hostel students of IFIM who lived opposite our home with your liveliness and cuteness.

At 2, you could  color the alphabets which I drew on calendar backs  and you did it with so much control , you would settle down beside me when I chopped veggies and rattle off their names,  and you were off to pre nursery at 2.6 .  I still remember, how your brother would sense your arrival from school although i would hush you up and tell to tip toe, he would wake up and you both would play “scooter scooter” on my back. While the little one did’nt even know to speak, you would do funny faces and sounds and he would gurgle and laugh. It was such fun to watch you both. You were an entertainer even at that age.

At 3, you chanted all those slokams with much  clarity and you had even started sarali varisai.    @  Pankaja aunty’s music class. You enjoyed the puzzles and little luttappi stories of “The magic pot”. 

At 4, you romped home with certificates for singing, drawing and cursive writing. and  I still remember how I would sit you a while in the BDA park on our walk to the library. You loved playing the beach set.

At 5, while I felt you were too young to join dance, you volunteered to join Imran Sardariya’s  Dinky’ s dance academy and faced the camera for the “Amma ninna tholinalli” song with Ramesh Arvind with such confidence and that confidence showed when you were  published in ‘The Hindu’ amongst 50 kids.  Around the same time we shifted to Hyderabad and the very first day in your new school although you were moist eyed in the new environment, you  got a certificate for Cursive writing.
Around the same age, I loved the way you and your bro enjoyed Karadi tales, while you listened attentively on the audio, your bro would hold the book upside down and pretend to read. We both would laugh at those antics.

At 6, your teacher Meena Chauhan spotted your potential and selected you for all the extra curricular and you would come home and prepare for all those without my prompting. I still remember the way you practiced “The foreign lands” poem standing on the kitchen table. You asked me to correct your modulation while I cooked.

At 7, Your teacher Anita Potay, marked you again as a brilliant girl and  that was also the year you said you would study and do your work independently without my supervision. You enjoyed all the mythological stories I narrated to you and one day you refused to drink “payasam” , you said drinking “payasam” would make you bear babies. When I looked askance you said Dasharata wives bore babies because they drank payasam. This was also the year you volunteered again to join the abacus academy while I felt you were too young to handle too many things. Again, you proved me wrong by cracking the competition amongst so many older kids.

At 8, you enjoyed watching splash TV channel which was exclusively for kids. The kids cookery show in that channel inspired you to do cooking and you would mimic the shows with your brother. Both of you loved watching Caillou and Clifford the big red dog in the morning before going to school.

At 9, Once during our visit to “Lifestyle” on children’s day, you volunteered to participate in all those kids shows and you also wanted to join the fancy dress competition for which we were unprepared. I said you can’t participate in that since we were not prepared.  You said “IT’s ok ma, I can still be the newsreader”. You awed me with your presence of mind and confidence.

At 10,  You were always a great help even while young, but I loved the way you would independently take your brother and cycle within our colony to reach Madhu aunty’s beautiful summer fun class. The antique finish painting and the clay work  you learnt there still   occupy a place of pride in our home.

At 11, You simply soared in academics and co-curriculars. And remember the swimming you hated at the age of 6 in your school, you simply learnt in 3 days in our apartment pool and taught other kids too. You even learnt Breast stroke all on your own and due to your interest by watching others.

At 12, you started inspiring your friends and I was so proud when Sumati aunty told me that her daughter Akshi (junior national TT champion) took to studies seriously only because of you. She had to miss her classes due to TT coaching  and tournaments and you helped her and  motivated her. You have given me so many such proud moments.

At 13, I remember the drawing competition which you participated at heights -1- while you competed with kids your age and older who were trained in art . You beat all  those trained kids and won the prize in the competition.

At 14, The year you refused to throw a birthday party, you instead said you wanted to poor feed on your birthday, It made appa and me beam with pride for having raised a compassionate kid and you said appa teaching the 12th standard underprivileged kids  was the inspiration for this.

At 15, You, a perfectionist ,disciplined child  would work so meticulously, diligently and do your work perfectly while balancing play and extra curricular. I still remember you played , attended your music and drawing class even a day prior to the boards. That  year also saw you getting a perfect CGPA of  10  and it was a moment of joy to see you go on stage to get the certificate and award for topping while all around in the auditiorium clapped for you.
At 16, I had tears of joy when appa pillioned and  you drove our new two wheeler. You started driving to your school with a learner’s licence. This was also the year when you joined the NCC and roughed it up at the boot camp. It was a matter of pride when a random man at an exhibition walked up to me to say “ Your daughter has leadership qualities”.  an ex-army officer at your boot camp and a visitng faculty at the business school ISB, a man of his calibre saw potential in you is a cherishable moment for any parent.

At 17, While you always took control of situation, were matured and independent, this age saw you  focusing more on academics and we never had to push you to do anything. I found you slightly stressed this year since you wanted to ace the entrance. You found  it tough to balance due to school work and the design coaching work.  Yet again a milestone year for you, where you aced up both academics and entrance. The year we also took the  malaysia -Singapore trip which was a great learning and enjoyable experience.  You and your bro lived independently in a separate room and we your parents found it  amusing when you both led and navigated us with guides, maps and directions. This year also saw you fly away from the comforts of home and live in a hostel.

At 18,  The  new environment, new set of friends, academics , home sickness were again proving difficult for you initially but you over came all those mighty obstacles and proved you can defeat them with your fighting spirit.  Very proud of your fortitude, Yet again another year where you aced up the system all over your national institute and brought us pride.OFcourse, your appa your confidante was a great moral support to you.

 Aah!.…. This was also the year you took  your car driving lessons, earned  your four wheeler driving  licence and you overtook your amma in this. I felt like the bournvita mom where the son defeats the mom in the running race…you know some defeats in life bring so much of joy and loosing to your child is one of them. I was overjoyed when I saw you maneuver the busy Hyderabad traffic at  Nacharam, that day of course you were guided by your dad…a few days later when I heard you telling appa not to guide, I and appa could only exchange glances of pride. Not just me, it feels nice when our neighbours, relatives and friends think the same about you.  I got a whatsapp message from Anu aunty the same day telling me that you crossed her while driving and she said I can’t believe how kids grew so fast and she wrote you were a role model for the girls of our complex.

Very true what she said, don’t know when you kids grow so fast, we blink and you grow  while we parents stop growing. In fact, it reminds me of a poignant dialogue from a Tamil movie Abhiyum Naanum (remake of Father of the bride) which beautifully details the bonding between a dad and his daughter, from a little girl to a grown up. The dialogue goes:

“When a child is born, a father is also born. But child grows up so fast while dad remains the same”.

And ,  you are already 19!!!! Dunno when??!!... a very mixed feeling.

 A very happy birthday to you my dear girl. I am sad  you could’nt spend the day with us but am glad that your friends have hijacked our place momentarily and made the day memorable for you. Glad to see you surrounded by such responsible and loving friends. Hoping to meet you this long weekend.

And of course, our hopes, prayers, wishes and blessings will continue to grow for you and I know you will stand by the values you were raised with and you will grow stronger and stronger with God’s grace and elder’s blessings and be happy forever. It was another cherishable moment when all your aunts, uncles, grandparents,extended family, teachers and friends  blessed you today . You are cloaked with their wishes and God's protective hand around you. You are my beautiful, talented and wonderful angel  and you very well know you have a perfect cushion in your family to fall back . Happy birthday again, my dear princess. Stay blessed forever. 


  1. Please convey my Happy Birthday wishes to your daughter. This post is a very nice chronicle.

  2. Many happy returns of the day to your daughter .. a BIG HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY...


  3. Awesome nostalgic post! Very sure ur daughter must b proud of u too :)

    1. Thank you Vaishnavi, Yes, we sort of belong to the mutual admiration society and feel proud of each other.

  4. Asha,
    A very Happy Birthday to your daughter! I keep going back and reading your previous posts randomly. They really give me immense contentment. I feel each one is a gem filled with wisdom. They are thought provoking, relating to our day today life, value and explain the traditions that our ancestors followed and at the same time very informative. I really appreciate you and your writing. Thank You!

    1. Honored and humbled by that lovely comment Veena. You are too generous anyways thank you.