I know you will start by reading this letter with a cynical thought – “Of course Athira must be doing this to butter me up and for the sake of doing something on my birthday.”
Neither of that is true.
Why would I need to butter you up? All of that goes to Amma. 🙂
I’ve never publicly written an e-letter to you. So take this opportunity to sit back, whilst on this day I can honestly be open with my heart. Happy Birthday to you! You turn 57 today. You and Amma have come and told me that I’m growing up every year on my birthday; in the same manner I can say that you are also growing; I’ll not say old, because age is but a number, and I can never consider you old. Time is whizzing by, and it stuns me some days that this is your age. I always still have you quite young in my mind – with your consistent energy and drive to succeed one would never imagine that you’re ageing. Even if people or society tells you to slow down, I hope you continue to have this energy to you and your mind is consistently active.
I have much to learn from you Acha – and much to keep learning from the world, in which the experiences I will share with you. This year has brought us closer together, and I look forward to having that continue in the years to come. Wouldn’t you agree? Although I’ve not been able to keep in touch as much as I would like to, I hope you know I am always thinking of you and Amma.
There is one thing you must know. Do you know that every time you tell me I work hard I think it’s never good enough? It won’t be. Since you are my inspiration, I have a long way to go on my journey.
As funny as this may sound, I hope that we continue to fight in great energy – it is a sign of vital health and affection that is truly unique to our Father-Daughter relationship. We’ve had our differences – our bitter arguments that have been painful on both ends to endure. I suppose we will always fight with our similar natures – which I naturally got from you, you can’t deny that. Yet I will say this: despite all the fights, you’ve raised me to have an opinion of my own – in a society still so strongly patriarchal, I will always appreciate that you have let me speak my thoughts.
Even if it is after 5 minutes once you finish talking.
As you turn 57 today, I do have some thoughts I can’t help but share with you.
Spend time with those that you are close to. As busy as you are, and as much as you enjoy it, an afternoon playing rummy is a great way to relax.
Don’t push so much with people and life – things will work out when it’s meant to (I.e. My marriage).
Learn to relax – put away your phone and look up. Preserve memories with those around you – not with those on your phone.
Take Amma out on a romantic date – it must be 30 odd years since you both have done that! Get her some flowers, take her somewhere nice and be nostalgic about how far the both of you have made it.
I hope you can take this with a smile and a light laugh. 🙂 As a 24 year old embarking on this journey of life, I am well aware that I have a long list of experiences to encounter. Let me tell you what I am yet to learn and hope to learn from you:
Never hold grudges in your heart and learn to let go of the past.
Save money for investments – even if you start small, you can build your way up.
Be generous. Always, and more. With whatever little you have be unselfish. There is nothing to gain by being selfish.
It’s important to plan for all scenarios, including and especially the worst.
Make sure that you can rely on yourself so that you don’t have to depend on others.
You are mostly (not always) right. (I will never say this in front of you – haha!)
So here’s to you Acha, and your 57th Birthday. Once again Happy Birthday – I do wish I could spend this day with you and I miss you very much. I’ll only pray for many more healthy years to come. I hope this made you smile and cry (on the inside of course) just a little bit.
No matter what, I will always love you.