An open letter….

Dear Pappa,

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Thank you! Thank you for making me who I am today. You are the reason I survived in this family.

Having our roots from an orthodox Maharashtrian family, you could have easily raised me up like every other girl was raised in a family like ours, but you didn’t. Thank you for choosing the other way. You have always been courageous.
You opened a champagne bottle and raised a toast when I was born. At the time when people rejoiced at the birth of a boy, you jumped with glee at my existence. Thank you for celebrating the birth of a girl child.

You enrolled me into a convent school, the first daughter in our family to study there. I was lucky I must say. You were on my side every time dada and I had a fight over any silly thing. I adore you for that.

You were and you still are the best teacher I have ever had. You never taught me from school books, but from your experiences. Your success and failures have been the biggest source of inspiration for dada and me to go on in life. You taught us how to keep smiling in spite of the ups and downs we came across. You told me to respect every individual irrespective of their social status, a rare thing these days . Thank you so much!

You let me take the most crucial decision of my life-opting for my choice of career! Not even once did you impose your options on me. I was aware you wanted me to join the civil services but You let me be me!

You never opposed or stopped me from having any male friends, or going for parties or wearing short dresses. You accepted my way of living ,a bit hesitantly though. I know how difficult it must have been for you considering the society we live in and the pressure we face owing to your political status.

You did not marry me off when I touched my early twenties unlike majority of the parents in our neighbourhood. You respected my decision of waiting for the right time. You accepted the fact that I wanted to be ‘me’ first and then somebody’s wife or daughter-in law. You could have forced me or convinced me to do it and I wouldn’t have said no to you but you chose my way! And I am still happily single focussing on establishing a reputation of my own. Thank you!

You taught me to have faith in myself and believe in God rather than believing in a religion. Thank you for making me a secular human.

My dear pappa, you made me free, independent, humble, courteous and you made me strong, rebellious and competitive. You also gave me wings but made sure you were there if I fell down flat on my face. You gave me the liberty to make my choices and decisions irrespective of the consequences but you also held onto me whenever I did not succeed. You made me competent enough to face the world and not shy away from it.

You have been and will be my greatest pillar of strength, rock solid in all circumstances. Thank you for being there always!

And thank you for being you!!!

   Your carefree, independent daughter,

                 Meera Avinash

 

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