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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Letters to a little girl - twelve


Dear Ragini,
The last letter of the advice series. One never believed one would get here so it may be time to heave a huge sigh of relief.
One. Twelve months. But a lifetime of change has already been set into place. I believed I could do it better the second time around but I hadn't really accounted for the differences. You walked a bit later. You started eating on your own much, much sooner. You screech, which he never did. Already the differences in personalities are too numerous for me to keep up with the comparisons. It is time to let the two tickers and the two critters write their own destinies without my running a constant comparative analysis.
Perhaps part of it has to do with your almost sharing birthdays. That reminds me, I got away with a joint birthday party this time. The theme was supposed to cars and butterflies but the cars ate up the butterflies. The next time, you will be two, kiddo and I have a feeling you will have a lot to say.
I do hope you will like cars though.
This time you were asleep through the proceedings.
Six teeth on the last count. And many, many bite marks on the family.
First book. Good Night Moon. Not terribly imaginative, I know, but come on, it claims it has lulled generations of children to sleep. Not my children, no. MY children have made their parents cry uncle, aunt and assorted relatives before they have deigned to close their eyes. 
Weaned at one. Taken to the bottle. Much heartbreak on the part of the mater despite wanting it very much. Confused emotions are part of the game.
You are a climber. No height is too much. Have limbs, will clamber. The sofa bears the evidence of the little feet and the grubby hands.
Unfortunately, there is no interest in TV yet. Bye, bye, Katrina Aunty.
There is a very strong streak of independence and self-reliance.  I am quite happy about it, except when I have to scrub mashed bananas and cheese out of the carpet.
Well, the last of the advice then and I am done for good.
  • Wrong advice does more harm than no advice.
  • False modesty is worse than genuine arrogance. I have found arrogance when justified to be quite attractive. Maybe you will too.
  • If you are ever caught in the drudgery of housework, rule number one is to wipe as soon as you spill.
  • As a houseguest, don't help yourself to the newspapers before the hosts have taken a go at them.
  • You can never have too many towels. There is a Hitchhikers reference in there but that's not the point.
  • Fidelity is so rare that it is precious and underrated at the same time.
  • Drink milk.
  • Being a parent, a good parent requires you to put someone else ahead of you all the time, for the rest of your life. Only if you are ready to make this life-changing adjustment should you consider having babies.
  • You can give and take all the advice in the world but there is no substitute for living life and learning from experience.
  • If you want a simple life, you will need to cut out the clutter. Don't waste time on envying others their lives, don't fret about what others think of you, don't try to be popular or to please people. All of this is unnecessary noise. Focus on the real stuff that makes you happy and spend all effort on those - work, travel, kids, hobbies, whatever. If you find people to be a waste of time, it is perfectly ok to cut them down to the few who do make you happy. When it comes to friends, quality over quantity.
  • Base your opinions of people only on their direct interaction with you. Which is also why it's futile to try to know celebrities.

In the end, I sing to you….(only figuratively, thank god)
I hear babies crying,
I watch them grow
They'll learn much more
Than I will ever know.
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.
Happy birthday, my little girl.  You rock.
Love,
Ma


Dear Readers,
I have said all that I had to in the last twelve months. Any advice that you'd like to offer will find pride of place. Go ahead, offer some wisdom to a tiny young thing. What are the Big Truths that you have learnt in your life?
Well then, this was fun.




19 comments:

Tongue-fu Lady said...

My advice..never do anything that won't make your mom proud :)

Such a sweet sweet letter to the daughter!

subbulakshmistoned said...

Why are the letters coming to an end? UNFAIR.

The Soul of Alec Smart said...

No advice, you've covered everything. I'll just say this to Ragini - When in doubt, read Mama's letters :)

Lakhi said...

I love the one on clutter......Ragini is lucky to have U for a mom. The B'day pics were wonderful and Adi is grown. I feel old Parul. Take care. hugs, loads of love as always.

Aneela Z said...

The best laid plans of mice and men go oft awry..unless they are of Disney and Mickey Minnie, so beware of their diabolical plotting.

And

We did our best and encouraged you dear toddler to read, now take a page out of our book and LET US THE PARENTS READ!

Art said...

The simple life part is so very true.... It applies more to the grown ups, we r still to learn so much in life :)

Aneela Z said...

*leaf, leaf, leaf* out of our book
Go back to English class, do not pass Go, do not collect 200

WSW said...

You might think your parents are the symbols of "uncool" and try to be everything but them in your teenage years but you WILL spend the rest of your life trying to get as many things right as they did! There my 2 cents :)

Poornima said...

Loved the letter series. I have bookmarked those, will probably share some of these pieces of advice with my future kids. Hope that is okay!

dipali said...

I agree with The Soul of Alec Smart!
With you for a mom, I doubt if she'll get better advice from anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Loved the letters to the little gal. Happy birthday to both the kids.

Sue said...

Dear Ragini,

Wear what you want and when you want. Only caveat being you learn appropriate dressing too. But don't let anybody tell you that the colours clash or the cuts don't work because unless you try them all you'll never work out the best you can possibly look.

Also, when it comes to the men, keep them guessing. A little mystery is worth hazaar confessions.

Much love,
Aunty Sue

Anonymous said...

Awesome post. Happy b'day R.
- Meera

Vini said...

Loved the letters, but I don't want you to end on such a serious note. Write one final letter which is the height of jhakaasness please :)

DewdropDream said...

Fear does not equate to respect. And respect goes both ways. If it doesn't it's probably not a good thing to be involved in.

Also, it is very very important to know how to spend time by yourself. So work on making yourself the most interesting person you know and work on enjoying spending time with yourself.

Happy Birthday to Ragini, if a little belated!

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

Darling girl,

Marry a friend. A marriage based on friendship lasts forever.

Your gut instincts are also usually right. Learn to listen carefully.

Much love sweetheart! Go rock the rest of your life!
M4 masi from Calcutta

Priya said...

Hey! Loved this series of letters to your lil girl!! Some great advice here :) Lucky girl she is!!
Love the way you write :)

Anonymous said...

That was a frankly incredible blog.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't think you are more right..