The Letter A Proud Father Writes to His Daughter:

Rathin Bhattacharjee
Posted September 26, 2019 from India

(In response to 'Write a letter to a young lady in your life. What are your dreams for her?)

 

The Letter A Proud Father Writes to his Daughter:

 

Dear Milu,

I know how surprised you will be to receive this email from me. I can even see the look of shock and disbelief in your eyes as you go through it.!

"A letter from Baba, of all people!" I can already hear you murmur out.

I know, my girl, (Why is the look of sadness back on your face again?) that all of those last seventeen years must have been terrible for you…..

 

I can still hear you arguing with me one day right after we, your Ma and I, decided to shift you down to our hometown, Kolkata, from Tsimalakha in Bhutan, where I had been working as a Language Teacher. Having arrived  in Kolkata, you missed those days of childhood spent amidst the bounties of Nature terribly badly. Those grave and grey mountains, the bluer than the blue skies overhead, the lush greenery all around, looked lonelier with you gone.

How I wish now that I had a chance to share with you, my dreams for you, when you stayed in The Happiness Country! I was introverted and not used to baring my heart easily. But like any other parents, I had big dreams for you. That one day, you would win people's adulation and admiration as an educated lady. You would be Ceoing an MNC, scaling new heights, setting the benchmark! That despite all your name, fame and affluence, you would be grounded and a good human, first and foremost.

You told me that dark night that things started changing once your elder sis, Akanksha, graduated out of CCS and got admitted at CPS in Kolkata.

All on a sudden, our small yet well-bonded family seemed to have received a massive blow! We had decided earlier to let you stay with me while your sister, Akanksha and Ma moved down.

But hardly did one week elapse when I thought you were getting very quiet in their absence, keeping yourself mostly to yourself, neglecting studies and keeping a distance from me. You would get back from school late most of the week days. When asked, you told me that you had work to do at school and were made to stay back. It was either the Scout Master or the Class Teacher assigning you with some tasks along with a couple of your friends after school.

Your behaviour also changed drastically. You became quieter, aloof, looking lost and hurt. All this got reflected in your performance. Your marks dipped even in English, your favourite subject till then!

I never told you till the day you caught me talking to Ma over the phone that I was constantly calling her  to have you admitted in a school down in Kolkata at the earliest. There was still hope, I also told your Ma. You must have overheard me telling Ma how fed up I was with you and your high and mighty attitude.

It took me till that awful night to realize that you felt the same way about me!

Kolkata didn't prove lucky for you either. When I came down next time after a gap of some six months during the vacation, gone was the spirited girl you once were. In her place, I found a complete stranger fiddling with the mobile twenty four hours a day, sensitive and unsure of the purpose of her life! You never attended school, seldom hung out with friends and did not talk much to most of us! Ma had started working by then and you seemed to rue her absence at home too.

 

I screamed at and scolded you after I had left the gas oven with the milk pot on, to fetch water from the tap in the courtyard outside. On my return, I could smell the ardour of burnt milk. One peek at the oven and I knew what the matter was. You didn't even move an inch from your place, hellbent on the mobile and ruining your future, as you were.

I smacked you hard that day. But the way you reacted, left me shell-shocked at the end! Gone was that decent girl, the topper of her class at CLSS. Instead an arrogant, unruly brat had emerged!

I learnt another lesson that day- that using force against a young girl like you, was no solution, it would never help.

Later, much later, that night when things had quietened down a bit, after Ma had stopped being hysterical, trying to refrain me from pulling you down from bed as, she cried, you were a girl, after Akku had stopped shrieking at Ma asking her why she ever thought of marrying and spending the rest of her days with me - you CAME BACK to me.

I was so panicky internally, Milu, I saw the pain and anguish in your eyes. I thought I had lost you at that time. But you were brave to talk to me first. You always did that, my child. 

Let me tell you now, when I am far away from you in a distant land, that you taught me that night the true meaning of 'family'. That despite the one million and one hurdles and differences between us, we were meant to stand by each other, in happy and sad times, to be a close-knit family.

I kept looking down as you kept on talking and sharing your worries and. dreams with me in the quiet of the night while the rest of the world was sound asleep!

While listening to you, I had an inkling into a new world of darkness and ignorance! Darkness, due to my lack of knowledge about Parenting and 'ignorance' as I learnt how little I knew about you even while staying under the same roof! 

You told me in the quiet of that fatal night how you missed Bhutan after coming down to Kolkata; how the very thought of being rejected even by your Baba kept HURTING you, how you felt like a stranger not only  at school but also back home!

You started thinking then that staying away from those big-mouthed, high nosed friends at your new school, might help you. You started spending more and more time at home. But even at Home things were far from looking up. Your sis Akanksha was busy with her own circle of friends. She didn't have time for you anymore. You found it hard to accept the truth and open up to her as a result. Ma would return home late from office and how you missed them, the friends of your former school and wanted them back in your life. That is how you started spending more time on your mobile.

I thought the face-to-face talk that night, wisened me up. I was a fool! I'd do the chores from then on in a way I had never done before, doing the dishes, hanging the washings along the line, making your coffee or arranging Akku's bed. 

You, my girl, did not change a wee bit even then and went back to your old, murky ways! Someone suggested we take you to a psychiatrist. You went berserk at the very disclosure!

After the Year-End Exam,when I asked you about your Result, you told me that the result would come back from the Board next year, that your name was there all right in the First List along with those students who got through in flying colors. I am unsure if I believed you that time! But when the Pre-Test Result for XII was declared after six months and parents informed about the PTM, you looked depressed again. The PTM over, I nearly gave up on you!

I thought It best not to tell you what your Class Teacher or Psychology Madam had told me that day. I was devastated, to say the least. I couldn't take it any more from them. 

I kept walking around the lake by your school. Round and round, pondering over my next course of action. I walked completely preoccupied with your thoughts! It was only then that I saw the barebodied lad diving into the green water of the lake. An withered lady sitting by the steps, taking out the hook from the mouth of the silver fish and keeping it in a pot behind. I was also mesmerized by the sight of the rippling water under the bushy  bamboo trees…..

Everything in nature went on its usual course. It didn't matter at all to anyone but me that you were being sent up on 'CONSIDERATION'. They thought they were doing you a great favour!

The calm of the lake and its surroundings helped me finally come to terms with myself. If you were fated to be an academic loser, so be it. The world is not made up of the winners alone. 'Some lose, some win'. But in the end it is the wonderful people, people wonderful from inside, who go on to leave their marks behind!

I couldn't get over my anger with you easily. There were just two more months left for your Board Exam. A few weeks before the exam, I had a mild flu which developed into an unbearable headache. I was delirious when the physician turned up. One look at me and next moment I was being rushed to the CMCH (Calcutta Medical College Hospital). I remember the precious moments when, eyes closed I could still hear someone whisper into my ear:

"Baba, I'll do well. I promise you that.." You were trying to reassure me for the first time at that crucial juncture through tears were welling up in your eyes!

I tried to open my eyes and smile back at you. But in place of the pain, there where blinding lights everywhere and I felt myself freer, lighter and calmer than ever before!

After the discharge, I heard the doctor telling me that I should consider myself lucky to be still alive. 

On the first day of your Board Exams, I showed you, once you were out of the Centre, the Offer Letter from the UAE and asked for your opinion. Though you looked a little shook up, you asked me to go grab the opportunity. I left on the last day of your exam. As I saw you coming out, I looked up and thanked Him for letting you finish the exams.

The day your HS result was out, Akku told me through Skype that she had been working frantically on her computer trying to find out your index number on the WBHSE website. The way she cried out after a while, made both Ma and you rush out into the dining room.

"Ma, Anu has passed in First Div!" Then all three of you were crying and dancing and shouting hoarse. Amidst all the cries of  tears and tears of happiness, I kept looking at you. You looked all grown up and had a woman's sixth sense.

Slowly you disentangled yourself from the arms around you and walked up to me on the laptop screen. Looking up into my eyes. You could sense my pride, my joy, Milu, and must have heard me thanking God;

" You will always be a winner for me, my angel. For deep down, I had never had doubts about your abilities…"

I broke into a sob in front of all three of you huddled together.

That was when I decided to type this letter and email it to you. I want you to know this in case I don't get a chance to tell you again that you have been a winner for me all along, in defeat, in disgrace, in the dark hours of Life. I learnt the very meaning of Life from you, my love. Proud of you. God bless you and all of us, my child.

The end

 

Comments 20

Log in or register to post comments
Anita Shrestha
Sep 26
Sep 26

Dear Rathin Jee
Thank you for sharing this letter to us. Really, it is inspiring letter.

Rathin Bhattacharjee

Thank you so much, Madam Anita. Stay blessed.

Anita Shrestha
Sep 27
Sep 27

Welcome dear

Lisbeth
Sep 26
Sep 26

Dear Jee,
Wow this is a wonderful letter to a daughter indeed. If you allow me I think is the best letter ever to a dearest daughter.
Thanks very much for choosing to share your letter with us. I hope you are doing well?
Kind regards

Rathin Bhattacharjee

Dear Lisbeth,
Thanks for your kind words. I feel honored to have to my credit, the tag of the " best ever letter to a dearest daughter", especially, when I think of some of the unbelievable letters to daughters written by their parents! f you have the time, please go through the book entitled "Letters From A Father to His Daughter" by J. L. Nehru, India's first PM. You may like it immensely.
God bless you. Prayers and best wishes,
Sincerely,

Lisbeth
Sep 27
Sep 27

Thanks very much. Try and send me the link of that book.
Kind regards

Rathin Bhattacharjee

Just bear with me for a day or two.
Regards and best wishes.

Tarke Edith
Sep 26
Sep 26

Hello Rathin
That letter was wonderful and very explisive..thank you for sharing such good examples with us.
I have really learn alot from the letter.expercially how to treat our daughters when they start behaving strange.
Thank you
My regard

Rathin Bhattacharjee

Dear Madam Edith,
Thanks for your encouragement. I feel grateful to World Pulse for providing me with such a wide-reach platform and always making me feel a very important part of this esteemed organization.
I get to know wonderful people like you, share my writings and reduce to some extent the heaviness in my heart because of the opportunities provided by World Pulse.
I have no intension of flattering but I do feel so obliged to World Pulse.
Thank you once again for keeping me going with those kind words.
Warm regards. God bless.
Sincerely,

Tarke Edith
Sep 27
Sep 27

You are welcome

Hello, Rathin,

You are such a gifted writer. This is such a heartfelt, vulnerable piece to write to a daughter. This is worth a wealth of inheritance: a father’s assurance that his daughter is a winner to him no matter what.

What a touching letter! Thank you for sharing!

Rathin Bhattacharjee

Hi, Ma'am Karen,
You are equally gifted, if not more. You have a way with words. Please keep writing, encouraging and shining.
Love and best wishes.
Sincerely,

Hello, Rathin,

Oh, thank you. Definitely, not more. We’re all unique but equal. No comparison needed, right?

Thank you for your encouragement. Yes, you, too, please!

Jill Langhus
Sep 27
Sep 27

Hi Rathin,

How are you doing? Thanks for sharing your inspiring story.

Hope you're doing well:-)

Rathin Bhattacharjee

Hi, Madam JiLanghus,
Always a pleasure to hear from you, my friend. I am doing good. At the moment I seem to have my hands full.
Please keep reforming, inspiring me with your feedback and all, the way you have been doing it all along.
Stay blessed. Love and best wishes,
Sincerely,

Jill Langhus
Sep 27
Sep 27

Hello there:-)

Great to hear! Oh?

Will do.

You, too!

ANJ ANA
Sep 29
Sep 29

Dear Rathin,
Thank you so much for sharing your letter. Very beautifully written with love and care. Some of the time, I found myself as your daughter and some of the time as a parent. Oh, it's touching to the heart. I know how hard it would be and the feeling when a parent becomes so helpless sometime, Keep your faith to your daughter and keep encouraging them. No one can boost their children's confident than any parents. It's so powerful.
best regards,
anjana

Rathin Bhattacharjee

Dear Madam Anjana,
I have no words to express my feelings in response to your letter other than: Thank you very much. for the kind words.
I dream of being a writer one day and making a difference. Your words make me feel that I am inching closer to my goals.
Keep on encouraging others, especially encouraging those people like the daughter here in the story With positive encouragement, they can go miles.
Take care and stay blessed.

Allegiance
Oct 03
Oct 03

Dear Rathin,

I cried so much reading this over again and again, You are an amazing Father and this is very touching ...If only my dad could say something nice to me even for a day it would be the happiest moment of my life but I dont even see him I try communicating he never reaches out , I felt your words in my heart thank you for me wish even though its would be granted

Rathin Bhattacharjee

Dear Allegiance,
Let me thank you, first of all, for your touchy words. I am a very emotional person by nature and kindness in people is what draws me to them the most.
You should meet my daughters, if it is to know the truth. My younger daughter considers me the greatest demotivating person she has seen in her life! I don't encourage her often as I want her to be ready for the challenges ahead. The children of this generation are so different from us! When I found my late Ma or an elder person doing the dishes, I'd lend a hand. My daughter, on the contrary, would prefer to leave her dish for me to wash! Though I am not being very honest here. I never read a book on patenting but I do wish so much for my daughters to develop into good human beings, first of all. A girl, who loves her parents for the new dresses they buy her, for sweet mouthing her in the name of motivation, for all their kindness, may not grow up to find the real world to be such a nice place after all!
Your father may not say it often but every time you show him what a kind, loving, giving daughter you are, you can take it from me, dear sister, his heart swells with pride.
Thank God for the people in your life. For you may not get a chance to express your love and gratitude tomorrow, my dear.
If I sounded a bit philosophical and showoffish, please forgive me.
Here is wishing you loads of happy memories and times with your parents.
With the very best wishes and love,