I remember the day I held my son, now almost four, for the very first time. Amongst the usual deluge of emotions that inundate a new mother, I remember feeling something very peculiar which I doubt ever told anyone about. I looked at him and wondered when he would be old enough to talk to me. Not just start speaking; utter words like Maa, Baba or the other usual cute garble infants start with. But really talk. Have a conversation. Share his opinions. Tell me how he really feels about things.
For some reasons, I just couldn’t wait for him to grow old enough to do that.
That planted a plot in my head. And almost a year of caffeine-fuelled long nights later, it had turned into a whole novel.
While my upcoming novel #InTheLightOfDarkness has many themes running through it, the central tension of the story stems from the fact that a mother is unable to find the opportunity and the courage to tell her son the things she had always wanted to; things she should have told him, a long time ago. Things she needed to tell him, in order to mend all that was broken between them.
It got me thinking. Do we ever find the opportunity or the courage, or even for that matter the time to tell our children all that we intend to? Hold the deep, laissez faire conversations which we want to? I’m not referring to the customary talks about the usual array of hand-me-down knowledge – how to choose a career, which of their friends we may not approve of and why, how to invest their money or do their taxes, which relatives to always call and keep in touch with, or more importantly which ones to avoid, how to regularly test doodhwaala’s milk for adulterants and where to find free parking in Connaught Place on a busy weekend.
But the kind of stuff that really matters. Stuff we wished someone would have told us about, when we were growing up. So that we did not have to spend a lifetime trying to figure it out.
How to know right from wrong; based on our conscience, and not what others think. How to know success from failure, based on how it makes us feel inside. How to follow our passion and not feel guilty about it. How to a live a life that is rich, honorable and free of regrets.
I realized that there are many conversations like that, which I would want to hold with my child, some day. I didn’t want to, I couldn’t, wait for that day to arrive. Certainly not without documenting the ideas, lest they get lost in the daily humdrum of life, like the way let’s face it, most of our thoughts and ideas do.
Hence, came along, the #LettersToMySon series.
I hope you enjoy reading them. I hope they strike a chord somewhere. And most importantly, I hope they make my son glad that I wrote them, someday.