We could not attend my nephew V’s High School Graduation in California last weekend, so we sent him our love and best wishes through these letters.
I can’t believe he will be 18 this August and is off to college in September. He is ready to open his wings and fly out into the world – alone and independent. He will continue to move on and my sister and BIL foresee an emptiness in their lives which can never be filled. They have done their best as parents and now it is upto him to make his own path. They are first generation people in my family to settle in the USA and giving up their child at 18 is something so different to what Indian parents (in India) are accustomed to. Children are treated as children even when they are 40 (in most houses) – independence was an alien feature, but things are changing drastically – all for the better.
You’re going to college! Wow! I can’t find words to express how happy and proud of you we all are. You are a big boy now, some would say you’re already a Man..but for us you would always be the Kuttoo, sugar candy, (I’m not writing the Indian words here coz you would anyway not understand….ha ha ha ) and for some you would always be the “V****”. (He hates the way some of his parent’s friends pronounce his name the Mallu way with the typical Mallu accent).
My only true regret is that I could be with you from the day you were born only till you were about 1.5yrs.of age. After that when you all came back to Bangalore, I would wait for my break from office to spend every single long leave with you people. It was great to watch you grow, take your baby steps, fall down (the number of times you’ve fallen from the sofa and landed on your bum..ha ha ha, we would laugh in glee..yes yes we were evil that way) gather yourself up and now, wow..what a fine young man you have turned into.
Even when young, you never used to cry or throw tantrums, roll on the floor of shops and yell your lungs out for things you wanted..you were calm and controlled and sweet, something that you have taken after your mom. She was the good one, the angel, the calm, reserved, quiet one – and you would have guessed how I would have been! So yes, you take after you mom that way. Your skills and talents – you’ve taken after your dad and of course the height. With all this you have also managed to create your own identity. Don’t ever compromise on your values and your beliefs.
It’s going to be a very different world out there-there would be peer pressure for good and for bad. Never give in to something you don’t believe in. At the same time never hesitate to try out things which will enrich your knowledge and experience and be fun at the same time. You are leaving a sheltered nest, open your wings with confidence, but the nest and your family will always be there to watch your back, to hold you.
Never hesitate to talk to your parents and confide in them for anything. They are the ones who will never judge you like others. We are always there for you whenever you need us. There is nothing wrong in a man being emotional. You are going to be a doctor and you cannot believe that tears and emotions are only for women. There is nothing wrong is putting your heart out on your sleeve, but you need to be responsible not to hurt others or get hurt in the bargain.
Grab your opportunities, take the chance, go out there, surprise yourself sometimes..you will be glad you did try out some new stuff. For eg, you can try wearing shorts or 3/4th’s when you go out .
You don’t owe your parents your money or anything else. But the one thing that you do owe them is your safety, your good health and well being. Do keep them in the loop if you’re travelling with friends over the weekend or going out of town.
There is nobody bigger than you – so don’t be scared of anybody
There is nobody smaller than you – so don’t treat anybody badly.
Congratulations sweetheart on your graduation and I wish you all the very best in life. May all your dreams and aspirations come true and may you succeed in all that you want. I wish you all the happiness in your life. Enjoy your independence, but also learn to be responsible for your actions.
Study well, party hard, drive safe and take care of yourself.
Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of Love (and ummas) – L Aunty
This is a very proud moment for all of us and I know it is a special day for you too. Congrats on your Graduation and may success follow you wherever you go.
Time has come for you to take your steps into this world on your own. I wish you all the very best and all the good things in your life. Do not give up your humour, sketching and numerous other talents you have and learn new ones on your way. You don’t need to excel in everything, but learning and exploring new things is good. From now on you will be responsible for making your own decisions and few of them will change or impact the rest of your life. But whenever you are in doubt, take your time, think about it, discuss it and decide with a clear mind. Always have an open mind – not everybody you come across would think like you or agree with you. Don’t hesitate to speak your mind, but also respect the other person’s point of view.
You are a blessing to all of us and you are very lucky to have such loving and friendly parents. Yes they would have pressurized you to perform well in academics, but that is only in the hope that it would be good for your future. Learn from your mistakes, slow down when you feel things are getting too much and move on with confidence.
Be cheerful and continue to do things which makes you happy. Do not let anyone change you or your beliefs. If you face any problem during your college or hostel life, do not hesitate to talk about it at home. Treat your women friends with dignity and respect.
Mingle with everybody and make a lot of friends – for they are the ones who would stand by you, besides your immediate family.
Wish you the best in everything you do.
Love and best wishes