Dear Maa and Papa,
I know you are scared. The thought of something bad happening to me terrifies you. I get why you’ve set curfews and why you do and say the things that well, you do and say. Your worries are all for my wellbeing.
You know, Papa, whenever I think of freedom, I think of myself, in a car with a sunroof, feeling the wind hit my face like a splash of cold water on a hot summer day. My arms are wide open like you see in films. I am happy, smiling. But it’s not during the day; it’s late at night, with dawn about to knock on our doors.
Come on, we know how it’s really impossible to get out during the day in a city like Bombay and to feel the wind on your face without having to worry about college and work and everything else that we think about. I know that is a far-fetched dream for me because you know, most of my friends who make me truly happy don’t even live in this city anymore. But I like to think of this moment, this feeling that I will have, sometime in the future. My hair would be flying like it were also free.
This is not the only idea of ‘freedom’ that I have, though. Today, each word I think and speak of, it gives me freedom. I remember Maa, how you used to sit down with me every single day and teach me the English alphabet, numbers and whatnot. I remember how I used to call an eggplant an onion and an onion an eggplant every day. I remember you looking at my toddler self oh-so-lovingly, regardless of how difficult I was being.
Today, each word I think and speak of, it gives me freedom.
All these words, they are a gift from you. These words, they are my true freedom. I use them to go places that I have never been to, to feel things that I haven’t felt yet and to fly away into another world. These words, these sentences, they are what makes me, ‘me’. It’s hard to imagine who I would be if it weren’t for you, teaching me how to read, to write and to express myself freely.
I remember, Papa, how you would talk to me about decisions. Today, each decision I make is my choice, is what I believe in. I wouldn’t be a free thinker if it wasn’t for you. You taught me decision-making in the subtlest ways possible: from ordering food in new restaurants to building an opinion about cars and music and whatnot. Although I am not fully decisive just yet and you aren’t here anymore to help me learn, I promise you that I will decide everything on my own and do what I feel is right.
Life won’t get easier, I know. But I will get tougher because I have it in my blood to be a fighter, just like you. I have learned how to deal with hardships from you. I have seen your home being broken and coming together, brick by brick. And yet you had it in you to smile at us each day, to provide for us and give us everything we asked for.
It is only today that I truly understand that the most important thing you gave me was my education. You taught me how important it was to learn, to understand and apply, even though I gave you a hard time with Math. I still hate Math, though, but I learned to play with numbers because you pushed me to.
I have a lot to thank you for, Maa and papa, but most of all, I want to thank you for educating me, for giving me a secure home and for not holding me back. I wouldn’t be who I am today without knowing that you have always got my back and that you trust and believe in me.
Thank you, Maa and papa.
Also Read: Thank You Mamma, For Raising Me To Be Brave
Featured image used for representative purpose only. Image source: IMAGE.IE