Dear Mumma and Papa
This is the first letter I address to you about the feelings I have but am too scared to confront. I love you both a lot and know how many sacrifices you both are making for me and for Bhaiya, by staying apart from each other just so our education doesn’t suffer because of the sudden and ill-timed transfer.
Mumma, I know Bhai’s board exams are near and that makes you concentrate on him a lot more, but many times your little daughter misses you too. Watching you teach him all the time makes me wish I could have you as my constant support too. I can’t tell you how it feels to have my Dad in a different state and Mom who is always busy with the other kid. It’s not that I get jealous of my own brother – but I guess I do!
It’s been a difficult year in school with girls embracing their growing bodies, but I have been hiding in my own skin, Maa, it’s not easy to have a growing body when everyone else is loving the change but you have to be the one still holding onto your childhood, especially when your body is growing very fast. After Dad went for the job, you have been so busy yourself, that you forgot your little girl is now a teenager. I know you do a lot, you get busy. I love you and I want to be as strong as you are.
When I see you do stuff single-handedly, I don’t feel the need to be just like a son, instead be more like a daughter! But Mom, I want to tell you how guys stare, how they talk about my facial hair and my developing body. All I hear now is that it’s my body and I have to hide it. When my friend’s mom took a step back just to stare at me and it scared me to my very soul. I might never forget her stare and the words coming out of her mouth – “Betiya badi ho gai hai!” Mom, she has two daughters, right? How can she make this harsh remark at another person’s daughter?
When I see you do stuff single-handedly, I don’t feel the need to be just like a son, instead be more like a daughter!
Mom, I miss you, when in the same house my nani remarks about my body, “ab toh maah k bad height ruki samjho”. There are many times where I wish to do anything, just anything, to grow a few inches taller and hope it just breaks society’s bubble of remarks and shallowness. I miss the presence of Dad in our lives, for if he was not posted so far, you might have given me more time and helped me through this phase.
There are times where I wish I could stop growing. Sometimes I wear an extra shirt under the uniform just to be a bit less bouncy. I hate it, Mom, I hate it when everyone thinks I’m a joke or a piece of meat. I feel like everyone’s eyes are on me. I even hate the teachers who do not help me by not telling you what all is happening in class. Or that I need women-wear for school? Why should I be the one to have this awkward conversation with my mom – that your daughter is finally growing and she is not the little baby girl you once had?
I don’t have any complaints with you two. You both are my strength. Because of you both, I want to be independent, successful and hardworking. I don’t want an easy life. Like you mom, I want to do all the housework, outside work and manage finances single-handedly. Dad, I know I might not do all that you do to give us a good and comfortable life, even when you have to sacrifice your own, but I wish to someday be as patient, hardworking, empathetic, loving, thoughtful, sacrificing and always in a good mood for the family.
Today, I am writing this letter to tell you how bad this transaction from kid to adolescence really is. How badly people in school and society treat a growing girl. I am sure it’s not as difficult for a growing boy as I have seen people congratulate guys for attaining manhood, but Mom, why is it not the same for girls? Am I not one step closer to be the wonderful version of a woman who can do anything?
I hate it, Mom, I hate it when everyone thinks I’m a joke or a piece of meat.
You know, this change is not easy for you both too. Maybe because you both don’t want me to grow up so soon. I know this because last birthday you still bought me a barbie doll as my surprise birthday gift. I am 15 years old. It’s funny how I used to complain and make a scene for this doll and now when I have finally outgrown this toy, you still remember and buy the newest version of this.
This makes it more difficult for me to open up to you about the issues I have been facing in school. I want to get a clearer hairless face, proper and required innerwear – but I am more scared to ask you because I have started growing, but you two have not made peace with it.
My English teacher, Miss Sudesh, says I am good at writing letters, so I wrote my first letter to you both. But as a child who is now a teen, whose parents are busy making our lives easier, I have developed as an introvert. Dad, it kills me more that you guys are unable to see this change and that I need support. I don’t know how much more time I will need to open up. Maybe it will be a little late then, to come back and stop being introverted. But all I know is, I will need your support.
We all are growing – I as a teenager and you as a teenager’s parents. But as I am also growing as an awkward shy introvert, and I know that no one can help me – neither you both or my friends. I still hope to meet you guys in the near future where we are all adults and can open up to each other and talk like friends. The one thing I have learnt from this is that I would surely try to be more aware for the sake of my daughter. But that doesn’t make you wrong, and it’s all about the situations that we all are in.
I know writing this letter is not enough, and I am positive I might not send you this letter just yet, but I am sure we will be reading this letter together when the time is right.
I love you Mumma and Papa.
For me, you still are the best.
Your loving daughter.
Featured image used for representative purpose only. Image source: Standard Media