Without effort, one does not find even oneself: Meghna Gulzar
I was in New York on holiday when my graduation results
(St Xavier’s College) came out. Papa collected my marksheet and was sending it with my mother, who was to fly out to join me, as the letter mentions.
This letter came in 1994 with my marksheet.
What stays with me even today about this letter is the unflinching confidence he had in me — and yet, it is so balanced. There is no whiff of parental ambitions being conveyed to the child. It is just brimming with hope for the future and its endless possibilities. And lays out a world before the child to explore.
Twenty is such a precarious age. You are just about beginning to know yourself. Or even, becoming yourself. The academic and career decisions that a young person takes at this stage are so crucial for the rest of her life. And here, the encouraging, hopeful words of a parent can mean everything.
Like his did for me.
And, as always, even here, he is putting out the fires between my mother and me.
Like all mothers and daughters, we were never like a real parent-child. We were more like friends, or even siblings actually. So naturally, there were quarrels galore.
And, hence, Papa, like the wise sage he always is, is telling me to find other ways of expressing my love for my mother, besides quarrelling with her!
It’s been years since I graduated. And I have been in the career of my choice for over a decade now. I think I’m doing pretty well with the faith he showed in me. But he’s still putting out the fires between Ma and me.
From a poet to his daughter
My Graduate Girl,
You have already broken the record of your father’s qualification. Congratulations! You are on a plateau now. You can look at all the horizons and beyond them, from here. It needs one more jump to climb onto your own personality. You have to choose the direction. Just two/three years more of education, the academic part is over. Whatever you do now will be of your own interest and choice. But without effort, one doesn’t find even oneself. Make one more effort to find yourself. You are capable of great achievements, that I know.
You have only to decide it and you’ll do it!
Your Ma is leaving on the 29th. She misses you very much. You do love her, I know, but don’t fight with her to express your love. She is a disciplined person and (has) a very generous heart —and (is) a great teaser too!
What should I sign at the end, Dad, Papa or — Gulzar
Gulzar is a poet, lyricist and filmmaker. His daughter Meghna is also a filmmaker
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