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  • Writer's pictureMeenakshi Yadav

It's me, your Daughter!

Dear Mumma and Pops!

It’s me, your daughter!

As I sit down to write this letter, I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude, love, and many mixed emotions. I want to share with you feelings that I have often struggled to express in our everyday conversations. This letter is my attempt to convey my heartfelt appreciation as well as some of the thoughts and emotions that have been weighing on my mind. 

Trust me, it is not easy for me to bring up these feelings that I can share with you. 

Being in a world filled with a wide range of perspectives, emotions, generations, and whatnot, it's hard to communicate. We never know how we hurt each other with our words and actions. But I’m going to try here.

First and foremost, thank you for everything you have done for me. Your sacrifices, hard work, and unwavering support have shaped who I am today. From the countless hours you spent ensuring I had the best education, to the moments you put aside your own needs to fulfill mine, I am eternally grateful.

I am a woman of my words and emotions, brutally hard with what I feel, and I will try to convey these emotions whenever possible with my words. I know I have been hard on you both too, with my expectations and the need to be understood. I know even your own parents pressured you, and you are trying your best to provide me with whatever I want. You have taught me to question every uncertainty because, however, things have been in the past, the way they are now can be changed. Then why not you? Why do you have to follow the path of what society says and thinks? Why can’t we be there for each other and stand against those judgmental uncles and aunties? 

I still remember the day when Pops and I had the biggest argument of our lives, and we did not talk for a month. I was rude and insensitive with the words I used, but trust me, it was from deep inside. I couldn’t believe Pops' words at all. Did he get manipulated by a relative's words?

He denied me something he had allowed me to do since childhood - keep my hair short.

He was the one to encourage me to have short hair and the one ready every month to pull me out to get a boy cut.

In that moment, I felt hopeless and uncertain about the hopes I had. I know being a girl in an Indian house is not easy! My conservative family thinks marriage is a better option for this 'mistaken' girl child.

I studied because I had many dreams to achieve. I studied with eagerness, mischievousness, and the need to create a better life. But looking back at your words, said in anger, they made me fearful that failure isn’t an option anymore for me. I need to toe the line, uphold the unwanted tag line - “Ladki ghar ki izzat hoti hai.” I am becoming society's puppet, yet I want to control my own strings.  

Growing up in an Indian household, I have always been surrounded by the richness of our culture, traditions, and values. These are the gifts that I carry with me wherever I go. However, as I find my own path, I sometimes find myself caught between the expectations of our culture and my own dreams and aspirations. This is not an easy balance to strike, and there are times when I feel overwhelmed by the pressure to shake hands with societal norms. 

I want you to know that my desire to pursue my path does not mean I am rejecting our traditions or values. Rather, I am trying to find a way to integrate them into my own identity. I know it can be hard to understand my choices, especially when they deviate from what is considered conventional. But please believe that I am making these choices with careful thought and consideration and with the same strong values you instilled in me. 

I can’t hold anger; maybe I am too weak to stand in this world that holds strong, hard grudges. I am never angry with you both because I know your intentions are pure and worth it for my future. That undeniable love is showered over me, with those allowances to do many things I want. I am upset that I can’t share the bond I want to experience with you both, the memories I want to feel, and the time to repeat them so that I can feel them. I don’t want to be traumatised with issues, or immortalised in my regrets. I wish to see that worthy gleam in your eyes.

I promise! I will be the first daughter to step out of her village, study in a new city, and have a career that our beloved relatives have said is designed for men!

I will strive through this. There are a few more struggles you both have to face. Not a son to give a father a shoulder to cry on, but a daughter to give a shoulder to cry on and lead a family. 

Anyways! Pops, you are my pops I will keep biting you when you annoy me! Mumma, you are the lady I will trouble until you feel like throwing that damn slipper on me!

With this,

Your dumbhead signs off!

Written by Meenakshi Yadav

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