May 19, 2008
My Dear Parth, my Lion Cub,
I trust all is well with you. It is more than two months since I have been able to meet you, and I have no idea how long it will be before we get to spend some time together, so I thought I would write to you. I know you cant read yet, but I am sure you will understand some of the things when your mother reads out to you. Also, as you grow and learn to read, you will be able to relive these days when we were not able to be together. And once you are a big guy, you will possibly look back over these letters and apply some things to your life. If nothing more, maybe these letters will make you smile some day. What more can I ask for?
May in Hyderabad is always more cruel than April, though the dry air does moisten up a little as the monsoon nears, but often it only makes the heat more difficult to bear. I remember how you would run till you were tired and then stop only to stock up on water from your sipper, so I know I dont have to remind you to stay well hydrated during these months, starting out in January, when though it is cool and one doesn't feel thirsty, the relative humidity can go way below the 25% mark and you will dry out even before you know it, and all the way through June till the rains start. It makes more sense to have small sips frequently (like you do) than to down a lot of it at one time (makes you want to go to the loo more than anything else). Also, increased water intake tends to wash away the electrolytes from your system, as does excessive sweating, so do try and get in some salty and something sweet from time to time. Fizzy drinks dont help a lot, but if you must have them, add a pinch of salt to them, tastes more fun and helps more than harms.
It is very important to look after your health. This gift of life that has been given to us is very precious, we can do a lot with this life, but only if we are fit enough to be able to do what we want. When I was a young person, I was not clear what I wanted to do with my life, and so I often neglected myself by doing all the things that I thought was fun, and it took a heavy toll on my health. What helped me a lot was the words of a great thinker, who said,W hat kind of future do I envision for myself? What kind of self am I trying to develop? What do I want to accomplish in my life? The thing is to paint this vision of your life in your heart as specifically as possible. That "painting" itself becomes the design of your future. The power of the heart enables us to actually create with our lives a wonderful masterpiece in accordance with that design.
As you grow up you will realize what a challenging time we have been born in and how each one of us can do our bit to influence the future of mankind. It is very overwhelming, but once we realize the immense potential within us, we can find the courage to take one step at a time to fulfill the mission of our lives.
On a personal front, I am very happy that the Kolkata unit is finally shaping up and we will have an office of our own after almost two years of running out of a leased facility. Today, people from Hyderabad will reach Kolkata to start the interiors and furniture work and the computer network and electrical work. It is a big step for my boss, Ramakrishna, but he says it is not as much as he aspired to do, so it is no reason to get excited. When you and your mother visit Kolkata, do make it a point to visit the office, and make sure everyone is comfortable.
I must be gone now. I must tell you that since I have been on my own, I have a new found respect for the working homemaker. Funny how life teaches you the lessons you need to learn even when you do your best not learn them. I was so excited when I made rasam for the first time on my own. Your mother would have been so proud had she tasted it (not version 0.1 though). She spent a lot of energy trying to get me to learn how to make it, but I never did, till I had to on my own. I know that you are much wiser than I could ever have hoped to be and you will study well, and master your lessons and apply what you learn to make the world around you a land of tranquil light. Do let me know how your rasam version 0.1 turns out.
Bye for now, may the force always be with you (this is a popular phrase from Star Wars, a double trilogy that set the tone for many of the people from my generation, maybe someday you will watch and enjoy them)