Sunday, 1 April 2012

A Letter From Daughter II

On completing her Intermediate (the so-called Plus Two) Course in a school in India, Daughter II won a scholarship by Singapore Airlines to study Engineering in Singapore. One of the terms of the scholarship was that after completing her studies, she would have to work for a Singapore-based company for 6 years. As I said in an earlier post, I had maintained 2 files titled ‘Letters From A Daughter to Her Father’ and ‘Letters From A Father to His Daughter’, respectively. Here is a letter preserved in the first file. It was an e-mail sent soon after she completed her studies, a month short of 10 years ago.

Monday, May 06, 2002, 7.49 pm

Dear Bapa and Mama,

I finally finished the last set of my exams and suddenly I am plunged into this new world which requires a higher degree of independence than was expected of me when I joined a University in another country. I can now easily distinguish the three phases in my life so far. One, when I was at home, and my only responsibilities were my studies, because I had home to run to if I faced any problem. I knew there was hot steaming food waiting for me when I came home from school. I scarcely bothered if I did anything to deserve the meal that was granted to me. Every aspect of life was taken care of by you and Mama, and I had no worries about what I was going to eat the next day or where I was going to sleep.

Then came Singapore, and abruptly the higher degree of independence and expectations struck me. Suddenly, I had to keep account of the money I had. I had to make sure I fulfilled all conditions of being a legal entity in a foreign country. I had to remember to eat my meal at times. I had to remember to wash my clothes and fold them neatly. I had to remember to run and take the clothes off the drying line if it rained! I had to remember to lock my room when I was going out. I had to remember to manage my bank account. I had to remember to fill up my bottle of drinking water. I had to remember that it was time to change the bed-sheets and pillow-covers. But one good thing was, we were all together, all my friends, and we reminded each other and did things together. I knew it was time for lunch because I saw others eating. There was this connection between us friends that made sure that we were all managing life o.k.

And now the third phase. I am going to graduate. I have a job now. I have to hunt for an apartment to stay in. I have to apply for Permanent Residence, I have to pack all my things and move them to my new place. I have to buy utensils and things to keep in fridge. I have to wrap up all graduation formalities with the Ministry of Education. I shall be working in a place where I will make a contribution, where the things I do will make difference. At University, I was responsible only for my activities; now I shall be responsible for my company. I am not just a student anymore. Suddenly, I feel so grown up. Two days back, it was my farewell function for my batch. I was voted the 'most creative person' in my batch, and also the 'girl with the best sense of humour'. I had juniors coming and telling me they will genuinely miss me. People wrote in my autograph book that I was the most amazing senior they had. Four years of life at NTU... it feels like long, long time, but I feel proud as I believe I have done good, I have managed my life quite well. I have been happy and I have been strong.

Today, I went to view a few houses. I shall be looking at a few more before deciding. I have a lot of plans about my home and how I shall decorate it. It is going to be different from my hostel-room. I won’t have rules telling me exactly what I can have and what I can’t. My home will be what I make it, it won’t be just another room that looks exactly like the room of a zillion other hostelites. I am excited about the responsibility.

I want you to plan and come here and see how I have settled. I want both of you to visit me soon.


I was struck by the capacity for introspection by a 22-year old.


Whose property is a letter? The sender’s or the addressee’s?

In the Banking System, a Bank Draft remains a property of the purchaser as long as it is in the possession of its purchaser. The moment the purchaser dispatches it to the payee, it becomes legally the property of the payee and the purchaser loses the right of ownership over the amount! This is the position even if the Draft is lost in transit or the payee does not encash it:)))))))))))))))))


  1. Hey its Sayesha Didi :) Yeah for a 22 years old the introspection level excellent. Very much expressive and very well written. Though I am just a year (may be 2 in a next few days :D) old than what she was when she wrote that. I have same feelings. My parents came to Mumbai sometime ago. I know that feeling. :) I am homesick! Thanks Uncle.

    1. How I wish I had a third daughter like you staying in India! Or, are you going to fly away?

    2. :( God knows!! May be and may be not :( ...But for a few months at least I am here!! :) The best thing about staying in India is, whenever I feel, I can just take a train straight to my town and meet Papa-Mumma! :) But then career is also something I have to take care of. Uncle,I am very very fortunate to have parents who let me go away from them too, to let me grow :) Just like you :)