Originally published on 23rd June, 2016.
4 minute read
On the week of your 59th birthday, I wish to write something to you that I as a son can’t easily express in person.
Maybe that’s how a father-son relationship is, special in the heart yet not so palpable in person. I wish it weren’t true. But still, thank you for everything you have done for me.
There are people around who think I’m this smart, talented guy, someone who has a bright future ahead of him. But Baba, to be very honest, I don’t know what they are talking about. I’m never sure about myself and with each passing day, I’m even less sure. Not that I’m complaining either, it’s okay, I know!
I wish I could come to you and tell you about everything that has transpired in my life- all the good and the bad. The good times like when my mentee Arushi told me that I had helped her become closer to her dad. But also about the cruel times when I took wrong turns, people took advantage of me, of the times I made a fool out of myself and let you down. But I can’t do that. Not because you wouldn’t listen or understand, but because I feel I would be shifting a lot of my own burden to your shoulders. And you’ve already carried a lot of burden; I couldn’t possibly add more.
Baba, on your 59th birthday, your 24-year-old son wants to tell you of his failures in life and it goes something like this:
Baba, your son probably had found the love of his life but had to let her go. He did it because he wasn’t ready for her. He accepted this fact and let her go not because he thought highly of himself; that he could easily find a replacement but rather because he sensed it would be unfair on her. Your son has learnt that freedom to just be is the best gift you can offer to the person you love. He has come to understand that love isn’t about possession; to love is to love unconditionally, without judgment or attachment. Your son has come to know what love is after he let his love go.
Baba, I’m sorry. Your son was naïve for he chased money thinking it would bring him happiness. But having lost a hell lot of your hard earned money that you trusted him with, after spending hours crying and fretting about the lost cause and catching a disease in the process of trying to get it back has taught him that he was revolving around a wrong circle all this while. He now realizes the difference between needs and wants. He has observed people chasing money but Baba, they aren’t happy for their wants aren’t satiable; they want more. And they don’t even know why they are chasing it. Perhaps, to have a better car, better house, or something better than people around them. Baba, your son has realized that he may win the race but he’ll still remain a rat. The hard learned lesson has come at an expensive price but it will forever remain a degree in your son’s school of life.
Baba, your son doesn’t think being in the spotlight is the answer to life’s pain and suffering. He’d happily live in the dark. Being around people for too long enervates him, drains him. He needs to be away time and again. He isn’t as sociable as you’d perhaps have liked him to be, but he wants to skip the limelight and hopes you are okay with that.
Baba, your son wants to thank you for not forcing him to choose a specific career path. He thanks you for allowing him to figure his own way.
He wants you to read this text he got from his childhood friend a couple of months ago and wants to credit you for it:
“Heard your podcast and it was just what I needed at the right time with the very strong reminder to me ‘never too late to start’ and of the many childhood dreams that’s actually pending. And man it’s so good to hear you. I mean, ok I don’t know what you sounded like. Always planned to meet, but never met you. After hearing you, the meeting is rescheduled in my mind now. Seriously, I always thought you would become a doctor or something, engineer, lawyer, etc, but good to see you coming up as a writer/ blogger/ motivational speaker etc. what else do you do ajhai? Appear in magazines also! Doing good with life man! Inspires me and so many around! Keep going!”
Your son has nothing figured out yet. Status, title, big fat salary, reputable job, they just don’t appeal to him. But he wants to tell you that whatever work he does from now on till the very end, he will try to positively impact lives.
Baba, your son faces a constant battle every night when he asks himself, “What are we really after?” He can’t ask anyone that because it’s too Sagar Satyalish a question for many. But your son knows Baba, that people are just distracting themselves and keeping themselves busy because they fear asking themselves the real questions that truly matter.
But Baba, your son is different. If you think of the times he has failed with love, money, flow, or life in general, you’d come to realize that your son who everyone just knows on the surface and thinks has brains, probably has none. But on your 59th birthday Baba, your son wants to tell you that he does however have a heart, a heart that exists because you gave him the right values of love, honesty, compassion and integrity. And Baba, while everyone else is after money, success, and fame, your son wants to tell you that he’d rather be happy with a sense of gratitude than chasing what will always remain elusive to him. And he hopes you will be okay with that.
Happy 59th Birthday, Baba!