Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Conversation with daughter's suitor- 7

‘She is such a fine little girl, my daughter. I know she has much to learn. That life is not one big joy ride in which every wish will come her way. But do learn both of you together that for every wish unfulfilled, several more will seem fulfilled, if only you learn how to view it. Teach her that if she decides to be happy, nobody can make her unhappy. Learn from her that if you choose to be unhappy, nobody can make you happy. Share together the eternal truth that happiness is a companion, not a destination.

And in that truth lies the purpose of your companionship. May prosperity always chase you rather than you chase prosperity. For, where there is companionship and love, prosperity will have no place to hide. And anyway, it is a lesson of life that adversity teaches you more than prosperity ever could. So, expect your share of adversity, if only, to appreciate the rewards of prosperity. True joy lies in sharing whatever you have to share. You cannot give what you don't have and you cannot have what you don't give. That is the principle of friendship, and partnership as well.

A little give and a little take is all it takes to give and take. Be generous in your apologies and accept graciously her apologies, because there will inevitably be much to mutually apologise for. The sapthapathi says let us swear, in joy and strength, one in thought and deed, one within. But believe me, it is not easy to share one's space with another. That is neither what schools teach nor what society foster.

But, to this difficult task she commits herself in the hope and faith that you too do. The true test of this will begin later when the frills of youth begin to crumple, and the stress builds up in both of you, of the very fruits of your companionship. Like Robert Browning wrote, please say each day,”Grow old with me! The best is yet to be.”

Young man, this is a big order that I set before you. But please see what you can do ..... For she is such a fine little girl, my daughter.’

I wish I had written this piece on behalf of fathers whose daughters are getting married. But, Mr. Gopalakrishnan, executive director of Tata Sons, beat me to it and had this published in The Times of India, two years back.

What wonderful sentiments! How beautifully expressed! I made a mental note that I should make this speech to my daughter’s suitor whenever he comes calling. But, I know that, before I complete the first sentence, my daughter would give me one of her threatening stares, cut me short and ask me not to make an ass of myself. I better leave such great pieces of oratory to the likes of R.Gopalakrishnan.


Anonymous said...

One of the most beautiful oratory pieces that I have seen.

Anonymous said...

wow !! thats a wonderful piece.

Chitra said...

An expressive peice by a Father who is supposed to contain his expressions! Lovely indeed....

Usha said...

Excellent. Thanks for sharing.

Raj said...

n,anon, chitra, usha : Thanks. Doesn't this remind you of the letter Abe Lincoln wrote to the headmaster of the school that his on was joining? I think Usha posted it once.