Dear Armaan:


With gender dynamics changing the world over, parenting is a key area where this change is more perceptible. Modern dads today have no inhibitions in changing their baby’s diapers, spending sleepless nights catering to their newborn. They often tend to be more patient and indulgent with the baby, a marked shift from the way Indian father used to be a few decades ago.


I adore you my son; I love you with all my heart. I do, however, find myself sometimes marveling at the unparalleled anomaly that you are a 12-year-old boy. Not yet a teen. No longer a little kid. Your feet are huge. Your socks smell. You are opinionated. You are silly. You are thoughtful and introspective. You are incredibly sensitive. I have to be careful whilst saying something to you as it hurts your feelings easily. You are messy. Disorganized. Your bedroom and your backpack are cluttered mess. Your hygiene often leaves something to be desired.


Parenting a 12-year old boy can be a daunting task. He is changing every single day. Growing into a man before my very eyes. As I sit here and watching him lounge - his large feet hanging off the edge of the couch. I am struck by the fact there should be a manual or a rulebook of some sort to prepare parents for the often surprising task of raising an almost – teenaged boy. But, no such rulebook exists.


Like every parent, I too have my share of hopes and dreams for you, I also fear for you sometimes. My biggest concern is being able to give you the best education possible. I say this with a fair realization that the best education extends beyond the school – instilling with values and knowledge.


Education in India has evolved at an earth-shattering pace. Today there is flurry of high-end international schools promising a superior model of education. In this age of consumerism, anything that is marketed well seems enticing. I am proud that you are studying in Billabong International School. The school is considered among the best in the central province of India and will be instrumental in the choices you will make in life. You will in all likelihood confront many conundrums when it comes to making career choices. My only advice to you is to pursue what your heart truly desires, not what we want you to or what your peers pressure you into. However, in my heart of hearts, I would love if you too opt for an uncommon career choice.


Friends play an important part in life. When you are younger, they influence your thoughts, opinion and perceptions. So choose them wisely and be honest with them. When you are older, you will meet a friend who feels more special than others. You might consider taking her out on a date. Whatever you do, keep me in the loop, I would like to pick up out your clothes for this date and even drive you there.


I hope to inculcate good manners in you. Eat well, Sleep well, read a lot, travel and draw up a schedule for regular physical workouts to keep fit. It’s fashionable to be bohemian when you are young but its discipline that brings positive results. So never take the easy way out. You might succeed initially but those gains don’t stay with you for long. I would like you to travel in public transport buses to experience life beyond the strata we live in. this will broaden your world view and keep you grounded at all times.


My son, with all my limitations, I think I have created some sort of legacy that you might feel proud inheriting. But remember legacies are most worthwhile when future generations take the chain forward and aim higher in life. So go all out to chase your aspirations and lead a fearless life of ambition, hard work and enterprise. Be the leader the world need so desperately.


May God and the truth always be on your side.

Your loving Dad