A letter from a father to his daughter · Little stories · Short stories

Arsee’s short stories 43 A letter from a father to his daughter

My story today is a special one. Here’s the most precious gift I could have asked for! In a way it is the sum of my father’s various experiences or in other words, the essence of his life’s stories put together so it can be of some use.

24th April 2018
Dear Riddhi,

It is a very special day today. At the stroke of midnight you turn twenty-one. Which is a remarkable feat considering the klutz you are! I am also overjoyed by the fact that you can finally cross the road and make difficult calculations in regard to velocity and acceleration of moving objects, we call cars, and negotiate a crossing by adjusting your own speed. Belive me, that’s very advanced calculas.

Jokes apart, I am happy you are now in adult land and boring adult things will be expected out of you. You have fought so many battles and come out victorious. Yet, when I think of the juncture of life that you are at I cannot help but think not of the battles you have fought but of the battles that you will need to fight ahead. As your father, I can only enlist my life’s learnings as a ready reckoner for you. So here goes.

First off, remember that you are unique and beautiful.

God is a great concept. Sometimes He works, most times he does not. Have faith in God but you will have to fight your own battles.

How do you fight these battles? Choice! Your choice will determine your future. We are nothing but the sum of our choices, the roads we decided to travel. Choose wisely.

Never trust the person who says,“ Trust me, I know”.

Nobody knows anything for certain. The only knowledge that people have is dependent on the experiences they have. Learn from your own experiences.

You will have secrets. Never share them or one day someone will use them against you.

Never Will away anything while you are alive. And this means to no one!

You are what you desire. There are no extra points for being frugal. Desire the life of a Queen. Travel first or business and stay in good hotels. People will treat you the way you treat yourself.

Life is not fair. You will never get what you deserve. You will only get what you negotiate.

Failure is ineviatble, learn from it. You may think that failure is an event and not a person but the world seeks to hang the blame on someone. Take the blame gracefully.

The only revenge is success. The rest is just airing of failed ambitions.

There is nothing like loyalty and gratitude in others. Find it in yourself and that will be a great victory.

Don’t be too nice all the time. The world mistakes niceness for weakness.

Heartbreak is ineviatble, don’t fear it. Defy it.

Age and sense are not directly propionate. Don’t listen to nonsense from an older person. Starting with me and this letter. Decide for yourself.

Be charitable. Don’t lend money expecting it back.

Don’t borrow. Please don’t steal.

Don’t get into politics. Anywhere in life. Cunning people are those who cannot be courageous. Choose courage over cunning.

Don’t marry in a hurry. Don’t marry to suit someone else’s deadline. Ideally don’t marry at all, its a defunct institution but make your own decision on that!

Assholes are everywhere and they have various kinds of disguises. Keep them away.

Be wary of the ones who flatter.

Don’t ever enter a door that opens before you knock, figuratively speaking, of course.

Don’t be honest when it might hurt someone. Honesty is a virtue not a weapon.

As you grow older drift away from the vices. There are better ways to kill yourself.

Work at being self reliant.

Don’t look for someone to make you happy. That always ends in disaster. Happiness is a habit. Don’t mistake it for a person or an eventuality.

Self respect is good. Ego is not. Be arrogant with the one who is arrogant.

Don’t ever pity yourself. Everything that happens happens cause you let it.

It’s not possible to seek fame without being in love with yourself.

There is nothing like the “art of living”. There is no art in a dog eat dog world.

Spirituality is also a painkiller.

I have yet to see the effect of karma on a bad person. Do good because you should and not as a celestial trade off. God will punish you, is nonsense.

Love will never last. That’s the bad news. You will fall in love again and again. That’s the good news.

You are free to chuck all this advice out of the window.

If I had taken all this advice I would have been a rockstar and not writing a letter to you on your 21st birthday but if the humiliations and setbacks of my life are not useful to you then it would be a real waste of insight.

Lastly, I love you unconditionally. Regardless of your choices. I would love you even if you choose to join Al Qaida or be a self detotonating terrorist, though I seriously urge you not do that. I also think that is a serious waste of well put together protoplasam.

Happy Birthday my darling. You are the embodiment of all my dreams.


This letter will be my Temple. Pa, you’ve indeed been the best father one could ask for. Thank you for being my role model, my best friend & my loneranger. Pa, love you beyond words can express.