Rajesh Jain’s blog – Emergic – was the original inspiration for starting this blog. And, over the last few years, his posts have continued to inspire many a post on my blog. Looking back, if I were to single out just one of his essays as a contribution of significance, it would have to be his series on “Letter to a Baby”.
His blog typically offers interesting perspectives on emerging technologies, and this collection is not very different :
As I look at you, I cannot but think of the contrasts. Take your birth, for example. What I definitely know is that my father definitely did not do what I did to you – take a photo with a phone and have it up on the Internet for family and friends to see within a few hours of your birth. In fact, as soon as you were born, I was on my mobile phone, informing everyone even while your mother was in the operation theatre. By the time you reached the hospital nursery about 15 minutes later, all notifications were done – some via voice, and others by SMS. A few hours later, your photos were on the Net for all to see. A few days later, you were the subject of a blog post that drew plenty of comments from all over the world. So much has changed between our births.
But, besides the usual dose of Technology, it also includes advice on other aspects of life that Rajesh considers important enough to chronicle for the benefit of his child :
There were three sets of people who helped me a lot as I was growing up – my parents, my teachers, and my friends… You cannot select your parents. Your parents select your school. The school selects the teacher. But you – and only you – select your friends. As you grow up, you will spend more time in school amidst your teachers and friends. As in everything, a little luck is necessary to get the right teachers and make the right friends. I was more than a little lucky! I hope you will be, too.
Me? I jumped at the chance to do something similar for my little one, only I didn’t post the text on the blog.
Inspired by Rajesh’s letter, I took time out from my hectic life to write a 12-page missive to my angel – Pumpkin – so that one day, if she grows up and finds I am no longer alive, she will still know about the things I wanted her to know.
I wanted her to know about the people who cared for her, throughout her infancy and toddlerhood. I wanted her to know about the sacrifices made by her mom, her grandmom and others around her, just so that she wasn’t left wanting in any manner. I wanted her to know about the values I cherished and the principles I lived by, so that she would still be able to learn from my experiences, and build on them in her own, unique, manner. I wanted her to have the opportunity to understand her father a little bit, and know what he regarded as his lessons in life…
Thanks, Rajesh, for pointing me in this direction. I think my daughter will come to treasure this experience, some day…