My dear little son,
I can’t believe you are almost half a year old, five months in the grand scheme of things might seem little, it is as good as three or six – a small number placed against age. But paradoxically, life is short. Nonetheless, this is a very a special month for me, and more importantly, for you. Midst all the delightful skills you’ve learnt – gargling, grabbing, babbling, drooling, bubbling, touching your toes, baby singing, this month you’ve gained a very important strength. A forte that will hold strong and guide you through many experiences to come. You will face the world and see the world straight in the eye. My baby, you’ve learnt to hold you head up high.
I need you to remember this strength your little muscles have weighed upon your little shoulders, because one day you will fall, one day you will be beaten down, one day you will be doubtful, one day you will give up, one day you will be challenged, one day your beliefs will be in question, one day your identity will be catechised, one day your appearance will be rebuked, one day you will get weak….but my son, you will rely on this strength and keep your head up high. You will stand strong.
My little boy, you are Sikh. Your identity lies in a history, a blood line, a path that has given life to your very existence. Your identity will not be defined by a mere location, a colour, a nationality, a boarder nor a religion. Your identity will be defined by your choices, teachings and your journey. You will be different. This difference will not set you apart from the rest but it will give you vehemence to stay together in your very presence. It will clasp yourself together in moments you feel as though you are falling apart. Have faith in the teachings of being a Sikh.
On somedays the sun will shine and the fairies will dance on top of flowers to the tunes of the singing of the birds. Other days the rain will pour down from the heavens like diamond drops from the sky. The world is a magical place. My little boy, but I cannot pretend the world is not a cruel place, I cannot promise everyone will be you friend.
You will be bullied, you will be hassled, they will ask you why you tie a turban, they’ll ask you why you keep your hair long, they will ask you why you look different, and they will make you feel you are different – an extralocal in borrowed land. My baby, never bend your head and look the other way. In return, you will show respect and goodwill to others, you will impart with knowledge and reasoning so they understand, and you will smile and walk away from ignorance.
“You will stand tall, you will stand proud and you will hold you head high and look the world straight in the eye”
My tender soul, you have the power of choice: know this, there are two facts of life, life itself and death. In between this journey we are presented with choices. Imagine these two as goal posts, and in-between there are a million routes to get to the end but we have choices that pave our way through. You will make the right choices, I will be by your side, I will hold your finger, I will guide you, but even when you fail, you will still hold your head up high.
I am your mother and by this default setting, I make choices for you. I will continue to do this for years to come. You and I have to trust me to make the right decisions for you. When you are capable of making your own, I will hand this right to you to continue your colourful journey in the hazy foggy path.
Baby, I cannot shelter you from curve balls that you’ll have to dodge. I cannot guarantee a mud-free-pothole-free path, I will not hide you when darkness falls, but I can give you the tools to face the journey to the end. The first tool I give you is your identity.
“You are Arjun, You are my Son, and You are Sikh…”
So keep your head high, keep your chest out, stand proud, keep your steps forward, your nose at a friendly level and smile at the world. There is so much to smile about in this short time we are here. You have a purpose, Your eyes are filled with curiosity and amazement for the world, keep searching for this. Don’t spend your efforts worthlessly. You have much to do in this world.