AN OPEN LETTER TO PARENTS
The Board examinations are near and so are the anxieties, fear and dilemmas of children and guardians – amidst this tense ambiance here is a revealing message from the children of our ongoing Humanities Sensitization Program.
You may wonder why I am writing this letter to you instead of talking to you directly. But these days I feel that the only thing we ever talk about are my examinations and how important they are for my future, from the morning breakfast till late at night the only conversation that we have is about the upcoming Board Exams and whether I am capable of scoring well. I know that my cousin in Kolkata topped in her school last year and got a prestigious scholarship abroad and the neighbour’s son Rohit is appearing in the examinations with me this year and studies continuously for 7 hours unlike me, I also know that if I am unable to get a 90% Papa would feel embarrassed before his colleague and I certainly do not want that. I love both of you a lot and sincerely want to make you proud. But believe me, these days I feel immense pressure and it is killing me inside. I am gathering great courage to tell you this but believe me I feel very lonely inside. You only talk about marks , about performance, about being the best and achieving the top position- you compare me with others and make me feel as if these examinations are my ultimate destiny and if I fail, I will be doomed for life. I know that as parents you love me a lot and wish the best for me , I also know that you are worried because I did not do well last time but believe me this time I am working very hard. Mom and dad, I have a limited capacity and studying continuously for ten hours is not possible for me. I sometimes feel like taking a walk outside or just lying down in bed but for the last many months I have not done anything that relaxes me even a little bit. I am no longer allowed to meet my friends or watch television at ease; If I listen to music you tell me I am wasting my precious time. Sometimes, I feel so suffocated and tired that I find myself in tears. I feel entrapped and it makes me feel like running away. In these few months you both have really gone away from me and I no longer feel connected. This pressure is immense and it suffocates my soul, it makes me lonely. Please know that I understand that you really care for me and wish that my studies are carried on well. But do you know that I really work hard and give my heart and soul to it? But sometimes, I feel like resting and listening to music, spending time with friends or just watching a football match on TV but you do not trust me, I discovered that the cable connection has been cut off! I have another request, please believe me when I say that I am studying and do not come to check on me every half an hour, it really hurts my conscience to know that I still have not won your trust. You have not slept for nights and look so stressed because of my examinations that I feel even more guilty. Mom, please don’t compare me with Ramesh Uncle’s daughter in front of everybody because both of us are very different. Last night after you yelled at me for going to bed earlier than usual I could not fall asleep the entire night even though I was exhausted after the entire day. Sometimes, I wish I could go far away from all this and live in peace somewhere – in a place where I would not be compared and accepted for who I am. But the truth is that I love both of you and understand how much you love and care for me. Please try not to break my confidence by comparing me with other people and pushing me beyond my capacity, if you do not give me the strength who else will? I feel that I am very fortunate to be your daughter and extremely privileged to be so loved and cared for but please try to understand me. I will never do anything that will hurt you or make you sad, but please let me find my own path and grow with my own uniqueness.