WOMEN'S DAY: A mother to her son on his 11th birthday...

By Puja Raina Mahaldar
Photo: City Spidey
Posted: Mar 08, 2019

I am a resident of a high-rise in Indirapuram, one of the most buzzing areas in NCR for residential apartments. Today being the International Women's Day, my day started with greetings to people in the society lift, in the corridor — wishing mothers of schoolchildren who were at the school bus stop like me to drop their kids. I thanked them warmly, but my smile had a special reason to it. The day has a bigger meaning for me – it’s my son’s birthday today. He is turning 11 today!

Like every mother, I am happy to see him grow, but I am worried about the kind of ‘stimuli’ or influences he will confront from the outside world, as he continues to outgrow my protective embrace. I have tried my best to bring him up in a way that he is independent in his thinking and approach, but how ‘outer stimuli’ is going to affect his growth and personality is what makes me jittery.

Even since he was born, I have been writing open letters to him as birthday gifts, and the letters have messages that will make him better equipped to deal with the ‘outside stimuli’.

How he takes the stimuli is still his call. I just try my best. 

Why an open letter to son, many of you would think? 

It’s Women’s Day and this is my attempt to raise him a better man.


Dear Dhairya,

Today, you have crossed another milestone — you are 11 now. I see our conversations moving from your inquisitive questions to social issues, sports and newspapers articles.

As you are growing and moving towards adulthood, dear son I want to tell you that you are going to be out soon from the safe embrace of your parents.

A lot of information, knowledge and stuff will be readily available out there. While I want you to learn from your experiences, but some amount of guidance from my side will help you take better decisions.  

While the world is celebrating Women’s Day, and we are celebrating your birthday, it is my privilege as your mom to make you aware of the facts that I have learnt from my experiences. 

Dear son, I have learnt as a mother of sons my responsibility towards society is greater. Boys need more grooming to make this country a better place to live. 

>   I have from time to time told you that there is no glory in chauvinism. It’s better to be humane. 

> The essence of life is to be compassionate towards all beings, irrespective of their sex. 

> The country today is in a situation where grooming for girls needs to be oriented towards making them stand for themselves. Make sure you do the same and encourage your sisters, cousins and friends. 

> Please remember, it’s okay to be imperfect! Girls can be imperfect too. Let her be imperfect, whimsical, moody, lazy, opinionated, flabby, un-groomed, adventurous, impractical. She can be anything she wants to be — like you.

> Stop saying that there is always a woman behind every successful man. There can always be a man behind a successful woman.

> Society has created two boxes for us — boxes that we are born into. Girls go in one box and boys in the another. Please don’t put yourself in any box. Society wants us to live within its confines. But there are no compulsions — live out of the box, always. 

> Remember Papa told you once, “Boys are lions and they don’t cry”. Please remember it’s just a phrase and boys cry too. It’s only human to do that. It’s important to unwind with your peers when you are in stress. Remember sharing is caring. Always share your sadness, failures — and do cry. It eases the pain, and there’s no boy and girl thing to it. Remember papa, too, has cried in his bad moments. 

> Never stereotype. You might have heard from peers that boys are loud and noisy, girls are calm and sweet. Always remember your mom was always the loudest in the house, while father and grandfathers in our house are the sweetest and the calmest.

> Household work can be done by a man too. Your maternal grandfather and father both can cook well and handle the entire house. I am sure you can do that too. There is no shame in doing any work. 

> While reviewing someone’s work never let gender come into picture. Always judge a person on the basis of how they are as a person, what they think, how they perform. There is no superior gender!

> We all are born with our positives and negatives, triumphs and failures —and there is no need to make it gender specific. 

> No child is born believing in gender. It’s the society that makes us imbibe those gendered roles. 

> You might observe boys fall in trouble more than girls, while girls like to dress up hence spend a lot of time on their hair and makeup. Such things are a part of the personality — but concentrate on weightier matters.


I will stop here son. But make sure while viewing the world you do recall your mom’s words.  


TAGS: NCR / Women's Day / International Women's Day / Indirapuram / Happy Women's Day / Women / World Women's Day