Dear Indian Parents: An Open Letter, from your Children

Dear Indian Parents,

We want to tell you, oh, so many things! We often get frustrated with your behavior, thoughts, and opinions, and would like to explain to you why we feel that way. We hope that this letter can help you understand us better!

First of all, please stop fussing over our exam marks! If we get ninety-nine marks out of hundred, then stop getting irritated over that one mark, and look at the fact that we got ninety-nine marks! One mark less in our exams is not the end of the world. And, even if we get below average marks or fail in a certain subject, there is no need to scold us, spank us and beat us with chappals. Instead, we believe that you should try to motivate us to do better and work harder in that subject, next time.  Let us ask you, when you all were in school, didn’t you ever get less marks or fail, even once? We aren’t machines! We are human beings. It is human for us to make mistakes. Failure is necessary for success, and is nothing to get angry about. Every successful person in the world has faced failure at least once.

And to add to that, we need to stop thinking about exams in the first place. Let us ask you, how do standardized tests and exams help, when each and every child has different talents, gifts and needs? Let’s stop worrying about this obsolete system and its crude ways. As Albert Einstein famously said, “Everybody’s a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”

While we are on the topic of marks, please stop comparing us to Sharma Ji’s child, and say things like, “Look at them, they have gotten so and so marks more that you. They have so and so talents. Why can’t you be more like them?” Such comparisons are very irritating for us. Everyone has certain talents and abilities. Instead of comparing us to someone else, you should compare our behavior and abilities, with ourselves, praising us whenever you see a significant improvement.

Dear Parents, we would like you to understand that ‘Engineering’ and ‘Medicine’ are not the only career options for us! We do not want you forcing us to choose a job of your choice. We understand that you want us to live a materially comfortable life, but, what use is a comfortable life if we do not have a job that we are pleased with? Don’t worry about “log kya kahenge?” (“what will people say?”), we have our own dreams and plans for our future which we wish to pursue. We believe that it is time for us to make our own decision about our future. We wish that you could support our interests,  whether it is painting, a sports or veterinary science! We hope that you can give us the freedom, and guide us meaningfully, in making most (if not all) of our decisions ourselves.

We do understand that you are trying everything in your power to make sure we live our lives fully. Thank you for sacrificing so much for our sake. We are sorry if we offended you in any way in this letter. We just hope that you will understand our frustrations, and improve your mindset accordingly.

Love,

Your Children


Eric Michael Siqueira

Our spirited Young Star Top 5 (Category A), Eric, is an 11-year-old student at Sharada Mandir School, Goa. He wishes to pen down his opinions on topics like the education system, morals, climate change and current affairs, hoping to make a difference. His other passions include astronomy, parkour, taekwondo!

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