I remember that the day we had some celebration at home, purification celebration after the confinement, you took your first independent step in your life. We were sitting and talking to each other and you were sitting on the rug and suddenly you stood up and took little steps on your own. I was so happy. Looking back at those happenings and relating them to your later development, I can say that you always knew when to be dependent upon others and when to be on your own! And this trait you have been displaying even today. When you have your younger sis to look after your needs, you sit complacently, but the moment you know that she will no longer help you, you surprise us by doing things on your own.
My HAS written exam’s result was declared in January or February and I had qualified the exam. The interview was to be held after some days in Shimla. We were following the same regimen that you would stay with your nani for the night so I was comparatively free to devote time to preparation for the interview. Though we were living in a small village but your papa saw to it that my personal development didn’t suffer at all. Times were difficult those days. We had kerosene stove, no gas connection, to cook food on and it was not easy. We managed without complaint. These were the things that could not be improved upon but the things that were within our control, we tried making the best use of. Your papa subscribed to Illustrated Weekly of India, CSR, India Today, Femina (only for me) and two news papers. He saw to it that I had the best reading material. Dear daughter it makes little difference where you are starting your life at—a big metropolitan city or a small village—if you understand each other and give space to development of the other. You have to keep this fact in mind when you are going to start a new phase of your life.
So we went to Shimla for the interview and took along the little one as it was difficult for your nani to manage her job along with two small kids to look after. On the day of the interview, it snowed heavily. I was inside the HPPSC offices but your papa was standing outside with the little one in his arms. I would peep from the window from time to time and my heart bled to see them both standing when it had started to snow once again. The white snow flakes were settling on your papa when he was making an effort to keep the little one covered. At the moment some employee of the Commission offered to take them both to his home that was nearby and after the interview I found them both there sitting and relaxing cozily. I sincerely believe that help comes from unknown quarters when you sincerely need it as God is merciful.
We came back and life started once again. Within a few days of our arrival, the result was declared and once again I was not in the list of the successful candidates. I cried bitterly as I had worked so hard for the exams. And later when we came to know that I was fourth in the written merit list but was given very less marks in the interview, made things worse for me as I was inconsolable. This had effect o you both as when your ma was in such a stage, how could she look after you both? I was broken. But did I give up? No. The next advertisement was out and once again I started for the next HAS exam. Dear daughter I want you, too, to learn that life is never a bed of roses and it is at times partial to you as well but never give up the struggle. I know that you, too, would face times when you would think that what is due to you is not being given to you or people are biased towards you, but don’t ever give up. I am sure that whether we talked about these matters earlier or not; is not going to make any difference as you always learnt things without anyone finding the need to teach you.
As I have written in the beginning of my letter, you took first steps of your life when you realized that now onwards we won’t have much time for you, similarly you would start doing a lot many things on your own in your new life as well. You will be successful in starting new things and accomplishing them as well since from your infancy this lesson has been given to you albeit through your ma’s struggles.