Saturday 29 October 2011

Letter to my niece !!

Dear Aanya,

Since you have just stepped into this beautiful earth, it would be fruitful to tell you what you have already become  by virtue of your existence. (Aside from what you have made me - a chachu :) )

Arrived in this world, a tender, cute, adorable and pretty girl - endless adjectives can be used to describe your appearance. but this letter is not mere about appearance, it goes beyond; to 'what you are' and sometimes more important, 'what you are not'.

Gender: Female
Name: Aanya Pinjani (Origin of name: Gracious (Hebrew) Splendor, Brilliance (Irish))
Religion: Hindu
Language: Sindhi
Citizen: Canadian
Father: Pakistani
Mother: Indian

So what do these titles / affiliations represent?

Do these make you different from other nieces and daughters? If yes, how?

Are these differences apparent now or when is it that they will become apparent?

What type of upbringing or education will you receive from parents, grandparents, extended family, school and society that will ensure that you first accept these aforementioned identities and then preach them to others around you?

How 'what you are not' will make your perception about what 'you' or 'us' are, and what 'them' or 'others' are?

On a lighter note: will you support the Pakistani, Indian or Canadian team during the Cricket World Cup?

How you will conceive people from other religions; will you be able to distinguish between the individual and what that individual practices?

It is fortunate you are neither Pakistani nor Indian; at-least you have escaped one conflict. Not entirely though - will see how you manage not to take either side when India and Pakistan are battling on the cricket field - vis-a-vis your parents in front of the TV set.

Hopefully you will not fall victim to innumerable prejudices we are encircled by.

Hopefully, you will not simply term things as either good or bad, black or white, right or wrong.

Hopefully, thanks to your unique identity, you will be the seed that is sown to fill that vacuum that will help diminish those superficial distinctions that keep 'us' apart.

Darling !! Welcome into this complex yet humane world :)



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The best think you can do for her is not to make these questions important... She won't perceive them intensively then. Canadian society is really multicultural and opened, I don't expect that she will meet there forms of discrimination or prejudices to a great extent... So it will depend on her parents, close friends and family members - how they will perceive her. This will build up her image of herself.