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Karuna John
Last updated 5 Sep 2016 . 4 min read

5 Life Lessons For Young Women, From Amitabh Bachchan


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Thespian Amitabh Bachchan’s letter to his granddaughters Navya Naveli Nanda, and Aaradhya Bachchan went viral today. Appropriately, on Teacher’s Day and also the day celebrations and prayers to Ganesha, the remover of obstacles begin. The letter, a guru mantra of sorts, has found and echo with girls, and women, as well as the men, for the simple yet crucial message it carries. These are the top 5 life lessons that struck a chord with me:

1: Don’t worry about what people ‘may say’: “You may be a Nanda or a Bachchan, but never ever worry about log kya kahenge,” he writes, reminding his granddaughters of the legacy they carry and how they need to keep an eye out for naysayers, and opinionated folk. “You both carry a very valuable legacy on your tender shoulders - Aaradhya, the legacy of your pardadaji , Dr Harivansh Rai Bachchan...and Navya, the legacy of your pardadaji , Shri H P Nanda… Both your pardadaji ' s gave your present surnames celebrated fame, dignity and recognition!

2: Girls, do not let anyone tell you what to think, or do: “Both of you may be a Nanda or a Bachchan, but you are also girls...women ! And because you are women people will force their thinking, their boundaries on you. They will tell you how to dress, how to behave, who you can meet and where you can go. Don't live in the shadows of people's judgement.

3: You choose what you want to wear, and do, and be friends with: “Make your own choices in the light of your own wisdom. Don't let anyone make you believe that the length of your skirt is a measure of your character. Don't let anyone's opinion of who you should be friends with, dictate who you will be friends with.”

4: Marry only when you want to, your life, your call: Don't get married for any other reason other than you want to get married. People will talk. They shall say some terrible things. But that doesn't mean you have to listen to everyone. Never ever worry about - log kya kahenge. At the end of the day, you are the only one who will face the consequences of your actions, so don't let other people make your decisions for you.”

5: You can set an example for women everywhere: “Navya - the privilege your name, your surname offers you, will not protect you from the difficulties you will face because you 're a woman. Aaradhya - by the time you see and understand this, I may well not be around. But I think what I am saying today shall still be relevant. This may be a difficult, difficult world to be a woman. But I believe that it is women like you that will change that. It may not be easy, setting your own boundaries, making your own choices, rising above people 's judgement. But YOU !...you can set an example for women everywhere.”

He concludes in the warmest way, special to grandparents all over the world, telling his granddaughters: “Do this and you would have done more than I have ever done, and it will be my honor to be known not as Amitabh Bachchan, but as your grandfather!!”

 

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Karuna John
Woman. Pan Indian. Alive. Aware. Arisen. Learns one new thing every day. Fixes bigots. Journalist. Word Curator. Storyteller. http://www.sheroes.in

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