Legacy by Sudha Menon

Writing letters to daughters is nothing new. We have seen our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s letters to his daughter Indira Gandhi to very recent letter written by Amitabh Bachchan for his grand-daughters. Legacy: Letters from Eminent Parents to Their Daughters by Sudha Menon will be another endeavor in this list.  

Legacy For Daughters

Legacy is the compilations of letters written by some eminent personalities to their daughters. There are total 18 letters written by bigwigs like Narayana Murthy, Kishore Biyani, K.V. Kamath, Zia Mody, Ajay Piramal, Ganesh Natrajan, Amit Chandra, Renuka Ramnath, Pradeep Bhargava, P.P. Chhabria, Deep Anand, Mallika Sarabhai, Capt. Gopinath, Shaheen Mistri, Jatin Das, Sanjeev Kapoor, Chanda Kochhar and Prakash Padukone.

Parents Always Have Common Concerns

Parents, famous or not, seems to have common concern. They want their daughters to follow their dreams yet are concern for their safety. They have common advice on nesting and flying. Parents want their daughters to have flying careers but also settle down with family. Ultimately all the parents want their children to grow up to become fine individuals. 

Inspiring Letters

These letters gives in-depth insights about all these celebrities own experience, life lessons, struggles and about their parenting skills. All the letters are open yet have a personal touch and real treasure for the daughter in concern. Parents through these letters are passing the pearls of wisdom to their daughters but readers are also bound to get benefited from them.

Chanda Kochchar

There is something to take-away from each of the letter. But some of them I enjoyed reading a lot more and they personally touched me. Chanda Kochchar’s letter to her daughter Aarti was heart rendering and moving. She is a role model for women both working or not but in this letter she talks about her role model, her pillar of strength- her mother who brought up three children after her father’s sudden demise. Her letter tells us the story of a woman’s perseverance and determination.

Amit Chandra

Amit Chandra fervently stresses on the need to maintain a balance in life to his little daughter. I learned from his letter the importance to develop in kids the virtue of sharing.

Ganesh Natarajan

Ganesh Natarajan in his letter to daughter Karuna fondly remembers his parents and things which he learned from them. Humble and simple living were his message.  

Jatin Das

Jatin Das, father of actress Nandita Das, affectionately recalls many anecdotes related to his childhood and her’s as well.

Narayan Murthy

Narayan Murthy, a man who needs no introduction, writes the most charming letter. He wrote like an ordinary middle class doting father and grandfather. This letter is a clear example why he is such a famous and successful man. 

Renuka Ramnath

Renuka Ramnath’s letter left me with misty-eyed. Her story is that of a superwoman’s story who kept her family together, nourish and nurtured her two children after the death of her husband. She emphasizes on the need to be self dependent and also to cultivate relationship.

Sanjeev Kapoor

I learned a new meaningful meaning of success from the letter of Sanjeev Kapoor. According to him success is equal to happiness. Happiness motivates him. We have seen him churning out one after another lip smacking dishes but seldom we see a rock solid figure behind him. In this letter he reveals other side of Masterchef which made him what he is today.

Zia Mody

The author has kept the best letter of the book for the end. That letter is written by Zia Mody. It is the most balance letter of this book. Zia Mody advises to her daughters on the issues related to marriage like a good traditional mother. On the other hand she also insist her daughters to find their individual calling, travel throughout the world and to always take decision keeping in mind their dignity and self-respect.

At the end of the book, there are pictures of these parents with their daughters which I felt should be given along with their letters instead of stacking them together at the end.

The Verdict:

All in all Legacy is a type of book which should be read like you are drinking wine. Taking small sips at a time and relishing flavor in bits instead of gulping it like milk.

It’s an inspiring and motivating book not only for daughters but parents as well.

A unique concept to think about and a commendable effort by the author Sudha Menon.

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