Food For Thought – LET US SEEK FORGIVENESS FROM OUR CHILDREN
by Dr. Satish Rohra
Few days back my daughter who stays in Japan came to India to meet me and other relatives. She arrived on Saturday, was here for a day, that was Sunday and went back on Monday.
My friends at 'Maleer' asked her “You have traveled such a long distance for only a day?” My daughter politely replied, “I met Dada (she calls me Dada) and other relatives, which was my main objective.” I told her, “Your trip will be more successful if you see the books I have written. You will of course not be able to read them though, as the script is Sindhi Arabic and you don't know to read that script.” I saw that she became sad, but didn't utter a word. On Monday morning before leaving, she came to me with a note book, and asked me to show her the books that I had written. She asked me to mention the titles of the books and the year in which they were published.
I showed her all my books written in Sindhi. She noted down the titles and their years of publication. Mixed feelings of happiness and sorrow were evident on her face simultaneously. My 13 books written in Sindhi were in front of her, which she was shuffling through. After remaining silent for some time she looked up into my eyes and said, “Don't you feel, you have committed a crime by not teaching me the Sindhi Arabic script?”
I was aghast at this remark. Inspite of trying hard I could not raise my eyes to meet hers. She again said, “Its true that I had my primary education in Adipur, where I was taught Sindhi, in Devnagiri script. But that does not mean you could not teach me the Arabic script. You are a master of languages. For many years you have been teaching Hindi to foreigners. But in the last 50 years (my daughter's age is 50 at present) couldn't you spare some time to teach me the Sindhi script? After all how long does it take to learn the Sindhi script? I firmly believe that if one studies for just one hour daily, then in about 15 to 20 days one can learn the Sindhi script, but you could not even spare just 15 to 20 hours to teach me the Sindhi script? Alas! Today you have made me so helpless. You have written 13 books in Sindhi. For one of your books you have also received the Sindhi Sahetya Academy Award, which means you are a good litterateur. But I, being your daughter who has the full right to your inheritance, am ignorant and in the dark about your thoughts, your writing skills and your literature. Not only am I ignorant about your literature but also of the entire Sindhi literature. My journey from Japan to Adipur has taken more than 15 hours. Couldn't I have spared 15 hours to learn the Sindhi script? Dada, the fact is that you yourself didn't feel the importance of this. I am aware about the hardships and difficulties you have gone through to get me educated, but you have also committed a great crime by not teaching me the Sindhi script. Now I myself shall learn the Sindhi script with the help of these 'Learn your self' books and within a month shall write a letter to you in the Sindhi script”
I am speechless, as I have no reply to this. My head hangs down in shame, my eyes are wet and I now realize the crime that I have committed. I feel that all those parents, who could have taught their children the Sindhi script, and did not do so; have committed a crime.
I feel that I and other parents like me should seek forgiveness from our children for having kept our children in the dark about the vast and rich treasure of Sindhi literature.