A letter to my 9 year-old nephew on his birthday

My Dear Upamanyu,

Wish you a very Happy Birthday! Hugs! More hugs! and Mmmmmuaaaah! Lots and lots of love from T-Moni.

It seems like only yesterday when I cradled you in my arms and sang a lullaby! Time flies! And today, a fine young gentleman of nine is reading this! A young man who knows his numbers, plays chess tournaments, is a star soccer player and more. Whoa! I am so proud of you my little champ! Manage your mischief with the swish of a wand! I wish you lots of fun and frolic, may you laugh till your cheeks hurt, and play till you drop on the couch! Hi-fi on that!


Well, this is a small gift from me – which will reach you soon in the form of a hand-written letter. It may not seem much today, but trust me, you will understand its value, in the years to come! A hand-written letter may seem odd in today’s age where the world is just a click away, but they have their own charm. And am hoping, that in the years to come, when you find my letter tucked away behind a pile of books, you will open it and re-read and get a better perspective to what I have to say!


Today, I am going to talk to you about something very important. You are a big boy now and need to understand certain things and follow them diligently. That’s a promise you will make to me, deal? You can shake that imaginary hand, I have mine extended 9248 miles away.

1. Take care of people you love, give them your time. 

Upa, there are so many people who love you dearly and you mean the world to them. I know, you are busy with a plethora of activities to do, but let me tell you young lad, as the days go by, you will have so much more to do. Never forget to give the loved one a hug, or just call to say ‘Hey, how are you doing?’. They may be absolutely fine, but may be looking at the telephone the whole day to see your number on it when it is ringing. It could be your grandparents or your parents when you grow older, but this is a must.

2. Gratitude, there is always something to be thankful for. 

I still remember, as a two feet tall-three year old kid, you used to stand on the chair and shake hands with your ‘Dadai’ (grandfather) to thank him for each meal. Everybody seated on the table used to look at you in bewilderment. Before going to bed, make it a point to thank God for three things you received that day. It could be the bar of chocolate gifted to you, a sumptuous meal put together by your mom, that baseball match you enjoyed or anything under the sun, but you must learn to be thankful. You have no idea what a cascading effect of positiveness this will have!

3. Be Humble and polite – modesty is a unique quality which not everyone can possess

Great men show the virtue of being humble and modest. You need not look far away from home. Both your grandfather’s are living examples of this quality. If you were to be allowed to travel to your dream destination without a back-pack, it is this quality which will tag along with you and will be the one friend who will never betray you.

4. Learn something new everyday

This is simple! It’s a fun game. This could be a puzzle which you can now solve, meaning of a new word or a complicated math problem which you did not know how to tackle the day before. Knowledge is that ingenious man who never gets tagged in the game of catch-me-if-you-can. The more you learn, realization dawns on how little you know.

5. Honesty has a power very few people can handle

You know what’s worse? Tell a lie once, only ONCE and all your truths become questionable. That’s horrible, isn’t it? This is not easy. Let me reiterate, this can be very difficult especially when you know that small lie can often save you from a grave situation. But I am sure you can handle it. And people will respect you for the truth you speak. Respect can only be earned, I cannot gift it to you even if I want to. This is deep, but you are a smart boy and I am sure you know what I mean.

6. Learn to let go

It’s okay to be upset about something, but not for long. You have better things to do than brood over something that kills your time. Whatever it is, park it aside. Think about something which makes you happy instead, or treat yourself to some yummy ‘roshogolla’, you are our precious little darling, and I am going to be extremely upset if I get to know from Mommy that you are fretting about mundane things.

7. Give your best in whatever you do 

Be it the prawn curry that’s cooking for Father’s Day or shaking your legs to some Salman Khan Bollywood number – give it your best shot buddy, carpe diem, the stage is all yours! You may want to try this, whenever I have butterflies in my stomach I close my eyes and think of the people I love, and I can see them smiling back at me with a thumbs-up victory sign. And I have always exceeded expectations. I am sure a talented young man like you would surpass all competition and rock it! Yo buddy!

8. Never judge a book by its cover

What you see is not what you get. People are different. Even identical twins do not behave the same way. The playmate at school is different from the neighbour next door. And by being different I am not referring to their ethnicity. I am referring to the different nature and characteristics of every individual. Observe. Keep your eyes and ears open. If you are good to someone, they are bound to be good to you one day or the other. And if they are not, it is their guilt conscience which will prick them, that is not for you to ponder. But then why do you need to observe? Because you need to handle people differently. The way you ask your teacher a question may be different from the way you ask your mom the same question, right? Similarly you will have to observe and understand how the mind’s of different people work.

9. Time is the new currency of our generation.Use it with prudence!

Yes it is! Dollars come a close second. And the best part is, we ALL have 24 hours a day. It’s how you make best use of it! Spend 5 minutes on planning what you want to do and how you want to do it – before starting any activity. Have a goal, I am sure the plan will work. And if it doesn’t you will have a better one next time.

That’s enough of gyaan for the day!

Run along and cut the cake before Pepe paws on it! 🙂 Let’s Skype soon.

Sealed with love, T-Moni.




11 thoughts on “A letter to my 9 year-old nephew on his birthday

  1. Your nephew is fortunate to have an uncle like you. Kids listen more to uncles and aunts as compared to their parents ( maybe because parents don’t stop advising). I am sure his mother is very thankful for the advice given through this letter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a wise advice and such heartwarming letter. He should save it for ages. He is lucky to have an uncle like you in his life. I’m going to share the same advice with my seven-year-old son. Thanks for writing and sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

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