Most young humans dream of receiving some good old coming-of-age advice from the older humans they love and respect. In the form of a letter, or the classic sit down on a birthday morning, doting parents and grandparents lead their youngest humans from naïve bliss to reality. Boys want to be told the secrets of success and old-school wooing, girls want to know that they can be as ambitious and free as they like. They all want reassurances of support and love, free of conventional restraints.

In most households, the young generation of India looks upon everybody their grandparents’ age as traditional, conservative and mostly cynical about the former’s oh-so-sinful activities, from sleeping late to sleeping in and all therein. One wonderful exception in the latter’s group came out on the 4th of September in the way of a letter to the two youngest women in his family.

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan penned down some beautiful thoughts for granddaughters Navya Naveli Nanda and Aaradhya Bachchan.

Big B letter
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In his heartfelt letter, he talks about the importance of not letting others’ opinions cloud one’s own judgement by saying, “Don’t live in the shadows of people’s judgment. Make your own choices in the light of your own wisdom.”, and “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.”

Knowing that a great legacy precedes you can be overwhelming. He addresses the matter of being privileged and a woman, how such a combination affects the way a girl grows up and lives life.

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 pardadajis gave your present surnames celebrated fame, dignity and recognition. 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.”

The veteran actor talks about making choices for yourself, despite the many restrictions society loves imposing on women.

“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.

Don’t get married for any other reason other than you want to get married.”

He also mentions killing the convention behind India’s favourite reason, ‘log kya kahenge’, by saying,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.”

And in the end, he talks about the kind of women his granddaughters will grow up to be.

“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 judgment. But YOU!…you can set an example for women everywhere. 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!”

Having a presence and an audience, Amitabh Bachchan’s words have hit home to many, many people. He has given a lot of girls out there hope for a better future and the knowledge that things are changing, and that they have to be a part of it. And, Big B has given all of us yet another reason to respect and love him. He has proved himself the perfect, doting grandfather to a couple of beautiful and lucky girls!

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Poet, writer, animal lover – the way I’ve been made! I’m a big believer in the goodness of people, and I save a little bit of it for myself. Either cooking, reading, or binge-watching TV shows when I’m not procrastinating. A deep love of travelling and languages runs in my blood, and saving this big ol’ blue planet tops my bucket list. Basically an independent introvert, loving the company of the extroverts surrounding me!

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