Little would be said about journalist and author Sudha Menon’s book Legacy if it just called it a collection of letters from eminent parents to their daughters. From businessman Ajay Piramal of the Piramal Group and painter Jatin Das to badminton player Prakash Padukone and celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor, parents pour their hearts out to their daughters in a collection of letters that are moving and inspiring.
Well-known personalities, in their letters, talk about how they struggled to make their marks in their professions. They talk about their journeys and the hurdles that they faced to reach the top. Each letter unfolds like a story. Self-respect, dignity, humility, resilience and honesty seem to be the secrets to their successes.
A common theme that these letters share is the values that the parents want to impart to their daughters, some of who are just growing up and others who, like their parents, have earned a name for themselves. The letters bring forth an array of emotions, ranging from anxiety to pride, that parents house for their children in their hearts.
During times when one hardly stops to think about giving back to society and searching for happiness, Legacy is a breath of fresh air with the likes of Amit Chandra and Narayana Murthy talking about how it is of utmost importance to love and to be happy about whatever your profession is.
“We get obsessed with our jobs, in the pursuit of something material, certain relationships, or some challenging situation, as a result of which life gets into a rut, becomes very one-dimensional, or pushes one to despair. I can tell you, with confidence, that it is important to pause and frequently ask ourselves if we have either truly made ourselves happy, or done something positive for our loved ones, and more importantly, if we are contributing to somehow making the world a better place than what we see before us,” says Chandra, Managing Director of Bain Capital Advisors, who took some time off from his extremely busy schedule to go to a Vipassana camp, that he says helped him find answers about the purpose of his life.
Menon’s idea of compiling the well crafted letters into a book is certainly a refreshing idea. Legacy, like the literal meaning of the word – anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor – is the handing down of knowledge about leading a constructive and happy life.
The concept of Legacy is indeed captivating as it makes you stop and rethink about your own ideas of success.
Legacy, by Sudha Menon, Random House India, Rs 399