Mr. Atul Shah (71) has held various leadership positions at organizations like Suzlon Wind Energy and Skeiron. Post his retirement, he settled in Pune with his wife Mayuri Shah. Apart from holding an active corporate profile, a major role that Mr. Shah plays now is of a doting grandfather to two beautiful little girls – the 7-year-old Miraya who is his son’s daughter, who lives in Sydney and the 3.5-year-old Amyra, who is his daughter’s daughter and lives in New Jersey.
HappyAging is delighted to share Atul Shah’s words of wisdom to his granddaughters through our ‘Letters to Grandchildren’ series.
Through the ‘Letters to Grandchildren’ series, HappyAging intends to bring out the beautiful bond that grandparents and grandchildren share. The purpose of this series is to allow grandparents to share their legacy with their grand-kids, and let them take a pause and look at life from a different perspective. These letters allow the grandparents to share their life lessons and experiences with them.
Here is Atul Shah’s letter to his granddaughters:
Dear Miraya and Amyra,
You two are the apple of my eyes and you know how much grandpa loves you. You are far from my sight, but always close to my heart. I want to tell you, how much I love talking to both of you on our daily calls, which is the biggest highlight of my day.
While calling is the current way of communication, writing letters were the means of communication in our times. When I was at IIT Bombay, my mother, your great-grandmother had written a letter to me to guide me in my pursuits. That letter has always remained close to me. I still keep it with myself. And now I am writing this letter to the two of you so I can share a few words that can remain with you forever.
My princesses, you both are growing up so well, bagging accolades in whatever you do. This fills mine as well as your dadi’s heart with pride. I want you two to continue doing the same with self-discipline. My life has been all about discipline and hence, that is something I want you to inherit from me. The two of you are already doing wonderful with your studies. Miraya with your learning music, swimming and what not and Amyra, with your promotion in school, twice in the last six months, we feel so very proud of the two of you.
Both of you are blessed with talents which will continue to unfold as you grow. But girls, in this long journey that you have to tread on, do not forget to celebrate the smaller joys as life lies in the small moments; moments that you spend with your family, with your friends, with your fellows and with the number of people you will come across in your life. A lot of us thrive hard to win big but neglect the relationships around us. We forget to enjoy the togetherness when we are together and live in a virtual world. Your dadi and I cherish this time now – our time; you know we never miss our Karaoke nights or any chance to learn a new thing together. After all, it’s all about togetherness at the end of the day. Our people, our family will always be with us and form the strongest support for us.
We could be living far away from each other in three different continents, but we are always there for each other. I love how we put family before anything. You know how we absolutely love to plan our annual meets at different locations to bring the whole family together. Your dadi and I are already excited and cannot wait to meet you at Hawaii in few weeks from now. Family is like a gift that brings joy; the joy in seeing each other, in caring for each other and going extra miles for each other. You know one of my fondest memories is from last year when you all celebrated my 70th birthday and how the two of you presented me handmade cards. You all are my biggest achievements in life.
Girls, apart from family, another gift that we have is our health. Your daadu learned it the harder way. I was obese and was dealing with a number of health issues. And why? Because perhaps I was busy working throughout life, neglecting my own body. The reality check happened when your daadu had to rely on wheelchairs at the long airport walkways. It was time then; I knew this had to change. I told myself that this is not going to happen with me again and here I am – a changed person. At 71, I have cured my diabetes, have no joint aches and can climb any mountain, life throws at me. Your dadi has been my constant health partner in my journey. From enjoying health drinks in the morning to our exercises and walks, we are watchful of our actions. And why am I telling you this? Because sweethearts, body is our temple and we need to embrace it in the healthiest way we can. I do not want you to commit the same mistakes we might have done in our lives. So eat healthy, exercise every day, and be the best version of yourself.
We need to thank almighty for the privileged life we have and we must respect that. And we can do that by not wasting food, not spending more than we earn and always being humble in our approaches. In the end, I want you two to be straight shooters with a bang on positive attitude. Be it studies or extra-curricular, live your moments and make the most of it.
My dear Miraya and Amyra, I hope my letter be like a guiding light for you and help you in becoming the best versions of yourselves. Always love yourself, the way you are and spread the joy as you always do. We are proud of you.
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