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A father’s poem turns into an online campaign for parents

When a dad blogger shared the poem he had penned down for his daughter on Instagram, it started the #lettertomykid campaign.

It’s hard to find dad bloggers, but when you do find one who’s questioning the status quo, one social media post at a time, you get curious. That’s what led us to Aashish Agrawal, father to an adorable 2.5-year-old daughter and a real estate professional.

We sat down with him to find out more about the campaign #lettertomykid that he started last month, and how it led parents to put down their love in words.

Your Instagram handle says you’re into poetry. Is that what made you come up with the idea of writing a letter/poem to your child?

I have been writing poems for my daughter Dhaani since her birth. Some found space in my actual diary and some on my digital diaries, including my Instagram handle (@pappablogs). Every time I posted a poem, I got a good response. Therefore, this time, I experimented with extending the whole idea to my Insta family too.

Do you think in today’s digital age, where the written word has almost lost its old school charm, such initiatives hold even more significance?

I am so old school in this aspect. I prefer the written word, and more so when it’s on paper than typed out online. But at the same time, I do understand that it’s the digital medium that connects us to people from all over the world. Also, it provides an easier propagation of ideas.

Coming back to your question, YES, I do believe it’s crucial to bring our true emotions out more frequently on our social media platforms. Today, in this world of external validation, it is imperative to be connected to your inner self. And when you write a poem to your child, you connect to your inner most feelings in the process.

Were you expecting this kind of response?

I knew that some of my friends on Instagram were interested in poetry, so my initial expectation was maybe 10 of them would end up participating. But we actually have had around 60 poems/letters so far and still counting. For me, more than the numbers, it is the variety in terms of experiences that has humbled me. I want to share some examples:

  1. A mother wrote about her depression and negativity after the birth of her son.

  2. A young couple wrote a letter to their future child. So many mothers have written letters to their rainbow children.

  3. There are letters in the form of videos, Haikus, and confessions.

  4. There are parents who wrote in Hindi. The variety has just been amazing.

A collage of some of the parents , who participated in the campaign. ( Last row, bottom right) Aashish with his daughter, Dhaani

What do you feel has touched parents the most about this idea?

I believe that every parent is a poet when it comes to her/his child. This is like writing a love letter to your child. Thinking of all the good times, one is bound to get into a state of bliss while writing for a child. And I think that’s what connected with everybody. I am glad my idea added some moments of bliss to their lives.

Can we request you to pen down a few lines for us that hold true for every child?

I wrote the next few lines for my daughter, but they hold true for every child.

बेटा तुम पानी बनना; निर्मल, चंचल, शीतल सी.

ना ज़्यादा ज्ञानी बनना; आज भी रहना तुम कल सी.

बहुत कहेंगे लोग तुम्हे , कि ये बनो, और वो बनो,

तुम लेकिन धानी बनना, शांत कभी, कभी हलचल सी.

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