Winning an award is an emotional moment, regardless of whether you are a sensitive person. And when an award is as big as the Filmfare Award, one is bound to be emotional. But the audience and the film fraternity wouldn’t have expected emotions to run so high when
Deepika Padukone won the coveted black lady for her performance in ‘Piku’.As expected, Deepika was overjoyed when her name was announced as the winner of the Best Actress Award. After she collected the award, dressed in a stunning red gown, she felt the time was apt to read a letter her father had written to her and her sister couple of years ago.
Here is the full transcription of the letter:-
Dear Deepika and Anisha,
You stand on the threshold of life’s journey. I want to share with you some lessons life
has taught me. Decades ago as a little boy growing up in Bangalore I started my tryst with
badminton. In those days, there were no stadiums, no courts sports people could train in.
Our badminton court was the wedding hall of the Canara Union Bank near our house. And it
was there that I learnt everything about the game. Every day we would wait to see if there
was a function in the hall. And it there was none, we would rush there after school to
play our heart’s content.
Looking back I realize that the most important thing about my childhood and adolescent
years was my refusal to complain about a lot in life. I was thankful for the few hours of
the week we had the opportunity to hit the shuttle back and forth. In fact, the foundation
on which I based my career and my life was the refusal to whine about everything. And that
is what I want to tell you my children that there is no substitute for perseverance, hard
work, determination and passion for what you do. If you love what you do, nothing else
matters, neither awards, ironic I say that here, nor compensation, not even the
gratification of seeing your face in newspapers and television.
When I won the all-England championship, the prize money in badminton became significant –
3000 pounds – a huge amount in those days. But that did not distract me from the sheer joy
of having being instrumental in putting India on the global map for this game. Deepika, at
18 (loud applause) when you told us that you wanted to shift to Mumbai for a career in
modeling, we felt you were too young and too inexperienced to be alone in a big city and
in an industry we knew nothing about. In the end we decided to let you follow your heart
and thought it was cruel to not give our child to give an opportunity to go after a dream
that she lived and breathed for. “If you succeeded, it would have made us proud. But even
if you didn’t, you would not have any regrets that you didn’t try. The amount of effort I
put in my game never vary from the first day till my retirement. Even during my toughest
time I focused on what I had, instead on dwelling on what I did not. I had the ability to
make the best of the worst circumstances and remain steadfast to my goal.
Remember how I constantly tell you both about the importance of making you way up in the
world without waiting for your parents to pull strings. I believe it is best for children
to work hard, to make their dreams come true and to not have things handed to them on a
platter. When you are visiting home Deepika, you make your own bed, clean the table after
meals and sleep on the floor when there are guests at home. If you occasionally wonder why
we refuse to treat you like a star it’s because you are our daughter first and a film star
later. The camera that follows you everywhere (pauses as there is an applause) and the
arc-lights will eventually fade. What will remain is the real world.
Deepika I have learnt that you can’t always win in life. That everything you want might
not come your way. That events don’t turn out the way you want them to. To win some, you
have to lose some. You have to learn to take life’s ups and downs in your stride. You are
in an industry where there is a lot. But I hope you are the game changer in it. Strive to
generate positivity around you even though you are too new and too small a player to
effect a big change.
You are in an industry where there is a lot of money. But I believe that it is important
to be able to be the best in whatever you do regardless of the money. The things that
really matter in life are relationships, honesty, respect for your parents and elders.
Material success is important but not fundamental to happiness and peace of mind.
I can’t tell you enough about the rejuvenating power of prayers and a little faith. Spare
a few minutes of your day to close your eyes and meditate, to think about God, and you
will see how much faith in his power you will strength in you. In the end, when your
career is behind you, what remains is family, the friends that you have made. Live a life
that is healthy and one that will allow you to live with your own conscience. Everything
else is transient and remember no matter what, we are always going to be there for you.