Introduction

This is a letter from Jawaharlal Nehru to his daughter, Indira. He cannot send her any material gifts for her birthday, so he sends her his wisdom in his letters instead. This particular letter is taken from page 90 of the “Imprint”, which was published in May 1961.

Birthday Wishes for Indira

Nehru says he is writing this letter for Indira Priyadarshini on her thirteenth birthday. He says she has always received gifts and good wishes on her birthday. He is sending her good wishes this time too but he cannot send her material gifts from jail. So, his gifts will be that of mind and spirit.

Nehru says he dislikes preaching, so there is no chance of him giving unnecessary advice. He has always thought that the best way to find out what is right and what is wrong, is not by giving a sermon, but by talking and discussing, because out of discussion truth comes out.

He has liked his talks with Indira and they have discussed many things, but the world is big and beyond our world there are many other wonderful worlds. So, none of us need to ever be bored or foolishly think that we have learned everything and become very wise. The very wise probably feel sad that there is nothing more to learn because they miss the joy of discovering and learning new things.

Nehru says goodbye to his little one, and wishes that she may grow up into a brave soldier in India’s service. He sends all his love and good wishes to Indira.

Understanding the Letter

In this letter, we see a great man’s fatherly heart. He is very lonely in the prison. A long prison life like this would have made any common man extremely depressed. But Nehru’s great spirit and his devotion to his daughter maintained his strength of body and mind. He found the greatest comfort in writing letters to her.

His letters had a purpose. They helped break the monotony of prison life. They also helped educate his little daughter and make her a fine student of history. Later, a large collection of such letters appeared in the form of Nehru’s ‘‘Glimpses of World History’’ – one of the best written and most popular books in the world today.

Conclusion

This chapter shows us a great man’s fatherly love for his daughter, as well as his wisdom. Nehru’s letters to Indira give him strength while he is in jail, and they also help in her education. Nehru’s devotion to his daughter is really touching.