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Letter to my son—in a Y-shaped conversation

He is seven today. He cannot vote but he knows when to raise his hand.

I wrote a letter to my son when he was five. He was new to the school, so my message was centered around acceptance and standards.

He is seven today, and I have something else to say. Like every other father has—on either side of the border—across the Summar.

So often it happens that I make him sit around me, and he listens. When I control my pace, he listens well. I choreograph the conversation as if we are on the stageand we are our own audience.

Within a few minutes, he spreads his legs across my legs, at an angle—as if to form a Y.

And we are in a Y-shaped conversation. He nods in Yes, and it adds substance to our Y.

When I thought of writing this letter today, this Y made me realize that I can participate on his behalf too.

Here is HIS response to my letter that I have NOT written.

[When you are… ]

Son: “I know what you mean and how you feel. I will tell you about my friends.”

[Be careful about… ]

Son: “Yes, I will try to hate everything that you hate or hated. Not because you advise me so, but also because I should not resist this kind of ought-to-welcome inheritance.”

[One of the things… ]

Son: “When you stare at me that way, I take note of the situation of why it is so. I will try to avoid it.”

[It is perfectly fine if…. ]

Son: “Sometimes I am annoying. Unpredictable too. Yes, like you. And I totally agree that we both are not unforgivable.”

[Comfortable… ?]

Son: “Can I put my legs across your legs, for a Y shaped conversation?”

(Yes, and he did.)

[Do you remember…. ?]

Son: “I see why you did not buy me that guitar. It was not for me. Not, yet.”

[And I told you once…. ]

Son: “Of course I ask my skates coach for help, when I need it.”

[Sports… ]

Son: “You are also a champion, for way the bat or the racket moves around. The front foot and the back-hand. The trophy is in the movements, and not in the cupboard.”

[Excel… ]

Son: “Not you. I need to be a better version of myself, for my own standards. I will keep on coming back to you though.”

[Communication… ]

Son: “… and I absolutely love tweeting in your supervision.”

[I just want that… ]

Son: “Thank you dad, this is the smartest thing I can do. The hashtags that I follow are #storytelling #design #culture #architecture.”

[You know it is fun…. ]

Son: “Yes. Our jokes are like our luxury car. These drive us on our own fuel, at our own pace, and in our own direction. Jokes are just a second-cousin of our storytelling nights. #culture, I already said.”

[We invest for …. ]

Son: “Well, it remains same as you told me on that Saturday. My investors piggy-bank is same and it may remain same till the day I will vote for the first time. You can help me revise the standards and to review my portfolio on that morning.”

[Our energies and focus… ]

Son: (Blank face.)

Now changes to h. Yes makes way for how. (Readers, highlight this part if you can smell the h below.)

Vinish: “Do you remember how the carpenter fixed our kitchen’s cupboard last year? For most of the things at this stage, you have all the time to learn, experiment, play around, and enjoy. Eat, and sleep. Even ignore. Even forget once in a while. Even skip a shower.”

“However, it is important to channelize the fire sometimes. Something — as Terkel’s carpenter does as — ‘Your whole universe is rolled onto the head of that nail. Each lick is sufficient to justify your life… If you see a carpenter that’s alive to his work, you’ll notice that about the way he hits a nail.’”

“When you grow up, consider yourself as your best supporting actor.”

“Find your own Pythagoras.”

“Find your -able and just dare so much so that they think you may be dangerous.”

Son: “But…” “Nothing.”

We both felt like an ocean. Untame-able. The plastic was yet to be tamed. And we was on to tweet about it.

We were again in a Y.

[Last. Be aware of your… ]

(And he raises his hand that he knows it.) He is seven today. He cannot vote but he knows when to raise his hand.

Happy Birthday Naman.

Vinish Garg

Vinish Garg

I am Vinish Garg, and I work with growing product teams for their product strategy, product vision, product positioning, product onboarding and UX, and product growth. I work on products for UX and design leadership roles, product content strategy and content design, and for the brand narrative strategy. I offer training via my advanced courses for content strategists, content designers, UX Writers, content-driven UX designers, and for content and design practitioners who want to explore product and system thinking.

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Vinish Garg is an independent consultant in product content strategy, content design leadership, and product management for growing product teams.