By Sudha Menon. Grade: A
Menon’s Legacy grabs attention immediately. The cover jacket is beautifully illustrated, perfectly capturing the essence of the novel. The back blurb is well crafted, with exactly just the right hint of nostalgia. And the idea.
Oh, the idea.
It’s captivating. In today’s super-fast world of emails, whatsapp and SMS, the idea of writing a letter to one’s daughter, with your heart splashed across the pages for the entire world to see…it hooked me.
No wonder it took me only two seconds to move this book to the top of my humongous TBR pile.
They say a daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart. In Legacy, noted journalist and author Sudha Menon brings forth a rare collection of personal and evocative letters from parents to their daughters. Through their fearless approach to life, love, and overcoming obstacles, these icons from the world of business, arts, films, food, and sports share with us their experience and wisdom as they pass them on to their daughters.
Deeply moving and thought provoking, Legacy is a remarkable collection of life lessons that will delight and inspire at the same time.
The list of writers is impressive: Narayana Murthy, Chanda Kochhar, Kishore Biyani, Zia Mody, K.V. Kamath, Ajay Piramal, Amit Chandra, Ganesh Natrajan, Renuka Ramnath, P.P. Chhabria, Pradeep Bhargava, Deep Anand, Capt. Gopinath, Mallika Sarabhai, Shaheen Mistri, Sanjeev Kapoor, Jatin Das, and Prakash Padukone.
But in Legacy, they are not world renowned personalities, or billionnaire CEOs of companies that are keeping the Indian economy alive. They are appas and mummas of their little girls, wanting to protect and let go, both at the same time.
Bitiya, you owe me nothing except your own happiness at all times.
These people and their stories are live examples that it is, in fact, possible to succeed in the world without compromising on your ideals of integrity, honesty and kindness. There are common threads running through all the letters: that success after stepping on someone’s shoes is not success; that howsoever big may be the business, family and loved ones should never come second; of always following your heart; and that in the end, our purpose in life is to make this world a better place. Humility is a virtue these parents are not willing to compromise on, and unashamedly admit to their own mistakes so that their children know better.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to my friends and family. My only peeve would be Sudha Menon. While there is little of her own writing in the book, she does introduce the personality before the letter is revealed. However, more often than not, she ends up using some lines from the particular parent’s letter in the introduction – by merely modifying a few words here and there.
Fortunately, it can be overlooked when you have such a vast treasure of love and guidance just waiting for your highlighter pen.
About the Author:
Sudha Menon is the bestselling author of Leading Ladies: Women Who Inspire India and a journalist with over twenty years of experience. She has worked with the Independent, the Hindu Business Line, and Mint, writing on politics, women, health, and business.
Sudha is the founder of Get Writing!, a workshop for potential writers, and is also passionate about Writing In the Park, an initiative that she has started to get people out of their homes and spend time in the outdoors, writing in public parks and gardens. Sudha has been invited to several educational institutions and corporate campuses as a speaker where she talks to women’s networks about leadership and diversity issues. She lives in Pune with her family.