Mr and Mrs Sathyalingam are the founders of Aspara Arts, a leading Indian Arts School in Singapore. Mr Sathyalingam, 78, is a well known Indian Musical music teacher and Mrs Neela, 69, is an accomplished Indian classical dancer. She received the 1989 Cultural Medallion in Singapore. They have five grandchildren.
Darlings Abhimandran, Nishalini, Eylendran, Nithyarupini and Nihilesh,
You have been God’s GREATEST Grace in our lives. We both married very early in our lives, by today’s standards. But, THE BIGGEST BONUS has been to become Grandparents very early in our lives – Ammamma (grandmother) at 40 years and Patta (grandfather) at 48 years. We have had the energy and time to witness your spirited lives.
The Lord blessed us with so many years of pure JOY, in seeing your births, enjoying all those wonderful early years in your development, witnessing your successes and above all, to become great grandparents in March 2008.
We have experienced many adverse periods of life and the stresses of daily life. But when we reach home at the end of an arduous day, your smiling faces give us ‘instant stress release’, healing our hearts and improving our ailing health.
The daily discipline of teaching Indian dance and music, even at this stage of our lives, is only possible due to the love we feel for each other. We believe that the two purposes of our lives are: to impart the traditional Indian arts to Singaporeans, with the hope that, they will continue these traditions for generations to come; and to ENJOY EVERY MOMENT OF LIFE with our beloved Grandchildren. Even though the four of you live overseas, every telephone call from you and visit to Singapore fills us with LIFE anew. Eylen’s meals with us and visits to our home, make us feel young at heart.
Your Uncle Skanda’s birth was a blessing to our families. But, his illness and daily struggle to live with dignity and grace, is a blow to us, all. However, we DO NOT complain to God, for Skanda’s very life has taught us the value of living with passion everyday. We have been given the gift of energy and time to pursue our duties to all youngsters sent into our holistic care by their humble and trusting parents. Above all, we have been gifted the limitless wonder of grandchildren who live vivacious lives with enthusiasm, humour, intellectual gravitas and talent. You each possess such beautiful Souls, for you consistently show Skanda such love and tenderness. At each visit to Singapore, you make such a big fuss about Skanda.
We may have forgotten birthdays and anniversaries from time to time. But, you have ALWAYS been in our daily prayers to the Lord Almighty and the proof of God’s Grace in your lives is the GREAT VALUES, MORALS AND ETHICS with which you conduct your personal and professional lives. We are VERY PROUD OF EACH ONE OF YOU AND WE ARE HUMBLED TO BE CALLED YOUR GRANDPARENTS. Love your family and friends; love what you do; love those you serve; LOVE LIFE, and LIVE JOYOUSLY, always.
This letter is republished with permission from the National Library Board. Letters From Grandma and Grandpa (2008) is an initiative to create opportunities for youth and seniors to strengthen ties, enhance understanding and appreciate each other. Singapore grandpas and grandmas share their stories from the past, their hopes for the future, their love from their hearts, and their values for the soul. The letters capture their thoughts and feelings on important values, such as family and heritage, respect for the elders, generosity, love, courage and responsibility.
First published on 14-02-2011.
Categories: Letters from Grandpa