Deepika Padukone recently brought tears to everyone's eyes when she put a bit of an emotional twist on the rigmarole winning-an-award speech at the Filmfare awards.
When she won in the category of Best Actress, she read out a letter from her father so grounded and moving, you stopped, for a few seconds seeing her as a star and looking at her as someone as human as the next person.
Watch the full video here...
(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 if 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.