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Dear Daddy

By Ninad Thackare
May 2002, Pontardulais
A digital story from Capture Wales

Pride and prejudice

Ninad's story will strike a chord with every proud parent.

"Hi Dad! Do you know, I'm having so much fun; you're not going to believe! The Stats. Prof. - he is so cool. In the lecture yesterday..."

Cool, yes. Hmm. Not so long ago it was, "Daddy, will you take me to London with you?"

Praj was six then - holding my hand, walking to school in Bombay. Choice and fate brought me to Wales eight years ago. She followed me there with her mum. She was ten.

A lovely junior school, lots of friends and prizes. Soon she was on stage, singing and dancing with the Ark Entertainers, but not all was to be rosy.

Senior school came up, inevitably. A good school, but the children were grown up of course. Differences were found, but not understood. They picked on her accent, even her cultural background.

"What, no boys at 13. She can't be one of us!"

"I want to go home. Let's go back to Bombay."

The child was hurting inside. Some unthinking remark maybe. Latta and I sat down with her ...told her, it's not that much difference for us, but we are all here for a brighter tomorrow. A lot of love and cajoling later, life returned to normal. Phew!

Then, it suddenly changed. She topped her class ...and again ...and again. A gold medal and a trophy followed. Italy and Ireland were toured with the Howell Girls choir. Peers began to accept her for herself.

She equalled the school record for getting ten GCSE A* and was invited to join the National Youth Choir of Wales ...and now this.

This letter from the University, "Hi Dad."

Is this metamorphosis? Well, whatever. But somewhere inside, just inside, I still wish to hear "Dear Daddy."

End slide - With all my love, Dad.

Ninad Thackare

What are you currently doing Ninad?
I am an opthalmologist and I have been based in South Wales for the last 8 years. I have a keen interest in the performing arts, especially the stage.

What is your story based on?
My story is my daughter's to be honest with you. She came to this country from Bombay at the age of 10. Her initial schooling years were quite traumatic as she faced a lot of rejection and ridicule. At 13 or 14 she snapped out of her dejection and has now achieved tremendous success academically as well as in other fields. She now represents Wales in the National Youth Choir. This story is about her metamorphosis.

How did you find the workshop?
It was an excellent workshop and a brilliant experience. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the 'Capture Wales' team.

Your comments

"Dr. Ninad and myself are distant cousins but he is more like a real brother. That's what I have to say about him, having known him for the last 26 yrs. Immensely talented, gifted and versatile, he has excelled in all that he has undertaken. I wish him luck for all his future endeavours and success for all times to come. Big bro, if you're reading this, please know, it brings back to life all the memories of India, when you were here. Cheers. " Rishi, Mumbai, India.

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