Dear 16 year old me ,
Today I felt like going back in time and writing a note to you so that you can know what to prioritize on when you grow up , on what not to worry , on what to focus and on what to let go.
All the fights you are having with dad for a mobile phone with better features? STOP. Trust me when I say that if a phone can send/receive calls and messages , that’s all you need for now . All the additional features that you are fighting for , is going to be obsolete very shortly . So save your battles.
Do you remember when you first got your phone , you used to wait for friends to call you and text you ? At that time , calls and texts were very expensive , so people preferred to meet each other face to face. And you used to find it nothing out of the ordinary .
Trust me when I say , that there will come a time in future when all you would be doing is being glued to your phone .Technology will advance so much that phones will be used for the internet , for emails , for a whole host of other applications. New technology like Whatsapp will mean you can chat with anyone instantly and for free. Yes, that’s gonna happen soon . Which is a great thing , the only disadvantage being you will be a slave to the phone all the time . You will be a slave to the pings , the news feed and the constant updates about other people .The funniest part is all this is in the virtual world . So make the best use of the real life friends you have and make the most of your trips to the beaches , cinema , ice cream joints ..Because there will come a time in future when you will be surrounded by beaches ,but you will have very few people to go with .
And career, what can I say ? I can save you 2 years of hard work and heart break by letting you know in advance that you are not going to crack the Common Entrance Exam for the Engineering course. You are meant for other things. In a few years you will be working in a profession where even the idea of applying Physics, Chem ,Maths and Biology is laughable . So for now ,just enjoy the joys of studying physics and other sciences , without breaking your head on the admission test .Enjoy learning about Newton , and don’t abuse him. His laws will be turned into funny spoofs during parties and you don’t want to look like a knuckle head in front of your friends by asking who’s Newton ?
Remember all the days you spent as a teenager standing in front of the mirror , after some kids teased you about your dark complexion . Don’t worry about it , that’ s just a handful of them .
Did you know that ,when you grow up , there are going to be more horrible ways of bullying? Somebody called Mark Zuckerberg is going to open a site called ‘Facebook’ and all the bullies you are trying to escape from today are going to be on your‘ friend list ’ a few years down the line. They are going to re-inforce your false belief that you are not worthy of their attention by first ‘ friending’ you and then ignoring your pics and posts online. Weird huh?
About your complexion , please don’t spend all your money on cancer causing cosmetics that promise to make you ‘ fair ’ . You have to know that it’s only in India that people put so much of a price on ‘ fair skin’ .
But you are to know now that few years down the line , Nanditha Das will start a campaign called ‘Dark is Beautiful’ . Psst , here’s another secret . You will be married to a guy who does not place any importance on the color of your skin and will love you for who you are. You will move to Ireland . And Irish people will think that your skin color is gorgeous . They will think that you have the most beautiful tan and you will get loads of compliments on your skin color. They surprisingly spend all their money in trying to get a tan like yours. So do not worry about your skin color at all and realize that true beauty is not skin deep.
Remember how scared you used to be of grandpa? Make the most of your time with him , he is not going to be around for much longer. Beneath the gruff exterior, lies a kind heart and an intelligent mind. Talk to him more and learn more about his life and experiences.
Remember how you used to always fight with dad when he used to drag you away from your novel and send you packing to the kitchen to learn some cooking ? And how you used to always argue that in future ,grocery stores will come out with ready–to-eat meals and other quick fixes? Well you were right , now there are lot of ready to eat meal options available but they don’t taste half as good as you thought. So learn cooking now ,learn all the excellent dishes from mom because that’s something which you’ll need in future.
That’s all for now dear 16 year old me. Enjoy your present and know that whatever bothers you now will be the least of your worries when you turn 28 .