Tuesday, June 30, 2009

If I knew then what I know now (16)

Dear teen-me,

I sit here penning a letter to you. I know you will appreciate this - you always liked receiving letters. And sound advice. And things be told as they were. I think the only other letter you got at this time was from your friend Sangeetha to make up after a fight. And that letter had you in splits. It was funny, sarcastic and also embarassing. But you loved it and will save it for years to come. When I think about it now, it tells me that you had a flair for good sensed humor. Keep it. It will serve you well.

But there are some other things that I wished you'd known.

I could start with your high school years when you took your studies too lightly. The only time I remember you studying was just before the exams. You still managed to score very well. And that left you cocky. But alas, you did not realize that it was not because you were oh-so-smart, but because your class mates were relatively not as good. You did'nt have to wait long to face the truth. College did that for you.

You moved to Chennai from a small town and you met hoardes of new people - girls and boys who were confident, funny and most importantly knew when to study.

The girls seemed well-dressed, posh, spoke about George Michael and Metallica (who are these people, you wondered), never seemed to watch tamil movies and you felt like a fish out of water what with your repoirtaire of fave Bagyaraj comedies and Ilayaraja melodies. The biggest shock to you was that these girls also scored top of the class.

There was your 1st lesson - you can work hard AND also have fun. They are not mutually exclusive as you had confused yourself it to be. And being well dressed does not mean you will be taken lightly.

Now to the boys - oh where do we start? Being from an all-girls convent, this was your 1st real exposure to boys. You met some good ones and a lot of bad ones.

There was this group of moral cops - that seemed to promote a dumbed down verison of who you were. They spouted dialogs like "ponnuna satham podama sirkanum.." a la our super star. You were confused.. were all guys like this, you wondered..You changed ways to fit the popular mould. Dont! Stick to your originality..Life would've been so much more fun just the way you were.

Next and most importantly - your then BF. Though you will never accept, I know you had a slight degree of uneasiness about the relationship. He refused to acknowledge you in public. His moodiness was too much for you to handle. There were lot of sweet moments but lot of bad ones too. And you sushed the voice within and tried to work it through, because this was your first love.. and you though you will never fall in love again. Bollocks to that. Now I tell you, people fall in love over and over. Not every frog you kiss will turn into a prince.

I know you felt like your heart will literally break when it ended.. but hold on sweet heart. For you will go on to a meet and marry a guy, who will be charming, grounded in reality and will egg you on in your endavors. There will be many a days when you think "Thank God I did not end up with the other guy". So always, trust your instincts. Don't be hard on yourself. Giving up on something does not mean you failed at it.

Somethings will never change. You will like Ilayaraja melodies and rasam saadam forever. You will rebel. A lot. You will stay emotional yet guarded. But time will teach you to love yourself. Just the way you are.

Oh btw, the head of the moral cops, who instructed how good girls should behave, will go on to marry a girl with a tatoo on her navel and a mushroom head for her hair. You will have a hearty chuckle about life's ironies. As I told you, hold on to your flair for humor. It will serve you well.

Yours truly.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

If I knew then what I know now (15)

"Dearest teenager,

This is going to be short and to the point, since your attention span
has already started the shrink. Couple of clarifications which might
just make your life and thinking simpler, hoping that you'd believe
them to be true...
1.) Pimples are bad, yes, besan is not going to help, clearasil wont,
that phoren thing from muscat wont, nothing will, except time. Just
hold on there, another 3 years and its going to clear out on its own.
Its like renting your dream home to a bachelor, out of lack of choice
and urgent need for money. Yeah, there is no need at all, but its a
part of it all...
2.) A golden future and marks are not exactly related. I know mom
tells you so, dad grunts at your average-ness. They wont understand,
dont bother explaining, cos even you dont fully believe in it! But its
just necessary to do your best now, so that there's peace at home and
you are at peace, not regretting anything not done...
3.) Dont you dare let that crush make you feel so bad about anything.
He is not worth it, trust me on this one. Move on, you're precious,
4.) Yes, you do spend far too much time on the phone, like mom says,
but its ok. They are some of your best ever friendships. You're gonna
treasure these memories forever...

Have fun!
Your future!"

If I knew then what I know now (14)

Dear teenage me,
Did you know life is only as predictable as death? So stop wasting too much of your time in planning for the future and live (and love) each day. All your zits will not last forever; a day will come when you will fail to remember that you once had a face as bumpy as the road. You will have a crush on a boy as frequent as the power cuts (in India), don’t feel bad if ‘the one’ doesn’t ever notice you. There will a ‘special someone’ who will never tire of looking at you. Parents will always be your support system, never be too angry to say sorry, even if you think they are wrong. Your brother might seem to be the most irritating creature now but he will be the one who takes your side when your parents don’t approve of the guy you love. All those slam books that you are collecting now will just be a memory, that’s because there will be something called facebook in the future. Eat all the cake and sweets you want, tomorrow you will be worried about the calories. No one is perfect and the same applies to you, never be afraid of committing mistakes, your life will shape up better once you learn from them. There will be difficult times and you might lose hope but believe me they will pass. People who don’t know you will always judge you; it’s not worth changing anything for them. Your politeness and shyness will always be labelled as being too proud, do not pull yourself further in to the shell. Enjoy the long and lazy summer vacations, later on; a two-week break will require so much planning, scheduling and spending. Do not sulk if your parents don’t buy everything you wish for, every single time, they are just trying to prepare you for the life ahead. Don’t be in a hurry to grow old, you will wish you had stayed young when you get here. Loosen up, enjoy life and always believe that there are better things coming your way.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

If I knew then what I know now (13)

Dear S,

Where do I start? Do I talk about the hardships or do I talk about the pleasant moments..Maybe, a bit of both. Yes,I know what you are thinking and I will come to the point.

I know you are studying electronics engineering, which you were forced to,by your sisters, but believe me, transistors may not be fun,but are interesting and you will realize when you become a hardware engineer.So, just embrace it as it comes though you may not understand it fully right now. And, don’t think you are not as good as your sisters. You will shine one day, with a graduate degree from one of the best universities in the world,for just being who you are.

When you start working,you will be on cloud nine and might feel the euphoria of being on top of the world, but,it is a vast, wild, rude world out there and you better learn how to deal with it. I know you are very brave but that is not enough to carry you forward. Rule #1:You should learn how to market yourself to grow in the corporate world. Rule #2: If you are in the right place at the right time, just grab the opportunity. It never knocks twice.

Now, coming to life, the only thing sure about life is death. Having almost tasted the feeling of dying twice, with two complicated surgeries under the belt,let me tell you, life is short and so if you love someone, don’t wait for the right moment as it may never come. Keep telling your parents how much you love them. Be content with what you have.I know you are arrogant, but as you will learn later, it never helps. Be polite to people and cherish your friends. They always come to your rescue and keep you going on in life,in spite of all the hardships that you might face.

I know you are waiting for your prince charming to swoop you into his arms and take you to a dream world…..well…here is the news girl, the prince is right in front of you or rather sitting next to you. You just need to recognize him.You might be bewildered to know that you will end up marrying that bespectacled boy sitting in the next desk. Yes, life does take astonishing turns but this one is a keeper. Believe me , as I have spent close to 10 years living with him.

Don’t fret over small things like a bad hair day. There is lot more to life than what you see now. I could go on about life, ethics, beauty,love, content, money….. but, in the end, you have to experience life to understand. It will be mixed with sorrow and joy and lots of love, but one that you will cherish.All I can say is,”You are who you are and so, be just you and stand up for what you feel is right as nobody is perfect in this world.”



Monday, June 22, 2009

If I knew then what I know now (12)

I know you are currently facing one of the biggest crises of your life. Your father is in intensive care – and you don’t know what will happen. You travel for the first time alone on public transport; you are scared and you feel terribly alone. But you never think your father will go away forever. Maybe because you are foolish and don’t think too much. Or maybe because you are at heart a happy, positive soul. Looking back, I prefer to think it’s the latter. And my advice to you then (and to me, today) is…hold on to that optimism. Your father will be well… and there will be other crises you will weather together.
• Not too much will change in the intrinsic you. It’s a sad thing and a good thing.
• Deep down, you are and will be timid. Which means you will miss opportunities, and greatness will evade you. You let the currents carry you; never fighting them, never adding your force to them. You take the easy way out most times. If there is one thing you should try and change, it is this.
• Your love of books will last. Your biggest regret will be that you have not taken this love and made something more of it.
• Put pen to paper. Continue writing that diary. Buy more notebooks and fill it with the nonsense of youth. I cannot tell you what precious raw material that can be in the future.
• You will be a dreamer for life. A lot of those dreams will come true. Even if they don’t, they will provide you some very pleasurable moments.
• But once in a while, get out of that day dreaming mind of yours and look around. Be curious. Take notice. Take a different route to the hospital. Be a little late getting back home because you stopped to talk to a stranger. When your mother tells you to smile at your neighbours, this is what she means.
• You have a deep core of selfishness. I cannot see it changing – you will continue to take the people closest to you for granted. Try not to.
• You will know love. And passion. But you can put a little more effort in chasing it – you never know, it could make your life just a bit more interesting.
• You will never be thinner that you are now.
• Friends will disappear. It will take a long time for you to re-discover them. And then you would have lost lifetimes of sharing. So take down those phone numbers and addresses.
• Never do anything out of spite. Or embarrassment. You have already lost one school because of it. Don’t lose more important things.
• You don’t know what you truly want to do in life. But you have a vague idea. 23 years down the line, the idea still will remain vague. So dig deeper. Your 40 year old self will thank you if are able to crystallize it better.
You are beautiful. You are loved. You are lucky. Today is not the best day of your life. There will be better. A few will be worse. But you will never be 17 again. So set out to do something today that you will remember for the rest of your life.


If I knew then what I know now (11)

If I knew then what I know now

Beauty is not eternal. So take care of your physique beginning now.

Your body is what will determine your will to persist. So eat right and exercise.

You don't need to be an expert in anything to enjoy it. So sing, dance, swim, play with carefree abandon.

Never be in doubt of your intellect. You deserve all the success you get.

Define success before you begin your quest for it. Remember, success need not always be defined in monetary terms.

Money comes to those who seek it.

If you are not lucky, may be you can blame destiny. But if you do not work hard, you have only yourself to blame.

Nobody can make you unhappy without your permission.

Your parents are not perfect. Neither are you or anyone else. So let people be.

Speak up. Few people can read your mind.

Do not judge people as good or bad. All of us are somewhere in between.

There is no such thing a selfless sacrifice.

You will be discriminated many a time because you are a girl. Sometimes even by other girls because of your appearance. But remember you do not have to prove anything to anybody but your self.

You have the right to say no even to your parents.

Take charge of your life as early as possible.

If I knew then what I know now (10)

Dear 17 year old me,
You rock.
Keep walking,
Good old me

Friday, June 19, 2009

If I knew then what I know now (9)

Dear 17-year old me,

If we saw each other now, you would have no trouble recognizing me. You would be polite, say a hello and then you'd be off. You wouldn't want to spend time catching up with me. Your life is brimming at the moment. There's so much to be done and not enough time in the day to do it all. You sleep for 7 hours every day and pack the rest of your waking moments with a frenetic energy. You want to stretch yourself to the max and still want more. You are shocked by the limitations people put on themselves. You cannot believe how myopic some people can be. Barely able to look beyond their own noses. What's worse, many of them are your peers. Cattle, you charmingly call them. Herd mentality. Incapable of thinking independently. I love and envy your arrogance and self-belief. Untainted by adulthood. But you know what? In a funny way, years from now, it's those very cattle you will be jealous of. For their ability to live a life that meets everybody's expectation - including their own. For being able to remain content with their lot. To not doubt themselves constantly or to chase dreams relentlessly. Some day you will envy those very people you once mocked for being so at peace with themselves. While a much older you, will fight and fight and fight every single notion that has been handed to you. Your older self will still want to explode and go forth with much of the same boundless enthusiasm you now have. And perhaps that's why you can still recognize her all these years later.

So do exactly as you are doing. Enjoy the ride!

If I knew then what I know now (8)

Dear confused smart ass teenager,
first of all, don't be a smart ass. it won't get you anywhere other than making you lonely and possibly with mental health issues if not identified and handled properly. Sure, you "understand" more than what others think you can. but you do not have to try to make sure they get it. you know what, they will never get it. but you will get labels. loads of them. yes, sex is not a big deal, so you think. You will never know that it WILL be a big deal in your life to the extent that you will regret being such a smart ass in sex matters. you don't get it, do you? to whom are you trying to prove your smartness? to yourself? isn't it pathetic? you will never know that it (sex matter) will become such a monstor in your life. Mary the man your mother suggests. don't go to college. it will be good for you. work in the farm and cook for your children. dream about your children's future, not yours. you will have a peaceful life. trust me. No. you are not going to work for RAW. You will fail miserably in physical fitness. no, the interview won't be for RAW but for normal military. You do not have what it takes to be a spy. trust me on this.
Planimuththu will die young. cut him some slack. don't be too cruel to him. you will never get a chance to amend things with him.
Arulmozhi will die young too. You will wish you had known him little more.
But, hey, enjoy life and do all the mistakes in the world now. if you don't get to be stupid when you are a teen, when are you going to? Life is cruel. it doesn't allow you to be stupid. your mistakes will always be referred back. except your teenage years' mistakes. go ahead and do all mistakes and be stupid. I know that is what you did. just take care that they don't follow you in the later years. you missed this bit, didn't you? Good that you didn't let your teenageness affect your studies. Do you know how much it is going to save you later? Good luck, and you need it.

If I knew then what I know now (7)


A kiss would have done no harm. The endless fantasizing about his embrace and a warm cuddle, finally disposed off in masturbatory session in bathroom. Darn. This is what life was then.

Everyone spoke about you with pride; of course your parents were the happiest. But, beneath this sober persona, was a person waiting to break open. You sighed at the perfectly pedicured fingers, clean-shaven legs, spaghetti tops and said this was me in future. But, never did that come. You still gape at the stylish ladies. You yearned for perfect curves then and still yearn for them. The only difference is, there were no curves then and too much of them now.

In these years of forced happiness, one sitting in the hip and one toddling, I lost you. Forgot the future you spoke off.

But, out of the blue, mushy feelings again aroused. Seamlessly flowing was the sudden affection for him. Did you meet him then? The flamboyant boy, dripping in arrogance? Did you then dismiss him as shallow. Today, I watch him with envy. He is back in my life, with the same zest. He did not postpone his happiness for security. His happiness was world for him then and now.

We both sit in the same office, sucking the same papers. But after office hours, we don’t suck the same thing. He probably rolls in enjoyment and I suck at the forced orgasm. Life moves on. The future of spaghetti, clean-shaven legs never came. But, somewhere I see a flicker of hope.

In the beach yesterday, he again smirked at my past. The memoirs of my flat body and shy attitude had me fuming. But, something really changed the evening. May be the swooning moon or the past itself. I found myself locked in embrace and kissing him. He has a knack with toes. He really has. In matter of few hours, inhibitions become a thing of past, really. Here, Iam embracing the future I spoke of. It’s not him, it’s just me, venting through him.

It seems as though something postponed for eternity has been completed. Just one advise for you. Life doesn’t wait for others. Neither is someone bothered about you. Just walk your way, happiness will follow….People who matter don’t hurt you. People who hurt you don’t matter.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

If I knew then what I know now (6)

Dear 15 year old me,

Make sure you put in those night hours into those IIT worksheets - there is no saying how much the name IIT would take you in life. BITS is cool, SVCE is good - but IIT is a lot better - and you don't know how many times you would be asked if you were from India and the next question would be whether you are from IIT - missing India games is a big deal, alright - but Tendulkar is never going to win the WC - so don't bother about him and stick to ML Khanna and JD Lee.

With tonnes of experience,
The 24 year old you.

Monday, June 15, 2009

If I knew then what I know now (5)

Dear Miss,

Don’t you dare waste a minute of your life. Do all that you can think of, dream of and more, for there is life beyond today when you will begin to see limitations.

This time is for you to let go , climb all the mountains , trek all the hills,
read all the books ( rest assured there is no time left for such niceties later in life!!), eat all that your mom cooks (no matter how much you want some good things always end),
relax during Sundays and sleep through for 12 hours, wake up and call your best friend and talk to her for an hour !! Do it and do it all.

So that today when I look back am happy you got the opportunity to enjoy!!


If I knew then what I know now (4)

I truly believe I was wiser at your age, and in life's magnanimous luxuries of experiences I have become nothing but a nut who has found more questions than answers all the way.

You wish you were a liberal, and you arent sure if you are already one. You are one of those whiny girls who thinks 'I wish to be liberal, but nobody would let me be so'. I suppose having witnessed your life for the past three decades and more, I can dare say you are probably a liberal-more-than-you-could-possibly-imagine now, so take it easy and be happy happy happy yooooh.

Yeah that guy, in fourth year, the one who was with you, at the quiz competition, in debating society, yes, he is the one who fathers that tiny darling who listens to your (duh?) lullaby and falls asleep gracefully making you feel like a Golden Globe Nominee. How about all your dreams of seeing him live-happily-ever-after with that lean and lanky lovely Shanki, since you thought they were a cool couple and it was absolutely cool to be passing the love letter from him to her and become their life time friends? Well, let me tell ya, life is full of surprises. Even though some surprises has crazy twists and turns it always ends up crazy good when it parks itself for a while in life's moments.

There is no god damn way I am getting married you declare to your friends and you inform them all that you would not attend any of their marriages, because that is like seeing a friend killing herself. Your friends are pissed with you for that, and to their utter shock you marry before them all, and once they are all done, you actually marry again! You rascal! :) Yes living together too, and far far away too, everything in double dose. Who said it was impossible?

Let us look at your obsession with this word "liberal". You think being a girl, coming from Tamil Nadu, you will be enslaved soon, if not to mundane marriage as other women do, but to society, religion, culture as many men seem to be too. You think adult life totally sucks. Being an adult means the opposite of being "liberal" you have concluded. Your own fear of self-defeat to external pressure makes you bitter towards yourself and impending adulthood. But voila, life opens up before you without any limits or boundaries and you could just run around crazily like a dog who just had a bath, you indeed did that for a while happily, also sometimes you were obsessed with your own tail, like in those moments you blogged on sex education, and the rest of craziness of your failures and the ridiculous happiness of them all!

I cant post this letter for you, because you wont believe a single thing I am saying. Yeah, even if a myriad masturbatory dreams have been secretly tackled by you now, we totally suck at "sex" when it comes to real action, and the real orgasm was a mystery for a long long time. Liberal, my ass, says your soul! :)

So is your life, a million ideas of being a liberal, but when life opens up with no limits, no walls, no villain, nothing on your way, then you dont know what to do with yourself anymore. You simply went nuts, experimenting and exploring endlessly. Eventually, what else, became just a happy (fat) nut who is more worried about the size of her pants than the definition of the word liberal!


If I knew then what I know now (3)

I would have told you...

That rebelling is a lonely path to take.
That kohl for the eyes and conditioner for the hair is the secret to happiness.
That being happy and alone is infinitely better than being lonely in a crowd.
That dark is dusky and dusky is beautiful.
That failure isn't the end of the world, only a stumbling block to perseverance and success.
That being unhappy isn't going to be an eternal state of being.
That the memories you're making are worth their weight in gold.
That you'll still wonder what you're meant to do, ten years on.
That getting older does not mean getting boring.
That standing up for what you believe in is worth it, in the end.
That nothing is worth fighting with your folks for.
That the mistakes you're making are lessons in life.
That the anger and hatred will soon disappear into oblivion.
That old people who listen to rock music are not uncool.
That staying broke is a perpetual reality in your life.
That you aren't the worst child your parents could have ever had.
That you still haven't met the people who will be your friends for life.
That the people causing you grief aren't really your friends.
That you are not really strange, just quirky.
That your quirks make you unique.
And that you are special. As much as you would like to believe otherwise.

~ Ms.Mephistopheles