Monday, January 23, 2017

A letter to Someone You Used to Be!

Dear Anurag,
I do not know if you will ever read this. Writing to you after twenty years is as stupid as it gets but will world be any interesting if it always goes by logic. You are going to be fifteen in some days; accept my heartiest congratulations for the same. This euphoria of birthdays will diminish soon and slowly all that will remain is the difficulty to accommodate candles equalling your age on the birthday cake. Preserve those paper Greeting cards; all that will remain in some days is some sort of an impersonal electronic wish. Also they may be the only memory of many friends and this time.  
Before I begin this letter, let me warn you. All your plans to marry Urmila Martodkar would go futile. If you find solace in his, she is not that gorgeous anymore. Rangeela is not the movie you should judge her with. Also get over Chunkey Pandey and Govinda, I can’t even tell you how their fate turned out to be. Your target of watching all the films of Mithunda is a bad idea to begin with, that man will soon start churning out twenty four movies yearly.
I know you are curious how I turned out to be. I am not that rich as you wish but I do can buy a lot many comics of Chacha Chowdhury, Nagraj and Super Commando Dhruva. Irony is I don’t feel like owning them anymore. Now there are other things which I want to possess but then I don’t have money for it, so our situation is almost the same. I have also not seen Niagra Falls, Sahara desert or the real Egyptian mummies so both of us have seen them only in books or movies. I am still as lazy you are, I lack a sense of style and have few friends who can be counted on fingertips. Change if any would have come unnoticed. Growing up may not be that fun as you imagine. I have turned out to be another boring human being, the lot which is available everywhere in plenty.
 The good news is I got rid of studies years ago. Now there is no homework, no school and I do not have to cram for impending tests. You will find it strange but sometimes I miss all of it. I miss that cold breeze which blew in the morning while going to school standing on the front of Dad’s Bajaj scooter (they don’t make any more of it). I also miss the tension of reaching just before the school bell, that chorus of Gud moorrrnniiig teaacherrrr and the naughty smile and giggles that were shared by the class afterwards.  I remember the excitement of opening the Tiffin box during recess, trepidation before the test papers were distributed and the happiness all around when the summer vacations were going to begin. Anyways, let me come out of that sentimental bit, I know you are uncomfortable with it.
I have changed in a manner that I almost stopped enjoying Western music. Accept it, you do not enjoy listening songs on MTV, you just watch it. And do you want to learn more; even your mom knows that bit. You are not that smart you think yourself to be and unfortunately I share that quality. I am somewhat into Ghazals and Jagjit Singh, Mehdi Hasan and Ghulam Ali are my partners in solitude. I also enjoy poetry of Ghalib, Sahir and Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Now spare me that bored teenager look.
Learn music now, if you want it. As you grow older, it is not going to easy. Also, for future embarrassment’s sake, learn a bit of dancing. For all you believe in ‘I can’t dance doesn’t mean I won’t dance’ philosophy, Baraat dance in New Year parties and marriages isn’t that impressive.
Your New Year’s resolution this time is to write your autobiography. You never fail to amaze me. Which fifteen year old starts penning an autobiography? It is going to be as fruitless an exercise as all your New Year resolutions will turn out to be. Agreed dreaming is a good thing but Autobiography! Anyways the only reason I envy you is the horizon of your dreams. You can dream yourself to be so many things while my dreams are somewhat limited now. By the way, I do write occasionally.
I can tell you so much now but I do not want to spoil the fun of failing. Still there is no point in hanging from those poles; you are never going to be six feet. Those advertisements of Horlicks and anecdotal talling tricks are all hoax, ultimately your genes will get the best of you. If you can do something, learn a sport. You will not be able to gain in height but your girth may need some watching. Also stop wasting time in making those elaborate studying time tables; you are never going to follow it.
            The world has changed in some ways. Gold Spot and Campa Cola no longer exist, no one watches DD National now and India has won another Cricket world cup. And did I tell you Sachin has retired from international cricket; can you imagine cricket still exists? They have made cricket into a strange game now, called 20-20 which has only twenty overs each side. By the time I get old they will reduce it to six balls and who knows one day just toss will decide everything.   
Internet, Social media, mobiles etc have revolutionised everything but there is no point telling you. World is mostly the same; True friends are hard to find, fairer sex is still not easy to interpret and Mom and Dad can be equally annoying. The strange part is you will also turn out to be annoying to your kids. I know you always wanted to have a dog and guess what, I have one now. His name is Hummer, a Labrador and he is as cute as you wanted it to be.
Anyways stop worrying about life; it will take its own course. Make friends, laugh, cry a bit too and cherish all those who love you. Give them back now. You will not always get an opportunity to do so. In the end you will be a product of people and books that come in your life, so be careful in choosing both. Slog a little bit more, try to be a little less shy and do not take yourself too seriously. Whenever you get time running around, take a deep breath and just think about this life. Someday your twenty years may vanish and you will not even realise a bit.
I am waiting for a similar letter from the one who is twenty years ahead in life. In the meantime whenever it’s possible, do write back to me.
One you are turning out to be,
Anurag 

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