To the 15 year olds in India
This is a letter or more of a rant to be honest. But I do not want you to read it, unless you are 15 (or once were) and living in India.
The Fifteen Year Old,
Hey! Wassup? How have you been doing?
Nooo, no I do not care about your academics. I do not care if you are going to be All India Rank 1 in IIT or AIIMS. I honestly do not care. Okay, I am lying, if you are going to be AIR 1, keep in touch man. But more importantly, how are you?
Noo, I do not care about your rank in the last test series. Tell me about the handsome and cute boy you had a crush on. What was his name? Samarth?
Did you ask him out to coffee? Or maybe, swap notes on Organic Chemistry?
You did not, why? You do not have time. Hmm.
Let me tell you a secret:
You will never have time.
But I am sure your parents promised that you will have time after 12th, in college?
Trust me, I went to college. You will never have time. Unless you make some for the things you really want to do. You will be running again, from one bullet point in your resume to another.
I am sure, on the way there, you will make some great friends. Friends for life. Till death does you apart. Or worse, time. But the thing is, they will be your college friends and none of them will be Samarth. They will all be smart and they will be different. None of them will be Samarth.
You have him here, right now in front his eyes, within the reach of your hands. All that you have to do is walk up to him.
You are afraid? Of what?
Fear is like doubt, or love — it has no cure. I will try anyway, not to cure the disease but chop off the diseased part of your body.
Let us say you did real bad in the next test, would you give up on the entrance preparation? Would your parents stop loving you? I hope not. Do not give up on Samarth either.
Besides, I asked you to swap notes with him, not marry him. I want you to make friends. Girls, and maybe guys too. (Girls are awesome, btw). You can get rid of him anyday. The moment you realise he is dragging you, get rid of him. The same way sailors get rid of dead weight on a sinking ship: Quick and without remorse.
Okay, that is enough. The point I am trying to make is simple: You will never have time.
Do what you want to do. Today. Now.
Back to my original question, how are you doing? Did you sleep well?
Whaaaaaaaaat? You slept despite knowing that your father loves to say Goodnight to you? You moron. You big idiot.
Stay up! For him. For yourself. That is the one moment when he looks forward to the entire day. When the client was yelling at him, when the car tire got punctured, whatever shit happened. You are what keeps him awake at 4 AM, when the world sleeps. Do you know why your father and mother quarrel? For you. They both love you.
I know they do not understand you. I do not either. And I know they make mistakes too. Forgive them. That is what they have been doing for the past 15 years you f**king moron.
Love them, hug them. Be patient. Do not make the same mistakes I did. Do not make the same mistakes I am making today. Tell them you love them everyday, because one day it will be too late and all that you will have left is regret.
Sit and tell them what you think. Look into their eyes and look behind the anger, rage and misunderstandings. Trust them, but not always. They are human. They can not use the latest app on our phone. My father even fumbles to use Gmail on a big PC screen. Yaaa, I know it sucks. But every time he calls me to help him with it, do you know how I feel? Lucky. I can be there for him. May be wash a small drop of my teenage sin.
This is just a phase. It will get over. Soon, you will go out to college and then to the big bad world.
The next time you want to go to sleep without your father remember this:
You know what would I trade right now for a hug from my parents? Anything except my miserable mediocre life. Honest.
You are fifteen. I know you can not understand your parents. Not their decisions. I can not either. This does not change the fact that I love them and they love me.
Coming back to my original question: How are you?
And a new one, who are you?
I am going to keep asking these questions.
And so should you, to yourselves.
I do not need an answer.
What I know is this: you are not your LinkedIn profile. You are not the photos on Facebook, or Instagram. You are not the retweets. I do not know who you are. Although, I would like to believe that I do. I think know you — or at least a part of you. I know you are 15, or once were.
And either way, I want you to be patient with the 15 year old. You have a long battle to fight, be with yourself. Enjoy the fight. Get drunk on the pain. And then get sober to live the moments, the ones between photographs, which we call life.
A Guy who was once 15