So here goes.
Dear Cookie (that's what they call you in school I believe),
Before you ask me that question that you've been pondering so much recently, let me tell you the answer is 'yes'. Yes, you are going to, it'll take you seven years to figure it out but it will happen for you.
Also, let me get the answers to your other questions out of the way first. No, you do not make it into the state merit list. You miss it by three marks. And no, it doesn't matter eventually. Yes, you do get into that junior college your grandpa's been telling you so much about and yes, you do meet some pretty special people there.
No, you do not hook up with M. and trust me, he is sooo not the right guy for you. Three months into junior college, he'll give you a hilarious speech about how he thinks he should only date girls with straight hair because curly hair indicate 'wild' type genes and they'd be bad to mix into his straight-haired 'recessive' gene-pool. Yeah, he'll really say that to you. See, he's not as bright as Sarla teacher tells the class he is. Not nearly.
But you know what? You do meet a very nice and extremely interesting guy that year. I'll give you a hint now. Join the film club and attend their Iranian movie screenings on the weekends. Oh, and sit in the third row on the left. Smile at the tall guy with the thick glasses who'll sit down beside you. He'll tell you your smile is his favourite thing about you. However, don't try to delude yourself into thinking he is The One. There is no such thing in real life. Nevertheless, you'll have a lot of fun and he will teach you many life-lessons. Like how to let go of someone you love when it's time.
There's your questions answered. Now, time for some advice. Your team-mates on the Science Quiz team will be your best buds. One of them will go to MIT. But try and be nice to them both.
Keep writing that poetry. It's not as brilliant as you think it is sometimes but it's not as pointless as you think it is at other times, either.
Be especially nice to Chaitanya. He's going to move out of the house in two years and you'll have that room and those Asterix comics to yourself. And yes, despite what you suspect right now, you're going to miss him badly and it's going to hurt like hell to have him leave home and settle down in another country.
And here are the reassurances. You're good at science and maths and you like to read English. Don't worry. You'll still remember everything when you're in your twenties. You're going to pick a career path that requires both your intellect and your empathy. So, don't fret over over-developing one and ignoring the other. It'll work out. Trust me on this one.
Try and enjoy yourself this year, although I know it's hard what with exams and classes and all that, but it's your last school year. And once it's done, you're going to miss school and spend the next few years getting all nostalgic about the memories you're making now.
What? More questions? Okay. No, the Backstreet Boys are not that popular any more and Britney Spears isn't either. MTV will look very different in seven years. But hold on, Justin Timberlake - yeah, he's going to surprise you one day. Yes, Friends will end in two years but you'll watch it over and over for the next five years and you'll still believe you're channeling Phoebe a lot.
Also, the Harry Potter books will end. Yes, the movies, too. No, he won't die. Yes, Voldemort will.
Cut down on those romantic comedies you watch every weekend, will you? Of course, you'll fall in love, albeit more than once. But remember to hold out for the one who can recite Keats. Oh, and you know, Sherlock Holmes, whom we absolutely adore and remain ever utterly in awe of? There's going to be an awesome new incarnation of him on BBC and an absolutely fabulous guy will tell you about it. Watch out for them both.
Oh, and that "internet" thing they keep telling you about in computer class. It's going to figure hugely in your life soon. So pay attention there, okay?
Are you wondering why I'm not giving you anything too profound to live your life by? Yeah, that's because you'll want to concentrate on the little things. Those are what will one day turn you into me. Until then, you'll just have to follow the good advice Piyu's yellow tee gives you. "Be yourself. Because no one else will. " Seriously, there's some damn good advice floating around on a lot of T-shirts in the world.
Why? Still don't think I've imparted enough wisdom, eh? That's alright. You'll make it up as you go along. Of course, things won't be perfect, you may not win the Nobel prize but you will work hard and make a difference in people's lives. And that will be enough to make you very happy.
Oh yeah, and about Piyu, she's going to bail you out of many, many hopeless situations. Buy her her favourite imli candy every day from that roadside store. That's the least you could do for your soul sister.
So long, kiddo! I think you're one helluva gal. Fare thee well!
P.S. If you ever hear from the seventy-five year old version of us, do give me some heads-up, won't you?
P.P.S. Yes, I know you can spot the temporal paradox in that request. But you know what I mean. ;)