Tuesday, February 14, 2012

For a funky fifteen-year-old!

So last week, I read Astha's blogpost here which was a charming letter to her fifteen-year old self, full of pieces of advice and warnings and some much-needed reassurance. Quite frankly I loved the idea of writing to a younger version of me, and so if one of you is boarding your time machine any time soon, please deliver it for me, won't you?

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. ;)


Darshan Chande said...

Great letter this is!

CD!!! said...

Looks like someone has written a letter to my version of 15 year old......hehe.....loved everything:)

Sakshi said...

I think, this absolutely amazing!
My life changed after I turned 15. Literally.

I think I will do a letter this kinds too! :)
May be a lil different, but yup, I will do it!

Great Great stuff :)

Ayushi said...

haha :D isn't that the cutest letter ever ?

Absolute amazing :)

Kunal said...

For the current post:

Somehow, without being too sentimental and didactic, you have given this letter a touch, that your 15 year old would not only be super delighted, but deeply enlightened as well. There is subtle humor, innocence, a touch of reality, a bit of coincidences and a lot and lot of magic. Mistakes were made, lessons were taken, but no sign of regret comes from the letter. Its as if, everything has been an experience and the pain, if any, is just hiding behind the layer. It can't reveal himself just yet. Because, now, joy of everything that you are feeling is just too much for the pain to handle and he is happy sitting in the back seat. P.S is funny! :D

For the previous post:

The title immediately reminded me of the film by the same name. Not sure, if you also look at it the same way. But, since you mention Keats in your latest post, I would believe that you know this film (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0810784/). I loved this film!!

And this post! Studded with honest outpouring of the feelings inside, this is post to be read in solace and bask in its warmth on a cold night.

Lots of good wishes. :)

Astha said...

YAYYYY! I'm so glad I was the inspiration for this awesome letter! I loved it! :D
You were a smart little kid :)

IceMaiden said...

This is EXACTLY what I would have written to a younger 15 year old me TOO!!! :O :O I love how you began.. :)

I think you are an awesome person!!! :) :) :)

Anonymous said...


Arumugam said...

I had always believed that Nadine Stair's version of "If I had my life to live over" was the best in this genre.But now I think its your version:D Amazing stuff!Its so warm and silly and real:-)

Absolutely loved the way you started the letter:-)

S. Susan Deborah said...

Please please add this (after the internet part): You will get some friends who are not 'real' in terms of seeing everyday and patting a back but are friends nevertheless and you will have some interesting conversation with them. Don't ever try to think that the virtual is no 'real.' It is. You will realise that once you start something which is known as a blog.

Just loved this.

Joy always,

Tangled up in blue... said...

Darshan, thank you! :) I hope past-me also appreciates my writing skills as much. ;)

CD!!!, we were such a fun generation na! I don't think there'll ever be a cooler one. :) Thank you!

Sakshi, thank you! And you absolutely must do it. I had the same sensation after reading Astha's post and look how well it all turned out. :) Life does really change after fifteen. We get out of school into the bigger world of college and have these rose-tinted glasses on about so many things. It's only when I sat down and wrote this out that I realised how much my world-view had actually changed in a span of seven years!

Serendipity, thank you so much. :) I do like it ever so much myself!

Tangled up in blue... said...

Kunal, I have to say. That was an absolutely wonderful comment. And thank you so much for thinking that about my blogposts. They give me so much comfort and joy to read back to myself that I'm really, really glad that you liked them that much, too. :) Everything you've said is so lovely. I'm always going to remember it. :) Really, thank you.

And Kunal, one more thing. You're one really clever fellow. It made me feel so awesome that you noticed it! I really didn't think anyone would actually spot the Keats reference in the title of the previous post and the mention of him again in this current one and connect it with the movie and everything. :) Keats is my favourite poet. His poetry may be elaborate and flowery but the more you read it, the more it grows on you and burrows into your heart and stays there. Ode to a Nightingale is absolutely brilliant and I loved Ben Whishaw's recitation of it in the film.

And yes, I tend to fall in love with anyone who loves Keats as much as I do. :) Hence, the way it figured in both posts. And the reason I'm rambling on so much about this is proof of how seriously amazed and impressed I am that you made the connection yourself. :) Thanks again!

Tangled up in blue... said...

Astha, yes. I have you to thank most of all! I absolutely loved the idea. And I really liked the letter you wrote. I was so tempted to try it out myself and when you said I should, and I couldn't right away because of the nostalgic week, I felt that I shouldn't procrastinate any more because I really should write it this week. This is one deciding week in my life because of the results I'm awaiting. I may not have been this optimistic about things next week, or maybe a little too optimistic to be real about stuff. :D Ah, I'm rambling yet again. But seriously, this was a very therapeutic blogpost to write for me since I was doing the down-memory-lane thing. :)

Anon, :D

Tangled up in blue... said...

Arumugam, I'll say it again. You're one prolific reader of books! I've never even heard of some of the books you mention. And you do seem to be an eclectic reader as well. You read all kinds of books, right? That's an absolutely lovely thing about you. :) And thank you! I haven't enjoyed writing something as much as I've enjoyed this post, in a long time!

Susan, aww! Thank you! :) A big virtual bear hug for you sent out into cyberspace! :) Please do receive! ;)

Tangled up in blue... said...

IceMaiden, thank you so much! :) I think you're an absolutely fabulous person, too! :)

Kunal said...

Now, wasn't Ben Whishaw just brilliant in Bright Star. And I think, you will enjoy his performance in the film Perfume: A story of a murderer(i.e if you haven't seen it already) :)

And I could only make the connection because, I had seen Bright Star. Otherwise, it is easy to look and not make connection.

Though, I will take your word, that I am a clever fellow. Haha.. :D

Tangled up in blue... said...

Yes, he was! And I absolutely loved Abbie Cornish as Fanny Brawne. She was superb truly. And I haven't seen Perfume. I shall definitely watch it now. And of course, you can take my word for it. ;) Anyone who likes Keats, I like! :)

Kshipra said...

I guess you were one smart cookie :)
I loved how you start. 7 years can change alot!! :)
Do you just love or hate the idea of growing up??
Awww....u make me feel I should attempt one letter too.

Tangled up in blue... said...

Tangerine, haha..now that I think about it, I think it was a really good thing they came up with that nickname for me. It goes so well with other words like, say, tough cookie, smart cookie and so on. :D

And please do attempt a letter of your own. I'd love to read it! :) We could start a whole trend. :D

As for growing up, I dunno. I have mixed feelings I guess. It's nice to grow up and do stuff one always imagined oneself doing as a child. But I do miss the innocent carefree time that childhood was.

I always wanted to grow up, see. But I never wanted to grow old. And those two things are irreconcilable, unfortunately. :)

Sinduja said...

Okay..now don't ask me where this is coming from because I don't know - it appears like an unlikely comment to me too but here it goes:

The first time I read this - and I was opinion less, with just a wow on my mind, like it is always with your posts. The second time I read it and I just thought "This woman is going to be a great mom!"

Tangled up in blue... said...

Sinduja, to tell you the absolute truth, I always worry about whether I'll make a good parent at all. So the fact that you say that, it's very comforting. Why you say that, I can certainly guess at. But I guess loving your self comes a little easier than loving your child. Perhaps the latter is easier for people who don't indulge in much self-love. Irrespective of the semantics of it, I guess I'll figure it all out some day. :D Thank you!

Astha said...

You've received an award!! :D


*orange plum* said...

I love this so much!

Ruhani said...

Haa! I don't even know where to get started! This is the longest "Letter to 15 year old me" that I've read, yet I found it so very interesting. Or wait. Maybe the format of the blog is making me feel that way. About the length of the piece, of course. Anyhoo, the Harry Potter bit. I am going to keep that one in mind when I write my own letter soon enough. Yes of course, three blogposts were enough to inspire me to write one of my own! =D
Following you up! :)

Tangled up in blue... said...

Astha, thank you! :)

*orange plum*, thanks so much! :) I really like the way it's shaped up, too! :)

Ruhani, yeah I think it's the blog design, too. I actually picked this template just so anything I wrote looked more substantial than it actually is but sometimes that really backfires! :D And yes, do write! Yay, we're creating our own meme here man! :) I'm heading on over to your blog now!

Sam B said...

Tangled up in blue.
First things first I love ur name and I am so lucky I tranced upon your blog.
And how cute is that letter :D I had this big smile all over me reading it. You sure can sum up things really well. Okay And I am the same ol' science loving good at math type girl who likes literature and all; who's in a science club where there's this genius who hopefully will be off to MIT. See how similar?! Only thing is I'm still in this whole thing. I'll remember to keep on writing poetry and concentrate on the little things :)

nil said...

Absolutely loved reading through this, I did!

Tangled up in blue... said...

Sam B, welcome to my blog! :) And thank you! I am a big Bob Dylan devotee man! :) And whoa, it's like meeting my fifteen-year-old self's doppelganger man. Those things add up to one helluva coincidence, I'll say. :D Traipsing over to your blog now. :)

nil, thanks so much! :) Welcome to my blog, you, too! :D

manan guju said...

why i visited your page was the title of the blog. i love that song. and every other song in that album.
and honestly. your blog lives up to the expectation. charming, sensitive, and direct. kudos!

Tangled up in blue... said...

Thank you for that comment, Manan! :) And welcome to my blog! It's always nice to find a fellow Dylan devotee. :)

Aayushi Mehta said...

Now this was a lot of fun! :D

Tangled up in blue... said...

Aayushi, do one on your blog na! It'll be awesome! :)

--Sunrise-- said...

I second TUIB's comment to Aayushi!!

This post was so interesting to read!

" Seriously, there's some damn good advice floating around on a lot of T-shirts in the world." - seriously, I completely agree! There's so much of wit floating around on the T-shirts in the world too... I loved reading the T shirts guys wore when I was in Mumbai, some of them brightened up my day!

"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." -- perfect, perfect, perfect! I love how I can relate to a complete stranger's words, I know I keep repeating myself like a demented parrot but - I simply love this! :-) So simply and sweetly put, what grown up wisdom. Really wish the 15 year old me had heard that!


Momina said...

'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.'
^love this.