My Little Wizard, My Love Ahaan!
I am writing to a future, teenaged you, while you are still very young. You are a goofy, talkative, bright little boy of 4 years, both empathetic and whimsical…brimming with joy, possibilities and curiosity. Here is why I am writing this letter at all.
Sometime back, I lost a dear childhood friend to a sudden misfortune. As much as I missed him, more than anything, I felt a terrible loss for his daughter who is some months younger than you. That she will never completely know how awesome her father was, what he believed in. How he loved his little daughter to every bit…so much he would talk about how he would bring her up, what he dreams to give her, how beautiful he thought she was and how he would beat up the boys who would try to woo her when she gets older. And now, that entire he wanted for her, she may never know.
I could see my struggles in her, because I often find myself wondering what would my father have done or said. Esp. when life and people get rough. I wish I had something from him. Some word, some guidance, some strength…but he too was gone so sudden.
And these memories make me rethink everything about my life. The most haunting questions being – “What if, I’m gone as suddenly too?” “Will Ahaan ever know what I truly believe in and want to teach him?”
I know these future letters to kids are popping up every now & then. But uncertainties are so real. And our fears become more real when it comes to someone we deeply love. While jotting this down may sound like a negative idea. Esp. if you’ve read “The Secret” and laws of attractions. But my life is more like laws of opposition. 😀 Every great & bad thing has happened to me unexpected! So I am assuming (for my goodness’ sake) that this may only be used as a reminder to a future me (in case I forget!) But if I really am gone, this is for you Son.
There are many aspects of life but the thing that means the most is who you are. I do not mean your name, family, economic status, education or job profile. I mean your conscience, your identity beyond tags and your school of thoughts. Every parent has some legacy to pass on to their children. They give what they have. So far what I have with me is mindful of observance, a life filled with personal trials, small meaningful triumphs and immense passion for life(on my own terms). Again, these are only my advices & lessons from life so far. I do not expect you to be me. You will make your own set of rules that best suit you. But try them all, and then you can practice what you like. Here I go!
- Compliment people when you admire something about them.
- Never ill-treat a person because he is unable to match your expectations. Ill-treat no one if I may ask. It robs us of our own self-esteem because when we act badly, we shrink during our reflections.
- Some people cannot live without drama in their lives and they rope everyone around them in it. Just walk away from the drama.
- Respect everyone but keep that spine tall.
- Do not let anyone define you – for good or for bad.
- Don’t believe everyone. Most people’s version of truth is individual.
- You will meet only a handful people who will say as truth is. You will know when you meet them.
- Never react harshly to anyone’s food, sexuality, appearance, disability or culture.. No matter how much it shocks or discomforts you. People are sensitive about these.
- Forgive good people. Forget petty people. Leave mean people.
- Always say a “Thank you” to those who work for you or provide you services.
- If someone’s always the victim in every harsh situation, they are probably the culprit.
- Never take injustice in the name of Feminism just because you are born a man. And yet, strive to be a feminist because true feminism is about equality, freedom, charity and dignity.
- Accept people for who they are. You may just torment yourself trying to save people who don’t want to be saved. Everyone makes their own choices.
- Hold doors for the women with you – old, young, rich, poor, pretty or not. Chivalry is absolutely charming.
- Be gentle to children & women. A strong man always is. Everywhere women go, they go through a lot. If you respect a woman she will, most probably, multiply it while reciprocating.
- Keep the lowest standards for being friendly. Befriend anyone to everyone – from a rickshaw puller to an aircraft pilot. Just be receiving to goodness and you will find a friend everywhere.
- Ask people their stories!
- Choose kindness and rationale over Religion.
- If you have 3 breads share 2 with the ones you love and give one to the needy. Nothing feels more rewarding than giving.
- Never count a good deed done out of love & kindness. What’s given is given. It no more belongs to you.
- Ruffle a poor child’s hair, share knowledge, greet an elderly stranger, offer your seat to someone who needs it. You may be the only one giving them any recognition.
- Kindness is the biggest virtue and it is powerful one too. It neither requires you to bend down nor does it mean that you offer too much of yourself for anyone’s benefit.
- Do no harm, but take no shit.
On Friends & Family:
- Be there for them in need, but don’t halt your growth for anyone. Life is big, filled with opportunities and young is how you start!
- Do not let an addiction define you. Be it alcohol, smoking, substance, money, need for attention or material things. And also, never put up with an addict for a friend or family. Help them but if they are unwilling to help themselves, let them go.
- Words matter little when compared to action and intentions. Words matter a lot when they are used to sooth and express.
- Do not bow to someone who doesn’t even recognise that you have a spine.
- Hug people often.
- Your company effects your life. I’ve been drained, terrible, lonely with wrong people by my side and I have been at my best with the right ones.
- Don’t make business or monetary transactions with relatives and friends. There is a lot of respect and trust at stake, from both sides.
- Someone will tell you (even thrush on you) their shallow ideas of “Being a Man”, pause and listen to your conscience, you know better. Take your own decisions.
- Toxic people come disguised as family & friends. Not everyone is worth your love & trust.
- Most old chaps usually just want to have a chitchat.
- Have a respectable distance in every relationship. No two trees can grow tall and wide if there is no space between them. They will either clash or one/both of them will grow disfigured. Demand and give personal space.
- Don’t make promises you know you cannot keep.
On your Dad
- He does not express very well but he tries.
- While most fathers leave the infancy and toddler responsibilities all to Mothers, he has been there for you.
- He puts you first on his list.
- He wants you to have everything, but he won’t give you everything because he knows too well that being paid before efforts makes one lose sight of what is important – Work and experience. He will give you only what will help you grow and learn.
- He is an extremely sensitive man. If I am not around, look out for him.
- He does not share his struggles but his body language changes. If he behaves lost, treat him with some good music and a chitchat. Or just buy him some beer (only when you are above 20!)
- Eat meat if you want to but respect every bit of it. We all are blood of ancient hunters. But remember, hunters too respect prey.
- Eat for need, and not for greed. But once in a while splurge on fine cuisines!
- Don’t take your body for granted. There will be a time when you’d be able to gorge on a family-size and cans of soda without getting fat. And if you take that for granted, there will come a day when you will start to resemble a family-size pizza. Don’t let that happen!
- Play! Play! Play! Outdoors, indoors, percussion instruments!
- Never be ashamed to ask anyone for the money you earned.
- Save money, both long term & short term.
- Save money and spend on travel.
- It is important to having, but it is not worth fighting anyone for.
- Spare time for self reflection. Rethink about any complaints or hurtful comments that friends & family express. Some days that will allow you to see your latent characteristics, shortcomings & denials. Then you can decide how to deal with them.
- If you talk about someone behind their back, it should be something you have the courage to say at their face.
- Don’t take all the criticism personally. And when you can’t help it, confront.
- Never. I mean NEVER take a drastic measure out of sadness. Sometimes things may become too much to take but remind yourself that it will pass. Sadness must be dealt with. It is draining too but there is always something to be grateful for. Soak a pillow, scribble a sketch or write about sadness and then, count a blessing.
- Choose your own battles. Don’t pick petty fights. Have a concrete sense of purpose.
- Those who do not stand for anything, fall for everything!
- Honor your commitment; hold on firmly to your words, but not at the stake of your heart, mind and soul. If something tears you down too often, let it go.
- Do not try to please everyone. Be accountable to very few.
- People are curious about those who do not indulge in gossip and social judgments. It’s Ok. Let time and your hard work do the talking.
- Explore yourself with art, music, books, movies, travel, deep conversations, long walks and meditation. Always keep learning and evolving.
- Sometimes circumstances don’t change because people are rigid. Be determined but also flexible.
- Laugh at adversity. Sometimes tragedies make the greatest comedies. All it takes is to see from a different perspective!
- Keep the kid in you Alive! He will never be too old to run across the street, dance in rain and talk to just anyone. He is your inner compass.
- Always choose to be a free thinking person. Never be afraid to stand out of the crowd.
- Be Clever. Don’t use it to be cunning. To be or not be vile, is a choice everyone makes.
- Have a passion that you practice every day without being bored! Try to do something great with it.
- There will be intimate struggles that no one else will know or want to understand, be brave through them.
- Celebrate yourself!!
- Fall in love with someone you would proudly bring to meet your parents. Everything in this world is allowed to be cool, but to love meekly is unfair (to the very essence of human life)! Put your soul & heart into loving someone and also, keep a scope for it to break. Several times may be. But always love with your soul. Why? Someday you will know miracles worth waiting for.
- Sometimes love means holding on, other times, it may mean letting go.
- Remember, love is supposed to make you feel amazing about yourself. If it makes you feel anything less, don’t settle.
- Never leave someone over a virtual dialogue or worse, a silence. Be there to say good bye. Unless, you discover that that person is a serial killer..then run in the opposite direction and rent an underground bunker for a month!
- Love transforms into many little things when you stay with someone for a long time.
- When done for the right person, compromises become mere adjustments.
- You have to choose love every day for it to last.
- Dance with the one you love.
- Let it hurt but say the truth. Please no one at the bargain of personal integrity. Wise ones, loved ones will comprehend.
- Listen to every kind of music. Music can be the best first step to become more open to diversities.
- Follow whatever calls you and sounds great. Take risks.
- Surround yourself with a pet, a few plants (or a garden, if you can!) and lots of books.
- Those who do not read, remain dim-witted, half-explored. So read!
- Failures can teach you what success can’t. They will make you a better thinker, a better planner, a better doer! What matters most is trying with everything you have.
- It is NEVER too late to go for anything amazing.
- Knowledge is the greatest friend you can have by your side. Always strive to know better. Read. Watch. Research.
- Look behind but don’t stay there.
- Your circumstances don’t really make you. It is only what you choose to feel about them that contribute to your growth!
- When you think you don’t have much, try sharing whatever little you have. When you feel nothing, no one is good – be the good. When you feel life is breaking apart, visit an orphanage.
- No one is getting out alive!! So despite all that seriousness, practice being silly!
- Always remember where you came from; where your roots are and respect it.
- Choose Happy!
That’s it I guess! All the juice of my so-far limited knowledge, experiences is here. Re-read these whenever you feel stuck…The same advices will suggest differently in different situations. I have a feeling that you will have an exciting life because you are my blood! We are the rebels, the ones who challenge their minds. I pray that I’m always around to watch you grow, hold you when you are hurt and applaud for every little milestone you achieve… But just in case if life happens otherwise, you have my words!
Lastly, I just want you to know that I feel super lucky to have you! You are my entire magical universe wrapped in my arms.
Love always and forever,
Your favourite girl in the solar system, Mom.