A Letter to my 12 year old self

17th September, 2019

Dearest Shrey,

How are you doing? I hope you are in good health and enjoying the innocence and bliss that comes attached with childhood, oblivious of the vices and problems that exist in this beautiful and amazing journey we call life.

Today, I’m writing to you my first letter (I’m sure this won’t be the last) after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, primarily because I thought that I must and lastly also because I though I must. So..Yes, ten years down the line, you will prove to the world and everyone in it, that you can and you will accomplish everything that you ever set your eyes upon (Be proud, but don’t let that turn into vanity).

Read the next part of this letter very carefully. It contains some of my learnings over the years and advices that I’ve received and experiences that I’ve lived. These are as much a part of me as they will become a part of you in your journey.

Right now, you are naive. You understand things but you don’t pursue them aggressively and looking at myself, it will be fair to say that the only things you’ll ever pursue aggressively will be those on which your life depends. You will fail in a French exam once and then pursue it aggressively to score an unbelievable 97 in an exam which will matter. You’ll have to listen to a lot of naysayers before aggressively pursuing and acing the CA final examination. While all this is good, it is my sincere advice that you’ll have to learn to pursue even the important things in life, not just those on which life depends.

You will develop a habit of leaving majority tasks midway and passing it on to others. I don’t blame you. I have always lived like a manager- possessing the art of getting things done through others. While it may not be bad to possess such a valuable art, but you’ll have to eventually understand the hard fact of life that before getting work done through others, one needs to know how to do it himself. I can proudly say that I learnt it, albeit the hard way. I can also assure you that you’ll learn it too, but it would be better if you took cue right now and start working over it rather than going down my path.

Discipline is of paramount importance. I was taught this at school. You have also been taught this at the very same school. The problem with me is that I didn’t realise it’s importance till recently. Look, in your future, there will come a time when you’ll have to sit at home for six months at a stretch and prepare- to turn a dream into reality. I have done it too, trust me it’s not as bad as it sounds. However, let me tell you one interesting incident- I used to do a major chunk of my studies during the night and sleep till late in the morning. Though this has always helped me while studying but there came a time when I was all jumbled up about the days of the week or for that matter, I couldn’t recollect whether a particular event had occurred a day before or two days before. Six months is a long time and I’m thankful that I faced such situations. It taught me one thing very clearly- Discipline is the keyword. I had to incorporate it in my life at all costs and I did. You’ll be surprised and happy to know that bringing my life into a routine helped me focus more, grasp a little bit more and also recollect a little bit more (okay, a lot more :p ).

My dear Shrey, there is one area in which you’ll suck. You will have a really hard time keeping in touch with the people, whom you love and care. Most of your friends will complain about this to you. You might even end up losing a few good ones. But the worst part is that you won’t find anyone, who will teach you the nuances of this art. I, myself, am struggling with it even now. I’m trying nevertheless and hopefully, in some future letter, I might even handover the key to you, but for now- you are on your own, buddy!

Technology is the buzzword right now and it’s highly unlikely that this trend shall recede anytime soon. Discoveries are made everyday and consequently, you’ll have to keep yourself abreast of the changes regularly. You will need to keep an eye out for new things and latest developments in this field. There will soon come a time, if it hasn’t already, when our very life- mine and your’s, will depend largely on technology. Also, this is my benign attempt to make you understand the importance of recognising which way the wind blows and adjusting your sails accordingly.

You have a very bright life ahead of you and in this, you’ll come across a handful of luminaries, who will have a lasting impact on your life. These people will inspire you, they will motivate you, but they will leave a big hole in your life too. You will desperately want to and try to become like them. At times, you will feel the frustration because no matter what you do, you will realise that you wouldn’t have moved an inch towards those idols among men. Let me tell you, the way is very simple and clear-Spend more time on growing yourself, on grooming yourself and practising. Everyone can touch those towering heights of greatness and fame but a very few people ever do and those are the ones who have understood the axiom that the body grows with age and time but greatness only dwells where there is uncompromised practise and a willingness to grow, not on a physical plane (over time this happens anyway), but on a psychological plane.

I have so many things to tell you and yet it feels like I’ve said enough for one letter. Also, I require some content for my successive letters too, right :p

So here is one final piece of advice before I end this letter with which I’ve become so attached:
Be inquisitive- be curious, in short never ever stop being You!!

And PFA your future self in the attachment which I’m adding herewith.

Keep smiling like always 🙂
Lots of love,
Shreylockholmes
[you will get this name somewhere in these ten years;)]

Marriage, Misconception and Misapprehension 

Today’s topic is one which I wouldn’t usually delve into. However, it is the need of the hour. Do read and let me know your thoughts on the matter. 

Since time immemorial, humans have felt the need to be together. The need to be a part of a society. Even today, children are taught from a pretty young age that they ought to be a part of the society and contribute responsibly towards its well being. This is the general part.

Let’s dig deeper- personal part. A man has to find a woman (or otherwise) with whom, he can have a family. A person that he can love and care for. A person at whose feet, he is willing to bring down stars from the farthest corners of the universe. In short, a person for whom he is ready to kill and die for. Similar is the case with women too (equality🤣). 

Each human being is required to (by virtue of some obscure tradition) marry a suitable person- mostly of their own liking. This has been passed on to us as a normal way of life. Any deviation from this is treated as contempt of societal norms. Infact, from where I come, a bachelor or a spinster is looked down on. They are denied housing even if they are ready to pay a premium over the going rates on those grounds.

Keeping all the biases and grudges aside, I would like to touch down on a fundamental point- why is it that people are required to marry and have a family? Why is it that man is so driven by societal obligations that he often overlooks logic and reasoning? (If you have any convincing answers, I am all ears here)

The way I see it, there is only one explanation. Man is undoubtedly a social animal. But more often than not, only a handful of people make it large. Only a few people enjoy importance and standing in a societal set-up. The majority of the people are like the unassuming herd of cattle, in which it is very difficult to distinguish one from the others. And yet, everyone likes, rather wants, to be distinguished, don’t we?! 

What to do in such circumstances? Easy, form a micro society (what is now called as ‘Family’) of your own and lead a happy and fulfilling life-loving and caring for its members and getting the same reciprocated for yourself. A perfect solution for the most basic human need of belonginess. 

But this doesn’t end here. This simple solution, over the ages, has become a tradition. And it should be noted that society is not kind towards people, who don’t follow the customs and traditions. And so that brings me to a conclusion that, either make a mini society of your own or make yourself so powerful that you command a position in society which can’t be challenged by trifle traditions.  

For instance, Narendra Modi is a bachelor (not technically). Can the society have any prejudices against a man of his stature that it would otherwise have had, were he not the man that he is today. Would Ratan Tata, the ex chairman of Tata Sons, be disallowed a house in any housing society because he is a bachelor? Will Salman Khan demand any greater audience, if he gets married? Has Brad Pitt become any less of a human being, now that he is a divorcee. And the list is far from over.

Coming back to the point, I would like to ask you that whether you would still support the notion that people should be joined in a wedlock just because that’s the way it has been or are you willing to broaden your perspective and allow transformation. 

(P.S. the point of this post is to know the temperament of the society because I myself have been ridiculed time and again for the views that I believe in and that’s what I have tried to pen down here.
It would be really great to hear what you have to say about it. Regards)

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