A long note from my Self to myself

Yes, time travel is possible. Yes, I did come back sixty years from now to talk to you - me, that is. God, this is going to be confusing for me - for US, I mean.

Go out more often - take risks and lose your heart more. Maybe you'll meet the love of your life; maybe the love of your life might not be one person or soul but a collage of different qualities in different people - this one has an incandescent smile, that one has deep eyes that turn a certain shade of blue when sadness overwhelms the heart, a third might have a body that gives you restless days and sleepless nights, and yet another may have a mind that is plays its own seductive dance of the seven veils - who says you cannot learn to weave a rich tapestry of relationships out of these wonderful people all at the same time?

Your family won't be around forever - trust me, if you could feel the sense of numbness that you will feel a few years from now when our mother dies, you will never, EVER speak rudely to her again. And no, you don't want to feel sorry about how your father dies, either - seeing him leave you a little every day, how his eyes hollowed out bit by heart-wrenching bit.  You thought you would give up everything just to see his response to your mute expressions of love? Well, here's your chance! Go talk to him today and tell him how much you love him, and how much you know he loves you. He'll probably be left speechless or have a heart attack, but still go ahead and tell him. It will make you feel much better about yourself.

Why do you kick your friends around so much? They take a lot of shit from you not because they believe you are right - but you probably know that - but just because they like you. Friends are like that - the ones you think are weak, the ones you think admire you, the ones you think stick around because you think they look up to you? Nah, none of that. They all stick around because they like you. Genuinely, YOU as a human being, not because of what you know or whom you know or how you speak or write or look or behave. You could be a comatose, brain-dead dork talking or not from your wheelchair and they'd still happily sit by your side for hours. THOSE are the friends you need to talk to more - because they're good for you, and because they'd like to know that you like them back. The ones in their shiny new cars who started talking to you after you got your new job or put on a few inches on your arms will be the first ones to stop talking to you as well.

Talk more - talk your truth, and if you start crying, it's okay. So maybe men don't cry - they also said women don't have as many teeth or ribs as men. Who cares about "them"! Have a few friends that you can always talk to, but for the love of GOD, don't bore them for three years with your breakup story! Or your next career move! Be there for them, too - sometimes just listen to what they don't say - the way they nod their head, the way they sigh after they take someone's name - and not everything calls for a group hug, though the world would be a much better place for more of those...Help those who help other people, listen to those who listen to other people - they are the ones who need a pillar of strength, a bit of love for themselves too. After all those years they've taken you out for a round of drinks when you were low and mopey? You owe them that much.

And in the meantime, why don't you try doing something you like, for a change? While you still can. I didn't see too many hikers in their 50s and 60s. Take care of your health, but do something wild and exciting for a change, too. Maybe like once every four months drop everything and throw a dart at the map and travel there - wherever "there" happens to be! You could try drama workshops, or painting, or kick-boxing, or vipassana, or horse riding - whatever takes your fancy, go out and do it! Earn your money, yes, but don't lose sight of why you're earning it in the first place: a 10% hike in your salary is not justified if you retrofit your dreams to your salary every year.

You also picked up this strange habit of second-guessing yourself - of course life would have been different if you took up science instead of arts in 12th! You would have graduated from an engineering college, studied some subjects that you'd proceed to forget, and work in some company that would have to teach you from scratch what they need you to do. You could have decided to gather the courage to walk up to her after class and talk to her a little - it would have bloomed into another relationship not much different from others, one that you would have felt is unique in the world. But then you wouldn't have been able to work on that advertisement campaign for blindness awareness, which led to you reading a book to Mrs. Mehra at the old age home. Do you know she can't understand half of what you say because you speak too fast? She just likes that someone cares enough to talk to her half an hour once a week - she would have committed suicide by consuming rat poison pills otherwise. Stop thinking your choices don't matter! They do, and you can never see how much they matter. Just be happy that you trusted  yourself enough to act when you did, and knew when to hold back from taking any action. Thanks for that, kid!

I know, I know, old habits die hard - cribbing and doling out free and unsolicited advice is something that we're not giving up quite so easily, and apparently not having a body is not such a big impediment after all! So now you know my secret - those times when you suddenly have a flash of genius, or it's like someone switched on a bulb in your head? Yes, that would be me - US, dammit! - peeping back through time to knock some sense into that thick skull of yours. All those precognitive dreams, all that deja-vu - scoff not, o ye of little faith! This world contains many more wonders where that little bit came from - even I'm still learning, see...