You've Got Mail!!!
You've Got Mail!!!
It was a sultry Sunday afternoon and Arya was busy with her afternoon nap. Sunday's nap was essential for her as it gave her the energy to go through the entire week. Suddenly, the bell rang "Ting-tong" and she woke up. She was a bit startled. Who could it be at this time of "Sunday"? "Ting-tong" - the bell rang another time. Arya walked to the door and found a guy waiting with a parcel. But she hadn't ordered anything. The guy said that the name tag said Arya and the address was indeed hers. Complex calculations were going on in her mind that who could have sent the parcel. Was it Maa and Baba? But they lived in a different city and they were not quite conversant with the eCommerce websites. Could it be one of her friends? They knew that she was staying at home all alone for the past 4 months and the only people she had seen were the greengrocers, fishmongers, and the delivery executives from numerous companies. Amidst all the may-be-or-may-be-not, Arya accepted the package and got inside the house. The package was quite heavy. Curiosity got the better of her and she opened the package. There were a couple of odd products – a broken watch, a sunflower, a diary, a picture of Arya giggling with her father, some earplugs, and a book. She was taken aback. Who on earth could send her these and how were these even related? It had to be someone quite close, otherwise, they would not have the photograph. When she foraged through the package once again, she found a letter. The words were scrambled, but the handwriting was very similar to hers – just a bit scrawnier. She was dumbfounded by this uncanny resemblance. She kept on thinking – Who COULD THIS BE? Once she opened the letter, she could see more of the handwriting and it was her own, the lines being just a bit more crooked.
I will not ask you how you are doing. I know you are not doing well. The pandemic has been taking its toll on you dear. You are confined to your home all alone for the past four months and yet you cannot go out to meet your friends or go for a weekend trip. But, all the while, when your friends call you up, you put up a smile, and the "Hello" that follows can take away the pain from anyone. But I know that you too are troubled by what has been going on all around. The deaths, the fear of losing your close ones, and the misfortune of not being with them for the past few months has been anguishing you. But, for once and for all, you can trust me this time. This too shall pass. Mankind will emerge victoriously. Nature will take its toll and the earth would get a bit unblemished – all at the cost of lives of millions of people.
You must be wondering who is this package from? And why is s/he giving me all that advice? Be patient dear. I know you are 23 and are always eager to go ahead and do something. But...for once in life, you will have to wait a bit more. Do you see the broken watch? As if, the time has stopped. When you are tired, it is all right to take some rest. The rabbit did not win the race, the tortoise did. Take that step back. Assess the situation. For some, the clock might be ticking. For some, it might go slow or stop. But don't worry. When the time comes, your clock would be ticking too. That promotion or the onsite assignment or marriage to the love of your life will happen at its own pace. Failure is a part of life. At times, it is all right to fail. Success is a journey and not a destination. Do not exert yourself or punish yourself for the delay. Be kind and generous to yourself. At times, the delay is for your benefit. You will realize this when you are old and wise.
Master Oogway had said, "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift...that's why they call it the present." You will realize this when you are of my age. The diary is present to remind you of Master Oogway's world each day and every day. Take that time to learn something new – no learning ever goes in vain. The dairy could be your canvas for a portrait or a pen portrait. Pick up a hobby. Enjoy the present called "Life". The rest can all be handled. Once the pandemic is over, go for that solo trip you had planned for long. As Ellie from the movie "Up" kept on saying - "Adventure is out there!"
Remember those times when you were with your father and one look from him made you go euphoric. When the time stops ticking, count those moments. You will never have to stop. Count those moments when a friend cracked a joke and you laughed till the end of time. Count the moments when you sneaked in with your cousins in the middle of the night and babbled till the dawn. Consider those moments when you went for a day trip and enjoyed the sea. Count on those friends who kept on checking on you during the pandemic and before that. The picture is to remind you of all the joyful moments that you have been accruing over the years. Now, when I look back at it, you are rich dear. Get the other photographs alongside the one I sent to you. Look at those moments and live them again. And every time you see them, the grin on your face would create yet another moment.
The sunflower will teach you to stay away from negativity and face the sun. More importantly, it would teach you to turn away from people who think you are negative. Always move towards the light. Obscurity has its own mystery, but it is dark. As Albus Dumbledore had said, "It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities". And when you face the choice between what is right and what is easy, go for what is right. Moving towards the light is difficult, but the sunflower does it every day with the hope of enjoying life and not just living. Leave no regrets, as I, at my age, have no regrets about the life I have enjoyed.
I have sent the earplugs to you so that you get to spend ten minutes with yourself every day. Otherwise, you would miss communicating with a very interesting person. Move away from everything for ten minutes. Use earplugs. Let no one distract you. Talk to yourself. Get to know the most interesting person in your life – YOU. All your queries will be answered. The conversation would give you the strength to stand up for what is right. It will teach you to explore your mind, your emotions, and the pleasantness within.
Last, but not least... Do you recognize the battered copy of "A brief history of time" by Stephen Hawking? Yes, it is yours. This book is to remind you that in the grand scheme of things in the universe, you are minute. So, do not take yourself so seriously. Other than your family and close friends, no one has the time to be bothered about you. From the Big-Bang to the Black Holes, you are too tiny for anybody to be bothered about you. Grab this as an opportunity. Make those mistakes. Learn from them. Enjoy making those amends.
You must still be wondering who this is. Well, I am you – a tad bit older and wiser. Do not lose the presence of life. Make something out of it. Learn to love yourself. Be kind to yourself. Everybody is not born with a silver spoon. Some like you and I can be anonymous and yet savor life. I know you will have a lovely life ahead.
A wiser Arya
The doorbell was ringing persistently. With dreamy eyes and a tired voice, Arya asked - "Who's there?"
"Ma'am, you have a parcel."