A Letter to My 13-year Old Self


Dear Athira,

You know that world out there? It is NOT as good as you think it is. You know I’m not one to beat around the bush, so I’m just going to get straight to the point.
Everything you assume about yourself currently is going to change drastically. Even your conviction that you’re going to go to Coimbatore and learn Bachelor of Computer Application… yes, that’s right. It’s not worth wasting time thinking about and I’d rather you knew it sooner than later.

People are going to hurt you, honey. People whom you don’t expect to and how much ever you try to change things between you and them, they are not going to change for you. You can try, you should try. I know that you will. I know that because I know you better than anybody else. I know how you pretend to be strong and rude when even a chide from your Dad or a careless remark from a friend can reduce you to tears. You know how you worry about the school assignments and get hyper right before the exams? That is not going to change. Your habit of shutting yourself up when you’re angry is not going to change. You’re still going to write poems when you’re sad and you’re still going to be crazy about MS Dhoni. Probably for the rest of your life.

Love truly, always. No matter how many times people hurt you, learn to let it go. You need to manage your anger, girl. Because getting angry at people is not going to change them, it’s only going to hurt you. I know you think getting angry is cool. That it’s a part of you and that it will never go away. But trust me it will. You’re going to be much more mature when you know anger is not a worthy emotion.Then comes hurt. It’s what follows after anger and it’s what I’m struggling with probably even now. You might not know what this means yet, but if you ever come to a situation where you feel like tearing at your hair and screaming at people to shut up, do it.Because there’s no use bottling up your emotions. Let the hurt out, cry like a baby. Cry on the bathroom floor, hug your Mom and go to sleep. That’s all you can do. I know you don’t have a lot of dreams for yourself. You’re not like other girls who dream about getting married or becoming a famous pop star. You don’t dream of getting into a beauty pageant or going into space. In fact I know how little dreams you have right now. But that’s going to change soon enough. In a few years you will have so many options. You will thank heavens that you did not choose to focus on one particular dream. You’ll grow fonder of those dreams and eventually, you’ll wonder how you managed to never have any at all when you were young.

Don’t be too hard on people whom you don’t understand. There’s no use judging when you’ve not walked in their shoes is there? Don’t assume things and never take anything at face-value.

I so wish I could tell you what surprises you have in your future life but that would take the fun out of it all wouldn’t it? Would you even believe if I told you any details? You wouldn’t, because that’s how bizarre the change is going to be.
But don’t be afraid. Whatever, you do be brave.

Remember the Autograph Mom wrote for you? I know you consider it silly that you got your first ever autograph from your Mom but trust me, if you follow the things in those three or four sentences, you’re set for life.
Remember- Love all; trust a few.


If you’re up there somewhere – I

Dear God,

Hi. You might remember me. I’m an abnormal creation of yours; a thinks-too-much-and-ends-up-crying sort of vegetarian teenage girl with the so-called killer attitude. Now I’m not blaming you for your little prank on this world by creating a creature like me. I mean its crazy how people think I’m very strong and all that, isn’t it? YOU know what I’m made of. But yes, I hate it when I’m misunderstood for a wimp or a whiner. I guess I could say I have always been a good friend, a good daughter, a good student..Hmm, I might not be THAT bad, people love me and find my company enjoyable, you see. But there’s this heart renting seemingly stupid things in my life that makes the silliest part of me go berserk. I don’t ask you to rectify your manufacture mistake in my case; in fact my abnormality fascinates me now- so much, that I feel like my life itself would have been a cliché without it! That’s why I thought of writing to you, you know. To say hello, thank you for all the wonderful things and let you know how hard life gets, or how hard I make it…It’s a bit of an irony that I’ve not written to you before; I’m not an atheist unlike a few of my friends, but a tentative believer. I’m about to turn 17 next month and not even one letter to the Creator?! So sorry for that dude, oops God! 😀

By the way, I have no idea what you look like. Or what you are. Or whether you even exist!! Ha-ha! Maybe you’re the long bearded Merlin- type old man who stands near the huge Golden Gateway, as I see in my dreams, interrogating dead people to decide whether they should end up in heaven or hell. Or maybe you’re the ghee loving, little naughty dark-skinned kid. Or maybe the bearded soft-spoken kind hearted shepherd. Or the shapeless Power that resides in every soul, every stone, every little fundamental particle. Oh yes, I’ve heard ‘God is Love’. Doesn’t make a lot of sense I think , if you’re actually writing to the God , so let’s leave THAT notion. The world would have been a bit more peaceful if you had just said how you looked like you know. Because then, religions may never have existed! Don’t misunderstand though-I really don’t mind if you look Greek, Black or Asian or if you’re a star or a shining sword .I wouldn’t mind if you’re revealed to be even a shapeless little blot on an otherwise-blank canvas. It’s none of my business anyway.

To start with, do you know how badly I want a time machine? I want to get out of the current phase of my life. I don’t care if it’s to the past or the future. I wouldn’t mind ending up in Dandi of 1930 or Bengaluru of 2020 but I just don’t want me HERE, NOW. Maybe it’s just the ‘hormones kicking in’ as Murli sir, my Math sir says. Or maybe I’m attaining a new hybrid level of insanity. All I can say is that it’s not making my life pleasant. None of my best friends are in my school… I have a load of notes and textbooks and records competing to gain my attention…I know I’m an internet addict who fails to do anything about it… I feel like I never get what I want, but just what I need which is PRETTY AWFUL if you ask me… I have just APPLIED to three Universities in U.S. and people are acting like I’ve already got admission with a 40,000$ grant or something! It might not qualify as huge problems, I know. But as I’m a masochistic specimen, I tend to slightly over-regard things.

Sigh. I ask for only one thing, presently. To give me enough common sense to know what I want. And the sense to not give up and keep trying if I don’t get it, because you’re not going to directly help me get what I want, right? J Ah.. it feels good telling you all this, you know. It’s the feeling you get when you’re thanking the Chef for the tasty food and then telling him that he could have added a bit more Garam Masala! Hehe. Will write to you frequently again.

With love and awe


P.S : Thanks for my smile. It’s the one part of me I truly and sincerely admire. J