I recently saw your pictures from the farewell ceremony. You looked amazing! As always! It must be tough for you to imagine moving on, although you still have a few months before you are out of school. Changes aren’t always most welcome. Newton wasn’t wrong about inertia, after all. No one wants to see things change. Everyone is too busy in their comfort zones. You, me and all of us.
The one thing you need to remember is that changes are beautiful! I was once a part of a debate where we were arguing about changes occurring in Mother Nature. I don’t remember the motion clearly. I spoke against the motion and secured the second rank. The girl who emerged as victorious was a brilliant speaker. Out of everything she said, I still remember one statement she made.
“Had man existed a billion years ago; for him, the cooling of Earth, the formation of life, the creation of the beautiful Nature as we see it today, all would have been just another unwelcomed change.”
And you see now, where that change has led us to? The beautiful Blue Planet!
Once you’re away from home, at college, you will witness changes too. You will realise that you will never have someone waiting for you just so that you have someone when you return or bring you a glass of milk at just the temperature you want, like maa always does. You will realise that you will have to run around for printouts and photocopies and fee payment, all by yourself, without having babuji do all that for you. You will realise how your group of friends will change. You will hear people telling you that you have changed. You will hear people tell you that you have become mean; you don’t talk anymore. You will have to listen to all sorts of complaints as you try to settle into the new lifestyle. Listen to the complaints; for some of them come from genuine people, people who love you. But never! Really! Never let them get the better of you. No one except you has any idea what’s keeping you busy. Most of them will not have a clue about the tiny things that matter to us and that keep us occupied. Some friends will text you every other day and argue with you that you don’t have time for them. And then there’ll be some friends whom you will talk to in months and they won’t complain even once. All that you will talk about is the good that’s happening in your lives, about how you’re growing, how you’re coping with everything. Those are the kind of people you really have to care about. You’ll know then who your true friends are, and who are just “anchors” trying to hold you back.
All you have to do is accept the good changes that come your way.
I have loved you since I don’t even remember. Back when I was just three and you had come home, you were the size of my doll. No wonders I tried to pull your hands out trying to massage them and confusing you with a beautiful toy. I have loved you since I heard you utter the first English word as we sat in the soothing winter sunlight. I have loved you since you recited your first poem. I have loved you since you started playing with peas. I have loved you since you started annoying me. I have loved you since you started loving me! I have loved you since you were this:
And I have loved you till this:
Well! I hope you see the point I’m trying to make. You see the “change”! And you do see how beautiful a change this is! From being a messy little cute kid to being a handsome gentleman, you’ve seen the journey as you changed.
That’s the thing about changes. Embrace them! Love them! Live them! Changes are what make your present different from your past and your future from your present. But there’s something you should never forget. Whatever our past is like, we shouldn’t ever forget about it. Make sure you’re always able to see clearly through the older days when you look back. You should be able to see what you were and where you were. The clarity of your vision of the past will always help you see how far you’ve come.
Once you look back, see how maa-babuji dedicated decades to raise us as good humans, see how your teachers made sure you were educated and not just literate, see how your friends were there for you through thick and thin, see how your family has always been with you in the hour of need, see how you were an ignorant child and see how the world has constantly remained beautiful despite everything. And once you look back at all of it, you should be able to make wise choices in life.
Coming to choices, you should know that all our lives we make choices; some wise and some not so. As long as we’re with our parents, they make most of our decisions. Let me remind you that we are fortunate when it comes to parents, and I can use the phrase ‘most of our decisions’. There are families where children cannot take a single decision and there are families where parents don’t care. We have been brought up so we learnt about wise choices and also made some ourselves. It shouldn’t be too tough for you when you reach college. Make sure you set priorities and principles for yourself. You’ll find all sorts of people trying to influence your decision making but you are to choose who you want to listen to. Every choice you make will affect more people now, more hearts, more egos. Make sure you’re careful. Everytime you think you’re stuck, never hesitate in asking for help and advice. Seek guidance from your elders. Never let sentiments block your vision. You will always find a fork in the road, and when you choose one, you leave the other. That is true. Compromises have to be made on one front or the other. That is why babuji tells us to never regret the decisions we take and the choices we make.
Much has been said about changes and choices. Let us talk some about having fun!! Once you’re in college, try to get the best of it. Work with societies, attend MUN’s, visit other colleges during their cultural fests, go out with your friends, enrol in a good library, and last but not the least – travel! – While you still have time.
“The world is like a book; and those who do not travel read only a page.”
So says Saint Augustine. Try to finish reading the entire book!
Try to meet new people, get an insight of their world, their food, their culture, their beliefs, their music. And while you do all that, remember to not disrespect any of it. You know why this planet is so beautiful? It’s because of the diversity that inhabits it. It is because from amoebas to the blue whales, from deserts to oceans, from a sparrow to a lion, all live in peace and harmony. Imagine what the world would be like if no one thought different, if everyone looked at the sky as blue and no one looked at it as a bluish white! Respect! Respect differences.
Also, never let your goals fade amidst all the fun you have. You are fortunate to receive a proper education. Use it to fulfil some goal in your life that affects the masses. Be like Google! I once read a quote somewhere, “A man without ambition is like a bird without wings.” Don’t be such a bird! Be like the tortoise who knew where it was headed to.
विद्या विवादाय धनं मदाय, शक्तिः परेषां परिपीडनाय ।
खलस्य साधोर्विपरीतमेतत्, ज्ञानाय दानाय च रक्षणाय ॥
Let me tell you what it means.
The wicked use their knowledge to argue, wealth for insobriety, and strength for bullying others. On the other hand, the saintly men behave just opposite by using their knowledge for sharing, wealth for charity and strength to protect others.
Try to be a good person because at the end, it is all that matters!
Have a great life! Chase your dreams! Go, see and conquer!
Love you till the end of time…