Saturday, June 11, 2016

On Turning 25...

To my friends,
& Azmaan

(Kamy, Addi, Mrinal & others I'm currently failing to mention - You guys are very special to me too and don't think I don't count you guys :P This one is just more relevant to these top 4 than you)

On 15th June, 2016 I will complete 25 years of being.
Some may say its a great day to celebrate. A momentous occasion which must be earmarked by a grand party inviting hoards of people, getting drunk, making memories and dancing till the sun comes up.
As appealing as that may sound, I will have no part in it.
My entire life barring a few tough months of depression in college and definitely the board exam years - has literally been one big party for me guys.

I write now for all to read.
In my 25 years of existence,
I have traveled to over 15 different nationalities as well as traveled well within my own country.
Ironically I've never been to Bangalore :P - but that too will change later this month.
I have had the pleasure of eating the finest meals ranging from Pizza at Michelangelo's in Singapore, Sushi in Japan, Fish n Chips in Oxford to Cheesecake in New York.
I have watched Disneyland being constructed in Hong-Kong and gone on rides in the original one in Florida,
From Cruises that took us to pristine beaches to watching fascinating thunderstorms from a business class seat on a flight,
From watching 'Phantom of the Opera' at Her Majesty's Theatre to watching the latest X-men movie in 3-D,
From being present at the President's Bodyguard Ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan to attending an active session of Congress at the Senate,
From watching the heartbreaking loss of Ganguly's team in 2003 to being present in the stadium when Dhoni hit the exhilarating winning six in 2011,
The god lord has been kind in ways no 25-year old can imagine.

He has provided well for my family. He has given my father and mother strength and sensibility.

Despite being well provided for, I am grateful that my ego is well within limit and to a large extent I remain grounded, jovial and amicable.

Good values go far in life.

Money comes and goes.

I have tasted fame, publishing a book at 17 being claimed a prodigy as well as the 'Next Big Thing'.
I have had the pleasure of falling in love and being loved in return.
I have tasted the warmth of a woman's company in my bed on many an occasion.
I have stayed in 5-star hotels with views overlooking oceans and yet the cool breeze that blew on my face there wasn't nearly as soothing as it was when I slept on the open terrace on a chaddar in the small village of Hamira under hundreds of stars on my own soil.
I have seen landscapes of mountains that looked like they were waiting to inspire an artist for his next painting,
and I have also seen the sunset of the horizon on the beach as if clearly marking the world from the Skies.

I have been blessed with reasonably good looks,
wealth, fame, popularity and love! All of these have at some point or another been in my life!
The band I listened to devoutly (Linkin Park) - hearing every lyric as if it was a sermon - I have had the pleasure of shaking hands with them in person.
What more can I ask for that I haven't got already?
So rich and fulfilling has been my life! I feel like I've lived more in these 25 years than most people live in lifetimes!  

Yes there have been shortcomings too,
I have lost in love,
I have faced embarrassment in trying to reach out to people,
People have taken advantage of my coyness and used me.
People have made me doubt myself and taken me for a ride.
I have been angry and stubborn leading to much pain and discomfort for not only myself but the good people who tried to help me.
I have hit such severe lows that I wanted to end it all. 

But I am grateful that the universe gave me the courage to push through and learn from my mistakes rather than live in regret and repeat them.

Forgiveness is a lesson we all should learn as soon as we can. Especially when you need to forgive yourself, forget and move on.

Somewhere the hand of fate played its trickery upon me. Teaching me certain bitter truths through bitter experiences but in retrospect I realise that the price I had to pay was far smaller than the value of the lessons I learnt in return.

After many a wrong turn, I found faith and patience. I found spirituality and happiness within.
There are five senses in the body - eyes, ears, nose, touch & taste; yet the one sense which is the most important - as some have called as 'The Sixth Sense' is the one we explore the least. For it is this that accounts for intuition, for peace from within, for spontaneity, for creativity.
All senses are controlled by the mind. The brain records and registers and through it we feel, we taste, etc. But when we direct our energy inward, when we become self-aware - we don't feel the need for anything. We are one. We are complete.
When we live completely in the present moment, we empower ourselves to be our best!

I am grateful to the universe and my grandmother for granting me this knowledge to practice and enjoy.

Always remember, the person who will give you the maximum sorrow and the maximum happiness in your life is you yourself. That guy in the mirror? Don't take him lightly. But not too seriously either.

It is said in our Shastras that upon reaching the age of 25 - one fulfills one part of his/her life i.e. the aspect of being a student. Now one's purpose becomes to live the life of a family man. In order to do this to the best of one's ability, one must be conscious of his time, manage a routine, care for his health and the happiness of others around him. Unless we start practicing this now how else will we form these good habits and be ready to teach them forward to society as well as our own children upon their arrival in our lives?

We are young and our future belongs to us.

Our challenge now becomes balancing the responsibility being bestowed upon us as well as enjoying the game of life as we do!

I don't need yet another party inviting hoardes of people to honour me. For me, turning 25 is a change in mindset - nothing more, nothing less.
It may empower me legally as a citizen of this country but for me its just 'A Wednesday'. (Coincidentally also one of my fav movies.)
Its the age I can finally sign my name as a 'Member' in the Vasant Vihar Club and no longer be a 'Dependent'.
Its the age I can legally drink anywhere in the world!
Its the age I feel I need to be brave and take many an independent decision rather than relying on mom n dad.

My happiness no longer lies in satisfying my own egoistic desires alone. It lies in building a future that's bright for others.
How can I help others achieve their dreams?
How many people can I bring happiness to and in what way?
Wouldn't it be great if I could build a company that would employ a large no of people? So many people would get jobs and earn a livelihood, a roof over their heads, money to spend and live life!
What good can I do to build my nation and put it on par with global leaders?
Our motto in school was 'We Care'.
Somewhere along the years amongst the pressure of getting a good job and the crazy things that happen in this great but distressed nation this motto seems to be fading.
There was a doha by Kabir I remember that went something to the effect that 'Happiness grows by sharing it whereas sadness burdens one less by venting it.' So integral is human company for one another yet we often delude ourselves into only thinking about oneself. 
Well, the future belongs to those who take it.
Let's grab the bull by the horns guys!

Then one day when we are satisfied that we gave it our best, we can drive our Ford Mustangs down the well-constructed asphalt in our own cities and toast to Coronas together ;)

Turning 25 is just the beginning!

Plus, its not like I'm doing NOTHING for my b'day. I'm going to Manali for a 5 day long Trek! A much needed break and hopefully a trip that will rejuvenate me to handle the amount of tension and pressure I'm gonna face in the upcoming heavy months of business!

I am touched however at all of ya'll efforts to want to celebrate this event with me. Your enthusiasm has been heart warming. It is the reason I am writing today so as to prevent hurting your feelings and sharing with you man-to-man.

I love ya'll and I hope we stay such good friends forever. In this life and the next.

Goodnight guys,
Sweet dreams.

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