Wishes from the voices...

Dear Nikhilesh,
Here’s wishing you a happy birthday. I never really understood the saying, ‘many happy returns’, so I’m not using it. So, you’re now a whole year older. While it’s a good thing to celebrate this milestone, I would like to take this chance to impress upon you the true meaning of celebrating a birthday. We don’t live in the dark ages where disease, famine and plague made celebrating a birthday a big affair. So, we’re going to have to look at this whole ‘turning 27’ from a different perspective.

I know this is not where we envisioned we would be at this age. While most of your friends and acquaintances are finding comfort in their jobs, settling down with the people they’ve fallen in love with, buying nice shiny things like cars, homes, PS3s, travelling the world; you can’t help but wonder if you’ve done something totally wrong with your life. You all started out together, but you’re all in very different places in the world. You need to understand that we are the outcome of decisions we’ve made, and this includes the decisions made for us by others which we have silently agreed to follow. But we must understand that if we chose to take a path different from others, we must not expect the same outcome as others. So if you’re not where you expected you would be when you turned 27, it’s probably because you did not understand how the decisions you’ve taken in life were on a path very different from where you wanted to go. I want to quote something we heard at school, “When Columbus set out to find India, he found America…” In short, while you may share the objective of your friends and acquaintances, should you choose a different path…you may land up in India. Or you just may land up in America after what may seem a very pointless journey. But as long as you take the journey, I guess you’re alright.

27 is a good time to re-look at setting real goals and ambitions for one’s life. It’s a great time, especially if you’ve got no plans (or no scope) of settling down to actually start working towards them. The 27 year old you is more in control of your life than the 22 year old you from 5 years ago. The awesome part about still being unsure about everything and doubting everything you’ve done is that you’ve been given a chance to discover a whole new part of you by trying to change the old you. It may not make any sense to you now, but it’s something you’re going to look back on 10 years from now and probably say, ‘it was worth it’…and even if you’re still as confused or worse ten years from now, kindly remember Gandalf, “Not all those who wander are lost”.

On the lighter side of things, here’s what you ought to be grateful for. You’ve still got almost all of your hair in place, but you also have most of your weight in place. You have a car to drive around and don’t have to be overly worried about the weather, but you do have the rising cost of petrol and repairs. (Cool factor has not improved….maybe it’s the weight). You’ve got a job where people know you and you actually have a chance to learn what it is to work in ‘adverse’ conditions. (HR dept…I love this place…serious….Dog promise). You’re staying at home with your parents and enjoying home food, but you somehow thought you’d be staying for free. As your father would say, “Gotchaaa!!!” You’re in Bangalore, which is a pretty cool city, barring the fact that everything closes at 11:30PM, but most of your friends are either not in the country or are way to busy with their own lives to go out for beer at 11 PM in any case. You’re not being pressurized by your parents to get married , but then let’s be honest…on your income??? Seriously? You’re 27 and are still going to perform on stage in a week’s time with a rock band; so what if you’re just a an adjunct to a bunch of ten year old child prodigies…. You can’t possibly suck that much.

Age is just a number, and jail is just a room. But it’s never too late to change things around. So enjoy the day, and we can begin our George Clooney meets Don Draper meets Mick Jagger meets Johnny Depp meets Salman Rushdie make-over tomorrow.

Yours Sincerely,
‘The voices in your head’