It’s strange writing this letter to you and yet I did not know why I didn’t write to you earlier. The fact of the matter is I have been thinking about you since I was 18 and one thing is sure, that I have always wanted to have you in my life.
From now on, I promise I will write to you every year and I will give this letter to you when you are 29 because that’s how old I am right now. Phew! You can’t even imagine how long it took me to get here.
Frankly, I don’t remember how I was at 25 or at 20 or at 18. Maybe just vague memories and some incidents but if I tell you those, I will just be a shadow of who I was. And that is why I want you to know how I was at 29.
Maybe you resemble me at this age or maybe you are your own person. But I have always wanted to know how your grandparents were, when they were my age. Do you think the same about me? If you do, this letter is just a beginning to answer some of those questions fleeting across your mind.
So let me tell you who I am at 29.
Well, to start with I am at peace right now. Actually, there is a raging fire within but on the surface I am calm…as calm as a sea can be. Fire because I have a renewed zest for life, ambitions and my dreams and calm because I know I am slowly but steadily swimming towards all of it.
I wasn’t like this last year you know and the year before that… I was angry, I was hopeless and I was lost. One thing after another happened and it seemed like someone was conspiring against me and thwarting my efforts all the way along.
I felt like I was a lone warrior fighting a lost cause. I was questioning all the time why this happened to me and why I had to go through it all…and then the biggest blow came… I was even told that there might be a possibility that I could not have you and for someone who has lived that dream for 11 years now, it was earth shattering. I felt like my world had come to an end… But you know what… I believed…I believed in you then, just like I believe in you now.
And I believe when I look back that it all happened for a reason. It is how they say that I have finally cut my umbilical cords and I am ready for the flight that was meant to be my journey from the beginning. Just that I wasn’t aware of it until now.
I want you to know that there is a path in life for each of us to follow and yes, as opposed to what anyone else says, this path is predestined. All your choices in life and the decisions you make or you think you make, are a precursor to prepare you for the journey that is to follow. When we come into this earth some of us are more prepared than others and some of us begin only when we are 29, like me or some even when they are 80.
The trick is to know that your time will come and in the deepest recesses of your heart you will know that you have begun a journey that will make you special. You might not be known in the world, in your country, state or even in your town. But what matters is that you will know yourself…eventually we all do and that is the purpose of this journey. Not fame, money, power… It is success but it has to be measured in your own eyes, not in anyone else’s.
If you have gone through what I have, you will know what I mean but if you haven’t you might just be sniggering at my spiritual spiel. I did that too when I was younger and my dad, your granddad used to say this. So maybe you are like us, after all. I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry because we are a crazy family. Heard that word before? Spell it out loud. C_R_A_Z_Y.
Anyway, I also want you to know I am a writer. I haven’t really published anything yet but deep in my heart I know, I am a writer. And I don’t need a resume to tell this to the world. Like I said, it’s important to know yourself first.
Why I am sharing this detail with you is because I need you to know that as a writer, I am just more attuned to feelings, thoughts, ideas, spaces and people. I cry when someone cries, and sometimes I cry alone when it rains. And then I laugh for no reason at all. Your dad sometimes calls me Cocktail because he has a tough time figuring out my changing moods. Do you do that too? I wonder…most women do that, you would say but you know what’s the difference? I write about it…even if it means just writing to you.
Apart from that there are these unfinished stories, some wonderful hazy ideas for novels and a deep driving guilt that I wake up with every morning thinking that today will be the day when I will finish all these stories and today will be the day my inspiration will hit me, I will lock myself in a room and not emerge for days until I complete the string of words that took shape in my mind around two years ago.
No, please…don’t judge me…don’t call me lazy. I have wanted to write every single day and yet every single day life takes over and somehow convinces my mind that today is not that day…I wake up with nightmares of writers’ block even when I have not started writing anything and I sweat and fret until the next morning comes waking me up.
You know, I realised some days ago that I am looking for courage. Courage to find the vocabulary of what I am trying to write…Who knows I might just be writing about my life someday and publish it? Will it make for a good story? I think it will…just like each and every other life. But for that I will have to wait till the very end…
Dearest Unborn, one thing that I remember about being 18 is the fact that I followed my heart. I did everything that I loved to do without a care in the world of how much it was paying me of whether someone was using or exploiting me or even about where it will land me in the next ten years. I simply did what I wanted to and trust me, at 29, I am doing just that.
Yes I am trying to make a living but I am also living my dreams just the way I did at 18. And it seems to have paid off. Most days, I wake up smiling and the days I don’t, I know tomorrow will be a better day.
Did I tell you I have always wanted a kitchen garden? Well, I took a small step and planted coriander in a pot in the balcony and waited for it to grow…every single day. I want to say that it bloomed in no time at all but sadly nothing came. I planted again and one shoot came but died.
Trust me, it is a very bad feeling when your efforts are washed by the rain. But one fine morning, magic happened. In another pot where I had sowed nothing, emerged a tulsi plant, the holy basil as you might know it and my joy knew no bounds. It was strange that I felt like the proud owner of that tulsi without really owning it.
And then it hit me. It is not always true that you reap what you sow. Sometimes, you reap what you don’t sow, good or bad and that’s what life is all about.
So here I am at 29, telling you what I feel and what I have learnt. For who else will I pass it on to if not you? Do you have children yet? If not, write a letter to them because I am sure they would want to know what you were at 29.
I hope some of your questions are answered and if some others are not then remember it is not always important to seek the answers. Dad says Hi…you know he is a man of few words.
Until next year…
P.S I wrote this letter when i was diagnosed with endometriosis and I had reason to believe that I would never conceive. This letter is to my imaginary child. A year later, I gave birth to a bonny baby boy.