Dear 15-year-old Me


Dear 15-year-old Me,

Don’t do it.

Don’t trust that boy in a broke-down car. The words he utters are not to melt your heart. It is to melt your pants.

Remember, his friends aren’t your friends. His friends are his friends. They will always be his friends. Don’t tell them secrets he doesn’t know. He will know.

I know your adrenaline’s pumping, but don’t sneak out that door at 2am. It’s not worth the trouble. Enjoy that beauty sleep while you still can. Adult life has a lot of sleepless nights in store for you.

If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Don’t give yourself an excuse. Blaming your parents for your actions does not make them any better. You’ll wish you’d listened to yourself in five years’ time.

And even though it feels like it, you’re not in love. You’re seeing stars where there’s glitter. Love doesn’t come in crappy forward texts. It doesn’t bloom the moment his hands are where they shouldn’t be. Love isn’t an excuse to make out. He may tell you otherwise. Don’t let your infatuation cloud your mind.

Your parents aren’t your enemies. They don’t know how to handle this version of you but they’re still right. They’re not ruining your “life experiences.” Don’t alienate them. You’ll kick yourself for it later.

School is important. College matters. Don’t skip classes. If not for the lessons, at least for the memories. When your friends reminisce about them at 20, you’ll feel left out.

Don’t pick a date over dinner with your family. He’s not looking for a relationship. And it’s okay. He marries someone ugly and goes bald in seven years. You’ll be happier this way.

Pick your friends wisely. Don’t forget, the ones who love you will be honest about that skirt being a little too short in the back and his hands being a little too low around your shoulder. Learn the difference.

Your aunts aren’t the greatest. Your extended family isn’t royalty. But, on a bad day with no money, they’ll still be there for you. Don’t show off your unreasonable arrogance to them. They might forgive you. You won’t.

So you’re single. Don’t get a boyfriend because she has one. Having a boyfriend is not a definition of your beauty or desirability. It is not a matter of social status. It is personal. It is emotional. Let it happen in its own time.

Allow yourself a little “loserdom.” It’s okay if your hair isn’t amazing. It’s okay if your grades aren’t the best. It’s okay if you don’t have a squad. So what if she’s the most popular kid in class? It ends. You grow up. You get your own lives. Don’t get caught up in your high school labels. They don’t last very long.

That kid you thought was an asshole? He works for your country. He’s kind and giving. That girl who dated your crush and was the hottest girl in town? She gets pushed into a life she doesn’t like. She’d give anything to have your freedom of choice. Don’t let yourself get swayed by who people are right now. They change.

You will change too.

You’ll be better. You’ll be kinder. You’ll develop a better sense of fashion. (Thank goodness!) You’ll chase your dreams without being afraid. You’ll fall in love. You’ll get your heart broken. And you know what the best part is? You’ll be strong enough to keep going. You won’t stop.

You’ll find friends who love you for you. You’ll date men who treat you well.

There is so much of life that’s waiting to be lived. And don’t scowl or make a sarcastic remark at that. You think you know it all. But you don’t. You don’t know the beautiful views you’ll fall asleep to. Or the books you’ll read. The words you’ll write. The moments you’ll live.

And on your worst day, you will find yourself. You will find all that you are. It will be chaos.

But you’ll know how to accept that.

This life you’re living, it’s nothing like the one you’ll live. Or the one you want.

So stop the crazy. Enjoy your moments. And let yourself be 15. You only have the rest of your life to be an adult.

Be a teenager today.

And listen to your heart when it says, “Don’t do it.”

With all my love and life lessons,

23-year-old You.


10 Life Lessons In 28 Days

Over the past month, I have come to face a few harsh reality checks. This apparently is the first step towards entering the jungle called Adulthood. They drag you away from the world inside your head and suddenly, life isn’t all that fancy anymore. It’s difficult, sleep deprived and most importantly – ego killing.

These are the 10 life lessons I’ve learnt over the past 28 days of my life :

1. I am not the most important person in my own world. The people that help me pay my bills matter way more than I ever will. So if I don’t agree with something, it doesn’t matter as long as they do.

2. The world is not an oyster. It’s a fricking octopus waiting to grab you with all its limbs just so it could eat you up.

3. You think you’re talented? They’re going to find someone ten times better within the next two minutes.

4. There are a million others with the same dream. With that, the probability of you making it just become 1/1,000,000.

5. You’re sick? You’re upset? Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Awww, guess what? The world couldn’t give a rat’s ass. If you’re meant to do something, you better be doing it.

6. Adult relationships are tricky. If you’re both working full time, the amount of quality time you spend becomes so minimal that when you see each other, you want to enjoy it even though you’re dying to pick a fight about the number of days they forgot to text you.

7. You are lucky to be where you are. Blessed even. You’ve worked so hard to get here. Please know you will be replaced within mere seconds.

8. Every person has a story. Every person comes from a tragedy. If everyone wrote down their problems and put it in a pile, you’d grab yours back with lightning speed.

9. Love doesn’t come easy. For some of us, it’s right there in front of us and we end up living with the knowledge that it will never be ours. It’s just the way it is.

10. Nothing will ever come for free. If you don’t do what you’re supposed to do, someone else will.

And with that beginner’s course done, I’m officially terrified of what tomorrow will bring. As a child, all I ever wanted was to grow up. Oh, how I wish I could go back in time and tell her to change her mind about it.

Life goes on..

Today, May 4, is the birthday of someone very very close to me. “Happy Birthday bro..” It’s been a while since I met him and when he saw me he said, “You look bright. Full of hope. It’s nice to see you like this again.”

Last year I had to give up almost everything I had. My plans changed, my life changed. I spent the entire year in depression. Everything made me cry. There was a point when I believed things will never change. That my life was over and all I have to do is sit and just let the end come when it may. Now when I say it, I realize how over-dramatic that sounds. But at that point in my life it seemed like the most logical thought process one can ever have at a time like that.

It’s funny how when something bad happens, we believe that it’s the end. I’m not talking about a fatal sickness or an accident but rather just incidents. When you quit / get expelled from university, when you get fired, when you break up with your loved one, when someone close to you passes away or even when you fail an exam or miss your dream university by 2 points. It seems like a life or death situation. I mean, I get that it possibly is very life altering but it’s never the end.

It took me one and half years of moping around before I decided that I have to change things. ONE AND HALF YEARS ! You know how much I could’ve done in one day? Let alone 500 days ! 500 days before I realized it’s not the end because it’s not happy. That in fact, all I had to do was accept that things have changed. Because the only thing constant in our lives is change and the best I can do is to make use of all that I’ve got. I mean, I’m sure I could’ve sat around another year and half dreaming of what could’ve been but that’s just another 500 days that I won’t get back.

In my life, I’ve learnt that there’s nothing better than dreaming big. Dream what nobody dares to dream of. Dream to fly. Like Peter Pan. To just take off to Neverland. But that’s impossible if you never put your feet on the ground. Even a flight has to hit the runway, move forward and only then can it fly. Sitting idle and wondering about would-be’s and could-have-been’s will never get you anywhere. You have to put one foot in front of the other and walk forward.

I’m not a settler. I’ve missed what many would call “incredible opportunities.” When my previous dream crashed, I had to get a new one. I wasn’t, and I’m still not, mentally prepared to create a big dream again. I’m afraid that it’ll crash too. So I set my goals a little lower. Instead of a big future plan, I set my eyes on simpler things. Things that are more NOW than five to ten years from now – A company that’s not really easy to get into. A publisher that probably won’t even take a second look at my manuscript. I told myself that I won’t take anything besides this. I will get into that company if it’s the last thing I did. I will send the publisher every story I will ever write and at some point, I’m going to write something they will publish.

Think back the years you’ve lived through. How many moments have you had where you thought it’s the end of the world and it wasn’t? No, I’m not talking about December 22, 2012. I mean, you’ve lived through tough times. You’ve moved forward when you thought you wouldn’t. You’re alive and present. When you think about it you’ll realize that all those bad experiences have only made you stronger. Brave. Never weak.

Two years ago, I had it all. I didn’t work as hard as I could have. I didn’t make use of the opportunities. Now I can’t go back. I have to look ahead and I feel stronger than I ever did. Positive that if I could live through that, then I’m sure I can live through the next disaster and the next and the next. Because.. Have you ever sat in front of the ocean and stared at it? You know how beautiful and mentally soothing a view like that is? The way the waves move and hit the shore. The salty smell that comes from it.. Now, imagine sitting in front of the same ocean but this time, it’s still. No waves, no sea salt smell. Just still water. It’s not as beautiful, is it?! That’s life too. It has to have its ups and downs. I promise every wave has something incredible to give to you. A life lesson, a person, a memory.. And when you look at it as a whole, it’s beautiful.

No matter sunny or rainy, draught or storms, the waves in the ocean never stops.. The way, no matter how hard it gets, no matter how many times you tell yourself it’s over, life goes on..

21 Life Lessons I’ve Learnt in 21 Years

Life has a million things to teach you, everyday. But only some of those lessons make a huge impact on you. These are 21 life lessons I learnt in the past 21 years of my life.

1 – Respect Your Family – They might not be the best set of people out there but they picked up your shit and the least you can do is put up with theirs.


2 – Do Not Believe Your Math Teacher – Even if you end up working in Wall Street, you only use simple math. Not :

2xy+345x*375y/234xy=xy*2 -> Prove.

3 – YOLO – Doesn’t particularly mean get drunk, get a tramp stamp and wake up with a stranger. It means make the best of today. A modern “swag” way of saying Carpe Diem !

4 – Enjoy What The World Has To Offer To You – The thing is, your future generation might not have these experiences and it will make for incredible stories someday.


5 – Is She The Meanest Teacher You’ve Ever Known? Say Thank You ! – She has given you a whole new list of stories to laugh about in all your class re-unions for the next fifty years to come.


6 – The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side – That boy/girl in the next class is always hotter or cuter than the ones in yours. The possibility is, it works vice versa. Your classmates are probably the cutest people the kids in their class have seen !


7 – Responsibility Doesn’t Come By Yelling Or Screaming At A Person – When someone keeps losing their stuff or doesn’t help around the house, yelling doesn’t help. Every person needs their time to grow up and become responsible. For some people (coughs *me* coughs) it just takes 21 years.


8 – College Is Not A Field Trip – They make it sound like “Oh you’re going to college? You’re going to have so much fun !” NO. Not even a little. Not at all. Sure, you laugh and you joke around but ultimately the definition of college is – brain frying. Nothing will ever beat your school days ! EVER !


9 – There Is A Big Difference Between Your First Crush And Your First Love – Just because he gives you butterflies does NOT necessarily mean you’re in love with him. So yes, you’ll get over him when you find someone that gives you an extra butterfly.


10 – Your First Break Up And Your First Heartbreak – Yes, you’ve broken up. You’re upset. But you’re not heart broken. There’s a BIG DIFFERENCE ! You’ll learn that when you ACTUALLY get heartbroken. So yes, you’ll get over him when you find someone that gives you an extra butterfly.


11 – Being Independent Is A Human Right ! – Until you have to touch your own stinky laundry and cook your own crappy food. I’d rather live at home and let Mom and Dad do that until they’ve had enough of me and decide to kick me out.


12 – Yes, That Boy Who Just Asked You Out Is Very Very Cute – But don’t say yes. You’ve known him for less than ten minutes. He could be a drug addict or maybe even a supplier. Especially, if you’re in a foreign country. Please don’t take your chances.


13 – Don’t Travel Half Way Across The World For A Boy – It might be the worst mistake you ever make. The cherry on top of the cake? Your family will use that story to get people to laugh at every gathering for the rest of your life !


14 – All That Glitters Ain’t Gold – Just because he’s Italian and his accent melts your heart doesn’t mean he will too. He could be the one who shows you what heartbreak feels like.


15 – The Quotes On Tumblr, Weheartit, Pinterest, Facebook And Instagram Are Not Meant For You – When Steve Jobs said “The people who believe they can change the world are the ones who do,” he didn’t mean you. He meant himself. So let’s not get over excited about it for the next ten minutes. Ok?


16 – Don’t Judge People By Their Looks – The prettiest model is the bitchiest human being and the ugliest girl on the block is the nicest woman you’ll ever meet. And maybe, the person you thought was a total loser probably could’ve helped you in more ways than you know.


17 – Enjoy Sibling Rivalry – At some point, you’ll go your separate ways. When you see each other again, you’ll just want to hug and talk. So yes, sibling rivalry has an expiry date. Enjoy it while it lasts.


18 – Younger Siblings Are Annoying All Over The World – They’re the most vicious, annoying, tattle-tale, I’m-going-to-borrow-your-stuff-and-lose-it kind of human beings on the planet. But if they went on vacation for a month, you’re going to miss them more than Nemo missed the ocean.


19 – Read Books – It sounds like an advise but there’s something about losing yourself in a world you don’t know and yet not feeling scared. No, I’m not talking about the time you walked into a dangerous neighborhood with new-found courage because you were too high to fathom the reality of it all.


20 – Listen To Your Dad When He Talks – It might be boring, but somewhere in the middle of all those stories, there are life lessons. And useful things that can save your life should you get into an icky situation.


21 – I want you to listen to this carefully..

Never Be Afraid To Say Sorry – There are certain relationships that are worth keeping and if a ‘Sorry’ is going to save it, then don’t be afraid and egoistic. But if they’re the kind of person that’s going to keep hurting you and is so totally not worth it, please, save yourself some dignity. Fold all your fingers. Now pop out the middle one and keep walking. Don’t look back.


One life lesson I believe needs to be told –

A BEST FRIEND – One day, you will find that person who understands you, accepts you and is willing to put up with your crazy behavior. The one who’ll hit your head when she finds you falling for the wrong boy. The one who’ll take care of your emotions more than you will. The one who’ll laugh with you and cry with you. The one with whom you probably will have more “moments” than you can ever have with your husband or wife. When you find that person, don’t let them go..

I will forever consider myself lucky for I have two such people in my life..





Wish You Were Here

Recently, my father and I had a long conversation about my grandfather. His life and his struggles.

Do you have that one person you wish you could meet but can’t?

That one person you’ve never met but feel like you know very well. You’ve heard stories about them, people tell you things that person said, you’ve seen pictures. For a lot of people, that person is a celebrity. To me, that person is my grandfather. I’ve never met him. He was long gone by the time I came around. I’ve seen six-seven pictures of him. But I feel like I know him very well.

The world lost him to Cancer. I can’t say I lost him because I’ve never met him. But I would have loved to. There are times when sharing stories about someone, you hear the person say something wrong about them. It’s never intentional. It’s just part of who he/she used to be. But I’ve never heard something like that about my grandfather. I’ve heard about his struggles, I’ve heard his jokes, I’ve heard his wisdom, I’ve heard about his sickness. But never in all those stories has anyone ever said one bad thing about him. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of him. Someone who made no mistakes. Is it weird that when I think of him, I think of superman? He raised a superman too.

A lot of my conversations with my father include stories about my grandfather. Lessons that were taught or left. One of those things was to live life with principles. To stand by what you believe is right, no matter what the circumstance. If you’ve known me for a while or read my previous blogs, you know that’s a lot similar to what I believe in. Except in my generation I’m called rebellious, not principled. It’s funny. I never met him. There were no videos of him. There was no way for him to have influenced my life on a personal level. But somehow, when I hear stories about him, I know I’m a lot like him. His behavior, his thoughts. My father would beg to differ but I know that if my grandfather was still around, he’d have been someone who would have understood me and supported me. He’d be my kind of person. Like my father is.

In life, you at times land in trouble. My grandfather has taught me that it doesn’t matter how you got there. There are only two ways  to get out of it- The Easy Way, The Right Way. Now remember, anything that comes easy is not here to stay.

He inspires me. When I hear about him, I keep trying to look for similarities. I take pride in knowing I’m a lot like him. Also because it secretly means I’m a lot like my father. I don’t know if my father knows this, but when I hear stories about his dad, I get reminded of him. I can see the day I sit my kids and my grandkids and talk to them about him like he talks about his father to me. It’s cheesy but it’s true. He’s open-minded, like my grandfather was. He’s principled and determined, hardworking and trustworthy, a fighter. He’ll do anything he can to excel at everything. Including fatherhood.

Through my difficult times they’ve helped me. One through stories and the other by just being there to tell me it’ll be fine. Some day, when I’m ready, I’ll go out into the real world. I might not become the next billionaire but thanks to the life lessons, I’ll survive. And when the going gets tough I’ll repeat my grandfather’s words like I do every time I’m in a bad situation :

“This too shall pass”