February 20, 2012

This one's for you, Aan

My dear Aanya,

In the last 16 years Baba has hardly written any letter to you.

Now don't say : "Uff ho, Baba don't give me gyan now. I have loads to cram in the next few weeks... Class 10 board exams and all that!"

I know they are, hence this missive.

I could have told you all this on e-mail or on the phone or in your bedroom. But, no. Writing a letter to the most important girl in my life has a different charm. It does.

Almost like drinking freshly squeezed oranges; not those packaged juices from a Tetrapak.

So read this, Aanya, in between your math tuition and your revision of geography, maybe.

Actually read it any time you chose, because you are no more a gawky 10 year-old --- you're a young lady now.

You don't have much time before you take that first ICSE paper. So go ahead and give it all you've got.

That doesn't mean you have to study 12 or 14 hours a day. Why would you do that?

Even with exams creeping up, eight to ten hours is more than enough. Eight hours of quality study time in these last few days is better than trying to push your mind and body by doing a half-baked 14 hours a day.

Getting ready for exams is so much like cricket : better to bowl six solid overs perfect line and length to get wickets (marks) rather than bowl a 10 over spell peppered with full tosses and wide balls.

Guess that's what we will call Learning One: just focus.

Now don't laugh, at what I'm about to say.

Seriously, I want you to enjoy the moments. Yes, enjoy the prep for the exams.

Enjoy the subjects you study on your own. Enjoy the time you spend with your Bangla tutor at home. Enjoy the subjects you are weak in. Enjoy this whole experience of preparation.

They say you can never hope to do well in anything in life unless you enjoy the whole process.

That is really what I want you to do in these last few days as you get set for your first 'public exam'.

Let's make that Learning Two : truly enjoy the experience.

(Now I hope you have not called up your pal Anoushka by now to tell her : "My Baba has written this long letter to me giving me pre-exam gyan. Ha! Ha!)

Hey, I know you and your friends are all psyched up from now till March end. And nervous.

Cool. That's only natural. A little bit of nervous energy always helps. A little bit of confidence too.

The trick is not to let the nervousness overwhelm you.

The trick is never to let the confidence lead to over confidence. I am absolutely sure this is not an issue with you. Extra nervousness. Or over confidence. Nice.

Life, Aan, is a series of little tests. Mini exams. Some difficult. Some easy. You win some. You lose some.

All you need to always do is give it your best. Your very best.

So go out there to that dingy hall with a high ceiling and GO FOR IT!

That's all that matters.

Love you Aan,


P.S. And thanks for giving me the green signal to put this letter up as a blog. Suspect you gave me the permission because you wanted more people to be bored with Baba's gyan. XXX