Present-day you meets 10-years-ago you for coffee. Share with your younger self the most challenging thing, the most rewarding thing, and the most fun thing they have to look forward to.
I looked at her , and felt a little unnerved.. a little conscious , perhaps . As she sat there , on the chair opposite me , I could only but envy her youthful glow . After all , she had just crossed the threshold of teenage and ventured , albeit a little warily , into the twenties.. Her face , was as fresh as a morning dew , no age spots , no dark under eyes.. and no make up !
My not-yet-married , younger self , was peering at me with childish inquisitiveness . ‘So , what is in store for me , in the next ten years..?’ , she blurted out , all in one breath , leaving me dazed.
‘I am sorry , if I scared you , but I am just so excited , you know…to learn about my future !‘ , she continued ,without any provocation .
I gave out a loud sigh , as if trying to relax , and then spoke , in a carefully measured manner , ‘Well , there is quite a lot in store for you. But , I am sure you will enjoy it all .’
I , then continued in the same strain , ‘The next ten years , will be a roller-coaster ride for you. The most rewarding thing ,that you will experience ,in this course of time ,would be your wedding ! Your marriage , will then decide the remaining path of your life , at least for the next ten years. Being married to an understanding ,sensible and sensitive man , will be your greatest reward , in the years to come.’
She looked at me , her big eyes ,sparkling and rejoicing at the same time . But , I took , a lot of sadistic pleasure in bursting the bubble .
‘Well , there are thorns too…A lot of challenges ahead. Your husband’s choice of career , will expect you to play an important role too. After all , it is not easy being an army wife . There will a lot of responsibilities to share and expectations to meet , both on a domestic and professional level . And you will need to multi – task !’
I caught the sudden glint of fear , in her eyes and felt at ease . Her bright chirpy self , transformed into a pensive one , as she demanded me to continue…
I paused , and then spoke , matter of factly ‘But , there are a lot of fun times ahead . Your love for travelling will , find some amount of fulfillment as you travel across the length and breadth of your own country and visiting other countries as well ! In fact the initial part of your married life , will let you explore a neighboring nation , and spend three years there ,learning the language of the locals ! The colorful social life will also be something you will enjoy in the coming years.Of course , you will also enjoy the time you spend teaching in schools, and the love of your students’ , I paused for breath , while she waited for the words to flow out of my mouth…
‘What you will perhaps ,enjoy the most would be the joy of becoming a mother , to a beautiful daughter and the merry times shared by all of you !’
So , saying , I looked at her with a sudden change of expression . I smiled…and said , ‘But before you take this leap of faith…be careful to enjoy this present too , for these carefree days ,shall never return , and nor will that youthful glow , that distinguishes you from me … Retain this undiplomatic and chirpy nature , and don’t let the circumstances change you into anyone different.’……………..
She gazed at me in amazement…then smiled ,the same carefree smile of youth….