You must be surprised to be receiving this letter from me. It must thrill you to know that this letter is from your future self. The problem is that, as is usual with you, this thrill is likely to be misplaced much like the thrill you get out of showing your palm to anyone claiming nodding acquaintance with palmistry. But, let me not anticipate your reactions.
World wars may be fought, people may get worked up about corruption and governance,
may lose at Cricket and food may be getting scarce but you would only be
worrying about your performance at school. So, there is hardly a point in my
telling you all about the world, for you would only skip it as not being
important for getting good grades. So let me concentrate on school.
You will be astonished to know that you can get something right! You always were afraid that you would have a pretty undistinguished academic performance at school and how right you were! It may make you glad to know that you did not etch your name in the records of the school for the most abysmal performance ever by a student – but having said that, I have said all that can be told in praise of your school performance.
You were always the sort to keep picking at a scab and irritating the wound. It is unlikely that you will be satisfied with a general statement and will want a subject-by-subject dissection of what went wrong. Do not blame me if you feel like burying your head in the nearest coal mine.
In English you were decent and continued being so. You, however, never make any great use of it. You could have learnt to say, “The government has callously disregarded the danger to pedestrians etc. etc.” instead of “The government has not taken care of pedestrian needs etc. etc.” and become a top-notch journalist. You could have learnt to write, “What is Life without xxx Deo” and become a advertising guru – you did not! All the use you will put your English to is to say, “Dear Sir, With reference to your letter no. ….. dated……….”!
I know mathematics is always your bugbear. For you mathematics is mathematics and apples are apples. So, if someone asked you, “If you had five apples and you gave me three, what would you have left?” you get angry about the other guy asking you for three of your apples. Physics and chemistry only confused you and biology made you gag at night remembering the half dissected frog jumping all over the place to the tune of squeals from your fellow-students.
Despite all that, you will get into Engineering (IIT?? No! This is not a daydream, boy, this is a statement of future fact) and even pass out. The problem is that you may be able to pass exams but you will realize that being an engineer is a lot more (and a lot less) than adding B.E after your name.
You know how great your geographical orientation has always been. So, when you find in the control room that a valve has gone bust and it needs instant action to avoid a catastrophe, you run around in circles crying piteously, “Valve! Valve! Where is the valve?” Not quite the picture of the dashing engineer running to the rescue of the production unit, is it? (Well! You can take pride in the fact that it is people like you that probably caused the invention of the GPS – a step-by-step guide to reaching your bathroom, among other things!)
That will shift you into the arena of finance via an MBA. Since addition and subtraction is just about what you are capable of, you do not do too badly there. The biggest realization of your life dawns on you later. No matter what esoterica of mathematics a person learns, what is most important to him is addition. People spend all their lives adding up their wealth and going gaga (or not!) about the total. Whatever else they may do to eke a living, they end almost every day in enjoying this additional activity!
I will leave you on a happy note! You were right about one other thing. You always thought that you would hate working – and, boy, you have no idea how right you will prove to be in the rest of your life!
With best wishes,
You from the future