Dear “40-year-old-Bidisha” ,
I really hope you are Dr. Bidisha by now. Can’t say about your surname, though. It might have changed, now that you are married. Still, I hope it has changed because YOU CHOSE TO DO SO.
How are you? Have you been exercising just as much? Do you still NOT get offended when kids call you “Aunty” and not “Didi/Baa”? I’m sure you’re just the same, and that you still believe in ageing with grace. (Hell, the lack of emoticons in letter-writing is frustrating!!) I repeat, how are you, hon?? Does your new “family” give you a headache at times, like you used to give our Mom?
Is this bloating thing for real? Do you feel insecure about those post-pregnancy stretch marks, wrinkles and graying hair? Does anyone, at all, understand the mountain of problems that give you mood swings?? Do your husband, parents, in-laws and children still love you just like the day you first met? Are you a financially stable unit?? Because guess what, money can’t buy happiness but more often than not, it’s just as important as air!! Then there is “black” money and “white” money. Both are MONEY if you ask me. But the “white” money doesn’t allow you to eat at luxurious restaurants every weekend.
Where do you work now? Are you still a dreamer, who dreams of painting all day long? Or has life made you more “practical” than you ever were? Tell me, do you need to keep the people you love ENTERTAINED to make the stay forever? Do you forgive people easily? Because the last time I checked, holding grudges never did good to the younger you. I really hope you have accepted the fact that not everyone stays. Best friends, great neighbours and children move to different places; move on with life, apart from you, but always stay in your heart.
Are you a loving person? Do you have children of your own? And have you adopted a kid from that orphanage you always talked about? You used to say what a great thing it would be to love a motherless child. And yes, do you and your spouse still look at each other like Jerry looks at cheese? Does it bother him that you might have gained some weight and cellulite and lost some temper? Is the ‘Happily Ever After’ thing real? Are you guys friends with your children? Do you plan to banish all the taboos from their upbringing? Will you discuss sex and relationships with them unlike our parents who never did? Will you teach them about the water, moon, stars, books, poems and melodies ? Will you give them religious freedom and tell them that wars are bad? Do tell them, that everyone fights two wars all the time: A War with the world, and a War within self. Teach them morals. Teach them how to be humble and tell them that honesty, compassion and a humble nature makes us great.
I guess I have written more than you need to read. But a reminder, just in case you change.
Love everyone. And most importantly, love yourself. Establish a belief system within yourself that pushes you to take on this world, one day at a time, and makes you love your life.
Above all, never lose hope. Have faith.
Love, now and always,
25-year-old Bidisha Sarkar