Dear Amit (2006),
Today I am going to talk to you about family. When you leave home in 2006 for the second time that will be one of the few times that you will see you family for the next six years. You will miss home but your bond with them will grow stronger as the time spent apart grows. When you graduate in 2012, you will not have seen your family for over 3 years. I tell you this not to scare or discourage you, but so that you can tell them how much you love and respect them before you don’t see them again for a long, long time; spend time with them.
You will miss Mom every time you sit down to eat by yourself in your apartment. However, you will never tell her that directly and say that you miss her food instead. She will understand what you mean, she’s your mom after all. Most Mothers-Days you will be too broke to send her a gift, but you will never tell her that you are broke because she will worry. You will say you forgot.
You will forgive Dad for the past and you will get to know him all over again. He will try to get to know you too, but will struggle to keep up with the pace with which you are changing. You will look up to him again and your relationship with him will be more of a mentor-mentee kind than, father-son. You will still not show him how much you care, but deep down you will always know that without him you would have never gotten to this point in life. You will learn to be grateful to him for that. He never had parents growing up and had to fight the world to educate himself and give you a better life. He doesn’t want you to go through the same thing and so he will try. You will learn that both of you have similar dreams in life. In fact, you are a manifestation of his dreams. You will learn that you have the chance to fulfill his unfinished ambitions through your achievements.
Take the time to get to know Ankita. She will be your annoying little sister when you leave, but when you see her next time she will be a beautiful, young woman full of dreams and aspirations of her own. Playing pranks on you will not be her biggest priority of the day anymore. She will be juggling all the world’s problems like you, perhaps, better than you. Take time to tell her you love her and that assure her that, no matter what, she can count on her brother to be there for her. She will quietly follow your footsteps in life. She will slowly fill the void that you created for Mom & Dad when you left. She will tell you she misses you and wouldn’t want anything more than to cook a Sunday brunch with you again. You will miss her too, but will never find the words to say it out loud. Try hard to find them because they mean the world to her. My other piece of advice is to let her be herself. Many male figures enforce their opinion of how a perfect, or admirable woman should act. Let Ankita be who she wants. Don’t let her feel she has to change for a man’s approval. And don’t you ever assume that you have the power to change a woman or a girl.
Finally, don’t forget to spend quality time with each of them before leaving home. You’ll regret it later, otherwise.