Sunday, January 2, 2011

Letter from Santa

Dear Mr. Singh,
1 January, 2001

I don’t think you remember me. I mean, I’d have to take you 10 years back, to a mental image of what you were then – a 17-year old. Yes, it’s true. Let me explain.

You remember being introduced to the concept of internet? And the electronic mail too? And how it drove your imagination (and mine too) wild? And how you linked your understanding of the internet to the concept of the multiverse? So you came up with this theory that the internet is possibly the only mode of communicating with a parallel universe. And possibly with the future too. So to find out for yourself, you send yourself a mail. And address it to yourself 10 years from now? Well, here I am.

As you’d remember, I am very curious to find out a lot about how the next 10 years turn out for you. And I know you understand, so you will refrain from sharing any information that can alter the shape of the space-time fabric. But still, it is this curiosity that has driven me so far. And you surely understand that too.

Okay, lets strike a deal here. I ask you only three questions. And those are related what has happened over the last three-four days. Here we go.

Firstly, I’m very impressed by what’s happening on the world wide web. So would I have property in this world wide web which would only be dedicated to me. As in if people land on this web page, all they’ll ever find is everything about me?

Secondly, would I ever get to drive a McLaren F1 in the next 10 years?

Lastly, will I be working somewhere cool, where I will be encouraged to work on the internet?

Looking forward to hear from you.

Yours truly,

Dear Santosh,
1 January, 2011

Of course I remember. How could I forget that wild idea. Well, I know you waited for a couple of days, hoping against hope, reason and logic for a reply. And I know I’m replying to your mail 10 years too late. But the reason I reply to this mail is because I still believe. In your idea. Your ability. And your innocence. Yes, that’s true. It was easily your first failure, after which you start curbing your ideas on the pretext of being realistic. When I think about it, I wonder which was a bigger failure, your silly experiment, or your silly outlook towards life after the outcome of that experiment. I don’t believe in a parallel universe anymore, and I cannot imagine anything that will help me connect to you, a memory of what I was 10 years back. But I write to you, and hope it reaches you in time. If only to encourage you to take the other path.

You don’t realise the strength of your first question. You asked me this question and decided to wait for an answer. And when you don’t see one in the next two days, you completely forget about it. Till you remember this freak incident 10 years later. And then unearth this mail from your mailbox (it’s amazing who you maintain a mail account with that childish name even 10 years later). Another chap asks himself the very same question, comes with an answer for himself, develops his idea, and gets a million dollars for it. Yes, you will own a property on the web, and if anyone lands on your page, they’ll only have access to your thoughts. But let me be honest. That’s really not saying much. And no, before you go into any of your romantic notions, ‘You’ve Got Mail’ is a ridiculous movie.

I wonder why you’d ask me the second question. And then I remembered. Let me put my gyan cap on and tell you, there’s more to life than what NFS 2 can teach you. No you won’t drive a McLaren F1. Not if you continue playing NFS 2 for countless hours, unless you can think of a radical idea for NFS 3 (Yes. For your information, NFS 2 was never really the best game ever. In fact it isn’t even the best NFS game ever.)

Now coming to your last question. Yes, your job will require your working on the internet all the time. I dare say, you’ll be writing emails for the rest of your life, and you’ll even make a job of it. Yes, not to forget, what you have learnt at that stage of your life (which also includes MS office and MS excel) is all the education you’ll need for the rest of your life.

When I think about it, I’ll say the dark ages of your life will begin on the day you decide to grow up, when you get rid yourself of the last figment of your imagination. And it will possibly end on the day when you entertain a childlike notion once again, realizing that it’s completely alright for an adult to start thinking like a child.

May this mail reach you in another world, another universe possibly, and in the words of a great poet – may you stay, forever young.

Santosh ‘Santa’ Singh.