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A Letter to my Covid-stricken, anxious self

Dear Akanksha,

It’s time you got up, wiped those tears and realized the ‘Chetna’ that you had developed for yourself.

Tie those hair strands into a bun, like you always did- unconsciously putting the scattered strength together. It’s been long you sat down and contemplated over the rhyming scale of your raw poetry, even longer than you stood in front of the mirror to decide a ‘spontaneous’ pose for the next outing. You have been a perfectionist, even in hopping on Bollywood music, haven’t you?

Why do you feel so imperfect all of a sudden? Why do you feel unloved and hollow?

There are people wanting to see you fall. Rise and show them your phoenix avatar. There are people who pray for you- won’t you treasure their love?

It’s okay if there’s no plan yet. I know it’s seeming all dark and dreadful. You find yourself suffocating in a lightless room with no way out. But I’m here to remind you to ‘open your eyes.’ There’s plenty of light, there are not one but multiple ways and the world is bitter-sweetly beautiful. Just Open Your Eyes.

You relate with Antonio’s dialogue much more than ever. Back when you had read the Merchant of Venice in class 10, you always skipped that ‘insignificant’ dialogue- didn’t you? But now that you relate to it, you feel like getting back to it again and again. Because why not? The world has been shut down and none but the dialogue understands you.

But the warmest and the most understanding people are waiting for you to smile and talk to them. Hold on to them. Go give a jhappi to Ma and Papa. Snatch the remote from Ayush and order him to get a glass of water for you. Fight over the speed of fan and the volume of the TV. Seems ages since you last did all this, doesn’t it?
You have surrounded yourself with all kinds of insecurities and apprehensions in no time. You have been losing yourself, bit by bit, every moment. Do you forget the battles you have fought so far? Do you forget the promises you have made to yourself?

Let us NOT.

Let us keep the spark alive. Let the dreams breathe. Let us set ourselves free from the shackles of the unwanted.

Your grades will be good. You’ll figure out the answer for ‘what next?’ Your decisions will be respected even if they don’t align with your parents’ wishes. Things will take time, but they’ll be worth it.

I wish you knew where you’ll be standing in the next few months, the amazing people you’ll be meeting and the plethora of opportunities that will be knocking at your door. Had you known, you wouldn’t have at least overthought and overstressed your little mind all these nights.

Nonetheless, I want you to learn. Learn to love yourself the way you are. Flawed. Imperfect. Crazy. You. I want you to accept yourself first- accept your choices yourself before seeking validations.

And as I write this to you, I infuse the much-required strength in myself. For I too, am fighting another battle in a different battlefield, my victory depending on yours. You win- I win. You lose- I don’t get on the field. So be a knight, hold your sword and fight like there’s a glorious tomorrow waiting for you.

There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark. You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are!

With love,
Your diminishing precious self.


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