A letter to a younger brother

Dear [redacted],

I couldn't stop thinking about something you said to me earlier and it made me rethink a lot of what I believe in. Then I realized something that put my mind at ease and I felt compelled to share it with you. To be completely honest, I had nearly forgotten what it feels like to get the shit kicked out of me. Thank you for reminding my arrogant, vain ass about it, haha. I want you to know that I deeply admired your ability to admit that you could be wrong. It takes a lot of guts to do that especially for someone as young as you are. Hats off!

Trepidation, admiration and joy all at once well up within me as I write this. I can't even imagine what must be going through your mind right now. I cannot claim to understand the depths of you. But of what I have learnt and felt in the short few years of my puny life, I know only that there are very few certainties in life. Perhaps the only thing that I know for certain is that what you and I have felt and learnt so far in life merely scrape the surface of what is in store for us. Today I was reminded of that and it brought me peace. I daresay I have seen and felt somewhat more than most people my age get to see and feel. Wonder beyond expression, wonder at this sublime, awe-inspiring world we live in. I wish I could share that sense of wonder with you some day. Wonder yes, but also pain and tremendous suffering that I pray you shall never encounter. I fear, though, that no matter what either of us might do or try, there will be beauty and wonders we will undoubtedly miss and suffer pain we never deserved. But such is life...

Brother, this world is not black and white but you probably already knew that. However, nothing you can read in a book or hear from someone can prepare you for the insurmountable complexity this world possesses. As much as we would like it to be otherwise, the world is not only not just black or white or a whole lot of grays but blues, pink, purple, red, green and every shade in the middle. I don't and perhaps never will fully appreciate the ambits of emotion and affect we will encounter in the journeys to be, but it fills me with joy that there is so much out there for us to love, experience and cherish. To that end, I wish you the very best for the journey forward. You may or may not feel this yet but I want you to know that you can lean on me and count on me to be there. :)

I wanted to pass on a letter I wrote a few years ago that I thought you might enjoy and also a few lines from one of my most cherished poems,

I sometimes wonder if that is what Krishna meant—
Among other things—or one way of putting the same thing:
That the future is a faded song, a Royal Rose or a lavender spray
Of wistful regret for those who are not yet here to regret,
Pressed between yellow leaves of a book that has never been opened.
And the way up is the way down, the way forward is the way back.

You cannot face it steadily, but this thing is sure,
That time is no healer: the patient is no longer here.
When the train starts, and the passengers are settled
To fruit, periodicals and business letters
(And those who saw them off have left the platform)

Their faces relax from grief into relief,
To the sleepy rhythm of a hundred hours.
Fare forward, travellers! not escaping from the past
Into different lives, or into any future;
You are not the same people who left that station
Or who will arrive at any terminus,​​
While the narrowing rails slide together behind you;
And on the deck of the drumming liner
Watching the furrow that widens behind you,
You shall not think 'the past is finished'
Or 'the future is before us'.

At nightfall, in the rigging and the aerial,
Is a voice descanting (though not to the ear,
The murmuring shell of time, and not in any language)
'Fare forward, you who think that you are voyaging;
You are not those who saw the harbour
Receding, or those who will disembark.

Here between the hither and the farther shore
While time is withdrawn, consider the future
And the past with an equal mind.
At the moment which is not of action or inaction
You can receive this: "on whatever sphere of being
The mind of a man may be intent
At the time of death" — that is the one action
(And the time of death is every moment)
Which shall fructify in the lives of others:
And do not think of the fruit of action.

Fare forward.
O voyagers, O seamen,
You who came to port, and you whose bodies
Will suffer the trial and judgement of the sea,
Or whatever event, this is your real destination.'
So Krishna, as when he admonished Arjuna.
On the field of battle.

Not fare well,
But fare forward, voyagers.

~ ​The Dry Salvages, T. S. Eliot​

Your brother now and always,

Diwank

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