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20 Things I Want to Tell My 20-Year-Old Self As I Turn 30

The first decade of adulthood will be equal parts exciting and perplexing. As I turn thirty, I feel like I am farther away from understanding it than I’ve ever been. But here are twenty pieces of advice I can give you to make this treacherous decade a tiny bit easier to navigate.

The Peripheries of Travel

I hadn’t started ‘travelling’ in the spiritual sense of the word until about five years ago. I assumed this lack of experience was serving me well during the corona lockdown because I hadn’t caught the travel-withdrawal bug. An encounter with an aggressive bird made me realise that there are parts of travel that I do miss – like learning whether the birds in the new city are bigger jerks than the ones back home.

When Parents Stop Being Heroes

Parents stop being heroes at some point. And the circumstances leading up to it are always ugly. You realise they made the wrong call more times than you can count. You realise that the world didn’t screw them over; their worldview is screwed. You get frustrated when they don’t listen to you telling them to not make another mistake. You give up.

The Writer

For someone who had always wanted to be a writer, she was very reluctant about taking up the apprentice job. She had applied along with her friends when they had seen the advertisement. “It’s a great learning opportunity!” they’d said. He was a bestselling author with a broken right hand. He needed someone to type his next book, ‘Adrenaline’. She was not a fan of his work. But the job paid well and he’d picked her from thousands of applicants.

Nicknames

My husband calls me Cookie and I call him Boo. Anyone who knows my husband and I in real life would have a hard time believing that we have such ‘cute’ nicknames for each other. We used to be so anti-cute when it came to our relationship that even our close friends didn’t know we were dating for the longest time. I can’t pin-point when we gave each other these nicknames. But I remember how it happened and it’s quite dumb.

The Women of Ponniyin Selvan

All of Kalki’s characters, male and female, are brilliant. They are too good to be true but I liked Ponniyin Selvan in spite of that and the key reason is that I was completely taken in after I met the first formidable female in the book. This kind of equality in the attention given to male and female characters is what, I thought, the world was moving towards. But never did I realise that it was done and dusted sixty years ago.

Lemon and Lemonade

If life were a person, it’ll be the cruel kid that destroys a line of ants, one ant at a time. Life is unfair and ruthless. Life strips down your best-laid plans. Life strikes you where it hurts the most. Life doesn’t understand relationships. Life hasn’t the vaguest idea about ambition. Life loves hard work

In Memoriam: MSV, as Remembered by a Millennial

MSV composed songs that didn’t just stand the test of time but transcended it. Working closely with the great lyricist Kannadasan, he came up with compositions that captured the very essence of life. Whether you are a doting sister or a dying soldier, MSV has a song for you — a song for every emotion, a song for every occasion. These songs are in no way MSV’s greatest, commercially or critically. These are just the songs that stuck with this particular millennial in spite of the parental pressure.

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My name is Prashanthini Mande. I am a marketer, storyteller, reader, postponer, binge-watcher, and the most recent Beyonce fan. I like to write and this is where I put up stuff I am brave enough to publish. The posts you see on this page are some of my favourites!

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