Sunday, 31 January 2016

Saket Calling Saket

Ringg-ringg, ring-ringggg, the ringing phone caught me by surprise while I was taking a walk in my lawn. Did Anu, my wife, dropped her phone somewhere here? Or is someone playing a mischief.

The sound was coming from somewhere below the ground. I took a shovel and began to dig.  To my surprise, I found a time capsule with a phone in it. The phone was still ringing.

I took the call. A voice says “hello”. The voice is surprisingly familiar.

“Hello. “Is it Saket?” the voice asks.

“Yes, I am Saket,” I respond. “Who is it?”

“It’s you. I mean it’s me. Actually it’s me, but it’s you too,” the voice from the other side said.

I was confused. “What? Tell me again please?”

The voice responded, “Look, actually I am calling from the past. It’s the year 1992 now and I am your old self. I mean I am Saket, your good-self, at the age of 16 years using a future-phone to call you. So it’s your own 16-year-old-self talking to you now.”

Nothing made sense to me. I rubbed my ears.

He sensed my confusion, hence proceeded to clarify, “Look, someone gave me this phone today saying that it’s a ‘future-phone’, a phone which can be used to make calls in the future. This phone allows me to talk to anyone from the future. And I thought who else would be the best to talk to but my own future self. I dialled the year 2016 and now it’s me i.e. your 16-year-old-self talking to you- the 40-year-old Saket,” he explained hastily.

This was something weird, but still made some sense. I was on line with my old 16-year-old-self from the year 1992.

“OK,” I said. “Nice to connect with you, I mean me, or you. But tell me, what do you want to talk ?”

There was a pause. He cleared his throat and then said, “Actually I want to ask you a few things. A few questions.”

“As 40-year-old you definitely have a lot of things to tell to me,” he was polite and courteous.

“For me, learning from my 40-year-old-self now itself can be useful,” he explained. “This way, I may avoid some mistakes I might be poised to commit."

“And by sharing your wisdom with me will actually benefit you. My avoiding mistakes and doing things right will result in a better and more successful life for no one but you,” he showed me the carrot.

“Smart chap” I thought in my mind, as my hands spontaneously went behind my own back to pat.

“Ok. Go ahead. Ask whatever you want to ask me,” I said encouragingly.

“Thank you. Actually, I want to ask you three questions,”he said.

“What do you think is the secret of success?” he popped the first question.

I paused for a few second, then replied, “Well, buddy, I can tell you for sure, there are only two things which determine your success- Luck and hard-work.”

He seemed perplexed. “I thought you would tell me that it’s only hard-work!” “That’s what everyone around me says- my teachers, my father, and all those authors who write inspirational books,” he protested.

“I too would have said so had I been 16,” I replied.

He waited for me to explain.

“Look,” Try to think in a larger context.” “Luck dictates where you were born- whether you were born to rich parents in USA, or to poor ones in Somalia. This factor alone greatly determines whether as a 20-year-old, you would enroll in a university or slog in a field as an illiterate labourer.”

“Just be grateful that you were born to parents who have put you in the best school in the town. The education you are getting now is equipping you with skills you need to earn money and be successful. I don’t think you did something great to be born in this family. Did you?”

“The authors of inspirational books who write-off the role of luck in success, are giving themselves more credit than they actually deserve. Ask them, if they were born as an undernourished baby in Somalia, would they still be writing books?”

“I hope you understand my point.”

“But let me tell you that while you have no control over luck, you have full control on the hard-work part” I hurried to tell him. So don’t bother about luck and just concentrate on work ing hard. This is the best gift you can give to yourself.”

He seemed to agree with me.

The he asked the second question- “What is the secret of happiness?”

“Simple. Only two things – health, and money in that order. And when I say health and money, it's  yours as well as your family's. Don’t get fooled by guys preaching that love, spirituality, selfless service etc. etc. bring happiness. No. It’s just health and money. Period. If you have these two, all other things follow.

He felt surprised yet contented with my replies.

The he asked his third question, a bit hesitantly.

“How to impress girls?” “I mean what it takes to make them fall for you?”

I pondered for a while, then said, “Out of all, this one took me longest to figure out than anything else.” “I am glad you asked.”

“Confidence is the thing a woman looks for in a man,” I told.

“Confidence may be natural, or can be acquired, or can be faked”. “In whatever way it is, it’s the best aphrodisiac for women.”

Having said that, I hurried to add something more. “Hey you, I mean hey me. I still haven’t completed answering this question”. “I haven’t yet told you the most important part of it.”

He asked, “And what is that….?”

“Don’t chase women. Never ever chase women. We men have better things to do in life than chase women.”

“Rather than chasing women, chase money, chase fame and social status.  Or chase some passion, like climb a mountain, invent something new, find a cure for some disease, learn some art, excel in some sport………. "

"And let me tell you, even women have better things to do in life than deal with guys chasing them with a rose in hand,” I finished sharing my wisdom with my 16-year-old-self.

My 16-year-old-self thanked me profusely before bidding goodbye and hanging up.

* * * * * * * *

I was left wondering if the call was for real or an illusion.

But as I looked back on my life, I believed that the call was for real.  Looking at the way I had lived my life, I was sure that my 16-year-old self had not only conversed with me but had  followed most of the advices, if not all.

I buried the phone where it was. Its purpose was over.

But as I was walking back into the house, I paused, came back and dug-out the phone again.   

Holding the phone in my hand, I proceeded to make a call to my 60-year-old self……. 

I had quite a few questions in mind…………….

 * * * * * * * *
Read a mysterious story on the same prompt here

This post is written on following prompt in Indiblogger
(Thank you  Archana Kapoor for such an imaginative prompt)


  1. Well written post..
    enjoyed reading it !

    1. Thanks Ananya, for letting me know that you liked it.

  2. Nice post. I like the idea of calling the 60 year old self. I wish everyone could do this :)

  3. I liked this concept - the way you have used Karthik calling Karthik format to convey some pointed messages.

  4. I liked this concept - the way you have used Karthik calling Karthik format to convey some pointed messages.