Advice from an 18 year old

September 20, 2019 – some very disturbing news. A friend from our neighbourhood in Mumbai lost his 18-year old son. How this exactly happened is yet to be ascertained, but given that he hadn’t been able to clear his Std 12 exams, he must have been feeling down. Whether a freak accident or an intentional act at home, the loss of a young life is heartbreaking.

While the family grapples with the situation, social media is abuzz with comments about the academic pressures on our high school children. I was reminded of a short speech by my son Siddharth a few weeks ago. Siddharth, like this young boy, did the Std 12 exams in March 2019. He was the topper in our apartment complex in Mumbai, in terms of marks obtained. On Independence Day, after the flag hoisting, our local apartment group generally recognises the achievements of children and this year he was honoured to be asked to talk to those present.

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