Dear 16-year-old Basant,

Dear 16-year-old Basant, 

A few months ago, I came across a letter that Pete Sampras wrote to his 16-year-old younger self ( and it struck me that I should write to you such letters to let you know why I think you should allow yourself to fail and slow down a bit (and not get sucked into always looking ahead, as Sampras tells his Pete).

I’m slightly busy with my writing assignments. I promise I’ll send you a long letter by this weekend. You please find time to read what Sampras has written to his younger self. And if you’re in a mood to enjoy some brilliant writing on tennis, try this David Foster Wallace gem on the physics and metaphysics of tennis (

Work hard, do it on your eccentric terms and stay true to yourself. Don’t worry too much about your stammering. You’re too headstrong a bird person to let that clip your wings. 



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