1 SEPTEMBER 2017

Dear Barb,

It's the 1st of September and I'm super super super excited for this month! I'll be with my parents in India in about three weeks and we're all going to line up and do the chicken dance. That's how we'll go home from the airport - walking in a straight line doing the chicken dance.

But boy oh boy are the next three weeks going to be hectic for us. Yesterday, after releasing Gurmehar Kaur's interview at 5 am, Shane and I got about three hours of sleep before we woke up and got to work. In the evening after we returned home, he collapsed on the bed and passed out. But before he fell asleep, he told me that the dream would be for me to work only from 9 to 5 as well so that I could pass out at 7 pm too. Because as Shane was falling asleep, I was sitting with you, getting some more work done.

Looking at the latter half of 2017 and the whole of 2018, I can't help but feel a pang of remorse. I know that things are going to get a lot more hectic for you in the coming months because you're in your final year of medicine. Classes haven't even commenced yet and you're already studying for a few hours a day on top of training for Table Tennis at least four hours every single day. Yesterday, as I sat there working with you like a zombie, you started listing what your medical career will look like in the next few years - "two years of practice followed by four years of specialisation and then I can finally..." - and I fell asleep. Just thinking about it all makes me feel tired for you, Barb. I really do hope you become something like a sports doctor or nutritionist so that you can balance this whole doctor business with things you're truly passionate about. I know I sound condescending of the medical profession but I know that you do so well as a doctor only because you're a hard working perfectionist with great time-management skills. You could have just as easily been a great engineer or lawyer or stockbroker. Your true talent, however, lies in sports and the day you make a career out of playing table tennis professionally, I'll do cartwheels with you. Hell, I'll even learn the sport myself so that I can understand what's happening.

But coming back to my pang of remorse, I think it stems from the fact that I will get less time with you in the coming months and maybe even the coming years. I trust you to manage your time spectacularly as you've always done but I still feel like things won't be that easy. But it's a good pang, you know. It kind of tells me that we're moving on to bigger things one step at a time and we're just getting better at taking them on.

Although, it makes me think that while Shane's hoping for me to work only from 9 to 5 some day, you're probably hoping to get enough sleep in the next few years. It's going to be a pretty long process, I assure you. But it'll only be the days that are long. The years will be short and we have to do our best to treasure them. And I'll be with you every step of the way, I assure you.

Love,
Ankita