There was so much to learn, places to see, fortunes to make, reputations to shape, fall in love, break a few hearts, rebound from heartaches, and find my authentic voice. The only things I didn't have time for is to breathe or sleep.
Can't imagine I would have given up any of that for Twitter or Facebook.
How do today's twentysomethings manage it all?
The conventional wisdom is that India's economic growth is a consequence of reform.
In truth, we've barely had any reform. India is still infatuated with socialist chains that criminally impoverished two generations. The political contest is between the secular-left and the religious-left. The economy is still micromanaged with five year plans.
How has India grown when this discredited thinking took down the mighty USSR?
I think this has to do with growing confidence. A confident population consumes more things, which creates demand for products and services, which creates higher paying jobs, which creates a confident population.
This confidence is not the result of any geopolitical change or domestic policy. Rather, I'd argue, it's because India has progressively grown younger. The median age is now 26 years and falling. The youth may lack knowledge, experience, even social graces - but they don't lack confidence. A long life lies ahead, caution is not in their vocabulary.
I've not researched this but am certain that the older the Indian, the less confident he/she is.
You can see this in the polity. The octogenarians who pretend to rule India are anything but confident. Their inferiority complex on the world stage is something to behold. And despair about.
Caught between the uninformed confidence of youth and the unfortunate caution of the experienced, India sails on as a middling nation with delusions of past glory and day dreams of future greatness.
Amy Winehouse died recently. She was merely 27.
Silicon Valley is all about the young. Fresh ideas pursued with infinite boldness.
The young are busy shaping their era. Except, I fear, in India.
Maybe they are out there. Putting their heads down and chasing their dreams. Maybe those on social media are not the dreamers and doers. We should look elsewhere.
But what if this is not the case?
What are the big ideas and achievements of the youth bulge in India?
I may disagree with him, but Mr Anna Hazare has big ideas. And, Nandan Nilekani. They are not young. Where are the big ideas of youth?
When we think of art, we still debate M F Husain & bow before Gulzar. Where is the twentysomething art to give expression to a young India asserting its place in the world?
Let's take politics. Yes, there are a few young voices but they are hardly authentic. And, no, trolling people on twitter is not a big idea of politics.
I've interviewed a lot of people over the years for jobs. Many of them Indians. I've noticed a growing brashness in Indians, not usually substantiated with real knowledge.
I think of when I came to business school. All these smooth talkers discussing swaps and options and beta and gamma and this and that. I was rather unnerved for I had never studied economics nor ever understood what stocks and bonds are. Then, in my microeconomics class, I discovered I was the only one who understood what slope of a line is. Or, how compounding works. The rest, as they say, was a breeze.
I think that Indians used to be more like me. Maybe we didn't know all the fancy stuff but the foundations we knew better than anybody. This is why we won.
Now, they have become more like my classmates. They know all the fancy stuff but the foundations are cracking. You know where this leads.
India is growing because it is increasingly confident.
But it isn't reforming. And its confidence is the callow brashness of the young.
There is so much for them to learn, places to see, fortunes to make, reputations to shape, fall in love, break a few hearts, rebound from heartaches, and find their authentic voice. The only things they don't have time for is to breathe or sleep.
Or spend their time chitchatting on social media.
I'm not so confident about India's future. I guess my age is showing.