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If you could go back in time, what would you do differently? Community members chime in

by Aiden

If you change your past, will you change your future?

By Amornrat Sidhu

Regret is a universal human emotion. You can live the perfect life and still feel it from time to time. All it takes is a visit down memory lane, to a moment when you were offered two choices, and you made a decision that unlocked a series of events that have now shaped your current reality. This begs the question: What would you do differently if you could go back in time?

Masala asks a few members of the Thai- Indian community their thoughts on this hard-hitting question.


Vanita Thakral
Substitute Teacher, 37

I studied at the University of Melbourne, and university life overseas is always a very special phase. You are young, you spend the majority of your time studying and you create unique bonds with the friends you make there.

I have realised that those bonds are nearly impossible to replicate later on, so looking back, I wish I had maintained my friendships with my university friends once we all graduated. Most of my friends are still in Australia, but one is close by in Singapore. Even after I left, one of my friends used to call me, write emails, and send Facebook messages. I did not reciprocate the consistent effort she was making, and now that I am much older, I really do feel a sense of loss.


Rachnee Singhsachakul
Business Owner, 41

I have always had a fascination with the Thai language and have always wanted to be a teacher. However, after completing my Bachelor’s degree from Siam University, I started working at Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). Before I could pursue my dream of teaching, I got engaged, married, and moved to Phuket. This was within a mere six months. I was the eldest in my family, and it was the understanding at the time that getting married was the priority. Life moved on – I had kids, and helped out with the family business of fine jewellery and souvenirs in Phuket. Also, not even a year ago, my sister-in-law and I decided to start selling Indian delicacies. Nevertheless, I still haven’t forgotten my original dream, and I will definitely get back to pursuing my Master’s degree in teaching, particularly in teaching the Thai language as that is my passion, as soon as I have the opportunity to do so!


The feeling of regret can seem to be quite a negative emotion at first glance. However, research has shown that wishing you behaved differently in the past can actually be quite advantageous. Studies have revealed that regret allows you to build wisdom from past events, using your reflection to modify your approach to current and future issues. Furthermore, the feeling of regret inspires introspection and motivates taking steps towards culminating inner and outer peace.


Nanki Chularatnaphol
Assistant Health Coach, 24

Many years ago, I lost a good friend due to a misunderstanding that was never cleared up. I always wanted to reach out to her, but I never did so. I thought that reaching out to her would be seen as a sign of weakness. As time went on, I realised that my ego was holding me back. However, I felt like it was too late to do anything about it because we have grown into different people now. I missed out on an opportunity to repair the friendship.

If I could go back in time, I would definitely reach out to her because it takes courage to forgive and let go of grudges. Currently, I’m prioritising relationships that are meaningful and fulfilling to me, and to make sure that this missed opportunity never rears its head again.


Ample research collectively shows that people’s greatest regrets are a reflection of where in life they perceive their greatest potential was and did not follow through on them. For most people, the areas where they see the most missed opportunities for positive development are in education, followed by career, and then romance.


Raspreet Kaur Arora
Nursery Teacher, 27

My internship during my Bachelor’s degree is definitely an experience I would do over if I had the chance to go back in time. I applied to many well-known hotels for my internship, so I could explore the hospitality industry as best as possible. My ideal position was at the front desk, but there were only two vacancies: a back- office position at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, and a position in the Sales and Marketing department in The Westin Grande Sukhumvit. I chose the latter.

Looking back, I think the position in the back office would have suited me more, yet sometimes I also feel like I acted too hastily and perhaps should have held out for a front desk position. That way, I would have enjoyed and learned far more from my internship than I did at the sales and marketing position at the time. However, finally, I think everything unfolds the way it needs to, and you just need to keep going and trust the process.


There is no question about it, our decisions in the past have shaped us and our situations now. Rather than let certain decisions loom over us, we can use our reflections on our past choices to mould a better future for ourselves. A future where we capitalise on tangible opportunities, prioritise significant people in our lives, and keep working towards our dreams no matter what.

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