Somewhere in early 2000, I wrote my last letter to Mom. Parents were in Kolkata at that time, me, Bro and Bags were in Pune. For the first time in my sheltered life, we were living away from parents, from the comforts of a bustling household, from the aroma of fresh, tasty food, from the ignorance of managing a house and the many, many little things one needs to do to keep the home running.
Living alone brought along its hardships, right from washing utensils to clothes, sweeping, mopping, cooking, the works. Bro used to work long hours, Bags was in a management course and had ungodly hours at college. I was the free one, giving up a post-graduate seat because I didn’t want to pay for it and preparing for the admissions for the next year.
Since I was home throughout the day, looking after the house became my responsibility. It wasn’t easy, far from it. I had trouble deciding what to cook for the three different meals. I had to keep an inventory of the groceries needed so that Bro could buy them in one go. Luckily, he loved shopping for vegetables too, so that saved me some trouble 🙂
My routine comprised of cleaning up the house, washing clothes (in the washing machine 🙂 ), washing utensils (by hand), cooking, folding dry clothes, sorting vegetables, folding laundry , etc. In the evenings, we usually sat down to do our studies, me and Bags. We didn’t have a television, so we either used to watch a movie on the desktop (which had a 2 MB hard disk *gasp* ) or simply listen to the radio (Aakashwani, since Radio Mirchi wasn’t born yet).
We used to call up parents regularly (thankfully, we had a land-line) and it was comforting to share our domestic tales with Mom.
One day, after a fight with Bro over making tea, I got fed-up of managing the house and instead of calling Mom, sat down to write a letter. A couple of drafts later, I realized how utterly juvenile my rants were. There was no need to worry Mom over such a trivial matter. So I just wrote a nice little letter, letting her know that all was well on our side and that we missed her.
I dont remember the date on which I wrote it, but it was definitely my last. I never wrote a letter after that 😐
Till this date, I wonder why! Mom LOVES letters. She loves reading them more than writing them. By the way, the second thing she excels at (the first being cooking) is writing. She writes in Urdu and believe me, if you could read her, you would relaize what a fine writer she would make (if only she agreed to publish her diaries 😐 )
Many a times, Mom would gently remind us to write letters. We would say, yeah sure and then completely forget about it. As long as we could call her up and update her on our status, all seemed to go perfectly fine with us.
I went on to get a job and Dad gifted me my first mobile (Nokia 3315. Remember anyone??). Distances grew shorter. I could call parents anytime I wanted 🙂 . I would send Dad a hundred messages, mostly irrelevant and he would message me back to shut up 😀 . Life was fun. But not for Mom. Even till recently, when she was in Pune, she said, “I’m not tech-savvy like your Dad. I can’t read mails…so why don’t you just write me a letter?”.
As usual, I assured her that I will. And I didn’t 😐 .
So imagine my surprise when I see this envelope waiting for me when I reached home yesterday! The address was in Dad’s handwriting, but the minute I opened it, I knew it was from her. She is the only one I know who has the capability to really fill a letter, if you know what I mean 🙂 . There were two foolscap pages covered back-to back in her neat, tiny handwriting. I don’t have words to describe how it felt to receive a letter. Bikram does a much better job here 🙂
Needless to say, the letter was brimming with love and oozing concern and best wishes. I couldn’t get enough of it. I read it with a grin on my face, imagining Mom’s brows furrowed with worry as she wrote about how she worries and prays for me 🙂 .
I LOVED it. I LOVED it LOVED it LOVED it 🙂 🙂 🙂
And now comes the difficult part. I haven’t written a letter in ages. 12 and a half years, to be precise. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to fill a page 😐 . But you know what?? I sure am going to try. And there’s only one reason why. Because no matter how many times you call or send an email….nothing and I mean nothing can match up to the thrill of holding those papers close to you as you read them out, or as you clutch them to your chest and feel the love pouring right into you.
Can’t be so tough, can it?
I’m surely gonna try it out today.
Will let you know tomorrow 🙂
And oh, in case you want to try it out, write a little note to your loved one today. And see the difference 🙂