It was a pleasant surprise. During my five-day trip to home, I had least expected to find out that notepad, lost years ago, and it surfaced from nowhere. Inside it was some small scribbling and, surprisingly, his address. A long-lost friend, I had recently wished if I could trace out his address.
I lost no time in getting an envelope out of my collection and sitting, but took some time and corrections to actually complete a letter – written to a friend after four long years.
I still remember the very first line I wrote in a letter. It was ‘enikku oru football vedichu tharanam’ (buy me a football), written as the last line in an envelope. My maaman (maternal uncle) was writing his monthly letter for my kochachan (paternal uncle). Close friends, they used to write letters to each other regularly. And in one of them, went my first line. I was hardly seven then.
Then it became the last page of the airmail my mother bought. Achan was very particular that his son should write to him, at least twice a month. He never broke the chain, but I did, often. At that time, telephone wasn’t commonplace in our area. We used to wait for the once-in-a-month ISD call made by my dad, at our neighbour’s place.
We got our phone in 1996. The flow of letters continued for three-four years more, and then it dwindled to scribbling in the greeting cards. Picking up the phone and dialing was far more convenient than buying, writing and posting and envelope. Telegraph suddenly turned an ancient method to convey emergency messages.
Writing to friends continued till I took up the job in 2006.
Then, a few weeks ago, I felt like writing a letter to my dad. Envelope was ready inside my folders, so writing was no problem at all. After four days, he called up, asking “What’s this man? Where’s your phone?”
I have completed yet another letter, and I’ve asked him to reply. I plan to give my cell phone number only in my reply to his letter. He’ll be surprised, that’s for sure. It’s been eight years since we had our written correspondence. Life, after so many twists, has made me a journalist.
How will he be? Will he be still there at the old address? No clue. Anyway, I am posting it. Hope the letter reaches him. Hope he writes back.