I am back from a long vacation and whenever evening falls, I think about you. I talk to granny over the landline phone sometimes and I wish I had your number instead.
Days pass by and one fine day, I am riding on a scooter with dad. Dad takes me to a post office to buy stamps.
I look at the post office and the lines at the counters, mails, more mails, big mails, envelops, white, brown, yellow, blue. All the khaki-colored postman shifting from one cabin to another. Out from the glass windows and iron-clad shutters, I see them riding on bicycles collecting the envelopes putting in the bags coming and going. I look up to the fans moving slowly and tube light hanging in a funny fashion just like fans.
I see a man, putting on his khaki cap and walking with a bag of letters towards the exit.
What is this place? I am lost in between the legs of adults and keep holding the dad’s hand. On the way out I see a letterbox. The red-colored black cap letterbox and a person opening the letterbox, collecting all the letters putting it in a big white sack.
I look at the postman busy hoarding the letters and dad hands me the stamps to hold. I look at the several little stamps over the leaflets and I see numeric units, different colored, and beautiful stamps.
I look at the person again and see all the letters having stamps over them. I am amazed and I ask Dad
“What are these for?” I say pointing towards the letter box
–“To send letters.”
–“To whomsover we want.”
–“You should know the address and letter is sent by the post office.”
“What are these for?” I wave the stamps at Dad.
–“These are to post the letters. They are called postage stamps.”
I am looking at the postage stamp and I read the denomination on them. I come back home and find my mother writing letters with the beautiful multicolored wristbands rakhi’s. I am enthralled. I look at the three written letters over the table and I read. They are all addressed to my uncles and cousins.
She nicely wraps the rakhi’s inside the letters and puts the letters inside of the white envelope, she glues the envelope, writes the address and takes the postage stamp from me, and sticks several on every corner.
There are four-five envelopes ready to be posted. I go with Dad the very next day and he asks me to put it inside the letterbox. I look at them one by one. I put it inside the letterbox and feel joyful, like I am doing something amazing, dropping off those letters.
I feel extreme happiness doing so until the last letter reads
Dadabari Extension Kota” addressed to Granny.
I remember you instantly
Vatsal Kunj… D-149… I jump in joy. I will write you a letter. My first love letter to you Vatsal. What crazy excitement! I still can’t believe that so in love kid heart with just a mere keeping in touch with you, to send you a letter all this way.
I wonder, people love with limitations when they grow young, and here I was in the limitless sea of feelings for you, which knew no bounds, no extent, no limitations.
I come back home and write words, words of our first conversation.
I hope this letter finds you well and in the best of health and spirits. I am doing well here. I hope you are back from Bombay and your grandmother is well. I left my grandmother’s house and came back here. In the evenings I hope you still play with Rishi, Krisha, Dhaani, Anmol, and Priyank. I have taught my friends here the games you taught me. I wish we could have played together. I hope your studies are going well. I will be having my exams soon. I miss you a lot on the park swing. I now jump off my park wall without feeling scared. Thanks for teaching me. I am playing football these days, will play football together with the next summer.
I miss you a lot.
I wrap up the page nicely and steal an envelope from Dad’s drawer. I carefully write the address over it. I then go steal the postage stamps and then I go again and bring the glue to stick the stamps and seal the letter, with love in my heart.
I leave the house and walk towards the post office. I walk slow tiptoeing from the house hiding the letter, as soon as I am a little far, I am running, and while I run, I am reminded of the face I first saw in the park that day. That joy, that excitement, that unwavering faith in the feet and heart to get that swing, I feel the same excitement while grabbing the letter close to my heart and running like no one else mattered in this world other than you. I am panting and breathless. I soon reach the letterbox. I carefully remove the creases and I drop them inside the letterbox, bigger than my height. I hug the letterbox.
I wish you get my letter soon and may next vacation be the most adventurous vacation ever. I dance the way you dance on the way back home and in so many days since I returned, I was the happiest today.
Ha, who knew that happiness was love after all? I wish if you ever got them, my letters full of love, if you ever read them, if you ever felt that love, return me back my love, that pure love that I once felt for you, that out of this world feeling for you, back to me. I want to see myself, crazy, stupid and in love with you.
I wrote you letters and would post you every month. I would hide and would go to the letterbox and drop it, and every time I dropped a piece of my heart inside, I would feel so in love with you.
I would keep wondering if you got my letter, the wait was long and it would be next year I would see you. I wished I could come to see you, or you could come here. I just count the days for the next summer to come soon. I am waiting to meet you more than I ever wished for my birthday to arrive, I couldn’t wait for the next holidays to see you.
I think about all the days, all the jumps, all the sunsets, all the mudpies, all the laughter, and my heart is lost somewhere… I left it with you.
TO BE CONTINUED