Helping my parents pack their home of last 8 years or so and shift to a new place took both me and my sister on a trip down memory lane. All other times when they had moved, either we were too young or not able to come… each time, everything would get packed and somehow find it’s way in some corner of a cupboard or stacked away in the loft with an invisible table of “to be sorted later”. That “later” never came and the box was again moved to the next home as is.
This time is hopefully their last shifting as finally they are moving into a home of their own and both me and my sister came to sort, pack, unpack, and organize. Before the actual packing, we decided to go through each and every one of those boxes. One of the box had my name on it. It was a box that I actually had been looking for in my earlier visits home but never found and assumed it was lost in one of the moves. As I sat with it, I had mixed emotions of what I was going to find in it.
I knew I had packed it before my marriage and left it in a cupboard. Since then my parents have changed 3 homes and each time that box went into a loft. I opened it slowly and out came photocopies of Calvin & Hobbes that Sikander had made for me in IIT; some technical papers from my time in TI… most of them were of PLL and I remember how I used to be an expert in them and now it took me a minute to even remember their full form! :p There were neatly filed salary slips, bank statements, IT returns everything from those 5 years in Bangalore… and right at the bottom of the box was the most important package…
A simple poly bag filled with cards and letters. Letters from my grandmother, chachi, and school friends. Letters I had received when I left home for IIT. I am so glad that there weren’t any emails or mobile phones with Facebook, WhatsApp, FaceTime etc… Just plain old handwritten letters.
My nani wrote to me on inland letter paper… the blue coloured ones with pre-printed stamps. Did you know, these inland letter papers are now discontinued? When I went to the post office to ask for some, they were surprised I even know of them! No one uses them anymore.
I am now sitting with a cup of tea and my letters. Reading each one of them one by some. Some are addressed to “pyaari dimpi” (my name at home) and some to “Dearest Ashima”.. some are signed off as “Love me” and it is a riddle to figure out who must have written that… some have brought back memories of mischiefs done in younger days and friendships that are lost because now “we stay in touch through Facebook updates”. Each of these letters is like a story that is wanting to come back from the memories deep down!
I can’t turn back time, but I do want to bring back the emotions a letter used to bring. As I finish this blog post, I am going to pick up a pen and paper and writing one to a loved one.
If you are reading this, I hope you write a letter or even a small note and send it to your loved one.