24 May, 2010
Did you know Jawaharlal Nehru was having a torrid affair with Lady Mountbatten, the wife to the last Viceroy of British India...and Lord Mountbatten had full knowledge of it?
And also that over a period of many years, Nehru wrote a letter everyday to his lady...a suitcase filled with which was discovered eventually from her possessions!
A letter EVERY day!
My god, that is HUGE!
Imagine the sense of the feeling of holding a sheet of paper in the hand with scribbles of someone you love, the handwriting baring a familiarity and also perhaps a not-so-moist now imprint of lips that would have touched it before sealing it in the envelope...
Mails then don’t just remain sheets of papers and envelops!
Mails then contain a beating heart! The feelings and emotions of those sending it as well as those waiting with bated breath to receive it!
How I miss receiving letters delivered by the postman*other than receipts, e-notifications n reminders now*!
Thankfully, my generation still has an inkling of how it felt.
While I was growing up, I was extremely fond of purchasing cards and sending them to people, even those whom I only remotely knew, on their birthdays and anniversaries and even on New Year’s, etc.
I would write long mails to my cousins and friends who parted ways after leaving school and went to hostels.
*Sadly those tendencies still continue...I can’t write ANYTHING short!*
I still have a stack full of mails from those times, neatly and chronologically piled! When I read them...there’s a great sense of nostalgia!
I guess my writing skills were honed from the fact that I regularly would pour out all that was happening with me in these mails!
The anticipation of checking the mail box every day also reminds me of the foolish game of watching those little black birds, teeming in the surroundings and us chanting:
1 for sorrow
2 for joy
3 for letter
4 for toy/boy*depending upon the age I guess*
5 for silver
6 for gold
7 for a secret never to be told!
And you were supposed to give flying kisses to these birds while counting them to make the rule come true! Although all of us pined to spot the adventure-dipped 7...sighting any number except 1*which was mercilessly cursed*, was enough to satiate the simple hearts!
Needless to say, when I would espy 3 birds, my urge to reach home from school would become more intense, as I would be kissing weirdly through the bus window at them*thankfully the pouts were never misconstrued by those who watched this ritual being performed by every other girl moving past in school buses*
*Psst...Let me also share here how we screwed up this poor rhyme one notorious day:
1 for a hug
2 for a kiss
3 for a boyfriend, never to be missed!
4 for a love bite
5 for a sad fight
6 for flirting with few
7 for smooches just for you!
Oh yeah...we were a completely focussed bunch of teenagers!*
Yes, letter writing was an art...
The frustration when you would write one word wrong, spoiling the beautiful alignment of all the others...often motivated me to crumble the entire sheet into the bin and begin all over again!
The keenness of viewing your name on the envelope and following it with the guess game of who could it be from!
Writing neatly and painstakingly every word, for the reader to feel you, while he read what you wrote!
And if the envelope was scented or heavier than usual...the lub-dub of the heart beat reaching the levels of Mt. Everest!
Being impressed by the handwriting, the lucid flow, a cartoon here and there, a smiley face, the signature...it all bore immense significance, which perhaps the generations after us would not be able to experience!
You may have computer memory full of chats saved...but no paper that you just randomly pick up from the shelf and hold it close to feel how your beloved would have held that very sheet before sending it to you! And moving your fingers over the very words!
Yes, letter writing was a symbol of much romantic concoction!
I recently overheard of a letter written by the famous Romantic poet John Keats, in a movie called Bright Star! He had fallen head over heels in love with a lady called Fanny Brown, inspiring many of his immortal poetic creations! However their togetherness was short lived as Keats died an unfortunate death, succumbing to illness and in the belief that he was a failure.
The world now marvels, reads, quote his creations to soothe the burning hearts of lovers! I have jotted down here whatever I remembered of it with a few additions of my own...for love always gets me carried away!
The day today is very fine...
I would have had the pleasure of enjoying it, if the remembrance of you had not weighed upon me...
Ask yourself my love,
Was it not so cruel of you to enchant me so?
To destroy my freedom?
I don’t know how to express my emotions to so fair a woman...
Find a brighter word than bright...
A fairer word than fair!
I almost wish we were butterflies...
To live but three days!
And three such wonderful days with you,
I could feel much delight than fifty common years could ever give me!
And as I write, I kiss the softest words that mark the paper here...
You kiss them too...
So I get the feeling that your lips have been where mine were...
Inspired by Keats...here’s a little attempt of my own*wish there was somebody to send this to also...sigh!*
It is a cruel conspiracy of eternal forces to have brought us together, made us realize how deep and fulfilling love can be and yet keep us apart!
To make us feel what true and doubt-free feelings are!
Emote the fierce emotions, we never thought existed!
Express the words, which erupt effortlessly from the unknown cores of our desires!
Had I not known you...I would have carried on in the hum drums of life believing love to be a fabrication of good writers and an outcome of pregnant imagination!
I would have continued to think of the heart as just an organ!
I would have enjoyed moments of solitude, riches of books, reaped the joys of friendships, and gloated in the pride of ornaments...all of which hold no significance or lustre now!
For now I have not a moment that is mine alone...without you!
Moments become experiences when they are marked by your presence in my thoughts and miracles when you are actually there!
It is ironic that I desire to merge into you to understand my true identity and purpose of coming into this world!
It is unfortunate that we can visualise each other all day, but the moment we reach out a hand to touch what seems so real...you are just not there!
I pine for you, but painful how so ever it is...it is also comforting!
I burn in desire and do so willingly, to re-emerge from the ashes!
I look forward to being alone not to think about you...for I do that all the while...but so that I can smile thinking about you!
Love you more than me and more than you,
Breathing till I see you again and thereafter start to live,