Letters Unsent is an idea conceived by Santulan and we at Write Tribe are writing some letters to the selected few in our lives.
I have always had a fascination for the written word and I believe we express better if we write. The pre Internet phase has seen me write lengthy letters -as long as 12 to 18 pages- to my loved ones. I have still stored some of the prized letters people have handwritten to me in so many years. I value them more than the e-mails that I get now. Well, that’s another story.
As a part of the ‘Letters Unsent’ series, here, I write a letter to someone I loved and lost due to my failure. He was the yin that fitted my yan and I drew a crevice. I don’t know where he is today but by way of this letter, I hope (through some divine intervention) somehow he forgives me. My life turned out pretty well after him (God bless!), but I never got a chance to apologize to him, ever.
Betrayal can never be excused let alone forgiven. No one knows this better since now I know how it feels.
I was so young; I hardly knew what I actually wanted from life. I was yet to put a finger at the things I wanted for myself. I remember myself as a lonely lamb in a new city, trying to find my calling. Do you remember how we really met? I do! It was the most filmy it could ever get.
The age when Internet was a costly affair and chatting was the most ‘in’ activity for youngsters when I met you through a group chat. I remember how I was slamming a guy in the group because he was trying to act too smart and you were lurking around just observing and after a good one hour later that guy chickened out of the group and I received a PM from you saying ‘Good Job!’ That’s it! I said thanks and that was that.
After almost 3 days later you again joined the same group and I was there too and yet again you were quietly observing the conversations going on, with brief interventions only in monosyllables. Of course, I did not notice that you were there till I received a PM saying, ‘a very boring conversation, so dozing off, bye’. And you were gone! Poof! For another 12 days and when you returned you were chirpier than usual because I noticed. That was then and soon we became online friends.
And, yes, a month later…. we had to meet. A blind date? In a new city? Where I did not really have friends? Where my only confidante was my cousin who was the force behind pushing me to meet you? Nevertheless, I agreed. With butterflies in my tummy, I reached the predefined venue and after a brief hide and seek (I wanted to know I could trust you) we met. It was the most comfortable first meeting with anyone. You were kind, witty and so respectful. In my early twenties that’s the maximum qualification I could have sought. To top it, I became an instant fan of your occupation as a crime journalist. Wow!!
I remember the long chats we used to have sitting on the steps of Nirula’s, aimlessly wailing our time in McDonalds, walking through the empty roads of the North Campus, our trips to Dilli Haat, Sarojini Nagar and Panchsheel. I can’t forget the lone Gerbera you would get me every time you used to come and meet me. Even today, when I look at those flowers, I am reminded of you. I am reminded of you when I hear a similar sounding name. I remember how you loved being called by your ‘dak naam’. And the times when you used to get paged from work and would rush over after dropping me home. I remember the serenity on your face, at all times. I used to wonder how you could always stay so calm- all the time. I remember you helping me get a job with whatever we had. I remember you trying to buy more time with me by bargaining time on chats.
You were so honest to reveal all about your life, you family, your ambitions, your aspirations and your fears. I remember I was the one who held myself back even though I had nothing to hide. But I did. I was not completely honest with you. Sometimes, I was scared. I guess, at that time I was not ready to take the responsibility that I thought you were offering. I now realize I mistrusted your abilities and mine. I gave way too soon without trying myself. I feel sorry for myself now for I could not see how things could have worked out if I had wanted them to.
Years later, when I met you at your wedding, you held my hand, looked into my eyes and said ‘It’s your decision.’ I offered you the bunch of Gerbera I had got for you and you smilingly passed the same to your wife. The calm on your face reminded me of the last time you had said this to me when I disclosed my fears to you. I knew then that it was the last time we would ever meet. Of course, I never heard from you after that day.
I write here today, to you, only so my apology reaches you by way of the voice of the universe. I hope you forgive me for being so shallow at that moment in time. For once when I did not listen to my heart. For the one time, I thought I could decide for someone else. For the time when, I think, I betrayed you. I have been guilty for way too long and it takes immense courage for me to write this, today. It was my mistake…I accept…I am sorry!
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