21 Love Notes
21 Love Notes
There couldn’t be a more delightful moment for me than to see him standing with a bunch of roses clad in his crisp and neat uniform. I always felt proud when I saw him dressed that way. He scored a perfect 10 when it came to carrying off ‘The gentleman’ look. This reminded me of the day when we went on our first date. It seemed that there was another beginning of a great life. Twenty years had passed since we met. We both had aged with time but our spirits were as young as any newly wedded couple.
He wiped off a tear from the corner of my eye and handed me a thick envelope. It seemed old and crumpled. I opened the cover in excitement. Kept inside was a bunch of papers. The impression of the letters had overlapped onto each other. I opened them carefully lest they should tear. Looking at my expression he told, “These are those 21 months of my life when I was away from you. I couldn’t send them across then. I thought of giving it to you when I was back but my return got delayed. Finally, that day has come.”
That’s how in beautiful letters he conveyed his emotions through #SeedhiBaat to me.
This sudden course of events might have jolted our normal life a bit but I request you not to fear while I am away. It might have been weird with the way I left within months after we got married, but the situation in Indonesia seems worse. We had to leave immediately. You must be thinking that I did not tell you about this plan. That evening we had a sudden meeting with the Chief. If you remember we were asked to report to the department immediately. I had come home late and had started packing without having time to speak at length with you. All I could say was, “Goodbye dear! There is an emergency call; our team is leaving for Indonesia tomorrow morning. Floods have hit the country. I will keep you informed. Take care.”
There was nothing mentioned on this page after these lines. The note seemed incomplete. I flipped to the other side of the page and continued reading.
Our troupe landed on time and we sent across first aid and food amenities to the survivors first. The townships have been devastated by the floods this year. I feel immense pain when I see thousands of people suffering here. It is the first time I have come away from you for a mission that requires our complete presence. We all are comfortable here. I hope I am able to call you this weekend. Take care of yourself.
I have already begun missing being with you.
There was nothing written after this again. I turned the sheets just in case I had missed out reading something but there seemed no link. They were random thoughts that he had jotted down. Each page had such lines written as short notes. Some were complete and incomplete. Nevertheless, eager to know what was written, continued reading.
Describing to you the situation here always wouldn’t be right because there’s only melancholy around. So I will try to tell you all the good things that we are trying to do. I am still carrying the positive vibes that you spread each time with your understanding and confident smile. It certainly is infectious. My fellow mates have been victims of that by now. Probably you were into the armed forces in your previous birth. ;) How did you manage to understand our state of mind and the work culture so easily?? I keep wondering always. I hardly had to explain anything to you before marrying. You made my job a lot easier.
I cannot escape with these sweet lines for the silly mistakes I have committed in our relationship so far. I should have learned to express my thoughts and it is only because of you, Meera. I always told myself I am trying but never did. It is now that I am putting it into action.
If you remember we had sailed to the same Nikoi Island during our honeymoon trip. We came here today with our rescue team. I can vividly remember each and every moment spent here with you. It is destroyed completely. We can only see the water around. Our crew is in search of the local residents, villagers, and travelers. There is immense mental stress but in times like these, I remember your words: “Trust yourself. You are doing a good job.” It was enough to boost my confidence.
It has been 60 days now; I have never been without talking to you for so long. Even when we fought we never stayed without talking to each other for so long. I feel an urge to hear your voice but there is no means of communication that seems to work. All I can think of is love. The thought of you being with me here, walking along these lanes multiplies my sorrow more as neither you are not here nor the place where we spent our memorable time. A beautiful island with simple people but the smiles have vanished from their faces now. The memories of the days spent in love here shouldn’t remain just memories. I hope I am successful in my mission.
I stopped reading for a while. My thoughts were flooded with the memories of our happy marriage. Wiping tears off my eyes I continued…
Can recall that small incident when we met first? It wasn’t a great first meeting that couples have but there’s something I need to clarify to you about that day.
We fought over a parking space. You came in first but just to irritate you I moved in and took your parking space. Knowing that it was our first meeting, you didn’t show your temper then but I could see the frustration clearly on your face. I must say, you looked even more adorable then. I am sure you would laugh at this now, but I always wanted to tell you that I did it purely out of the fun. My intention was never to be rude to you.
I was a bachelor when I went for my other projects. This being my first mission after marriage, leaving you alone made me feel nervous. We already had started bonding well in the first three months. It was my dream coming true when I found an adjusting and caring life partner like you. You took the courage to marry someone from this profession. You introduced love into my life. I never have done anything romantic. Though my heart always yearned to write to you and express my thoughts; I never gathered the courage to do so. You must be waiting for my call or message each day; our family members must be worried; I am aware of everything. I say silent prayers hoping that the situation is under control soon and I find means to communicate to you. Even if a member of our team is sent back early I will send these messages to them.
“I am safe, my dear.”
I was so overwhelmed by reading mere words. I wondered how it would have been if I had received these letters on time. I would have been anxious and excited to read the rest of them.
I asked him, “Why did you leave these letters incomplete?”
He told me with a smile, “You read the rest of the letters; all your questions will be answered.”
I hardly have time to write everything that is coming to my mind. Probably my words here won’t do justice. My feelings are profound. Whenever I thought I would write a message, I was caught up with some work. I wrote my heart out. Please do not misunderstand the incomplete letters thinking that I am least interested.
I had a tough time reading beyond this. None of the words were clear. The impression of the words on the front and back seemed to overlap. Almost eight to ten letters seemed to have been spoilt because of the moisture. I tried hard to read clearly from each. I held them up against light so that I could identify some words from them.
Among these, I could only make out some words that played a key role in describing his feelings to me. Found words like, ‘love’, ‘trust’, and ‘relationship with a smudged ‘i’ repeated five to six times in the next few pages.
It would have been easy for me to know what was written as the person himself was standing right in front of me but I chose to read and understand his feelings that were written then.
The last few sheets had something clearly visible. Ajeesh had quoted a few lines of a song for me.
“Will you be my lady, will you be my lover,
Will you be somebody always and forever…”
I started humming the song. It has been my favorite.
Those sweet nothings that you whispered in my ears before going to sleep still seem to echo in my ears. I cannot describe anything specific that I miss about you because I have adapted myself to everything that you are. I am always known for being tough and straightforward in my attitude but I differ only in your case. Your presence melts my heart.
Please don’t laugh thinking I have picked up these clichéd lines from some book. My language isn’t that bad. I was just too lazy to express.
Even the smallest effort you took to adjust to my lifestyle and habits is commendable. I feel the urge to stand in front of you as a confident man, look straight into your eyes and tell you all this but your man couldn’t gather enough courage to be romantic with you. I was probably scared of going against my own visible personality.
I smiled at him. I knew all this before he could express it to me but it is always better when doubts are cleared by the person concerned.
I was a romantic at heart and mind. I certainly had difficulty adjusting with Ajeesh but never found it impossible. I only had to search for those special qualities in him which he wasn’t aware of himself.
The last page read:
I love you. (The first time he had used these three words together.) Be there for me always, just as you stood by me in my happy and tough times.
I am looking forward to your reaction when you read these 21 love notes from me.
My heart was feeling heavy. Myriad of emotions and thoughts flew across my mind. Tears of happiness flooded my eyes. I met him again. Today our souls met. We were at the doorstep of our new home.
Placing his hand softly on my palms Ajeesh said, “I only wish these letters had reached you on time. I heard from someone that a town had organized means to send communication across. I put these letters in an envelope and took them along but…”
There was complete silence. We both stopped each other from speaking further. I could see his Adam’s apple move fast. I didn’t want him to lose control over his emotions.
There was a telegram for me twenty years back.
We deeply regret to inform you that Major Ajeesh Sood is on his way to the heavenly abode. Our country will miss a brave man.
“The newspapers mentioned that the water level had increased suddenly after the floods in Bali the day you had reached there to send me the letters,” I said softly.
He gave a sigh and continued, “I welcome you to our new home. My wait is over Meera.”
We embraced each other tightly while our parents mourned over Meera’s sudden demise.
When two people are destined to be together they will be… on earth or in heaven. True love always remains alive. Their match was made on earth but they will live it in heaven.