A Letter For Chameli
A Letter For Chameli6 mins 384 6 mins 384
The hoarse voice of the postman created resonance in an otherwise deserted street and soon enough a thick envelope got dropped at the house with a thud. Rekha, Vanisha and Archu, who were attempting to concentrate on their studies, found their ever-straying minds stray even more. The trio signaled at each other through their eyes ordering the other to lift the envelope but all three rejected the order.
But the monkey sitting on a tree in the courtyard, searching for potential opportunities within the envelope, came down and after picking the envelope, climbed back on the tree again in lightning speed. All the three girls observed the actions of the monkey sadly and made indications at each other for being lazy.
Exactly five minutes later, a heavy greeting card hit Archu’s head and fell on the ground with a thud.
Crying in pain because of his injured head, Archu noticed the greeting card that had an ugly red rose on top, lying on the ground. By then Rekha and Vanisha had also come near Archu. Rekha pounced and picked the card. Inside it, written in bold letters was
'My life I give to you, my darling”
The words written were so filthy that all three had their faces turn red and they looked at each other wondering who among them the card was meant for. Just a little away from them, had fallen a folded, pink coloured paper. Rekha picked up the paper and opened its folds. The first few words written in blue ink that were revealed as she opened the first fold were:
"OMG, this is a love letter for Chameli!" Archu shouted.
"Looks like a love letter only... but where has it come from? Vanisha asked with a smile.
"From there ........" Rekha said pointing to the monkey sitting on the tree.
"Hey, this is the same letter that the postman had dropped in the courtyard and which the monkey had taken up the tree. It has torn open the envelope and thrown out this greeting card and letter." Archu said with a smile.
"Let me read what is written there," Vanisha said, snatching the letter from Rekha's hand.
"It is bad manners. No one should read others’ letter." Rekha said snatching the letter from Vanisha's hand.
"It is an interesting letter, let us read." Archu said with a smile.
After a brief scuffle, all the three girls sat down to read the letter. In the letter was written the following:
Four days ago, I received a letter from my friend Mangal Singh, whom people call Mangu. He has written about you complaining that I was trying to break the relationship between you and Munna Pahalwan. Hearing a piece of news that linked you with a man like Munna Pahalwan, made me sad.
Have you forgotten that our love started at the liquor shop of Giani Ustad, where you had come to stop your younger brother Bholu from drinking alcohol? When he did not agree, you slapped him. After that, all the drunkards at the shop pounced on him to beat him. And they would have done so had I not threatened and checked them. Around four of them also received blows from my shoes. After that, you smiled and said “Thank you” - the 'Thank you' made me crazy. After that, I had set camp down in your street, in my deputy Dabbu’s house. Whenever you went to the terrace to dry your hair, I would be there too, soaking in the sun. Whenever you came to the terrace to hang the wet clothes, I would sit there looking at you, signaling through my eyes but in response you would turn shy and run away downstairs.
Do you remember when your elder brother ran away with Julie, our neighbor and the mother of four children. Based on a complaint made by her husband, a constable named Dildar Singh, took your father and younger brother to the police station and on your persistent request, I had gone to the police station to save them. By the way, I was very annoyed by the way your elder brother’s actions. It’s very wrong to cast your eye on others’ wives and daughters. Well, for your sake, I bribed Constable Dildar Singh and got your father and younger brother released from the police station.
After that, our love had set off on a cruise and we made promises to each other that we will live and die together. But may misery befall my landlord, on whose request I took a fake loan of five lakhs rupees from the bank. The money was swallowed by the landlord and the bankers and the police came chasing after me. For this reason, I had to flee from India and come away to Mauritius.
My dear, this story of Munna Pahalwan is beyond my comprehension. My useless friends Mangal Singh and Balwan Singh, whom people refer to as Mangu and Ballu, spread rumors about me saying that I had absconded after taking away money from eateries, gambling dens and betel shops. These are all false pieces of information. The fact is that they lived at my expense, and now as they have reached a stage of starvation, they wish to blackmail me and come to Mauritius so they can continue surviving at my expense.
I hope that through this letter, you will get to know the truth. And now the time has come to keep up our promise of living and dying together. I have settled down in Mauritius and am in-charge of all the gambling bases of Bhullan Ustad. I now have money, home and everything else.
Now if you wish to come and stay with me in Mauritius, please call the number given below and I shall come to pick you up. Mangu and Ballu will make arrangements for the marriage in the civil court. But do not give them this phone number, otherwise they will keep calling me frequently and create a a big headache for me. I shall bring them also along with you to Mauritius I shall make them guards for over gambling bases.
Now I end my letter. Although short, consider it important.
Lallan Singh aka Lallu
All three girls were aghast after reading the letter.
"Is this the way love letters are written?" Vanisha asked.
"How do we know? Neither have we written to anyone not has anyone written one to us!" Rekha and Archu spoke in unison.
"How do we proceed with this letter and the greetings card?" Vanisha asked.
"What can we do? Look, the monkey has thrown down the envelope also. Let's see who it is addressed to?" Rekha said.
The address given on the envelope
Chameli, daughter of Malkhan,
210, Bada Bazaar, Mehboob Ganj, Ashik Nagar,
The address was of the same house in which Rekha, Vanisha and Archu had shifted a month ago. As their hostel was under renovation, they had to vacate it and move to this rented house.
"Probably Chameli lived in this house," Archu said with a tweet.
"Thank you for the information, but where will we meet this Chameli?" Vanisha asked, hitting Archu's head with the envelope.
"Where can we find her? We will pack the letter and give it to the postman uncle, he will try and find it himself." Rekha said smilingly as she pushed the letter and greeting card back inside the torn envelope.
चमेली की चिट्ठी
© Kumar Vikrant