Saturday, October 4, 2008

A bitter-sweet day and a promise

The 17th of May 2008, was a very special day for me, and I realized that as soon as I woke up to feel the warmth of the sun on my face, and observed that the curtains were all aglow with the eerie early morning sunlight. There is something to be said about this, because I normally (make that never) wake up on early mornings voluntarily. It was pure excitement which made me unable to slip into that state of passivity I enjoyed so much. Yes, that day was going to be special, and I had made arrangements to see to that.

That day was going to be bitter-sweet. I knew that because it was the day I would say my official ‘good-bye’ to my best friend in a very grand way, and it was the day we were going to watch a much-awaited movie. When my friend and my cousin came over, we hired an auto to MG road. The newest of the Chronicles of Narnia series, the movie Prince Caspian was out, after a month of eager anticipation. We were wild with excitement. The experience was ultimately rewarding, and we watched it with mouths agape, like the old times. It was still very early by the time the movie ended, and we decided to do something fun together.

There, in a coffee shop, sipping some Butterscotch Frappe’, we let the conversation carry us endlessly from one topic to another, shifting pace, drifting into one memory after another, and thoughts of how much we would miss each other in the days to come. And then, we made a promise, the kind teenagers these days never do. Deepti and I decided to become pen-friends.
It is true that we are markedly alike in our tastes, and our perspectives often collided with surprising similarity. That day, we swore to keep the promise alive. We believed in the joy of handwritten letters, of the warmth it bought to you…..because we had never experienced it. I, at least, never had a pen friend in my life, and the whole concept was new to me. I was tired of the adults reminiscing about the good old days of the handwritten letters. I still believed there were ways of bringing things back. We could reach each other easily on email or on orkut, but that wasen’t really the point. The point was that we were trying to experiment, to find out how beneficial writing was.
2 months after coming here I received my first letter from Deepti as promised, I experienced an inexplicable thrill. The day seemed suddenly more colourful. Oh, how lovely it was to find my name written on a brown envelope, which has arrived all the way from India! I now seemed to grasp the secret appeal of letters, and comprehended with perfect clarity why adults turn nostalgic about them.

But day by day, it is getting more difficult to keep that promise alive, since both the letters I wrote to deepti never reached her. And with the postal prices skyrocketing in India, I do feel a twinge of guilt for making her spend so much for me. But all I’d like to say is that we will maintain it as long as we can, because none of us are willing to let go.
Deepti wrote this for my upcoming birthday, when I’ll be turning 18:

“May you be happy throughout your life
May you keep love and joy always by your side,
May you experience the magic of being fully alive,
And may life’s best be always yours.”
And they are best birthday present I have received so far.

(Read Deepti’s response on


Gardenia said...

A most enjoyable post, Lakshmi! May I add my best wishes for your 18th birhtday? God Bless you!

Just someone said...

Happy B'day to you!!!:)

Kadalabal said...

lovely present in words for your very special birthday. Golden words and truly great.
so when is your upcoming birthday many many wishes for a great time and great celebrations
happy birthday in advance

Anup said...

Nostalgia... nice! Its sweet almost always for me. Mostly cause sweet supersedes sour. Also, I have added you to my blogroll (my reads) I hope thats fine. Its at

RK said...

i can so easily imagine you in MALGUDI!

happy birthday and a happy dasara (with soft toys), lakshmi.

kallu said...

Lakshmi, wishing you the very best that life can offer although you seem to have and know most of them already. Hope life brings you many many more friends and you don't lose sight of the ones you already have.
Lovely post.

Deepti said...

again, mywarmest wishes to you. saying thank you is the only way to express my infinite gratitude and my way of saluting our friendship.
thank you,

Swarna said...

Yes, Lakshmi. Warmest wishes. Wish you many more true friends and great life experiences!

Rashmi Nair said...

good lord!
you have a gift! nurture it!
And, sorry i went thru the other comments, happy birthday!


Sweet little Lakshmi!
God bless you on your special birthday and all the other dys in your life.

What a brilliant idea to think of writing letters by hand and actually posting them, and as you say, what a thrill receiving them.

You have a great way of expressing yourself, so I can imagine what your letters will be like.

All the best, dear child.

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Gardeia: Thanks for the wishes!
Just someone: Thanks, my bday sure turned out to b happy!
Pranesh: Thanks for dropping in to deepti's blog too, to post ur comment. With blessings, we'll be freinds forever.
Anup: Yeah, people keep telling me i'm too young to be nostalgic, but i simply can't throw it away! Thanks for blogrollng me! Am delighted! :)
rk: long time no see....thanks for droppin in! Yes, even i can so easily imagine myself in MALGUDI! What fun that'll be! :)
Kallu: Thanks so much for the blessings! Love you!!
Deeps: Can't say how precious your friendship is to me!! Thank you for being there.
Swarna: Thanks for the wishes!
Rashmi: Welcome to my blog, i read through yours too, and my, it's so interesting!! I'll keep dropping by there too, if you dont mind.
Raji aunty: Thank you soo much!! Love you!
THanks all, Lakshmi