Valentine and a Letter


They were newly married .

He was 27 , sensitive , and simple in his living habits . An intensely private  person ; passionately in love with his bride , camera , and books in that order. Anglicised in his protocols through a few years workex in England , he was nevertheless commited to his roots and Desi with a broad perspective on propriety.

She was gorgeous in looks , with lustrous eyes , and had an endearingly assertive demenor. At 21,  she was ambitious beyond her years ,and had a penchant for seeking out the influentials in their fast expanding circle of friends.

Valentine’s day was round the corner. Having arranged , through a friend in England ( pre AMAZON and FLIPKART days ) , for a special surprise-gift for his Valentine , he checked each morning at the local post office whether his parcel had arrived ( a necessary chore back then , in pre-FEDEX days ) .  In order for the intended surprise not to be compromised , he had left a written instruction at the post office for his mail to be held for pick-up until his parcel had arrived .

Coincidentally , and unknown to him , she too was making daily calls at the local post office to retrieve a letter which she was anxious to receive personally.  The Post Master , while noting  her hold-for-pickup instructions , had compromised his intended surprise . As was to be expected , she perceived his post office endeavors differently

Following a few days of visible anxiety on her flawless face ascribed in his mind to the monthly mood changes he was familiar with , she finally blinked, accusing him of intercepting her mail , emphasizing how unimportant and innocuous her correspondence with her loved ones was.

He was flummoxed and unable to comprehend the truth . When accused thus by a young wife , men often get defensive and eager to prove their innocence , without speculating  even for a moment why a certain letter , harmless in content in her assertion, could be  so important to her .

It was 10 days after she walked out on him that her surprise gift arrived .  Coincidentally , the letter she had been expecting also arrived on the same day .

Curiosity got the better of him and he deftly opened the letter : a seemingly innocuous greeting card as it turned out , with a longish scribble which he read out to himself several times as though the contents would miraculously change soon to put him out of his anguish .

He visited  her at her parental home soon thereafter , to ask her to return to a fresh start , and to assure her that he was willing to forgive and forget . She declined , unwilling to accept his truthful offer at face value. He returned after agreeing to a divorce through mutual consent . A year later they were  divorced and celebrated their parting of ways with a buffet luncheon at what was once their favourite place by the riverside . They promised to remain good friends , and exchanged a mutual vow of silence on the cause of their break up which curious friends might want to ascertain.

It is often said that the spoken word is never lost in the wilderness for ever , and that sooner or later it reaches destinations unintended .

He kept his vow of silence for 35 years . She chose to speak , ascribing their break up to a grotesque untruth .

Was he the loser in this little tale . Or was her fragility enough to justify her deployment of means and resources definitively foul.

As he races to his sunset years , he looks upon this as one of several lessons life delivers through a sequence of events and non-events.

Bye for now and cheers to all

About lkkanuga

65 , Mumbaikar in Gurgaon , celebrates Loneliness interspersed with occasional extended- family & old friends' reunions . Good Music , Single Malts & watching the world go by from his 11th floor terrace are his favorite pursuits. Also into pursuit of Safe & Secure Mid Day Meals for Primary School Children , in association with like minded individuals & institutions
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