Dear Neel #1

Dear Neel,


I am writing to you this time. The last time we saw each other was a long time ago. So long that I am afraid, a little scared if you remember me at all. I don’t know, because I haven’t talked to you since then. Neither have you approached. But the only way to find out if you remember me is by writing to you. I cannot call you, your voice scares me. I cannot text you because words limit me there. I will not email you because you don’t like mails. I will write you a letter, and hopefully, this time I will send it to you too. In the past there have been times when I have written to you, but none of them were addressed, they sit in my drawer, rustling with old mementos of lost friendships. The security pass still sits there. The only way I could enter the building, a building where I would see you. The stabs from my train tickets are still there, with fingerprints long faded.


I think I got distracted. This is not why I was writing to you, to tell you of our long forgotten memories. Truth be told, I don’t know exactly why I am writing today. Sitting on my table, freshly renovated. No, my room has not been renovated since forever. I just made a different setup for my writing table. I added some fresh flowers, yellow gerbera, a small bamboo plant, a few stems of snake plant, a small painting of a rainbow, two pen-stands, scented candles, and of course books, piled one on top of the other. It gained height and reaches to the top of the TV mounted on the wall. There are a few abstract paintings on the wall too. They make no sense to be honest, not to me. There is a hanging plant too, sitting safely on the artifact bicycle that I brought from Jaipur. And a clock, ticking time.


The clock reminds me that I have a deadline for my work but I can’t seem to script even a paragraph let alone write the entire story. It is a ghost writing project and don’t ask me why I am doing it. I am. I need money. Yes, those paintings and these letters don’t pay the bills, unfortunately, not yet anyway. I remember you telling me that one day they will. Or will they only if you are around? Because you aren’t around anymore, and believe me I really need to get going. There is only so much ghostwriting I can do. Anyway, I am not doing that, am I? The scenic table, the new set, nothing is working. I am unable to write anything. No words come out of me. Slowly, the ice is breaking?


When I know that nothing is going to work, I open my kindle. Yes, I have a kindle now. I read paperbacks too but your girl owns a kindle now. She has had it for two years now. She has managed to fill it with about five hundred books. Yes, you heard me. I have about five hundred e-books on my device. A lot more than any number of paperbacks I have ever owned. You see, there are a lot of classic books that are under public domain and you kind of get it for free. And you know me; I drown myself in 18th and 19th Century England. Of late, I have also have been swimming through Russian and French Literature. It is good, oh so good. I know you must roll your eyes at me now. I remember that look, it has a different place in me. But what can I do? It is in these classics that I am finding peace right now. You aren’t here.


So you see I have taken up a big task on myself, a task to read Proust. A book called In Search of Lost Times, divided into seven volumes. And I gave myself a year to finish the whole book. Every day, I put on my earphones, play a calming piano tune in them, and read ten pages of that book early in the morning. Some days it drains me; the words so powerful that I don’t know what else to do. But some days it energizes me like a morning cup of coffee and a stale smell of sex. These days I look forward to. These days it reminds me of you.


But I don’t know why am I telling you all of this. I am sure you have better things to do. As a matter of fact, I am also certain that you are not interested in Proust and how it makes me feel. But I think I got distracted when I saw the half eaten chocolate on my desk. It is only half eaten; I will give the other half to someone. I ate only because I was forced and I swallowed it without tasting it. I remember my promise. I gave up chocolate with you and I am going to eat it only with you. I haven’t tasted the flavor since. Have you? As for me, I don’t even miss it. It is just not the same, is it?


Anyways, I have completely forgotten why I was writing to you and I have rambled on instead. So, this letter might go undelivered, again, and sit in my drawer with other little trinkets. I don’t know yet. Who’s to tell?


Until then



Published by Moushmi Radhanpara

A bilingual writer, Moushmi Radhanpara has authored three poetry collections so far, namely POSIES and 03:21 AM –An Ode to Rust & Restlessness, and Resignation of an Angel. She is also scribbling an unplanned rough draft of a story as a part of NANOWRIMO 2020 and hopes that something might come out of it. She has also co-authored two books, The Lockdown Stories and Mirage so far. Her poetries can be found on her blog and a few other online portals. She believes in the fact that a better reader makes a better writer. Reading a 100 books a year is her latest obsession. She can be found either drunk on coffee or hiding away from everything and admiring the gorgeous sun.

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