The Last Letter

Remembering you on your birthday.................

My pen friendship with Papa started after my marriage when I was living away from the pink city. On my first birthday in the silicon valley, I was terrified to be alone. But as the birthday started approaching I got so many cards for my birthday and there were some very special ones from Papa for the first time in my life. He started writing me letters too. His letters were always very long, warm and full of insights about life.

That was the good part of being away from my family and making a new family of my own. Papa started writing very regularly and our bond grew stronger with the time. His writing was as if beads were sewn on a silky thread, very precise, neat and impeccable. I could always imagine him sitting at his table and writing with his ink pen and then waiting for the ink to dry and start to write again on the back of the page. His letter heads were always printed and of a relatively thick paper so that you don't see the writing on the back and vice verse. He always had an eye to see the little things.

I got a call from Mummy saying that she had found some cards and a letter for me written from him. I freaked out so much hearing that. She wanted to post them but then I said take photos of all of them, in case they get lost. I requested her that she sent them by registered post, because if I lost them, I could regret for the rest of my life and never get anything so precious as a hand written letter from him.

If any event like my birthday, R`s birthday, Diwali or the girls birthday would be approaching, he would always go to the Archie store and get tonnes of cards. He never send just one card, be it a birthday or a Diwali and the messages written on them was always like from his heart. Such precise choice of cards he always had. I am glad I have so many from him. His envelope would always be a bit heavy and very special because unlike you and me, he would always use the given envelope for the card and if he was sending five cards, there will be five envelopes for each one of them and all of them will be in one thick khaki coloured envelope. Before sealing the main envelope, he would always put a piece of rectangular paper and then seal it, so that the cards do not get stuck on to the envelope. It was always done like that. I haven't seen anyone posting cards in such a precise manner and always registered post.

So, Mummy organized my stack of cards/letter from him with the registered post. I waited everyday for the postman to ring the bell. It never happened and then one day I got this little yellow slip, which we get here in CH if you have a registered package and you were not at home. So with this slip and my ID I went to the post. I was waiting in much excitement and when I got my number and it was my turn to get my package. I was at the window, after doing the formalities, the big khakhi envelope was given to me. Seeing the envelope in his handwriting, it felt so surreal. I got all warm and cold, feeling very fuzzy and giddy, tears started rolling my eyes and I didn't know what to do. The post woman asked me if I was alright, I cursed the weather and the pollen allergy and said it was the weather. We cursed the weather together although this day the weather was fairly good but one topic you can always get by with the Swiss is discussing or rather cursing the weather. So the weather came to the rescue. I rushed to my car hoping and praying that no one should bump into me today and thankfully no one did. I sat in the car and finally was confined to some privacy where in I could cry and enjoy the warmth of my last letter which I will ever get form my father.

The letter still sits there in my Ganesha drawer, I see it everyday while picking up the matchbox to light the candle for Ganesha. Everyday I feel a warm and fuzzy feeling, and an enormous temptation to open the letter. But until now I haven't have had the courage to do it. I am saving it for a special happy day, or a very bad day as this will be The Last Letter I will ever get from my him. The thing is he wrote it for our new home and as the address was new, he just wanted to make sure he is sending it at the right address, him always being sure and precise. So he just kept it to confirm it from me and never came around to post it. I have been to India twice after that, but with things happening we never could find it or knew something like that existed.

Now, I cherish it forever in my drawer, I don't know what he has written but for me its a blessing to be cherished forever. Whenever I see it if feels so surreal that he is gone, but then again I think no he is not, he lives through his family and so memories from I have from him.

I still miss his phone calls, discussing the weather and my daily boring routine, which he never thought was boring. His tips on sore throat and how to always put Mulathi (Licorice/Süss Holz) in my mouth for my vocal cords. As we both have a similar problem. He got his I think from his profession of being an Auctioneer and me from being just talking too much, but the genes are the same. I proudly share my sensitive throat problem with him, among other things. Like his passion for being organized, clean and punctual. I am not yet there, I don't know if I ever will be. But for me the bar is very high and he is always there for me to try and reach higher and higher.

27 th of December is his birthday, I remember him for his birthday and every single day. He was and is a part of my live and will always be. I don't know if it gets better on feeling hurt, but it sure feels good to be sad for him. I feel so proud and honoured to be his daughter. He was like a big banyan tree for me under its shadow I felt safe, warm and protected. Now it feels like the tree has been cut, but life goes on and has to go on..........

Thank you for being the Best Father for me...........

A very happy birthday to you Papa ...........

Missing you always.,,,,,

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Wallisellen, Switzerland

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