She stood in her balcony, in the sweltering heat holding the aluminium railings. As her thoughts multiplied, her grip tightened over the rails. It has been four months and still hasn’t received any mail. All the promises made to her seemed like an endless fantasy. Her baby boy’s wailing got submerged in her wave of thoughts. She expected an anytime knock and behind the door a mailman saying, “You have got a letter from Siachen”. He never showed up.
In no time the merriment of becoming a mother was brushed aside; his father failing to share the happiness. ‘He hasn’t replied to the good news yet or, if he has, I haven’t received the message’, she thought as she turned her back towards the vast space and the fathomless pain gripped her. To her, every bell was that of a mailman’s! She hardly realized that it fetches courage to be an army man’s better half.
She heard a calling bell, again! As the chime broke her meditation, she suddenly found everything inappropriate. She brought her back completely into senses and found the baby wailing, the house untidy, and the money plant kept in the corner of the room about to die thirstily. Leaving things, she ran to the door, pulled it open and found the mailman.
She clutched her saree’s fleets tightly and swallowed hard waiting for him to speak.
‘This is from Siachen’, he said without taking his eyes from the mails. Out of curiosity, she overlooked and found a message printed on the cover, ‘Heartfelt condolences’. She could feel her blood rush and closed her eyes, tightly. Everything came to a standstill for her as she controlled her tears.
That is when the mailman shuffled two more letters and took out another one, and now this was for her. The mailman named her and confirmed that he wasn’t mistaken. But she was unsure yet. She grabbed the letter from him and her hands shivered as she opened but was relieved to read the first few words.
I’m fine here…..’
For now, she didn’t even read the rest. Things sprang back to life for her. She grinned at him and the mailman couldn’t understand anything. She closed the door and ran to pick her child up out of joy and that’s when she remembered something.
She rushed back to the balcony and looked down to find the mailman. He had left.
She empathized for ‘Heartfelt condolences’ titled letter’s owner and she went in to resume reading.