I love doing grand things, although I have never thought of myself as a hopeless romantic. The popular notion is not really that way either, it tends to paint me more as a neurotic and instinctive lose cannon. The truth ( how I have always wanted to say this!), is nowhere near it. Something happened recently that made me rethink my opinion of myself.
When you have a lot of time, you tend to do things like going through your cupboards and old diaries. That’s exactly what I did. I found a few old greeting cards, and a few other mementos that had survived the years. There was an old ink bottle that I had bought along with an ink pen, after a good looking girl gifted me a diary. I thought I would write every day in it, she thought it too. Alas, the diary was too good looking to write in, or maybe I was just too lazy… Anyway, what I found neatly stacked in the middle of the diary, was a folded piece of paper, torn out of another diary. The year on the corner was 2003, but I am sure the content must have been written much later. You see, I have a nasty habit of writing the most instinctive piece of literature in the most commonly found article of paper. Often the diaries I write in are the ones which could not be filled at an opportune moment. I sometimes wonder if there is really something strangely familiar about diaries that were not filled in the same year they were printed for, and in people who could not achieve what they were meant to achieve. In interest of keeping things light, lets just drop that thought.
So when I opened the folded paper, I noticed something very interesting. On every fold there were little snippets of notes, scribbled down in an uneven handwriting that most certainly belonged to me! The first fold had
Sorry, I can’t hide how I feel anymore
Now this was the most interesting thing I had read in a while, and written by the teenaged me. This is the closest one can get to a time-capsule. I of course did not remember ever writing this. I have stopped being surprised by gaps in my memory. I tend to forget things, and have been meaning to get myself tested to put all claims of carrying disorders of mental capacity to rest. I digress though, the rest of the folds had similarly corny (!) explanations on how this was inevitable. Finally I started reading the letter itself. It was very short, and to the point. This was surprising, as I have never written such short letters. People who have received my letters know that I like to write, so they usually do not complain about their length. Maybe I was really nervous when I wrote this. Following is a summary of what I remember.
I wanted to do this in person, but I do not have the heart to do this. I am sure that it would not end well for either one of us. What I want to tell you though, is that even though you don’t know about how I feel, I have felt drawn towards you since ages. I know that it will never work out between us, and yet I glance up at your window every time I pass by, in hope that I would see you. And when I do, I skip a heartbeat or two without fail. I know that we cannot be anything more than friends, and even being friends would be really great. We could be great friends actually, and could share every little detail about our lives.
Maybe one day, we could look back at our lives, and silently smile at each other, and talk on the most mundane things. I will ask you about your kids, and how old they have gotten, and you would ask about mine. Then we would both just move on and say goodbye. Maybe that’s all we could be, and it does not sound that bad, does it?
Okay, so now I knew exactly when this was written, and who it was written for. I had written this letter way back in 2005, when I was still in college, and was learning Japanese. I had no doubt never meant for this letter to be posted. I would have posted it otherwise. I am not sure about why I wrote it though, maybe it was written in vacations. Maybe I had nothing better to do than to indulge. It still made my heart grow fond with memories of those days. I toyed with the idea of sending that letter now, but thought against it. It was a stupid idea anyway. I could have just kept it back in the diary, and forgotten about it. It’s not my style though. It’s just not how I do things. Due to some weird coinsidence this letter had resurfaced. It had to go somewhere. The answer came in as quickly as the letter had. I was going on a mountain hike over the weekend. It was a great hike, and I did it solo. More on that later, now about the letter. I carried it with me on the hike, thinking I would tear it and spread the remains on the wind. However while trekking, I rested at a beautiful jungle stream, bathing in sunlight and a light drizzle. I must have stayed there for eternity… It came to me there, and I just acted on it. I quickly folded the letter in a way that I have known forever, and made a small boat out of it. I nudged it quietly on the stream, and watched it sail towards an unknown destination. I looked at it till my eyes could follow it, and soon it perished in the jungle around me, with an unsaid goodbye. I have barely spoken to the girl it was written for, these past few years, and I hardly feel that way about her anymore, and yet I was high on emotion. As I waited, my goodbye drowned in a downpour of rain. As I kept walking through the jungle mud, I kept wondering about the letter, and if it had survived the rain after years of being folded into diary… it was not used to being a boat after all. At least it was travelling to some place better than the center fold of a teenager’s diary.