It was the 24th of March when my cell phone accidentally fell into a bucket of water, after which it completely shut down. I went to the mobile repairer and he told me that it would take a day to fix it.
I had no option than to leave my cell phone with him. He gave my SIM card back and also handed me his number, so I could reach him to inquire about the phone.*
Once I got back to my new flat, I asked my new neighbours, a couple in their late 60’s, for their cell phone, so that I could inform my fiancée and parents about what had happened. As I was talking to my fiancée about the unfortunate incident, the news of the 21 days lockdown hit my ears.
The first thing that struck my mind was, “How will I stay without talking to my fiancée”? She instantly replied, “If you don’t get the phone back during the lockdown, write a letter to me”, in a humorous tone.
Following this, I repeatedly called the repairer but could not connect with him even once. While I was feeling helpless, the old couple was irritated. I returned to my room where everything was silent. My roommate was scheduled to arrive a week later with my laptop. I was devastated thinking about how I would survive alone in the lockdown without any communication.
And the countdown began. For the first two days, I spent most of my time sitting near the window, looking at the empty streets and closed shops. Only a few postmen could be seen entering and leaving the nearby post office with their messenger bags. Taking my fiancée’s words about writing a letter seriously, I eagerly took up the pen but couldn’t write anything as my mind was stuck somewhere.
I just started scribbling on the paper with my pen and started wondering about my fiancée. After a while, her image was clear in front of my eyes and I started sketching her portrait which brought a sense of relief and happiness in my mind. Looking at the portrait, I started to sketch some more images of her to feel her presence near me. For the next few days, I revived my old days and sketched them on paper.
As days passed by, I found the lost artist within me. Time just passed in the blink of an eye and there were so many portraits and landscapes in front of me. I wished I could have expressed the joy of my art to my fiancée.
Suddenly, the idea of the letter again hit my mind. I sat down and started penning down how this lockdown proved to be a blessing in disguise for me. I realized that there are many things to do in this world, other than remaining squeezed in the intangible digital world.
The internet era has almost killed the emotion and tolerance level of humans. Everything is so instant, that you don’t get the bittersweet feel of waiting for or longing for a reply.
You get the world at your tips but you lose the essence of a relationship in the process. I folded the letter and inserted it into the envelope along with a portrait of my fiancée. Then, I went to the post office where post officials were doing their duty in full-swing.
For the first time in life, I realized the value of postmen who have been delivering messages from early times when there was no phone and technology.
And today amidst the heinous corona pandemic, they are still serving as messengers by risking their lives. As I returned home after sending the letter, my ‘neighbour uncle’ told me that he received a call from the mobile repairer, informing him that my mobile had been repaired. He would send it to me by the evening! I was overjoyed after hearing the news.
And as I sat beside the window, waiting for my phone, I started sketching the portrait of a postman carrying my letter amidst the lockdown with the song “Dakiya daak laaya (The postman brings the post)” ringing in the background.