13th October, I arrived at work, after a sleep deprived 4 days in Bangkok, to find this beautiful box on my desk. It was at once familiar and surprising.
Familiar because I have seen this envelope before. How can I forget the Persian blue peacock sprawling in the background of handwriting that I see only in old documents these days? I also remember how it made me pine for good old fashioned letters written entirely by hand.
I really did not expect a box of these letters to arrive right at my doorstep. How was it that she could read my mind? Maybe if you pine hard enough....these thoughts made me smile and for the rest of the day, I forgot to be grouchy from sleeplessness.
The box came with two carpets which Flora printed. It was as if my letters flew here on these magic carpets. Air mail could not have been delivered in a more charming way.
Shall we rummage through the box
and see what secrets await us?
First, a trio of Ganesha postcards; so delightfully illustrated
that they could only be meant for the young mistress of the house.
She, who loves to write and who will surely treasure these for life.
Here are more from places that our girl has yet to see.
Destinations where love ones once stood
at a particular spot in those places,
had written to say they missed her,
and how they wished she was there too.
One day, she too may stand at that spot
write a similar card for another whom she love as much.
And look at these envelopes!
Do you know how precious these are?
Not only are they pretty to look at,
they also serve as priceless records.
A reminder of where, who, when
someone sent news, thoughts or gifts.
Something which might have made you smile
or jump up and down in excitement,
"And then there's the mail.
Old yellowed letters, written with pen and ink, stained with tears and rain....
Those are the words of my friend Flora,
words she used to express why she loved old mail and why
"For a few pennies, I take home letters from people who do not know,
who have lived their lives when I still did not exist
and continue to live between the lines of their letters..."
Although Flora had created these lines for me in words that are foreign to us, I understood her meaning completely. Her gesture is a clear and unequivocal one of love.
I can never thank her enough, not even with 1000 words.
I have not been able to write much since my return from Bangkok. Trust me, I have tried to, many times but the words won't flow from my fingers. Every line is an effort, each word a chore . The writing finally happened with this post on Flora's mail. Writing about writing letters, maybe that was what did the trick. Or maybe it is because I truly understand the significance of mail. I never throw old letters away and believe it or not, I have kept each and every brown envelope that contain miniature gifts made for me. There were so many of you from all over the world who have shared my journey and made me smile, and I want never to forget who you are, where you are from and when you did what you did.
Quite by chance, I found this video which I thought was really apt for this post. The song is called "Postcards from Italy" and I want to especially dedicate it to my dear friend, Flora, who is feeling really down with a bad flu that will not go away. So scroll up, my friends, switch off the darn music (which incidentally is the instrumental version of this song) and watch this instead.
The person who posted this video described it really well-
"Two figures emerge from one and set out on their own journeys, coming together in the end"
Just like how we connect through our shared love for miniatures and the gifts for each other, don't you think?