IN AN ENVELOPE …

To be honest with you all, I am not a materialistic person. Having said that, I have certain gifts, handwritten letters and memento’s which are dear to me. The top two things I really love out of those are: a letter written by my Mom when I was studying in a hostel, the second one is a mechanical keyboard I received. Apart from these, there is something else that is really close to me.

A few years ago, I topped the public examinations. Though I stood first in our school district, it secured me a rank in the top ten in our state. Every year my parent’s organization had sports events and during the award ceremony they also give away academic excellence awards. Our family was traveling out of town during the event, so, I could not attend the award ceremony. After we came back from our trip, my father returned from the office with an envelope.

Aastha, come here. Here is what they had to give you on the ceremony day. Take it.”. It was a white coloured envelope just like the ones we have at offices and banks. I was expecting a memento or a certificate of excellence. I eagerly opened the envelope to find a 500 Rupee note. 500 Rupee note was newly introduced then, and I was happy to have one with me. I kept the envelope in the drawer chest of my reading table. Often, I used to take out the note and keep staring at it.

It was not my first salary. It was not a gift or pocket money I received. It was a recognition of my academic knowledge and that mattered to me. A few months later, my father asked me if I would want the money to be deposited in the bank. I did not agree to that. Whenever I used to feel sad, disturbed or hurt, the only thing I do is to stare at that note. It served as an inspiration for me for many years. It was along with me when I left home for hostel, after that when I relocated to Hyderabad for my job. I was staying as a paying guest back then and usually, they aren’t secure places, so, I may lose it. I brought it back home when I came for holidays. My father noticed the note in the envelope I was holding in my hand… “You have your own salary account now, maybe it’s time to deposit it“. said he..

It was never money for me. Of course, 500 rupees for a 12-year-old matters. It can buy lot of chocolates, books, oil-painting kit, a dress or shoes of my liking. I never chose to spend that money. The respect I have for that 500 rupee note never changed even after I started earning thousands of rupees. I have seen and had many 500 rupee notes, but none gave me the same kick as that note. In the year of 2016 Indian government has banned all higher denomination notes. I have none to deposit back, but my dad being my dad had to ask me if I have notes to deposit. I replied to him that I don’t have any… He then reminded me of that 500 rupee note in the envelope. We had a good laugh. I totally forgot about that note, though several thoughts were rolling over my mind, I requested him not to deposit that note.

If I would have deposited that note, it would have had a value of 500, but I didn’t. Some times I wonder if that was turned into money, would it have helped someone. I don’t know, I don’t know for sure. I could not let go off that note. Even today, when I hold that note in my hand, the feeling is exactly same. It’s much more than nostalgia.

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THE REFLECTION OF LOVE

My faded wrist watch – the letter from my friend – a particular Ten rupee note – Nokia 1200 basic phone – hand-made woolen Doll – my broken Acer laptop – a torn English Bible and my collection of books. Yes, these are some of the things on earth, I love the most and would never like to share with anyone. I would never hesitate to tag them #myproperty! Especially, the wristwatch, the letter and the ten rupee note.

It’s been 6yrs, I love to wear the same old faded watch every day, though I have two other brand – new more expensive watches. It is the first gift I received at my first workplace. At times, I won’t hesitate to take 5/- loan from someone rather than spending that particular 10/- note in my wallet because it is a gift from someone!

One of the principles I adopted in my life is – NEVER COMPROMISE WITH YOUR GIFTS. Because the gift is always the expression of our love for someone and LOVE is the greatest of all godly characters.

God loves us & has engraved His love on our hearts to reflect it through our life on earth. In one line, “WE ARE THE LOVE LETTERS OF GOD”.   

On 2nd January evening, my friend’s grandmother gifted me a small hand-made woolen doll which she made for me and said, ‘Son, I don’t know whether I will be alive to see your kids, this is a small gift for your first child. Please accept it and remember me’. The doll she gifted may not look that fancy like the toys from Hamleys store but the LOVE, the EMOTIONS and her THOUGHTS for me wrapped in the doll is heavenly. I will never forget that emotional moment, the smile of her face, the love sparkling through her eyes and her words for me, they are honest and beautiful.       

One of my secret hobbies is the collection and storing of memories. Often, when I feel lonely I browse those lifeless pieces of stuff, I see the pictures of my family and my two best friends and read our old chat histories. Lifeless things are often the reflection of love and relationship we have with someone. It not only reflects their love but also reminds us to LOVE them despite all hurts.

We express our love once but the memory reflects it eternally!