From Morpada to Jalpada it takes an hour from the jetty. I took a ticket for seat S20. It was early morning the sunshine fell on my face and on the water which stole my heart. I was thinking about something and the elderly lady sat beside me. I was looking at the waves and thought why can't my emotions are like those waves. I could hear kids laughing and girls talking about themselves but I wasn't actively listening to them I really enjoyed the melancholic state in which I was. The lady beside told me how beautiful Jalapada
is and she used to live there before marriage. I didn't want to get out of my zone. I wanted to be sad for a while because I knew I have to attend college tomorrow and tell everyone how happy and cheerful I am. Actually, I didn't want to take Ladakh trip to find myself. I firmly believed that temporary solutions are not meant for permanent problems. I had a comfortable life. My parents worked in AIIMS hospital but not always materialistic things works when you are emotionally drained almost all the time. While my parents had the privilege to serve as a doctor I had the privilege to hear the stories, poems and anecdotes from my dear grandma. One day she was not around. I don't remember her I was 5 when she kinda lost. I could see her big photograph framed. She had a childlike smile. I told my mommy that I also want my photograph framed near her. My mom considered me as a 7 and told the one who goes to heaven are the ones whose photograph gets framed. I was 7 I didn't know what she meant but now believe me but grandma's smile used to haunt me. I used to cry when I thought something is missing but grandma still smiled. As I was growing her smiled turned into laughter now she laughs at my condition all the time.
Are you even listening? the lady beside me asked. Yes, I said without paying attention. She continued so we had this big garden my amma has put a little shop in the garden because beauty attracts many tourists and we earned really well. I never helped my amma so my brothers were the only hope. They studied in the early morning and then helped amma with tea and snacks for the tourists. I loved my garden the sweet smell of tea made me go into the shop but brutal brothers annoyed me to help in the shop. I used to run as fast as I could. The fragrance of rose, daffodils, mogra and marigold with little drizzle was something I miss nowadays. Amma died at an early age and I wasn't even close to her she didn't have the time to spend with us. She managed everything. My brothers sold our house and the garden to the owner who planned to construct a hotel that was really disheartening. I left the house in the rage and anger. I was young I used to go morphed by boat. I reached there but I need to earn to keep myself alive. I know gardening really well. I decided to be the gardener, at last, I got the job at a big mansion there for 9 gardeners but Sir thought it would be unkind to say no to the young poor girl. Days were good but our servant died of typhoid leaving her 2-year kid alone. I was not his mother other servants looked after him but we really got along while he was growing up but then...... Bye, Jalapa has arrived. Firstly, it was really amazing that I didn't know how 1 hour has passed but the lady has left how rude I really want to know the story of her life. The conductor told me to leave as I was sitting for 10 mins there as I was leaving I saw the envelope beside me I didn't rush to return the letter I walked outside sat on the beach and read the letter:
It has been years I don't even remember your face son. Do you remember how easy our life was? I had lost almost everything in my life but losing you was the hardest of all. Sometimes in life, we have to learn to move on even if someone is so close to our hearts. When you were alive I used to act like you are mortal and I never told you how much I love you and how adorable you were. We just wait and wait for the right moment and time snatches our loved ones. I often write you this letter because I cant accept the fact that you are gone but yesterday morning I found your old diary I found that you did so much for orphans how you used to make a change in this ugly world how you reached to those kids who were alone in this world. You were not rich. You earned so little but you always managed to give as much you can. This is my last letter to your son I will always miss you. I always thought you will never come back but when kids come up to me asking how much loved them. I was sure Manjul can never die.
Goodbye, see you soon.
I didn't move for a long time. The pain of Banjul, the old lady and mine were similar but the way we deal with it is so different. I left the letter on the beach maybe it can change one more life. I remember the smile which wasn't haunting anymore.