A letter to my wife before my 30th birthday

Hey R,

It’s hard not to be in the same room as you; or the same house or the same neighborhood. Sheru (our cute albeit anxious puppy) has filled your presence in the room a little. He seldom leaves me alone, desires quite a bit of attention and is quite protective of his food. I think you left a huge chunk of ‘you’ with him. Even as I write this, he lies curled up next to my laptop, probably dreaming about me.

We have been apart for weeks now. My birthday is approaching soon. I’ll be turning 30 this year. It’s a strange feeling, to be 30 and still about the same, logistically. I mean, the vapor from the incense goes away, but the charring and soot stay. I have to accept the possibility that you might not be able to make it back in time for my 30th birthday, given that the virus has finally arrived in my vicinity. Strange that you think it could never happen to you. Just a while back we had people banging utensils from their respective balconies and we both had a hearty laugh over their stupidity. Now, it’s back to the old cruelty, just with a sense of unease. Hardly anyone laughs in their homes anymore. The quiet operates between sombre and pleasant. You told me you heard a family was ostracized when they brought the virus so close to home. People threw stones and called the police. Maybe, that is just a natural extension of who we are. Our baser natures that stem from fear. This is starting to sound like a maudlin nightly radio broadcast. Anyway, I’ll be 30 soon and I’m glad I have someone to want other than sparrows and skies.

I wanted to write this letter so I could think about you. I like to think about you, seeing your round little face and the nose befitting an Egyptian queen. I like to think about more than that, but maybe I should keep that between us (wink, wink). I have been a sad grunt since we got married and you probably think it’s because of you. But it’s not. Far from it, I think it’s just a melancholic affliction, the one that I have struggled so far with. It comes and goes with seasons, sometimes years. It’s full blown now and I haven’t been sleeping so well. The claustrophobia that has gripped the world doesn’t help either. But I am trying to cope. Hopefully, it won’t leave a mark on you or me.

There is so much more to write, but I’ll reserve that for this book that I’m writing – “My marriage to a parakeet; it’s not a crack on her nose; just her magnificent plume.” I hope you read this while sipping a glass of aam panna on the armchair. Don’t forget to spill!



Photo by Sarah G. on Unsplash

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