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The Lost Letter

Date: 18.05.23

From: Mumbai 
To: Delhi 

Sent by: an 8 year old
To: a 6 year old sister

Even after 21 days, the letter has not reached.

Is it lost???? Will it reach its destination???? But when????

Summer Holidays

After finishing multiplication and division sums one morning, I told my 8 year old to bring her English Workbook to revise 'Writing a Friendly Letter' or what is also called an informal letter. I gave her the  topic- "Write a friendly letter and invite your friend to come and spend her summer vacations with you." 

She wrote the letter in her rough notebook. I corrected a few grammatical errors, spellings and punctuation marks and told her to revise the same. Then I went to the kitchen to prepare lunch.

After half an hour or so, she came to me with a colourful letter written to her sister (masi's daughter- 6 yrs old) and inviting her to spend summer vacations with her. She said, "Mamma, I would give this letter to her when she comes here. I am keeping it secretly in my drawer."

I switched off the knob of my cooking gas as my mind got ignited with a thought. I called her and told her to wear the sandals and get ready. I rushed to my room and took out an empty envelope, which I bought a few months back from a stationary shop, when I went to buy, actually, a notebook and some school supplies. The customer next to me was buying the envelopes and I told - "Bhaiya 2 envelopes mujhe bhi de do", as they were looking so crisp and white"(We all mothers buy 2-3 things extra in case we need them later๐Ÿ˜‰) 

I went out and told her- No need to save the letter. Let's go and post it. She was unsure and shouted -really Mamma!!! Now!!! Abhi!!! How???? 

I asked, "Can I read the letter once?". Hesitatingly she agreed. A quick look at the letter and I noticed some colourful heartfelt words and few spelling errors. I smiled and ignored the latter for little ones just write and understand the feelings. 

She softly and lovingly folded the letter, put it in the envelope and wrote the address by herself. I told her to write the name and address a little larger in size.  Then I told her to write Pin Code: 4XXX0X. 

Popped the first question- What is Pin Code? 
I told her Pin code is the code of a particular post office in a city. Like we have house numbers, post offices of different areas have different codes / numbers. 

[The Pin code was first introduced on 15 August, 1972. It is a 6-digit numeric code. First digit and second digit tell us Zone and Subzone respectively, third digit tells us the district and the last three digits tell us the specific post office within that district. SOURCE: Bank Bazaar

She was excited but somehow I was jittery too. Last time I remember, I visited the post office during my college or university days to speed post some form / formal letter. Living in metro cities has made us lazy and couriers are now collected from our homes only. 

In between, my younger one 3+, though busy with a puzzle, also got excited at the thought that we are going somewhere. She rushed to the table where my elder one was now decorating the letter with smileys and stickers. The fight for decoration started and then little one enquired- "Letter? Where is the Post-box? Red post-box!!! Peppa also posts a letter." So now, the younger one was equally excited to post the letter, but the elder one got a little less happy by all this. ๐Ÿ˜„

In 10 minutes, we reached the nearest post office. 

There were long lines for Speed post, Sukanya Samrudhi Yojna, pass book printing etc etc. I was not expecting this rush at 11 am on a Thursday. 

I asked her to give me the letter for the speed post..."No! We will put it in the red post-box on our own", shouted both of them together. I explained to my elder one that a speed post ensures our letter reaches in time, like within 3 days, but if we chose to put it in a letter-box, it may take 7-10 days. A moment of deep thinking. "No, we want to put it in the post-box. It's okay mamma! We have twenty more holidays, it will reach in 10 days, before our holidays end. "

I went to an empty counter to collect the stamp. The person at the counter said, "A 5-rupee stamp would do." I paid five rupees, took the stamp and my elder one enquired," Mom, I will paste it. But why do we paste it?" I told her that this is like the fee for transporting and delivering our letter from one city to another. 

We rushed to paste the stamp. A huge NOSTALGIA set in seeing that blue coloured glue, the classic of Indian government offices. The brush was broken and fallen inside the glue. But the smell of glue rushed that fragrance of childhood through my senses. [Music and Smell are two things, for which a person has the strongest memory. These two things can time-travel your mind almost instantly.] I poured the drop of glue on the back of the stamp and my daughter pasted it nicely on the envelope. 

A huge post-box outside the post office, and the letter posted with 4 little hands, together. I could see the innocence and extreme delight on their faces and eyes. From the little gate of the post-box, which was though locked but 10% open, we saw our colourful letter, resting on 7-8 more letters. An elderly gentleman, standing nearby, seeing all this, said with a smile, "Do pray alongwith when you post your letter in the post-box." I was a bit surprised by this but deep inside I knew that ordinary posts may get delayed or lost. In older days, guests used to arrive before their arrival intimation letter. I don't know why that elderly gentleman said so. Maybe he is also waiting for her letter to be delivered.

I felt a sudden spiritual connect and we all prayed, "God! please take this letter to its destination."

It was a surprise for everyone. Kids used to do video calls daily. I used to hear, "A secret for you! You will get to know! In a few days, not now! But it could remain a secret only for next 12 days- when our letter did not reach. We HAD to ask. Kids were disappointed. 

After waiting for 3 more days, I called the post office and they asked about the tracking ID. 

I said, "Madam, we put the letter in the post box." 

"Then, it is impossible to know. How many days have passed?" she enquired.

I told her that almost 15 days have passed. She casually answered, "Ma'am, it should have been reached. We can't say anything about ordinary posts."

I was like, "So, you mean normal post-box letters don't reach these days. It was sent by kids. Everything was written so clear and proper, be it address, pin code or postage stamp. Are you sure it is out from your post-box?"

"Ma'am, the post-box is emptied daily," she replied.

"So, our letter will never reach. Is it lost?"

A complete silence between both of us and I disconnected the phone in a few seconds. 

After 19 days, again I felt an unrest and went to the post office to discuss the matter. The staff there was so humble in talking but helpless. Now the only way they have suggested is visit the respective post office in the destination city and talk to the postman there. Sometimes, the bag with 'ordinary posts' is kept aside as priority is given to speed posts and couriers. 

Everyone in the post office is saying that it's an 'ordinary' post letter, but being a mother, for me, the letter is most 'extraordinary and precious' because it is a pure love sent with innocence and hope. 

Not to lie, I am a little sad and disappointed and I don't have the courage to tell this to my kids. I had a word with my sister and she would be visiting the respective post-office in Delhi to check if it is there.

Little eyes and hearts are hopeful. Everyday while talking on video call, they expect to see their letter reached there.

I genuinely believe that it will definitely find its destination...

one fine day...


  1. Nostalgia. Dear God, I am thanking you in advance for the letter to reach in it's destination. Thank you for listening to my prayers.

    1. I hope kids letter will be reach soon.whats app and video call are very easy way of communicating but no one can take letter place .beautifully written


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