A letter workshop. Last Friday, we sat and read out some old letters.
A card from Malta-Dec 1993
“It was a cold rainy night, as I walked up the slope of Ballutta, feeling a bit hungry”
“She took out my coat and said-How beautiful you are!”
We had a Vodka first and then a nice sandwich.
The warm restaurant was in sharp contrast to the cold windy rainy exteriors.
Afterwards she told me that she will follow me to my hotel.
Next day, they helped me open my bank account.
And so started a friendship which has lasted over two decades and generations.
Here is a Christmas card, sent in 1993.
Missed you in my wedding-Oct 1989
“Father and mother were dancing on my wedding” wrote the eldest daughter, who was finally married.
“They had given up, after the three younger ones had got married.”
She miscarried her first pregnancy, but her daughter was born within a year of marriage and she will be eighteen tomorrow.
11 people who were present in her wedding are no more. Father died in 97, mother in 98, brothers died young.
“Your mother misses you a lot, and keeps telling to come back and take a job near home,” her sister wrote about her wedding and family.
The cycle of life goes on.
Think of 19 years before 1989, when you yourself were 18, just as your niece will be tomorrow. How many people of 1970 were alive in 1989.
There are different phases of life, and with age, different issues come up. A teenager, a young adult, the issue of education of children, the marriage and settlements, diseases..
From a friend-1997
For three years after returning, I was alright. Then they diagnosed a tumor.
We used to have a reunion every year, in different cities. And most of the expatriate workers who found their way back to their country were having some difficulties in adjusting.
Nice to hear from you after over a decade. We worked together in Central till 1987. Then she went back. She wrote this letter in 1997, after a gap of ten years.
Now the tumor has spread.Not much time left..
“She was fine when she left this place” they reflected on the times when they would sit and have coffee together after their shift in Central and the impromptu parties which they would have in Pasaoti-the residential complex for expatriate medical workers.
Release the salary-1982
For a brief period I worked in Khadra Trauma centre till our Central Trauma setup was made. I had come here in 1981 through the Pristina protocol.
As I followed the whole batch to Central, the Khadra finance withheld my salary of two months.
Here is a letter written in 1982 requesting the release of the pending salary.
Letters. Humans are the same everywhere. The human condition is bounded by the fetters of machines, systems, big-schemes where the Human being and Humanity is many a time forgotten and lost.
Messages of the relations, issues, life and times gone by. Preparations for coming times.
When did you last write a heart-felt letter?