Tuesday, 24 June 2014

A Letter to Heidi


Dear Heidi,

Years have passed since last time we have talked to each other. Peter might have become a soldier! Perhaps living in that same old house on the mountains or may be shifted to a new house in the town!

Sunrise on the hilltop may be still the same; bringing the same warmth and freshness every morning! and ‘shining through the round window and falling in golden rays on your bed and on the large heap of hay, and as you open your eyes, early in the morning, everything in the loft seems gleaming with gold’.

I hope you remember the day when you went with Peter and his goats on to the mountain, and on the top of it you found ‘the scent of the flowers seemed sweeter to you with every breath of wind that wafted it towards you’. When you refused to move, watching the flowers; Peter said “We have a long way to go yet, so come along! And on the topmost peak of all the old bird of, prey sits and croaks.”

I still remember, you were busy picking flowers and filling your apron! and when peter said; “You have got enough now, you will stay here forever if you go on picking, and if you gather all the flowers now; there will be none for tomorrow.”

You suddenly sprang to your feet and ran up to Peter with your apron full of flowers!!

I also remember telling my friends in the school about you. My friend Shahin Sha always wanted to hear about you. He used to like hearing about you and peter, and your adventures on the mountains.

Shahin Sha always doubted the mysterious nature of your grandpa. And he even said once that, there must be a secret for him to live away on the mountains. He doubted it a secret perhaps like the secret of ‘The Count of Montechristo’. He said your grandpa must have hiding something valuable like a treasure perhaps. In his view it couldn't be ignored completely the chances of your grandpa being a wizard! But I never believed it. I knew he was good and you were safe there.

A lot has happened in my life since you left the mountains, after my schooling I went to college, made friends, graduated, worked for three years and made some money, decided to resume studies again. Sometimes I feel, it is all about routine and very much cyclic. But I used to miss talking to you. Since you left the hilltop every moment appears to me to be just some other bizarre déjà us.

Shahin Sha went to Saudi Arabia, got married and became a father. Sixteen long years have passed, and in these many years you have become that same old stranger who once walked into my life unexpectedly.

I think it was a rainy night when we met for the first time. You were a stranger and reluctant to talk much. It was peter who made you laugh in the early days. And I remember your first day, after you had come away from your former home on to the mountain to stay with your grandfather; you felt bad and found everything strangely unfamiliar and took a while to remember where you are when you woke up in the next morning!

Shahin Sha always wanted to meet you and talk to you. But I never gave him a chance. He even offered me his ‘much boasted of’ ‘The Count of Montecristo’! It wasn't unfair from his side as a genuine deal! But I never fell prey to that offer. I hope you remember him and all these stories of him making a variety of offers to meet you. I hardly find any story interesting than yours, and for that reason, I still feel free to talk to you even after sixteen long years!

Winter was beautiful in Dorfli! Dreamy snowfall would make all white everywhere! If it was to be a severe snowfall to come, as soon as the first snow began to fall, your grandpa had shut up the hut and the outside buildings, and gone down to Dorfli with you and the goats.

Once in a winter in Dorfli, ‘the snow was lying so high around the hut that the windows looked level with the ground and the door had entirely disappeared from view’, and I remember that made you mysteriously surprised! And you felt yourself like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ seeing ‘white magic’ all-round you!

I remember everything and I wonder if you too remember as I do always! All these years have brought me enough to tell you word after word for years to come. Ever since that rainy night, countless nights passed with and without rains, I met new people at different stages of my life, made relationships, talked even to strangers and everything went past without me!

When I write you next time, I will write about Clara and Peter in detail! And I hope someday soon, we will meet and talk to each other, and I will be so happy to get my long lost friend back once again. I hope wherever you are, you keep smiling and feel like singing; and whoever you have become in these many years, you are doing extremely good and making new friends! I think I miss ‘a friend of mine whom I met in a rainy night’ and this writing is the least of it.
Your friend.

(Heidi is a character in the story ‘HEIDI’ written by ‘Johanna Spyri’ and translated into Malayalam by BM Suhara as ‘Malamukalile Appooppan’. I read this story when I was in the 6th standard as I got this book as my birthday gift and it was a rainy night in July 22 I started to read it

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