On one early morning of 1942 , I sit in my room reading the recent novel that dada bought me. Books have a way of moving me into a world of fantasy.
My summer afternoon, was made from a glance around my big narrow attic room, a book in hand and a reflection of fantasy and horror from the movie posters on my wall.
Mama thinks I am too spoiled for a young guy, missing the sporty environment boys should be in, just for the words written in pages. Very strikingly ignoring, how an imaginary life could give birth to a wider arena of experiences.
Because of my love for what’s beyond, I have a way of seeing the world from a philosopher’s perspective.
It’s so soothing isn’t it , seeing stories weaved in between nature in itself. Its rather enthralling to be a part of it as well. I wonder whether every place on this planet has the same greenery as my garden. Do the mango trees whisper to every one alike about the sad ghosts floating along?
All I guess I want is an escape and a refuge in my mindful games and plays. It’s tiring you see at times living in pain and fear; forever waiting for a letter.
I sometimes wonder how my little letterbox by the road handles such grave responsibilities and messages that decide the course of future. I have seen millions of people weeping by or else smiling holding a letter in hand. Just like me, and my unending wait for my big brother’s postal.
Yes, he is fighting in the war with big guns and bombs as dada says. I have heard them broadcasting on radio how the allies and axis are raging a war against each other. Ashes of smoke and sound of airplanes make up for the broken pieces of an uncertain fate .
I have heard mama sob when she goes up to Karl’s room; scavenging through his pictures trying to hold on to his innocent little self. I miss him too you know, when I go about swinging from the branches of my favourite tree, Karl had made that for me. He said on the morning of 17th March, 1939
“Little brother here take your swing of tires. Now go and ride it with glory.”
“Glory Karl? It’s a dirty tire. My friends will laugh at me.”
“Oh stupid boy, look come here. Sit down and look up “
“Have you ever seen a more bluer sky ? It’s deep and bright. What does it remind you of my boy?”
“The seas brother! The seas !”
“ And what did we make there ?”
“Our first sand castle. Mine and yours. You said it might break but it will never vanish from its marks .”
“Yes my boy, yes ! That’s our home ! Mine and yours ! So when you sit here on this tire, you will find us together at home always! Enjoying our summer as usual!”
“Our summer Karl ! I have decided that from now on our pen names would be Summer , because that is ours! “
“Okay, okay my brother, from now on we are each other’s summer !”
And just two years later you left for this unknown war in a strange new uniform promising me that now you will see the beauty of the world and tell me all about it . But you haven’t written a letter yet.
Everyday I sit by my porch and wait for the postboy to arrive. His name is Walter. He was my senior in school and a good pal until he left it to help as a postboy for his father . The war has lead to a lot of exchanges through letters and fax; communication is the most important necessity second to food .
We went to the nearby street park few days back .
” Stefan how is school going?
“Okay Walter! How are you? “
(bang, screams) We both turn around and see a huge truck forcing some people in to it , beating them, thrashing them.
Walter pushes and tells me to run home. He says not to worry but just to go home. I run home and cry in my study all day long unable to understand why some of my neighbours are taken away and why mama tells me they are no more our friends?
Anyway this has happened a lot of times now, it seems normal.
“Hey Stefan boy, waiting here again? “
“Walter any letter from him? ”
“No boy I don’t think so. I am sorry, it will come don’t worry.”
I sit back alienated for the rest of the day. It been months now and not a single post. Dada worries that something is wrong, he tells me brother might never come back. But I won’t believe them, Karl promised me! He can’t..
The evening lights glow up the street and I sit along on the porch waiting. My hope seemed lost for the day but yet I knew it will a better morning tomorrow.
“Stefan, wait! “
“Walter? What? “
“I forgot this letter, it was just stuck underneath. Here take it’s from Karl . Be happy boy.”
My happiness had no bounds and I thanked Walter as if he was a angel who saved me.
I ran up to my room and opened the letter. With tears in my eyes I could hear him read those words out for me :
𝘏𝘦𝘺 𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳, 𝘐 𝘩𝘰𝘱𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘣𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘰𝘬𝘢𝘺! 𝘐 𝘢𝘮 𝘴𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦. 𝘏𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘣𝘶𝘴𝘺 𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸.
𝘐 𝘢𝘮 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘧𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘥𝘦 . 𝘞𝘦 𝘨𝘰 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘭𝘥𝘴 𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘨𝘶𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮. 𝘐𝘵 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘮𝘴 𝘢𝘴 𝘪𝘧 𝘸𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘔𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘕𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦’𝘴 𝘨𝘶𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘯𝘴 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘸𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘤𝘴!
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳, 𝘐 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘩𝘰𝘱𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘵𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦 𝘪𝘵. 𝘞𝘦 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘦𝘹𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘴 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘧𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘶𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘣𝘦𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘴𝘪𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘴!
𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘸𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘐 𝘢𝘮 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯 : 𝘣𝘭𝘶𝘦 𝘴𝘬𝘪𝘦𝘴, 𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘴.. 𝘐𝘵 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘸𝘦 𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘮𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘚𝘵𝘦𝘧𝘢𝘯, 𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵!
𝘐 𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘴𝘰 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘮𝘺 𝘣𝘰𝘺! 𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘺 𝘐 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶, 𝘮𝘢𝘮𝘢 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘢𝘱𝘢 𝘴𝘰𝘰𝘯! 𝘐 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘐 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘦!
𝘜𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘺 𝘐 𝘴𝘦𝘢 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘣𝘭𝘶𝘦 𝘴𝘬𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘴𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘵𝘪𝘳𝘦. 𝘉𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘦 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴. 𝘐 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳!
( Somewhere in a war stricken land)
“Karl! Karl! “
” Get up the troop is attacking! We have to get ready! “
” Yes, ready sir! “
Karl gets up in his blood dripped clothes with cuts everywhere, a stale bread in hand as his final food before the war. He looks up to smoke filled skies and yet sees the dazzling blue one more time.
” Oh my Summer, boy! I yet see the skies again to be a guardian one more time ( he smiles) “
Written by Annwesha Ghosh