A blood-red envelope lands on my desk along with the day’s mail. THE blood-red envelope. The same type of envelope, made of rough handmade paper. Just like it was years ago. You might remember me writing about it last year.
Somehow, the iconic poster of Che Guevara presented to me then by my cousin, the face collage in red and black with a beret sporting a solitary star, instilled in me a sense of importance though I had no idea what it was based on.
I was not expecting the letter. The envelope was made of blood-red recycled paper, and my name was scrawled in capitals with a black sketch-pen. No stamp, no postmark. Somebody had just walked up and placed the envelope there.
Every time, the Devi’s procession crossed the vicinity of another Devi Temple – there were about 3-4 temples in the area of Puthupally – she would stop to visit her sister. Now this is seriously the realm of the spiritual as we know, and the sisters were allowed to have a conversation, and while this happened in the spaces beyond human access, the oracle’s dance reached a crescendo, the poor man becoming God for that instant and letting everyone know of the divine wish of the deity.
It is almost as if you have just stretched through the veil of time and set off a trigger that works on the premise of remembrance – of a smile, a smirk, the toss of the head or some quirk that you have stored away in memory as an associative remnant.
Reunions are the perfect opportunity to re-live those memories; the shards of longing that take on new meaning, a fuller picture is built with the bricks of collective recollection. On such days, when friends get together, the sun goes a shade of nostalgic pink. A familiar face evokes the frantic spring-cleaning of memory for a forgotten name, the quiver of the heart as it takes in the shock of recognition.
“Err… well…” I am still searching her face and I can see her eyebrows pucker up. “I will try to be a better husband.” I split each word as I say it and, as I feel the first signs of embarrassment creep into me, I see her face raise itself, chin up, and beginning to crumble into a meaningful grin.
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