The Forgotten Letter (India Members only)

Written by: Tamal Dutta

It is raining heavily. Dark clouds roar and scar every creature on the earth. Water covers the farms and ponds overflow.

Daniel struggles to cross the muddy path beside the farms, with a bottle of whisky in his left hand. He is repeatedly falling, drinking from the bottle, falling over, and again getting up to cross the fields. His torn shirt flaps in strips around his drenched body and the loose cotton pants only just cover his private parts. His long hair, beard and face are covered with mud. He somehow crosses the farm to reach higher land with a huge tree on it. He lies down near the thick roots of the tree.

Daniel is almost thirty and lives his life as a tramp. He has no dreams, no ambitions. He never works for longer than a week and it is always the fault of his employer when he tells Daniel there is no work for him anymore.

The rain slows down and the place slowly becomes brighter. After lying unconscious in the mud for a few hours, Daniel wakes up and looks around. He finds a small pond just behind the tree and washes his face to get rid of the drowsiness. He sits near the water for some time. When he finally fully wakes, he is shocked. He knows this place. He runs to the tree and looks more closely. He once visited this place with his father when he was a teenager. He turns to the roots of the tree.

There is a mark made on one of the branches near the root. He picks up a stone and digs in the ground beneath the marked branch. He finds a small bottle. He removes the cork fitted to the neck of the bottle and takes out the paper inside. He finds the note his father wrote, “Whenever I fail in life, I will not stop till I succeed.”

He holds the letter near his heart and starts crying loudly, leaning against the tree to keep himself from falling in the pond.  It starts raining again and thunder roars.

Daniel sadly puts the letter back in the bottle and buries it near the root of the old Banyan tree. He moves to the pond in the rain and jumps in. He holds his breath and remains under the water for a full two minutes. He comes out and sits near the pond but still cries over the mistakes he made in his life. All through that long moment, he remembers his father’s words. He knows his father wants him to live to his fullest potential. An urge to dream once more about living a life that is full of promise and hope fills him again. He remembers the promise he made his father that he will never quit.

The rain does not stop that night. Daniel sits near the root of that huge tree. He keeps thinking about the life he left behind. He decides to go find that life and to live again.


Writing order: Vatsal Shah (Ind), Priya7 (Ind), Farha Naz (Ind), Tulika Saha (Ind), Hemali (In), Iliena Bosu (Ind), Tulika Saha (Ind), Hemali (Ind), Vatsal Shah (Ind)