‘Hey Amu, Amrita Das is here at city college.’ Shubha said with excitement.
Without showing any interest, I continued doodling.
‘Hey, let us go to meet her. Everybody is going to the City college.’ Shubha continued with excitement.
‘You go if you want to. I am not coming.’ I said, without looking up.
‘What! You don’t want to meet Amrita Das!? Your favourite author,’ Shubha was shocked.
‘I don’t want to meet her. I hate liars.’
Shubha continued staring at me in amazement for a minute and confused, she left.
That evening Jyotishko interviewed Amrita Das on radio and told her there is a young girl who says that you are a liar. This is your own story, but you are not accepting it. Amrita Das laughed and said, ‘She is being romantically foolish. At a young age we are all like that.’
Jyotishka asked her, ‘So there is no Mircea?’
‘There is a fictional Mircea.’ Amrita Das had said.
But I knew that Mircea is real and I am in love with him. I decided to write one letter to him every day. I bought an Air Mail. When everyone went off to sleep at night and when the house was at peace, I wrote my first love letter to Mircea.
This is my first letter to you. You may not know me. I am Amu, writing to you from Calcutta. I have never been to your country. But I am sure it must be the most beautiful country in the world and I wish to see your country with you…
And I sealed the letter. I turned off the light and went to sleep.
You said that Lucien is in India, writing about India and Indian culture. I hope he is visiting Thakur baari at Shantiniketan. He must have visited Sri Aurobindo’s Ashram at Pondicherry. He was our freedom fighter and a yogi. He has written the world’s longest poem ‘Savitri’… With Love,
And I sealed the letter.
Another day. Another letter.
Today I bought the book ‘Ulysses’ and after writing to you, I will read the book. One day we will together write a book. My exams are approaching and this is the last year of my school. Everyone wants me to be a doctor, but I am going to be a writer like you…
And I sealed the letter.
Another day, another letter. Another day, another letter. Another day, another letter…
Year 1985. I got married. And soon I became a mother. I got busy with my married life, looking after my son and family. Mine was a blessed life. I travelled a lot and I got to see different cities and experience different cultures. Ten years passed and I didn’t realise when from a girl, I had become a woman. We had shifted to Chennai in a new house. We got a desktop computer at home.
Saravanan was installing the internet connection.
‘Ma, ma, the net connection is done. Come here.’ My son called me from another room.
The Yahoo page was open on the computer and my son asked, ‘What do you want to know ma? Yahoo knows everything.’
I kept staring at my son who was seemed very excited. ‘You can know everything about your favourite author. Tell me do you want to know about Amrita Das,’ my son asked again.
‘Mircea… Mircea Eliade.’ I mumbled.
My son typed Mircea Eliade and clicked on the search button. The first search result said, Mircea Eliade (1899- 1965). That evening in the Bay of Bengal, I let go all the letters that I had written to Mircea.