The Tamarind Seed

July 14, 2008

The calender on the wall said three more days. Three more days for the big event, my wedding. But there were a lot of work to do, that I cannot sit and dream about the event. Friends and relatives will be arriving from tomorrow onwards. I have got to clean my room, make it comfortable for my friends who will come on the eve of the wedding, clean my shelf, and a lot of work to do. I haven’t got the wedding dress from the tailor. Will go to him today evening, I thought. But now, I’ll have to start with some other work. I thought for a moment, and decided to start with the shelf. I calculated the time needed for that job, may be one hour or maximum two hours. That means by lunch time, I can finish the shelf. After lunch, I’ll start with the room. Good. I thought to myself.
But when I opened my shelf, I knew my plans were not going to work. The shelf itself needed a
full 24 hours to clean it. There were so many letters which I have started saving form my seventh grade, cards, gifts and the little bits of paper we pass among friends during a boring lecture, all piled up on one rack. The single rack may take my time until lunch, I amused. I wanted to keep all those letters, gifts, cards and all, but I decided to burn the letters. Those letters from my friends have got many of their sighs and giggles that I prefer to keep to myself. I took the pile and kept it on my lap to select the letters form it.
. I smoothed the bit of paper that lay on top of the pile and read.
‘Boring class, wou ld you like some fun? Ayathullah’
‘Sure, what do we do?’ – My reply.
‘Draw a funny picture about Sathyan Sir taking the class and pass it to everyone.’
‘Ok, you do the drawing, I’ll do the writing, and we will pass it.’
I remember the sleepy class waking into a bright day of suppressed giggles when the picture was passed. But, sadly, I never got the picture back.
I put the smoothened bit of paper into a box. Next I took a heap of letters to be burnt, and there was a small piece of rose colored chalk lying beneath it, engraved ‘With love, Jeena’. Jeena gave it
to me on my birthday. Next, there was card from Femi, with the postman’s notice for not putting the stamp on it. She says she had pasted the stamp, but it must have fallen somewhere ‘coz when I got it, there was the 5 Dirhams bill on it for sending it without a stamp. I put that to in the box. There was puppets made of chocolate coverings, given to me by my friend Anitha when I we were in higher secondary. A cute and tiny glass basket, with glass fruits. I got it for my 20th birthday from Sumi, one of my best friends. I kept the basket in my shelf, near to my foto. There was this big gift which I got from my friend’s would be, a huge Guiness record book of 1999. I have even got the gift wrappers neatly folded. There was a puppy doll given to me by my friend Shaheena, when we celebrated our christmas friend at college.
A mock love letter given to me by Krishna came next. I was sure the letter was not written by him but his friends for the fun of it, and I kept it among the letters to be burnt. I wanted to keep it, but what if some one who read it never got the fun in it? There was another love letter below it, written by me and my friends for one of my friend, Nadiya. That was during our first year at college, and the seniors, as a part of ragging, asked her to write a love letter to her family friend, our senior in college. We wrote in Malappuram slang which is difficult for many to understand. That letter was a huge hit in our college, and I saved the rough copy. I put that in the box. The cards that came next fell into the box of saved items. There were some more bits of papers, self made cards and some drawings of my friends which was put in the box. A bunch of beautifully drawn cartoons by my friend Mirfath came next. Her letters also had pictures drawn on it. I saved all of them for the pictures drawn by her, when we were in our tenth grade.
When I took the last letter to be burnt, a tamarind seed fell from it.

I have told you about the tamarind seed in the last post. The memento given to me by my friend. We were not very good friends, but just friends who would pass by with a ‘hi’ or ‘hello’. We had nothing in common to share, were very different. I don’t remember exactly, but I think we had some fights also. I am very bad at remembering people, and so I would have forgotten her without the tamarind seed. When I picked up the tamarind seed, I remembered the moments when she gave me the seed, and asked not to throw it away. I have kept my word. The tamarind seed was placed at a corner of the box.
I tied the box, plastered it and put it in my shelf, with the memories of my school and college days. I then went to burn the heap of letters, saved during the last 11 years.


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