May 26, 2010

Eleanor's letter

Elizabeth,
I hope this reaches you in good health. The times have become worse and I have been away from John for a long and painful ninety three days now. The war seems to be getting more violent by the day, from the sound of the radio broadcasts. Everyday, I go to the market place in hope of selling the marigolds that I grow in the garden, and as I pass the mayor's office, I press my ears to his door to pick up pieces of information about my dear John. There is never enough to figure out how he is. But I feel that he is alive. I just know it. I yearn to feel his hand in mine, to feel his lips on mine, to feel any touch from him that would assure me that I am still his. I want to feel that belonging once more.

It is awfully scary to be living in times like this when I have little Elsa in my stomach. Yes. I am pregnant and am expecting in another six months. I'm almost sure it is a girl because I can feel less kicking on days that I wear the pink bonnet and step out. I wish I could tell John that we have finally conceived a child! Though, I wish her dead sometimes! It sounds wrong but the burden will be too much to bear alone. If he does not return, I will not be able to look after her alone or tend to even her basic needs of food and water. Do not spite me for having said that. My aching back and head ought to be blamed and you know that I do not truly mean it.

There is a man, however, who has expressed an interest in me. It seems to be deeply rooted for the last five years, since the night he saw me dancing with John in the village meet where we all danced the night away.  The possibility of a looming war was not even present then. Those were the days...Jackson is the name and he is a composer. Yes, he composes music and writes lyrics to his songs as well. He wrote one for me and played it for me when I went to the bar last Friday. It was sickening to think of even considering such a man over my brave John! The guilt made me leave immediately and throw up in the alley near the bar. What a wretched feeling it was! I cannot even start to explain it.

I hope that Mother is doing fine and that her ailments have been taken care of with the medicines. Do give her my love, little one. I miss Father every now and then. The memories of him are not as vivid anymore but the last time I saw him is still as clear as crystal in my mind and it does not leave me. I really wish it would, for the sight of it showing itself over and over again only disturbs this mind and causes me to swoon occasionally. Little Elsa shall be affected by this and I cannot even control it. What a horrible mother I will be! 

News of new deaths of our soldiers reaches us everyday but our letters do not reach them. They are on a secret mission where no details of their whereabouts are known to even the close family members. He has his troops beside him, at least. I have none. I have no one to turn to nor to look after me. For meals, I beg or suffice with a small bun a day that has made it seem like I am a starved old woman and the fact that I am only twenty eight is concealed by this. I do not know how to look after this baby inside me. I need help. Do stop by the village if you can. It would be great to see a face who is not frowning at the bulge of my stomach. I wish John had married me before leaving for the war. The idea of a pregnant wife would draw some sympathy in the least! I am lonely and afraid. Do visit.

-Your sister,
  Eleanor

9 comments:

Prateek said...

Colloquial language interspersed with brilliant scenery depicting village life. The gravitas and the imagery prevalent are characteristic of the time that you talk about. But the most compelling thing is the way it tells you some and leaves some to the imagination. Good Work!

kittu said...

very touching and sad...

Naman Saraiya said...

Wow!
Saying more, would be unjust.
Almost cruel to the beauty of it.
Picturesque, as can be.
Pristine.

dev b said...

i love this post of urs...touching and very appealing..super! :D

chandani said...

Brilliant.
I love it.

LUBUS said...

Very nicely done, but yeah really touching...!

Saket said...

Hi Rohini..

Sorry, I'm posting very late because couldn't write after reading it for the first time.
After I see or read something nice, I do not like to discuss it. I keep thinking on it.

I loved it. I loved that in the beginning of the letter Elanor wants to be honest with Elizabeth and at the same time she doesn't want to tell everything that would make her worry. But in the end she loses it. The transition is so smooth!

sanaya said...

Well written. Is it your own or based on a true letter/story?

Rohini said...

Thanks,everyone.
@Sanaya: Came up with the idea while taking a crap. Want to do a whole series of letters actually.