Life’s Lessons

Prompt: You find a letter on the path. You read it and it affects you deeply. Write a short story (50 – 100 words) about it.

Inspiration: Bollywood movie Finding Fanny, in which a man goes in search of the love of his life after a letter he sent to her 46 years ago comes back to him.


“But he wrote this letter 46 years back mom!”, Ronnie argued, her voice shrill with desperation. “What if he is STILL waiting for a reply? He doesn’t know the letter didn’t reach her! What if SHE has been waiting for him?”

“46 years, darling, is a long time, enough to forget anyone.”

“No it’s not. Not if you truly love someone.”

“True love is like Santa Claus dear, only real till a certain age.”

“Why don’t you believe in love mom?”

A long pause ensued before Jennifer conceded, “Go post it.”

Some lessons can only be learned first hand, she thought.



It was in the most ordinary commonplace moments – like walking through a crowded marketplace or waiting for the train at the T-stop, that they felt this extraordinary strength about them, around them. In these moments, they knew that nothing could harm them. Not that they felt invincible or even plain lucky, no! It was a feeling that stemmed from some thing deeper, a belief so profound that they didn’t even know it existed, because they’d never had to think about it consciously. A belief so profound, and yet, so simple… like if the sun shone too harsh on them, they’d take out their shades and funny cowboy hats and gulp down glass after glass of pink lemonade, like if it suddenly rained so much that their souls were drenched and heavy, they’d play the most cheeky Bollywood rain song there was and dance their way to their safe place. Like somehow between the grocery shopping and the subway ride and the wedding vows, the tree of peace in her had finally found its roots in him and was blooming, like the bird of joy in him had at last taken flight on her wings and was soaring, like together they connected the lushest green of the earth to the purest blue of the sky and everything the earth whispered to the sky went through them and everything the sky murmured to the earth passed through them. Like they played a significant part in the running of the cosmos. Like they mattered, the most. Like they mattered the most. And thus anything that came in their way – the sun of hardships, the rain of disappointments – didn’t matter that much.
Now that I think about it, they were both – lucky and invincible – for they had found that rare form of togetherness that cloaks you and keeps you warm, without wrapping around you so tight you can’t breathe. The kind you search for in extraordinary love sonnets and find in ordinary people.

The Coffee Table

God! Just look at it; I don’t even feel like putting my newspaper on top of it. It’s ugly. Ugly? Yes, Ugly; not a word I use very often, but absolutely true for this piece of wooden shit. Calm down Robin, such negativity early in the morning…you have a whole fucking day ahead of you and that job interview…ohh what time was it? 11 right? It’s 9 already?!! Where is Mellisa? Why isn’t she up yet? “Mellisaaaa” “Mellissaaaahhh”

Damn! she left for that conference in Bahamas last night, hmph… ofcourse she did…maybe that’s why she buys all this crappy furniture, she knows she won’t be home to deal with it!

I mean just look at it, it’s wobbly and squeaky and black… really how hard is it to see that the whole fucking room has chocolate brown things? Why order a black coffee table? May be she’s gone colour blind. Yeah, that must be it. Or the only colour she sees these days is green, what with all the money she’s making!

Guess it’s time to hit the shower…should I wear blue today for the interview, or brown?   Aah I was wearing this blue shirt the first time I met Mellisa.“It makes the blue of your eyes look deeper”. Hah! I bet she doesn’t even remember the colour of my eyes now, or maybe she thinks it’s green! Hahahaa…

I mean I was sitting right next to her when she ordered it, but God forbid if she even asks for my opinion… you don’t even have to listen to me…but out of common courtesy just ask what do you think of it Robin, this is the eye-sore you would be staring at all day long while sifting through those Wanted ads in the fucking paper.

Where’s my shaving cream? Now what is this… God! as if the ugly ass furniture, the floral wall paper, the china pattern, Penny’s school, that giddying hypnotising modern art wasn’t enough, she had to decide my shaving cream brand too!

What happened to the woman I married? She was everything I could have asked for, I mean what are the chances you find a woman who could shop for both of us and knew all about what car to buy, who could plan vacations in such detail and maintain the house impeccably, who could run a publishing house while keeping those annoying PTA appointments.

Ofcourse, that was before they took away my restaurant from me, the one thing I have loved truly in my life, but no, they had to snatch it away from me, I mean it was just a few mortgage payments…

Yes, she has been different ever since.. I am her charity case now, one she needs to take care of, one she can criticise constantly “why don’t you find yourself a job” Oh right! I would have if I wasn’t distracted by the constant wobbling of your stupid table!

How did this happen to the woman I loved? Is money really that important? That powerful?

God! It’s past 10 and I am not even dressed. I am gonna be late, what with the crazy ass traffic in the morning… Where did I keep that brown shirt now?