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Shiv Dutta

Updated: May 24, 2020

Dear Rita,

You said, “How are you?” Well I’ve to tell you a whole bunch of stuff I haven’t had a chance to tell you before. First of all, you always complained I hated grocery shopping. Well, let me tell you I’ve become very good at it now. It used to take me a few hours in the beginning but now it takes me only a few minutes. I’ve quickly learned the tricks of the trade. I like my groceries being delivered at my door. In fact, I like it so much I may never go back to the old way of grocery shopping! You never let me put the groceries away. You always said I got them messed up, putting them at wrong places! You’ll be amazed how good I’ve become at this art in such a short time. Even disinfecting them takes me only a few minutes. If you were with me now, you wouldn’t have much to do around the house! You’d sit around on the couch and watch your soaps and I’d take care of most of the household chores!

I think I’m going to let my hair grow. I won’t bother to go to the salon anymore. It has been almost six months since I had my last haircut. My hair is beginning to look like the length of your hair. I can even braid a tiny ponytail. Do you remember how you used to make fun of my bald patch in the middle of my head? I can hide that bald patch now by carefully manipulating my hair while combing it!

Oh, I wanted to tell you how I’m finding my old house cleaning skills quite handy these days. You remember Teresa, the cleaning lady? Well, I told her I’d let her know when I’d need her again. I even told her if she needed any financial help in the meantime to not hesitate to let me know. She said she was doing okay so far. You remember how twenty years ago I used to vacuum the whole house? Well, it’s good that I ever did that. That experience is helping me a lot these days. But first I had to get a vacuum cleaner. I had given away the old one to a friend. Of course, you did most of the cleaning, the kitchen and the bare floors. I’m doing that now! Did I mention cooking? Well, it’s nothing compared to yours! If I fed you the meals I cook, you’d go hungry most of the days!

Millie thinks I’ve plenty of time on hand to take care of anything that comes my way! Just because I’m retired! Imagine that. Ha Ha! She says What do the writers do anyway? Look out the window and daydream! By the way, she’s doing well with her husband and the kids. I haven’t seen them just about a year and I don’t know when I’ll see them again! The kids are growing up fast. Soon they may forget their Dadu. They may not know what to talk to Dadu about! They may grow out of childhood and may not want to play games with me or come running to me and hug me!

For more than two and a half months, I’ve been strictly following the CDC guidelines and staying homebound. At my age I can’t afford to take any chances! I go out once a week, on Sundays, for a little more than five minutes to collect my mails. I haven’t seen my friends for what seems like ages. I’ve spoken to them a few times over the phone but you know it’s not quite the same as meeting them in person and talk, chat, laugh and share a drink! I’ve tried Zoom but it doesn’t appeal to me. It seems so artificial, so fake!

You don’t know this but I’ve been writing the story of our lives, you and me together. For a long time, I couldn’t move my fingers on the keyboard to add to the story but finally my fingers are moving and moving fast. I may have the first draft ready before too long. We’re told at my age I’m one of the most vulnerable. Looking at the numbers I believe it. Should I not get a chance to finish our story, it will be finished in the next go-around. Don’t some religions say nothing we do in this life ever gets wasted? We carry our deeds into the next one?

Well, that’s how I’m doing! How are you? How are things up there? I bet you guys don’t face the kind of upheaval we’ve been going through down here!



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