The clock stuck 4 in the morning, when the old lady was ready to leave her house for a stroll towards the post office, where every day, she would witness the day lights break on her way. She picked up her khaki shawl, wrapped it around her wrinkled skin and proceeded towards the door. As soon as she opened the door, a swift breeze stroked her cheeks. Mrs. John felt something strange in this morning, as if this day was going to be any different from her daily routines. Ignoring this strangeness, she began her short journey towards the Post Office with the never ending hope in her heart.
But there was something that made the day unusual as compared to the previous ones. Maybe the street lights were dim, the dogs were not barking, the street seemed more abandoned and the wind had become much colder. Mrs. John had these thoughts going on in her mind until she reached her destination.
The post master had not yet arrived as Mrs. John sat on the old wooden bench waiting patiently for him to arrive. According to the routine, the stray dogs surrounded her and she fed them with the bread crumbs and was soon disrupted by the sound of post master’s scooter. ‘Good morning Mrs. John, How are you this morning?’ said the post master with a smile.
‘Good morning son, any letters addressing to Mrs. John? She asked her routine question with a sense of hope in her voice.
Post master replied in negative apologetically again. ‘Come, sit, we’ll have our morning tea’ said the Post master when he saw the woman losing hopes. He knew the reason behind her pain. It has been three months since she has stopped receiving from her son. The last letter which she received from her soldier son carried the news of his well being and of his next posting in Kashmir. This was the first time when Robin’s monthly letter had failed to reach his mother.
‘See you around Mrs. John, and don’t worry, You will soon get to receive from your beloved boy. Goodbye, have a nice day’ said the post master while seeing the old lady off. It was 7:15 am when she reached home and saw her husband reading the newspaper.
She walked in towards the kitchen and said ‘Good morning dear! Would you like to have some tea?’ She waited for an answer and walked into the room to check upon her husband who sat coldly on his arm chair with the newspaper in his hand. She touched him and noticed his grief stricken expression. She looked into the newspaper which read ‘17 soldiers martyred in their sleep as terror strikes Kashmir’.
At 7.30, the door bell rung when suddenly the post master appeared at their house carrying a letter in his hand. As soon as he saw Mrs. John, he presented the letter to her and exclaimed ‘here you are mother, as soon as you left today, this arrived with the mail truck and I thought you may not want to wait for it more.’ She quietly held the letter when a tear travelled down her cheek as soon as she read the initials over it “To: Mrs. John (Dearest Mother)…..From: Robin John(Yours loving son). “