TREASON BY ROMANCE

18 January 1942, 10PM:

Dear Noor,

I know it hasn’t been more than two weeks since I’ve sent a letter. It’s just that I’m missing you. I’m unable to stop thinking about you. I know that you hate it when I behave obsessed about you. But you should also know that mine is just a harmless obsession; you can even call it an adorable obsession. I just couldn’t resist writing to you. I did control myself for a week but I’m afraid, the tensile strength of my patience isn’t as much as I expected. I just wanted to tell you that I Love You. I know that you know that I Love You, I just couldn’t stop myself from writing to you. It doesn’t mean that you should write to me soon. It’s just me. Ok? You can just read my letters and wait to tell me all about what you feel when you are able to write to me.

Yours Beloved, ever waiting Husband,

Nayan.

Nayan folded the letter, put it in an envelope. “You treat the envelop like it’s her. So romantic!” his sister Akanksha giggled sarcastically. Nayan jumped a bit “You spooked me!” he complained as she continued giggling. “You don’t understand, Aki” he blushed. “True! I don’t even want to” she sighed and sat beside him. “You think I should send this?” he looked at her and she looked at him back. She couldn’t reply, she just kept staring at him. It’s because Nayan’s face didn’t look like he was expecting an answer. She knew that regardless of her opinion, he will not send that letter. She smiled, took a long blink, nod her head and asked “It’s third time this week. You didn’t send the letters you wrote earlier. You saved them in your desk. I don’t understand why are you even writing when you don’t have the courage to send it?”. He looked at his desk and thought for a moment. “It’s not that I’m afraid to send, Aki.” he paused for a moment and looked back at her “I’m missing her and my instincts want me to write to her and at the same time. I know that I shouldn’t be distracting her from her work. I’m unable to stop my urges to write to her. Whenever I feel like writing to her, I just sit down and write whatever I feel like writing, I’ll save them for her. I’ll show them all when we finally meet after this long wait” He started blushing again. “Too dramatic! I always considered you as a rational person. I’m skeptic about that now” she laughed while patting Nayan’s shoulders. “How many letters did you write and not send in these 2 weeks?” she asked. “19” he answered closing his eyes tight and covered his face with his hands as he couldn’t face his sister. “There are only 14 days in two weeks, Nayan” she exclaimed and pulled his hands out of his face. He looked straight into her eyes and said “Exactly!”. “You are weird ! You are seriously missing her! You are impatient and irrational. At the same time, you are able to resist yourself from throwing all those letters on her face. You are too patient and completely rational! What is this?” she asked with a puzzled expression on her face.” Duality of mind, little sissy. But yet somehow I write to her before she writes to me making an impression that I’m annoyingly impatient. I don’t mind though” he smiled and got up to his desk. He opened the first drawer in the left and looked at all those 19 letters for a moment. He sighed and added the 20th letter in the heap. He lit his cigar and rested on his recliner looking at the rain for the rest of his day. 7 hours had passed and he woke up to realise that he dozed off an entire night on the recliner. He went into the bathroom, opened the little wooden compartment below the mirror. He took out his wooden hair brush engraved with design of sun, brushed his hair and while putting it back he looked at the other hair brush engraved with moon on it. He looked at it for a while, put his brush in the compartment. Rushed out of the bathroom as if he would die if he didn’t. He took out a letter paper from the bundle, opened the ink bottle, dipped his foutain pen in the ink and put it on the paper.

Dear Noor,

He started writing again with a smile on his face.

1st February 1942, 10AM:

It was raining outside and Nayan was waiting for his driver to arrive. “I feel like a selfish rich brat, Aki. I should’ve listened to the weather forecast this morning. I shouldn’t have sent for Ravi” Nayan was shouting and was just walking in circles in the living room. “It’s okay, Nayan ! Of course you are a selfish brat but this time you really didn’t know. Nothing much you can do about it” she laughed. Nayan threw his pocket comb at her which she evaded successfully and starred teasing him by laughing at him. The gate creaked and Nayan rushed towards the main entrance. “There he is!” Nayan said to himself looking at Ravi enter the mansion with an umbrella in his hands. “Thank goodness you’ve an umbrella!” he yelled at which Ravi was puzzled. “Let’s go” he signalled Ravi to start the car. “The weather is cats and dogs, sir. It’s just an aerogram right? I know how to send an aerogram. Leave that to me. You don’t need to be out in this weather” Ravi expressed his concern. “Ah, it’s nothing, Ravi. I’ve seen worse. Besides, you don’t need to pretend concern. It’s not your cup of tea” Nayan giggled and got in to the car.

4th February 1942, 4PM:

“I should’ve controlled myself. I should have waited till she wrote to me, Aki” Nayan was talking to Aki and she wasn’t even listening to him. She was immersed in the radio. “Maybe she got angry. She might’ve thought I’m being obsessed and wanted to control me by not sending a letter. I shouldn’t have wrote her before 4th. She said… She said that I’ll receive a letter every 4th. Why do I even behave like an impatient idiot?” Nayan looked at his sister. “Even you are not listening to me. There’s no one in the world who wants to talk to me!” he yelled and went back to his room. He took out a letter paper and started writing again. He was apologizing for writing earlier than the promised day. Their agreement was simple, he’d receive her letter on 4th of every month and he should send his reply before 10th. Never did he wait for the 4th.

“… This time I wouldn’t do that. I wouldn’t write to you before you write to me. Don’t be angry, mon amour..”

He wrote and rushed out to send another aerogram.

4th April 1942, 12PM:

“It’s been 4 months, Nayan!” Akakansha yelled at her depressed brother “Look at you! She might have found someone els..” Nayan looked at her in a rather furious way “You can’t understand. She’d never do that. We are mentally married!” he yelled back. “Mentally married… You sound like a mentally challenged person now” she grabbed his hand and made him look at her forcefully and said “She’s not writing to you anymore, Nayan. Nayan, she moved on. It’s been 4 damn months!”. Nayan put up a blank face “I can’t explain, yes, we’re mentally married. Besides, her work wouldn’t let her have the comfort of finding someone else”. “You said she’s a magazine writer. Come on!” she poked him. “I can’t tell you… Leave it be, Aki. Leave me alone” he sighed rubbing his eyes. “Father is coming back from England. He’s gonna stay for a long time. It’s up to you to explain what the ladies garments have work to do in your room” she punched him straight in the face. She tried to divert him but it reminded him of her again. “I wanted to tell Father about her” He said taking the cigar out of the ash tray and dragging a puff out of it. “How many letters did you write in these four months? ” she asked looking at the desk’s drawer overloaded and puking out some of the letters. “294, didn’t send a single one since 4th” he said in a depressed tone and dragged another puff. Akanksha pulled the cigar out of his lips and crushed it in the ash tray. “If you understand her so well! You don’t need to feel depressed. If her so called important ‘work’ lets her write to you, she will. Now go and have some sleep” she said while leaving out of his room. He went to the bathroom and started staring at the moon graved hair brush. He held the moon graved hair brush in his hands and took it close to his lips. “You will write back. You will come back. You are fine, you are just busy” he kissed it.

June 17th, 1942, 12PM:

Nayan was on his recliner, looking at the heap of letters lying on his desk. He turned the radio on and kept on changing the frequency. He was listening to International news stations. He stopped when he thought he heard something relevant.

*Buzz* * Radio static sound*…. Five British- Indian spies caught on February 4th received sentence on June 16th 5PM. One of them was Noor Sheik, a woman spy. “She was the reason for the compromise of their identities” said Suraj, one of the spies. It seemed that she compromised their security to send a letter to her beloved. She possessed a heap of unsent letters. What is this? A treason by romance? They were shot dead even after many agreements of extradition by the embassy**Nayan switched the radio off. His eyes were wide open. He couldn’t hear a word more. His breath was deep and intense. He collapsed in the recliner. The force of him collapsing made few letters on the desk fall down and the tears rolling down his eyes fell right on the letter he was writing yesterday.

ETYMOLOGY OF ‘TIFFIN’

If you live in Asian countries neighbouring India, then you’d have definitely heard this word ‘Tiffin’. Tiffin refers to a light snack or tea snack in South India. In the other parts of India, it refers to meals packed in a box. The word ‘tiffin’ is quite a trend that most of the people in India don’t really know that the word was created by Indians and is not really used outside the country. During the British Raj, because of the Indian climate the English had to eat their dinner in the evening unlike their usual dining time, which is late in the afternoon. They had to have a light meal in between lunch and dinner. The usual British term for this meal was luncheon. A luncheon, is a light midday meal.

Somewhere during the late 1800s and early 1900s, an old British slang word ‘tiffing’ came into trends. Tiffing usually meant a little drink between meals at midday. It became a trend in the Anglo-Indians living in Northern regions of the British raj. By late 1800s the word ‘tiffing’ was naturalised and it was now referred to as what luncheon meant, a little snack.

By early 1900s, tiffing was being called as tiffin and it meant different things in the different parts of India. Southern states of India and Nepal share a common meaning that a tiffin is a light meal or usually a tea snack. Whereas other parts of India consider tiffins as boxed/packaged meals.

Few sources claim that the word tiffing originated from ‘sipping’ in one of the dialects of Anglo Indians. As tiffing started referring to a tea snack, it does sound logical to be originated from the word ‘sipping’. Either way, this Anglo Indian originated word is now on Oxford and is quite normally used by many Indians and neighbours. Even restaurants serving these light snacks are named as ‘tiffin centres’.

In Mumbai, tiffin js referred to as packaged meak as the dabbawala calls their delivered meal boxes as tiffin-boxes. Dabbawala are a delivery service in Mumbai which deliver curries and meals anywhere in Mumbai.

A ‘tiffin carrier’

The South is famous for their tiffins, like Dosa, Idly and Vada. ‘South Indian tiffins’ has become a cuisine in many restaurants across India. They’re usually consumed as breakfast or a snack in the evening.

A dosa being made.

This is how a British slang word which travelled along the tongue tips of the locals got naturalised, modified and now it has a place in the Oxford dictionary.

We’d be happy if you have got knowledge about this word or any other word like this which got naturalised yet got its place in the dictionary. You can either mail us or leave a comment. Don’t forget to have your tiffin while reading our articles.

MY INK-ISH LOVE

14th February 2018-

I feel so happy. She would be coming in 10 minutes. I am just waiting for her to come and touch me. Her touch is very sensual. I find peace when she moves me. I love it when she pours my every drop into her words. She is my first and forever love. I wish my body never breaks and I remain with her forever. Oh my god!! 2 more minutes, my ink is pounding, she will come to touch me. I just hope I don’t break in anxiety.

10 more seconds… 10..9…8..7..6..5..4..3..2..1……..There she is, My beautiful Sarah!!!!! The most wonderful person I have ever been with. The happiness I get when she looks at me is unexplainable. How can someone be so beautiful!? This, is a love story of “Me and My Sarah”.

Sarah and I met one year ago. Since the day she has picked me up from the book stall, I have been falling for her till date. It was a love at first sight. The way she held me, made me fall for her. From that moment, she has become my world, my everything. She takes care of me, keeps me away from every dirty person, she is so possessive about me, never shares me with anyone. We make love every day. She even named me, calls me Mr.Kalam. My day starts with her and ends with her.

Sarah is a wonderful writer. Everyday she picks me up from the pen box and writes with me on her journal. She is quite famous for her art of thoughts. She is one of the most admired writers. Yet, refills me everyday and choses me over many other pens. I guess I was made as a ball pen just for her. When she holds me with her beautiful fingers, I feel like my whole body is covered with rose petals and served in velvet. I am bridge to her words and she is solace to my ink. How come she never forgets to spend time with me. She even loves to take me to places. My life feels complete.

14th february 2018- Sarah came near the pen box swinging in her red skirt. She had flowers in one hand and a golden coloured metal box in the other. She kept the flowers aside and held the box with both her hands. “Montblanc Fountain Pen ‘Gaius Maecenas 888’ 20th Anniversary Montblanc Patron Of Art Editions”, it was imprinted on the box. She opened the box slowly and carefully. There was a beautiful pen inside it. With gold engraved roman numerals and rhodium plated barrel, it looked the most gorgeous pen ever made on the earth. Sarah took the pen out of the box and kissed it gently. Her face was glowing while kissing it. It was a great gift for her as she was a writer. The gift was given to her by the boy she has been loving for long time. She confessed her love to that man on this Valentine’s day and surprisingly she got a return gift from him. Sarah was very happy to find someone who not only admires her work, but also loves her for what she is. Making a blush face, she kept it back into the box and was about to keep it into the pen box, but then she decided to keep it carefully in her closet. She kept it in the closet, texted her boyfriend on her phone and went to bed. Kalam was awaiting Sarah to come to it. The whole night went in wait but she didn’t come to it. The valentine’s day went in pain for Kalam.

Next day, when she woke up, her first thought was to go and look at her MontBlanc pen. As usual, she started to write a story but this time she chose with MontBlanc not Kalam. Kalam looked at her and awaited her to come. But she didn’t. The days passed by and Kalam started realising that, Sarah completely forgot it. But, it never lost the hope. It expected Sarah to come back to it each day. Hours changed to days and days changed to months, but, Sarah didn’t come. Kalam finally gave up, it started breaking. The ink was oozing out from its body. It needed a refill. Sarah used to write her love story in her diary everyday but Kalam was so in love that it didn’t realise what Sarah was writing while she touched it. But little did Kalam know, that this day would come.

It is 13th february 2019 and Sarah was planning a surprise for her boyfriend. It was 11:45 P.M in the night and Sarah was writing a letter to her boyfriend. She invited her boyfriend over her home and was planning to give the letter to him. It was 11:55 P.M and she was about to finish the letter. She had to sign the letter at the end of it. She placed her MontBlanc at the place on the paper where she had to sign and striked it over the paper to sign but no ink fell on the paper. She striked it for 3 more times and didn’t find any ink. It was 11:58, her boyfriend would come now. She panicked and looked here and there. Then, found a pen in her pen box which was lying sad and ink oozing out from it. It was Kalam, she ran towards Kalam and took it out of the pen box and signed on the letter. She kept it on the table in hurry. Sarah’s boyfriend came and they had a beautiful night together. After her boyfriend left, Sarah laid back on her bed and looked on her right side and saw Kalam on the table which was lying like a man just had an accident. Sarah got up from her bed and slowly walked towards Kalam. She took Kalam into her hands and her eyes rolled with tears. She realised that she completely ignored Kalam and led it to such situation. She cleaned and refilled it. Kalam was feeling good and back to life. It felt very peaceful after Sarah came back to it. Their love story began again. Sarah opened her journal and started writing with Kalam again. But this time, her words were “We all find new things in our life but it should not overpower the memory of what old things served us. No matter how far we travel, it is obvious to get back to home one day. But it is important to make sure that when we come back, we don’t regret our journey. Follow what comes new to your life but respect the archives”.

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