One Unread Email

She tells me I have a lovely smile and I beam with joy as I gaze at my phone screen.


I jump up and look at my phone. One unread email. A smiley as the subject line. Just what I’d been waiting for. It’s pretty much all I wait for these days. That one smiley to brighten my phone screen as well as my day.

I open the email, not to read it, not yet, but to take a quick glance at how long the email is. Letting out a satisfied smile, I lock my home screen again. Now is not the time. I must wait till I am comfortably plonked on my couch with my reading light on. It’s a game I play with myself these days – waiting till the end of the day to read the email and draft my response. In some strange way, it’s about the emotion, “the hungrier you are, the more you enjoy your meal”.

I’m out for dinner with a friend right now, so the email will anyway have to wait. Although the phone’s been put away, my stomach is squirming with anxiety. I can’t wait to get home. There’s a pleasant surprise in tonight’s email. There are photos attached. And I can’t wait to download them and shuffle through them over and over again.

Tonight we write about music and dancing on pavements in Superman pajamas. We discuss mountains and beaches and living out of trucks; we discuss long drives and also discuss why no one is ever punctual in India. We write about one-way plane tickets across the world and dropping out of college. She tells me I have a lovely smile and I beam with joy as I gaze at my phone screen. I tell her I love how honest and brave she is and I hope that makes her happy.

I look at her photos again. She’s smiling in all of them. She seems genuinely happy, honest in each of them. She’s holding a cute little baby in one. In another, she’s in the middle of a farm.

This is new. It’s different. My love for writing and frustration with the seemingly never-ending writer’s block has finally found an outlet. The emails get longer every day. I miss the good old days when we used to write long letters and emails to people. This era of instant messaging and micro-blogging has made us forget the joy of writing and receiving long emails.

I re-read her email once more, drafting my response, to ensure I haven’t missed out answers to anything she’s asked. I want to write more but I’m thinking faster than I can type. And I haven’t realised it’s already 2am and I’m exhausted. I hope she will overlook my late night, exhaustion induced typos. After all, I can’t have her think I’m not the Grammar Nazi I claim to be.

The next email is 24 hours away. Although the failing battle of the wait will begin again tomorrow morning, tonight I sleep a happy sleep.

Maybe she will teach me how to love again. Maybe her words will remind me how it used to feel. Maybe. Someday.

About the author

The Paneer Pakoda

Foodie | Allergic to all things healthy | Turned on by all things marketing | Writer | Loves exploring new music | Bedroom singer | Strange affinity to yellow lights | (Non)sense of humour | Comic book whore | Cartoon Network geek | Grammar Nazi | Zero patience for negativity | Could happily live in a stationery store | Prankster | Carefree | Coffee Ice cream | Loves pinup boards | Detests shopping unless it’s for spectacles, earphones, watches and sports shoes | Funky pajamas | Pilot pens | Major wake-up-it’s-morning issues | Stores a memory from each fun outing ever with anyone – wallet’s overflowing with signed bills, tissues and chocolate wrappers | Come on, say hi!