Amit Gawande

Letters from Tikwadi – A Story in Post.

Respected Mr. Gaitonde,

I have reached Tikwadi. As I had promised you in our last meeting when you had unnecessarily criticised me for the lack of seriousness, I have taken this job extremely seriously. Let me be extremely clear; your ultimatum that if I do not work sensibly very soon will lead to me losing my job had nothing to do with the deftness with which I have decided to travel.

Anyway, things are absolutely fine here in Tikwadi. There have been no untoward events until now. I think the villagers had unnecessarily raised an alarm. A day comes. The night follows. And days go by so without anything eventful happening. No murders, no aliens, no ghosts. Not that I am afraid of any of these. For that matter, I do not even believe in such laughable charades.

Overall, the town is beautiful. The people are also beautiful. Not the women – I mean, I am not saying the women are not beautiful. I mean, that does not matter to me. Undoubtedly, though, each one is uniquely crazy. Again, not that it matters much to me – I mean, the job matters to me. But the fact that the town is batshit crazy does not affect me.

I hope you know what I mean. I will report when something eventful happens. The people are waiting for me for a game of cricket. Football is with me.

Thank you for the opportunity you gave me. Agent Raghu signing off.


Dear Gaitonde,

Here I am, reporting to you again from Tikwadi. I will be very crisp this time, as you had said in your letter. I know I wrote numerous unnecessary things in my letter the last time. But my only intention was to let you know how normal the things were. There wasn’t any other hidden agenda. I won’t say your quip that “you are not on a picnic there” did not hurt me. It did … I mean just a bit. Not enough to impact my job. You can be assured about that.

Incidentally, the town does not seem as normal as I had reported the last time. There have been some sightings. Or so the crazy, frightened villagers say. I – let me assure you again – am not afraid at all. Just to be absolutely safe, I am just avoiding going to the areas from where the sightings have been reported. It is not because I am afraid. It is just to make sure you continue to get the reports from Tikwadi that you so dearly look out for. If something, anything, happens to me, I do not think it would be straightforward to find an equally qualified agent. I know you told me the last time to not call myself that. But this time it is not the post I am referring to. I use it as a common noun, and it is in that respect I call myself an agent. I am sure the kind heart of yours wouldn’t mind that.

Anyway, there is nothing to get very excited or scared about. Sure, the villagers are lunatic. I have no second thought in my mind about that. Furthermore, the town is not at all beautiful; it is miserable rather. The streetlights have no lights in them. The fans leak more noise than the air. Of course, both are true when there is electricity. Can you do something about these power cuts? I know I am an essential part of your team, and you respect me immensely. So, I am sure you would do that much for me. On a positive note, nature is, no doubt, beautiful. And some people are beautiful, beautiful as in not crazy. I only talk to these people regularly. I want to make sure I do not lose my smartness here.

Anyway, I will keep reporting if there are any more sightings or events. Gauri is calling me. She is beautiful. I mean, not that it matters to me.

Signing off. Raghu.


Gaitonde,

I hate you. Why the bloody fuck did you send me to this idiot town. I am no agent. You should have told me that in extremely clear terms. “You are not an agent, but only our representative” is not clear enough. I checked the Webster dictionary; one of the synonyms of agents is “representative”, you moron.

I do not know if it is the town that makes people crazy here, or it is the people who make this town crazy. The dimwits continue to run at me wherever they see me with the reports of the sightings. Some see ghosts. Some see aliens. The idiots tell me the most terrifying tales and leave me alone. They do not even realise I need to live alone after they go.

There is nothing worth reporting from this windswept town. Have you ever seen a ghost, Gaitonde? I am sure you won’t know if you have; because they bloody look the same. The Gauri I mentioned in my last letter? They tell me there never was any Gauri in the town. I was naively planning to propose to her very soon; of course, once I complete this job for you. Now I don’t even know who is real and who is ghostly. I keep getting slapped as I pull on their moustaches and their hair, just to confirm.

I am done being your agent. Call me back. If you can’t get electricity to this town, a request that you so mercilessly thwarted, at least get me a car.

Raghu

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