It was 12May1967 when I first received a beautiful letter from her. She was a high school student and I was student of 1st yr Engineering (Bengal Engineering College, Sibpore, Howrah, West Bengal, India). Her name was Miss Elizabeth Noton. She with her widow mother used to live at 13, West End, Baslow, Bakewell, Darbyshire, England . She lost her father when she was a child. Her mother raised her. She was the only child of her parents. She was simple, pious and relegious. I remember her favourite pastime was Bell Ringing in a nearby church. We used to write each other perhaps once in a month as it was very difficult for both of us to afford postal costs in those days. Yes, it was a snail mail friendship. She was not from a very rich family but her ambition was tall and rich.
After passing out from school she, wrote me on 14December1968, went to Fenham, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne for higher studies. She used to manage her monthly expeneses by working in the library of Northumberland Technical College. Her six pages letter is still with me as a memory.
It was her letter of 14Feb1973 when I came to know that she got a very good job and living in a flat sharing with her two friends at Newcastle. That was a good time for her as she expressed in her letter that she could afford to visit her mom and her other relations at West End, Baslow frequently. Her six page letter is still with me and her said letter clearly described how a village girl was gradually raising herself facing many odds and obstacles in real life to shape her dream.
It was then her letter of 28April1973 when I came to know that she had shifted to a new place at Jesmond, Newcastle. She wrote me-"One of my favourite pastimes at the moment is ice skating. I have been going for about 3 months and am now becoming quite proficient at it. I intend to buy a pair of skates when I next get paid(I get paid monthly). The skates that I hire are not in a very good condition...". In that letter she further wrote -"I should love to visit your country India but doubt whether I should be able to afford the fare for a long time. I am earning just enough to live comfortably but there is nothing left over for extras such as holidays...". In the last page of her letter she wrote -"Sitanshu, I am writing at 2 a.m and am extremely tired. This is the only chance I get to write you letter..." at last she wrote-"Well, I really must finish and get to bed or I'll never be up in the morning...hope to hear from you soon...love,- Liz." and that was her last letter and the end of episode of friendship with Lady of Baslow.
I never received letter thereafter from her. In the battle of living both she and myself changed our living places time and again that finally might have snapped our contacts forever. The seed of dream - a dream just to see each other at least for once in our life time remains as a dream till today.
I am now 61 yrs old and working as Vice President with a large EPC company in Oil & Gas sectors. She must be now 55yrs old and hopefully she must have married and have her beautiful family. Today, yes I can afford financially to meet her but I don't know her whereabout. Long 35 yrs have passed but her sweet memory still haunts me.
Real friendship knows no boundary, no caste, no creed, no colour, no race but knows only HUMANITY.
Anyone wishes to contact me is most welcome at my email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading.
A memory shared byon Jan 25th, 2008.
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