I do not make predictions. That’s not my job. Whatever prediction I made never came true – except about one word. What was that word ? ‘Lovingly’. Long ago, when I was in ninth standard, I had an argument with my class-mate. What is the best way of concluding a letter? My class-mate said ‘Yours lovingly’. I differed. I said ‘Lovingly yours’ was the best term to conclude a letter with. Not content with my argument, I wrote it on the blackboard as well. “See, how nice it looks. Lovingly yours”. Suddenly, my class-mate and the whole class became silent. I attributed the silence to my friend’s acceptance of defeat. A sharp blow on my back brought me to reality. Our maths teacher, the terror of terrors had sneaked into the class. The silence was broken by the thundering voice of the mathematical genius. “How dare you write a love letter on the black board?”, he shouted. Love letter? It was far from my mind. In the Indian class room, the word ‘love’ was always associated with ‘sex’. You may think how foolish people should have been in those days. You are not supposed to talk with a girl in your class, even if it were related to your lessons. My legs began to tremble. He may give me some punishment and leave me at that. But, if he decides to send me to the affectionate care of the headmaster? My whole body began to tremble. On that day I cursed the word ‘lovingly’. You will disappear from the world, I fumed. Now it seems my words are coming true. Nobody writes a letter. The days when the postman was an eagerly sought after messenger are gone. The word may pass into oblivion. But, you young boys, you are blessed with cell phones and a dear one to pick up your message. Enjoy it. I wholeheartedly bless you. Celebrate the Valentine’s Day with all the fervour it is entitled to.