Hidden Letters, Part 5

The gardener told me a little about the family who lived here before me. He doesn’t like talking about it, but I could tell something happened just before they moved out.

-N. N.


Nothing much new to report. ‘Cept I’ve taken to making craft out of everything I can find. My last project was a kite. I wish I could fly.


Squeaking, I move back and forth

While staying in the same place,

I’m ticklish unless oiled up,

Or carrying a certain something

Wedged into the right spot.

_ _ _ _





Hidden Letters, Part 4

The heavy rains seem to be subsiding. Too bad. I really enjoy this kind of weather. When I can. I’m kept busy indoors these days. Jailed by private Hindi tuition. I don’t know if they’re worth it. Will I remember what I’m learning two years from now? I can’t get past learning how to read and write. Does it really matter that I can’t understand a word? Because I don’t want to. I don’t want to make sense of what they’re saying.

Even when I can’t hear their voices, it’s hard to walk down the corridors without the weight of knowing that I don’t belong. Maybe I’m just carrying too many books.


Your next clue has been boxed in

And I’m the one holding it hostage.

Remember, when you reach into my depths,

Just when you think you’ve hit the bottom,

There is one more layer to be found.

_ _ _ _ _ _




Hidden Letters, Part 3

It’s official. I hate school. Some kind of emptiness trails after me in every class. I don’t understand most of the teachers. Or the other students. Hindi is the first and foremost language here. I might as well have moved to China. I’m so tired of forcing a smile for introductions. I miss my old school, and my friends. But, being at home is so much fun I wonder if I’m willing to give it up. Is it something about this house? Maybe it’s the teen comedies I find comfort in. Or the music I constantly replay. Well, I’m not going anywhere, at least for now.


Living in my land are those

Who adorn people of the world

With cotton, linen, hemp or silk

But, with the help of some glue,

A humble ceiling crack does its duty

As the honored keeper of the clue.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _






Hidden Letters, Part 2

Well done! Although, I admit, the first one was easy. Oh, I should probably warn you to keep an eye out for snakes when it rains, especially in this part of the house, and everywhere outside. I’ve come across more than one in my time here.

The only thing I enjoy more than walking around the compound is biking around it. Isn’t it huge? I try to go so fast no person or snake can catch me whizzing by. But, lately, I think sometime after turning the steps around the outhouse and parts of the garden into my personal circus ramps, the excitement did wear off. I think starting in the middle of the semester at a new school also had something to do with that. I wish my mother would let me cycle to school.


Here’s the next one:


Leading an army,

I march into the garden

Holding your next clue-

A stone roof blocks out its light,

A stone floor keeps it from the ground,

And it knows it can’t complain

When it doesn’t have to worry

About the sun, the air, or the rain.


_ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _ _










Hidden Letters, Part 1



Dear Reader,

I discovered the following letters over the span of three weeks after moving into a house in Hume Park, Club Road, Belgaum. The house has black double doors in the front and back, gray walls, and a faded red roof. It looks tall from the outside, and you might think it’s a two-storied building until you step in.

The letters are mostly made of scraps of pages torn from what I later confirmed to be a diary. The clues that consistently appear at the end of each letter became fairly easy to solve when I realized that each clue was written in the voice of the object or location harboring the next letter. I have unveiled the answers on the last page.

As attached as I’ve grown to the letters, I wasn’t meant to keep them to myself, so I hope you enjoy the ride.

Yours truly,

N. N.



“I maintain the habit of keeping a diary so I can know what I was thinking and how I was feeling, without it being distorted by time.”

- taken from Arya’s diary



A few weeks after moving in, I got this letter by mail. Funnily enough, it seemed to have been sent from the same place it was addressed to.

– N. N.

Dear ___________,

Hello. I don’t know who you are, but welcome to your new home. You are the latest lucky/reluctant resident in this beautiful house. I was the last, and there are memories I have stowed away in a few corners and crevices, that I’d like to share with you. These little anecdotes are part of a small adventure that I hope to give you, if you decide to follow up on this clue. If you choose to ignore it, you may still stumble across bits of paper in time, for which I apologize.

I can’t promise you astonishingly fantastic things, like in books or movies, but in the moment you are reading this, part of me is reaching out across time and space to you.


Here we go:

Red-faced; ashen when I work hard,

Living on a strict diet of biscuits of wood,

I’ll be waiting with your next clue.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _