Letter writing: Formal & Informal, Format, Examples & Practice Questions in PDF

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In this digital era, writing letters seems old-fashioned but there always comes a find where any person needs to write a letter. In corporate, academic, or probably in personal life letter writing is an integral skill. Writing letters has been included in the curriculum to help them improve their communication and vocabulary skills. 

Letter writing can be beneficial when it comes to writing to any editor, for job applications, in-school leave applications, and for many more purposes. This “Letter Writing” informational piece will include knowing everything related to letter writing, its types, format, examples, and some practice questions to understand the concept better.

Students can download this PDF for several invitations and replies to class 12 writing samples and practice questions.

<cta2> Download <cta2>

Table of Contents

S.No. Table Of Content
1 What is Letter Writing
2 Elements in Letter Writing
3 Types of Letters
4 Formal Letter
5 Informal Letter
6 Tips to Follow While Writing a Letter
7 Frequently Asked Questions
8 Practice Questions

What is Letter Writing?

The letter is a written form of communication that is used to deliver any message or information, remotely via words in physical form(writing on paper and sent via post) or digitally(via mailing).

English Letter Writing is a process of composing a piece of required information in a structured and organized way. A letter can be one-way or two-way communication, sender → receiver or sender ↔ receiver, and can be of several types depending on the kind of message and the receiving authorities. 

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Elements in Letter Writing

A letter can be meant for different purposes and might follow different structures but some basic elements are often used during letter writing.

Sender’s Address

The sender’s address is usually written at the top left-hand corner of the page and extends across various lines. Each part of it should be written in a separate line for clarity. No comma is required to separate the various parts of the address.

Date

You can write the date in any official format. Do not use any abbreviations while writing the date in a formal letter. The date can be mentioned in the following format.

6/9/2023

6.9.2023

6-9-2023

September 6, 2023

6th September 2023

Salutation

This is the greeting to the person to whom the letter is addressed. If the gender of the recipient is specified in the question, we can use a salutation accordingly. But if not specified, we need to keep it gender-neutral.

Body

This is the meatiest part of the letter as it contains all the information that the writer wants to convey. The body includes three main parts.

  • Introductory Paragraph/Sentence: It states the purpose of writing the letter.
  • Informative Paragraph: Give details of the problem, its causes, effects, possible solutions, etc.
  • Concluding Paragraph/Sentence: It states your hopes, comments, requests, suggestions, etc.

Complimentary Close

This is a polite way to end the letter. We often use ‘Yours Sincerely’ or ‘Yours Faithfully’ to end formal letters.

Signature

This refers to the details of the sender – name and designation if provided.

Types of Letters

The letters are divided into two main categories that later on get divided into subcategories. 

Formal Letter

What is it?

These kinds of letters are also labeled as business letters as these are often used for official purposes like job applications, resignations, inquiries, and complaints to an authority. These are written in a formal tone with a structured format. The content must be clear and to the point. 

Structure

Types of Formal Letter

S.No. Formal Letter Writing in English
1. Letters of Complaint
a. Write a letter in 120 words as John voicing your dissatisfaction with the services of Decent Packers, 1424, Ramanujam Street, Chennai.
b. Write a letter to the dealer complaining about the new VIP Washing Machine and requesting him to change the machine as early as possible.
2. Letters of Enquiry
a. Write to the National Institute of Acting, Mumbai, seeking information about their course, admission procedure, eligibility criteria,
and other necessary details.
b. Write a letter seeking information about a course in Computer Hardware in response to
an advertisement you have read in the newspaper
3. Letters of Placing/Canceling Orders
a. Write a letter to M/s Singh & Bros. Booksellers, Lucknow, placing an order for the books to be supplied immediately
b. Write a letter and place an order with Sunrise Stationery Mart, 12 Mall Road, Indore mentioning the terms of payment, discount
asked by you, and delivery date. You require 4 registers, blue and red ballpoint pens (50 each).
4. Letter to the Editor
a. Write a letter in 120 words to the editor of a national daily drawing the attention of the authorities towards the need for a
Natural Calamity Fund. Give suggestions on how funds for the same must be collected and how they must be utilized during natural calamities.
b. Write a letter to the editor of Hindustan Times in about 120 words expressing your concern on the increasing craze
of social networking sites having a very bad impact on youngsters.

Letters of Complaint

These letters are written to bring attention to the problems and find the apt solution for them. The problem can be related to any product, service, or company. 

Techniques 
  • Language should be polite and the tone neutral.
  • Mention details of the faulty products/services.
  • Nature of complaint (replacement or refund).
  • The payment information (through a bill or cash memo).
  • In case of grievances, corrective action to be taken must be mentioned.

Example

John had employed the services of Decent Packers, 1424, Ramanujam Street, Chennai to pack and transport household goods and a car to H. No. 1657, Borivali, Mumbai. He is dissatisfied with the services and decides to complain to the manager of the company. Write a letter in 120 words as John voicing your displeasure.

1657, Borivali

Mumbai

26th April, 20XX

The Manager,

Decent Packers

1424,

Ramanujam Street,

Chennai

Subject: Complaint against poor service.

Dear Sir/Madam,

This is concerning the packing and transport services provided by your company. I had booked the package to pack and transfer my household goods and car to Mumbai, but I am dissatisfied with the service provided by your company.

I had listed out the delicate objects that needed to be handled with care, but all my fine crockery and decorative items were so horribly packed that most of them were received broken. The furniture and car had scratch marks on them. The contract clearly stated that your workers would unpack and set up the house. However, all the packets were simply dumped in the flat.

I am very disheartened by the services and would like to be compensated for the damage. I would be compelled to take matters to the consumer court if the issue is not resolved at the earliest. I hope you will look into the matter as this kind of service is not expected from a reputed company like yours.

Yours faithfully,

John

You are Keerti/Krishna of 56, Indrapuram, Bangalore. You bought a new VIP Washing Machine from M/S Rama Electronic, Commercial Street, Bangalore last week. Later, you find that the machine makes an unbearable noise, and the motor tears away delicate fabrics. Write a letter to the dealer complaining about the same and requesting him to change the machine as early as possible.

56, Indrapuram,

Bangalore

5th January, 20XX

M/S Rama Electronic

Commercial Street,

Bangalore

Subject: Complaint about VIP Automatic Washing Machine.

Respected Sir/Madam,

I am sorry to inform you that the VIP Automatic Washing Machine that I bought from your shop against cash memo No. 200, dated

28th December, 20XX with a two-year warranty period has stopped working just after a week of the purchase. The machine makes an unbearable noise and the motor tears delicate fabrics. It gets heated up in no time. Moreover, the dryer is not working properly.

Therefore, I request you to repair the machine so that I can use it. It will be highly appreciated if you replace it with a new one as it is within the guarantee period. I am also sending a copy of this letter to the company’s higher officials so that they take care of these manufacturing defects. I hope you will take quick action and oblige.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Keerti/Krishna

Letters of Enquiry

These letters are written to enquire or get information about a product, service, or company. 

Techniques 
  • Briefly introduce yourself or your company.
  • The tone must be very polite as information needs to be extracted from the recipient of the letter.
  • It is important to mention all the details that you require about the product or the service.
  • Clarify the end date by which you’d want a reply if there is urgency.

Example

You are Manika/Sanjib Saha, a student of class XII and a resident of 44, Park Street, Kolkata. You want to be an actor. Write to the National Institute of Acting, Mumbai, seeking information about their course, admission procedure, eligibility criteria, and other necessary details.

44, Park Street,

Kolkata - 119900

26th March, 20XX

The Director,

National Institute of Acting

Santa Cruz, Andheri (West)

Mumbai - 400021

Subject: Inquiry regarding courses in acting.

Dear Sir/Ma’am,

This is concerning your advertisement in the Kolkata Daily dated 15th February, 20XX regarding the Acting courses that are offered by your reputed institute. I am currently studying in Grade 12 and awaiting the results of my board examinations. I am passionate about acting and want to take it up as a career. The first step towards this would be to enroll me in the course offered by your institute.

Please send me the prospectus containing information regarding the course and the application form. I would be highly grateful if you could provide information about the following:

  • The department and program faculty
  • Scholarships available
  • Admission procedure
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Hostel facilities

Kindly send me the latest brochure with the above details along with the enrolment form at the earliest so that I can register for the course.

Yours faithfully,

Manika/Sanjib Saha

You are Mamta/Manish of Class X living at 141, Hilton Apartments, Delhi. You are interested in pursuing a course in Computer Hardware. Write a letter seeking information about the same. This is in response to an advertisement you have read in the newspaper.

141, Hilton Apartments

Delhi

Date: 14th Nov, XXXX

Ocean Institute for Computer Technology

Delhi

Subject: Inquiry about Computer Hardware course.

Sir/Madam,

This is in response to your advertisement inserted in the Hindustan Times (Dated) 14th Nov, XXXX about the courses offered by your Institute.

I am interested in pursuing a course in Computer Hardware. Please send me the information as per the following heads:

  • Duration of the course
  • Admission procedure
  • Criteria for eligibility
  • Fee structure and mode of payment
  • Placement opportunities
  • Timings for classes

Kindly send me the information at your earliest convenience and oblige.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you.

Yours truly,

Manish

Letters of Placing/Canceling Orders

Letters for placing or canceling orders are written to concerned companies, firms, and organizations when bulk orders are to be placed for a particular product.

Techniques 
  • Always specify the exact requirement (product needed with quantity or service needed, cancellation of the order, etc.)
  • The complete details of the payment mode (any terms), delivery date, and time must be mentioned clearly.
  • Asking for a discount on products is optional.

Example

As the manager of Niti Institute of Excellence, Prabhuji Marg, New Delhi, you need to order books in bulk. Write a letter to M/s Singh & Bros. Booksellers, Lucknow, placing an order for the books to be supplied immediately. Sign yourself as Saurabh/Sujata. Write this letter in about 100-120 words.

Niti Institute of Excellence

Prabhuji Marg,

New Delhi

24th January, 20XX

M/s Singh & Bros. Booksellers

Lucknow

Subject: Supply of books for the institution.

Dear Sir/Madam,

We want to place a bulk order for our institution’s library. We request you to reconsider the 10% discount proposed earlier. Since we are your regular clients and institutional buyers, kindly agree to a 15% discount. It is understood that the dispatch, delivery, and other expenses will be borne by your organization.

The list of books with their particulars is attached herewith.

List of Books Quantity
1. Principles of Management Paperback – 2010 by James A.F. Stoner 12
2. The Ecology of Commerce by Paul Hawken 12
3. A Theory of Justice by John Rawls 10
4. The One Minute Manager by Kenneth H. Blanchard 15
5. Financial Statements by Thomas Ittelson 20

Yours sincerely,

Saurabh/Sujata

You are Vaibhavi Sinha, examination in charge, Goodway Public School, Aurobindo Road, Indore. You require 4 registers, blue and red ballpoint pens (50 each). You saw an advertisement for Sunrise Stationary Mart that is given below:

Sunrise Stationary Mart
We offer the best quality stationary items at the best prices.
Contact us for more details and offers. Hurry Up !!

Place an order with Sunrise Stationary Mart, 12 Mall Road, Indore mentioning the terms of payment, discount asked by you, and delivery date (120 words).

Goodway Public School

Aurobindo Road,

Indore - 110096

03rd April, 20XX

The Manager

Sunrise Stationary Mart

12, Mall Road,

Indore - 110067

Subject: Supply of stationary for the institution.

Respected Sir/Ma’am,

This has reference to the quotation dated 19th December, 20XX. Kindly send the following items to the above-mentioned address.

S. No. List of Items Quantity
1. White Paper 4 reams
2. Carbon Paper 2 packets
3. Registers 12
4 Blue ballpoint pens 50 each

The payment will be made in cash once the items reach us. I hope we are eligible for a 15% institutional discount. The goods have always reached us well on time, and in excellent condition as per our specifications, we do expect the same delivery this time as well. Kindly notify us of the delivery date at your earliest convenience.

Yours faithfully,

Vaibhavi Sinha

Examination Incharge

Letter to the Editor

A letter to the editor is written to the editor of a leading newspaper to draw the attention of the authorities and the reading public to a particular problem or grievance in an area or a pressing issue in general.

Techniques 
  • The subject should clearly state the end goal.
  • Establish the topic/issue at the start.
  • Provide justifications/points or issues related to the topic.
  • Action item or steps to be taken.
  • Conclude with a hopeful and timely action on the above request.

Example

The recent cyclone in the states of West Bengal and Odisha highlights the need for India to have dedicated funds that can be used to rebuild areas destroyed during national calamities. As Devesh/Devika, write a letter in 120 words to the editor of a national daily drawing the attention of the authorities towards the need for a Natural Calamity Fund. Give suggestions on how funds for the same must be collected and how they must be utilized during natural calamities.

25, XYZ Enclave,

Kolkata

22nd May, 20XX

The Editor

Times of India

Kolkata

Subject: Need for National Calamity Fund.

Dear Sir/Ma'am,

Through the columns of your esteemed daily, I wish to draw the attention of the Government and the authorities to the urgent need for a National Calamity Fund.

The recent cyclone has proved that if the country has funds available, the same can be used to help people immediately rather than waiting for a ministerial visit for help. The government must have a separate minister who should be responsible for managing funds and also immediate disbursement of funds to people directly. Most of the time money does not reach people as it is taken by middlemen.

The NCF ministry must frame a plan so that money can be transferred into the accounts of people. The minister must oversee the rebuilding work and ensure that there is no misappropriation of funds. It must be made compulsory for all business houses to put a certain percentage of their income into this fund. Record of such contributions must be maintained and action must be taken against those who fail to contribute.

The PM must oversee the rebuilding work personally to ensure that there is no misappropriation of funds. I hope the concerned authorities will take note and do the needful to ensure that people get immediate help in times of calamities without being left at the mercy of unscrupulous officials.

Yours sincerely,

Devesh/Devika

Social networking sites have become the latest fad among school-going children. The craze has a very bad impact on youngsters. Considering its gravity, you want to express your concern by writing a letter to the editor of Hindustan Times in about 120 words. You are Nitin/Nutan of H. No. 123/8, Sant Nagar, New Delhi – 110065.

123/8, Sant Nagar,

New Delhi - 110065

20th March, 20XX

The Editor

The Hindustan Times

New Delhi

Subject: Craze for social networking sites among youngsters.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Through the columns of your prestigious newspaper, I want to highlight my concern about teenagers and their growing interest in social networking. Social media is the rage today - you are bullied if you can’t keep up with it. From pings and chat windows to pokes and emoticons, everything exists to bring people closer. It helps to learn new things, exchange ideas, hone networking skills, and develop new perspectives.

As dark and light, yin and yang, there is also a flip side to social media. Its vastness defies control of the scope of information. Such a situation can lead to children reaching dangerous or graphic websites. Cyberbullying is another growing trend. It can have dangerous and potentially fatal effects. Australia suffers from a large number of suicides caused by cyberbullying.

Similarly, spending too much time on it can often lead to social media addiction, which can affect the ability to develop strong interpersonal relationships. Teenagers are at a vulnerable age and the avalanche of information can be overwhelming. The only solution to this is vigilant parents who must ensure moderate use of social media, ensuring that it is a boon and not a bane.

Yours faithfully,

Nitin / Nutan

Informal Letter

What is it?

These kinds of letters are also labeled as personal letters as these are often sent to friends, relatives, and acquaintances. These are written in an informal tone not following a strict format. The content tone here is conversational.

Structure

S.No. Formal Letter Writing in English
1. Write a letter to your friend congratulating him/her on his/her success in the class 12 board exam.
2. Write A Letter To Your Friend About Your Boarding School In English

Write a letter to your friend congratulating him/her on his/her success in the class 12 board exam.

C-53, sector-11

Rohini

New Delhi-110034

Date: April 10th, 2019

Dear Chetna,

When I learned that you had excelled in school and achieved your dream, my joy knew no bounds. I wish I could have personally congratulated you in person because I was so happy.

The result shows that effort, determination, and patience pay off. You put so much effort and emotion into it. Although I understand how anxious you were, I had complete faith in your ability to pass with flying colors. I apologize for being unable to even make it to the celebration party.

With lots of love and best wishes.

Your best friend

Pankaj

Write A Letter To Your Friend About Your Boarding School In English

Ranjit Avenue,

Amritsar

Date: January 25th, 2023

Dear friend,

I hope that this message finds you and the people you care about in good health and spirits. I'm happy to report that everything is going well for me. After a year in boarding school, I am now taking a well-earned vacation back home. I want to use this letter as an opportunity to share with you some of my boarding school experiences.

One of the oldest and most esteemed boarding institutions in India is The Lawrence School in Sanawar, where I am a student. The atmosphere is calm and pleasant, which contributes to its charm. My school upholds extraordinarily high academic standards, which I find incredibly fulfilling. Additionally, I appreciate the emphasis on sports and physical activity.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you in the future and hoping you'll provide information about your school. Take care and be careful up until then!

Your friend,

Preeti

Techniques

There are a few things one needs to keep in mind while writing an informal letter.

  • Keep it engaging and keep the tone conversational.
  • Maintain a personalized approach.
  • End the letter with a warm greeting.

Tips to Follow While Writing a Letter

There are a few tips students can follow while writing a letter for CBSE board exams.

  • Keep the tone professional during formal letter writing, and make it context-appropriate.
  • In the opening paragraph, state the purpose of writing the letter. 
  • Structure the letter into paragraphs and each paragraph must convey a piece of relevant information.
  • Keep the information precise and to the point.
  • Use the appropriate salutation for the recipient.

FAQs

What is letter writing & how to write it?

CBSE Class 10 and 12 Letter Writing English is a written or digital form of delivering any information from the sender to the recipient. Communication can be one-way as well as two-way. To write a letter, determine the receiver and format the letter’s body based on it. It can be formal or informal. Follow the basic structure of the letter before delivering any letter.

What are the different Types of Letters?

Letter writing class 12 is mainly classified into formal and informal writing. The formal letter writing for Class 12 includes a letter to the editor, a complaint Letter, an inquiry Letter, and letters placing or canceling orders.

Can we download more samples of formal letters?

To practice and download more samples of formal letters, students can download the PDF from this link.

What is the format of a formal letter?

The format for the formal letter includes the sender’s address, date, and the receiver’s address. Add the subject and the salutation after the address section then the students can proceed to create the letter’s body. End the letter with the complimentary close as well as the signature. 

Practice Questions

List of all the topics for letter writing in English practice.

Letter Writing Topics for Practice
Complaint to the manager for the late delivery of goods and damage caused to the goods.
Write a letter to the Chairman of the National Library to open a furnished library in your locality.
Write a letter to the Editor, ‘The National Times’ highlighting your ideas on the importance of education
of women leading to a better status for them.
Letter Writing on the dangers of drunk driving and advising motorists to abstain from
alcohol before taking the wheel
Kerala was badly hit by floods due to heavy rains. Even today the victims are suffering financially,
physically, and mentally. Write a letter in 120 – 150 words to the Editor, ‘The Times of Kerala’ giving details of the loss of life
and property. Also, make an appeal to the people and the Government to provide help and relief to the afflicted.
You are Varun/Vandana, 31 Shastri Nagar, Trichy.
The elderly living alone in cities are not safe. Reports of violence against them are alarming. The recent murder of two elderly
persons has rocked the city. It seems the police are not taking adequate steps to make the elderly feel safe and secure.
Write a letter in 120 – 150 words to the Editor, ‘Modern Times’ to draw the attention of the law and order authorities to the problem and take effective
steps to deal with it. You are Sohan/Sangeeta, 12, Roshan Colony, Alampur.
You are Mrs./Mr. Gupta. Your son is a student of Class XII and wants to pursue a course in mass communication.
Write a letter in 120 – 150 words to the Dean, Institute of Mass Communication, University of Delhi, seeking information about the course,
admission procedure, eligibility criteria, fee structure, hostel facilities, placement opportunities, etc.
You are Anand Kumar/Anant Kumari, Sports Incharge, Greenland Public School, Goregaon. You ordered some sports goods from
Bhalla Sports, Andheri, Mumbai. When the consignment was opened you found that the contents did not tally with those
you had ordered. Write a letter of complaint in 120 – 150 words.
You are Rodrigues/Maria, Principal of Sea View Senior Secondary School, Vasco da Gama. Your school needs to formulate
and submit an evacuation plan by the end of the month. You are clueless about how this is to be done. You write a letter in 1
20 – 150 words to the State Disaster Management Authority, Goa asking them for advice and help on how to formulate a
disaster evacuation drill for 1500 students.
You are Bhai Bajrang/Radha Joshi, Principal, Basant Public School, Nashik. Your school has just decided to plant trees
along the boundary wall of your school, for which you need saplings. You also want to place a large number of potted plants in
all the corridors to help make the school green and reduce pollution. Write a letter in 120 – 150 words to the proprietor of Masjid Nursery,
Nashik, a wholesale supplier of all kinds of saplings and indoor/outdoor plants, placing an order for saplings of plants for the school.
Blue Waters Public School, Port Blair, urgently requires a Physical Education Teacher to teach the senior classes.
The instructor should also be able to teach swimming. The school placed an advertisement in ‘The National Express’.
You are Bharat/Madhu Sharma, from 21, First Cross Street, Chennai. Draft a letter in 120 – 150 words along with your biodata for the advertised post.
Imagine that you are the Principal of Mayur Public School, Mall Road, Mathura. Write a letter to the Sales Manager,
Apsara Publishing House, Mandir Marg, Mathura, placing an order for some books for your school library. (Minimum four titles and number of copies).

Letter Writing Topics for Practice
You are a social worker. You are upset as some reputed schools are admitting as many as 50 – 60 students
in a section just to make extra money. This inappropriate teacher-student ratio adversely affects academic
standards. Write a letter to the Editor of The Nation, Delhi highlighting this unfair practice. You are Rahul/Rashmi, 41/178, Hindi Colony, Delhi.
You are Kamini/Kamal of 21/14, Civil Lines, Indira Nagar, Agra. The main road leading to the colony has three
uncovered manholes which have caused a couple of accidents. Describing the accidents, write a letter to the Editor, ‘National Times’,
drawing the attention of the Municipal Commissioner to this problem of the residents, requesting him to take appropriate action.
A 72-year-old Municipal Councillor of your area expired last Friday and as she had desired, her body was donated to
Army Medical College. It would be a second life for some persons receiving some vital organs retrieved from their bodies.
Write a letter to the Editor, ‘Indian Times’, Chennai, highlighting the importance of donation of eyes and other organs to persons in need.
You are Navita/Namit, 125, Sohna Road, Kodaikanal.
The fire broke out in one corner of the auditorium when your school’s annual day function was going on. Latha/Lalith,
Headgirl/Headboy took command of the situation and got all the doors opened at once, used fire extinguishers, vacated the auditorium, provided first-aid,
and called the ambulance. Imagine you are the Principal of M.V. Public School. Write a letter to the Director of Education, recommending your student’s name for a bravery award.
Write a letter to the Editor, ‘The Indian Times’, Jaipur highlighting the need to tap the sports talent at a young age by sports teachers,
coaches, etc. so that it does not go unrecognized. Thus we shall have a large pool of young talented sports persons who can be groomed.
You are Poorva / Paras 78, Inderpuri, Jaipur.
A book fair was organized in your city, Bhopal. Thousands of people including a large number of students visited the fair.
It aroused a great interest in reading and buying books. You want such book fairs to be held in other cities of the state also to promote the habit of reading.
Write a letter in 120-150 words to the editor of a local newspaper giving your views. You are Navtej / Navita, F-112 Malviya Nagar, Bhopal.
Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper highlighting the importance of cleanliness and the need for public participation in the cleanliness drive in your district.
You have read an advertisement in the newspaper, ‘Pune Times’ for the post of software engineer in Alex Software, Pune. You believe that you possess the
requisite qualifications and experience and your innovative ideas will prove an asset to the company. Write an application in 120 – 150 words emphasizing your strong
points and your suitability for the post. Also, include your biodata. You are Saurab/Shikha, 12, Mall Road, Chandigarh.
You are Arun Bhasin of C/5, Patel Nagar, New Delhi. You have seen an advertisement in a newspaper for the post of accountant in Fine Prints Pvt. Ltd.,
Sector 18, Noida. Write an application (including your biodata) for the above post. (120 – 150 words)
You are Tapas / Tapasya of A-150, Mount Road, Chennai. You have seen an advertisement in the newspaper, ‘The Chennai Times’ for the post of Manager
(Accounts) in Sundaram Westside, Chennai. Apply for the post with your complete biodata. (120-150 words)
Inviting your friend to spend the summer vacation at your place in Mumbai.

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