I have this clocked schedule, when I clean up my room by combing out all the worthless stuff. As a much younger me, I used to hate it and cleaning was always synonymous to being an ordeal of the worst sort, but I have now started loving the whole exercise because every time I do this, I chance upon some long lost souvenir. Little pieces of this and that which take me back in time and leave me overwhelmed – akin to watching a black and white movie.
This time I got hold of a whole lot of letters...which I had neatly put away in a large envelope(s).I had no idea what sort of letters they would be. You see along the years I had forgotten. I had forgotten how till about late 1990’s e-mail was not easily accessible to one and all as it is now. I had forgotten the sharp thrill I used to feel on receiving a letter which I never quite feel on receiving an e-mail. (Obviously not!!! I guess, because I get a few 100 fwd’s every day and the novelty is long lost) But the minute I stared unfolding each one of them and reading/re-reading them, I was flooded with torrent of memories. There were letters that my ammama and thathaji had written to me, letters from friends who had moved to different schools (You see I was in KV where no child used to stick around for more than 3-4 years), letters from cousins much younger to me…childish gibberish …greeting cards my sister had made for me even as she was a kid…postcards that my mama had sent when he was in Canada…
Sigh. I miss letters. I miss receiving cards…I remember dinks telling me sometime back how she wished someone would send her a letter, a postcard. Anything. Somehow electronic media even with all the messengers and e-cards…and so many other things, does not quite measure up to the faint musky smell of a letter. It has become too easy to send a mail and the magic a two lined postcard could create remains lost.
Letters tied two people in a way that I feel e-mails/gtalk/skype might never. This is because a hand written letter reflects a part of the person who is writing it to you. The warmth, care and affection are passed on amidst the ink smudges and satins of coffee. Cute little stickers and crayon doodles of young ones in the family were often the highlights of these letters.
I remember amma making dinks and I write letters to our grandparents every week so that our handwriting and English/writing skills would improve. I remember how we used to collect all kinds of stickers; flowers and leaves which were then leafed between huge books to dry .We would then paint and include them in our letters to make them as colorful and interesting as possible. Dinks used to go that extra mile, to write a poem here and there and almost always reined a star in our family. Her creativity used to bowl us over even then. So Dinks(if you are reading this) whenever self doubt and apprehension clouds you, I want you to remember this and believe in yourself. You are the best.
I know many of you might vehemently disagree. There will be thoughts running in your head in the lines of electronic boom- global village-speed-efficiency…etc. I don’t take an exception to anyone of them. Those are the things which make us what we are today and to shun electronic media is tantamount to living in ice-age. All I am trying to say is that there is charm about letters, envelopes and stamps. A hidden beauty. A novelty. Something which, I wish we would continue to indulge ourselves in and also teach our children, even as the world swirls towards faster life styles and speedier modes of communications. A letter…A note…A postcard… could just make someone’s day and leave you with a sense of accomplishment for doing just…Think about it.