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The lost letter...


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.

19 comments:

Debaditya said...

feeling nostalgic bout letters after reading this post!!
Still missing them!!!

fullmoononearth said...

True. I always used to wait for the postman when I used to stay at home, hoping some long lost friend would remember me and send a letter. But now that longing has died coz I'm very sure no one would write to me.

Goutham said...

Very true. I think I told you once. Wrote somethin today. Take a look at my blog when u have time.

Caffeinism said...

@ deb- nostalgic...tats a word I could have used.

@ Fme- Postman Bhiya!! how could I forget him..I should have included that...

@ G'man- ya it was one of our first conversations I think..."How we expect people to respond on the spot and have forgotten how much time the snail mails used to take..."

thegaad said...

hey hey! you stole my idea...i was going to write abt snail mails too...lolz...

Mukund said...

I have always loved writing letters n used to be thanked by quite a few of my friends for doing that!! but unfortunately don't get the time to do that anymore....no email can ever bring that pleasure of holding a letter in ur hand n reading!!

Little Miss Sunshine said...

Yup so true! I still have my old friends' letters just for old times sakes. It used to be a ritual and almost an addiction. I remember the letters I wrote to my sis, cramming stuff even on the flaps of the Inland mails. Hehehehe.

Raaga said...

@caff: I agree. And to for old times' sake, I still write letters to people. To people that I am connected to through email/phone, to people that have no access to the electronic media. I don't receive any in return because people tell me they are busy. Life!

@G'man: I hope you're reading this. :)

Caffeinism said...

@ thegaad- nice try.Why don't you also write about it...and u can come up with some "New" Funda and Stuff.

@Mukund, Sunanda, Raaga- I can't belive all of you feel the same way.I was quite sure many might feel otherwise..well feels good to have company...

Suresh Thiagarajan said...

Yeah I totally agree. I always prefer to give a handwritten letter/card to wish someone. Handwritten letters carry more personal warmth...

Expressions said...

Hmmm...I want to read all the old letters and cards that I had received over these years this weekend...Thanks for reminding me how I used to love doing that...

Goutham said...

@raaga mmm :( so sorry..

Mukund said...

I guess, we'll all be classified as "old" school in this age and time :)

Caffeinism said...

@ suresh- cards...I know somehow ppl who are not in station tend to kust send e cards..me included sometimes..cos I claim there is no time...I did not even send my lill sis a card this time..tat was sooo mean of me..

@ mukund- ya maybe...I will ask my much much younger cousins abt this and see what they have got to say...

Neeti said...

oi.
thanks a tonn. that really made me feel better. it came just when i needed it badly, coz i have this mamothian presentation to make tommorow and my spark plug is absolutly dry. zilch ideas. i loved those times too, and thathaji used to write back long letters filled with all kinds of information about the world, so that we would be learning more from the letters than what happened in Tiwari uncle's house.
lovely post, and a lovely start to my day.

Caffeinism said...

@ dusty-Thanks a ton

Jaya said...

Good post... I completely share yr views on this one.. Letters rock! That personal touch can never be replicated by an email no matter how muchever it makes up by its quickness and otherwise..

Paapu said...

True.
Remember writing to my three uncles when I was just 9 years old or even less - when their daughters were born - my Post card carried the "proposed name" for their daughters. ( accepted promptly )

Caffeinism said...

@ jaya- {smile}

@ paapu- wow...they accepted your "proposed name" names...that's a great feat for a 9 year old...and thanks for dropping by...

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