In one of those wistful moments during weekends, I traded my afternoon siesta to take up the Herculean task of clearing my cluttered drawers and closet. I chanced upon a worn-out box of old letters correspondence from friends, classmates, relatives.
Wilfully drawn into a state of nostalgia, I began re-reading every letter sent by my parents and grandparents at different stages of my life. I randomly pick up a letter written to me by my dad when I was in the hostel during my engineering days. Reading them I could almost imagine him hunched over his office desk, with a mug of steaming tea, pen scratching onto paper making cursive crawls. As he articulated his thoughts on my well-being, the handwriting soon changed into a calligraphic one, thus indicating my mom had a piece of advice to add on. I was instantly transported into a time that was enchanting as memories flashed myriad images of happy times spent at home.
While I am as active as anyone on social networks and websites, and love being able to keep up with my friends? news so much more easily and immediately now, it still makes me a little sad to realize that the sense of anticipation I loved so much has been lost somewhat. There is something so deeply emotional about receiving a
handwritten letterthe anticipation of carefully opening the letter nestled in an envelope, the barelyperceptible creases and stains on the page, the unique flourishes of the writer's script.
Letters are at once vulnerable, emotional, and personal. I remember how seeing my mom?s familiar handwriting used to make me feel closer to home, an elixir that assured me that I was never alone.
As clich?d as it sounds, technology has clearly shrunk our world into a global village. Letters have been rendered obsolete, by more efficient and faster modes of communication such as e-mail and text messaging. Of course, there's no denying that e-mails are fantastically convenient-they are delivered in mere seconds, without the hassle of paying for postage or the time commitment of having to pick up the phone and engage in small talk. During marriages there is neither the need to hunt for address- books nor to telephone relatives as e-invites are considered haute these days.
I picked up another loquacious letter addressed to me by my granddad. I felt inexplicably connected to him as he described the rains in Kerala amidst other news- ??.rain drops trickle down the roof and fall defiantly on the parched courtyard invoking the scent of wet earth. And the mango trees throw down their sweet offerings in indignation. Awaiting your arrival dear?.?? Strong in both sentiments and images, they reiterate that he remains alive through his prose- his letters. No longer do we see the lines ?Dear Uncle, Hope you are in the best of health? or ?I have been meaning to write since a long time?..? Today we rely on pictorial representations to depict our frame of mind, simply stated ?Emotions? or simply type a few alphabets to generate ?OMG?, ?BFF? or ?LOL?.
I feel fortunate to be born in an era where we escaped the assault of technology. The red post boxes which remain etched in my memories did not call for a second
glance for the younger generations today.
Twenty years down the line, will I be able to pass on such mushy moments to my children? Will I be lucky enough to restore any of my archived mails? As I ponder I
decide to pen down a letter to my son who stays with me! I rummage around for coloured paper, strawberryscented pens and cartoon stickers to articulate my
thoughts. Tacky it may sound, I love it!!
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