What do you find in your mailbox(not the email inbox) each day – bank statements, credit card statements, some discount coupons, some too-good-to-be-true promotinal stuff.Thats it.No handwritten letters ever.
I wonder if people have handwritings anymore.The only time I pick up a pen is to sign a cheque.What happened to that form of human expression – of writing long letters and waiting for the Godsend postman to deliver the reply.
I am not against technology, I know email is practical and fastest.Especially now that there is oceans between me and my loved ones, it is a relief that I can send and receive emails everyday.
But sometimes I feel that an email is like the newspaper, you just glance at it and keep it aside and trash it after sometime.You look at it in between doing other things.Also while writing an email I am shared between things like browsing other sites, cursing the lousy speed of the network or working(which is seldom).
But if I sit down to write a real letter with real paper and pen, that time is truly devoted to that person I am writing to. That person has my undivided attention, his/her face is right in front of my eyes.And similarly when a person reads a hand written letter, that quiet time is between the reader and the author, all the world aside.
I dont know if it is a problem with me but I cant express my finer feelings on the phone or email.The emails I write would be newspaperly, this happened,I did this ..blah blah,but how about what I felt.The keyboard has no right to know how I felt and anyway you are going to read and hit the Delete button, there it goes down the drain.If I speak of my emotions on the phone, my voice would choke and you would be worried to death.
But the real letter is strong, it makes the message sink in deep without creating ruffles on the surface.It is made of steel, it survives.
And if I poured out my heart in that paper, I know you would keep it safe with you, cherish it.The kids of today would never know the joy of receiving a love letter with this age of ‘I love U’ sms and ‘I love u’ titled emails.The joy of treasuring and keeping the love letters till the paper gives up.No matter how this generation despises the yesteryear’s snail mail, I know what they are missing.
When I was in hostel, my family and my friends used to write real letters to me(yes I am from that pre-email era).I could make out by the handwriting on the envelope whose letter it is and couldnt wait to tear it open.Then I would read it over and over again, this attention an email does not deserve.
When I read a hand written letter I couldnt be grateful enough to you for setting time aside just for me.Those words of yours were precious like pearls.I lived those moments with you.I know how you felt when the blue inked pen ran out and you impatiently reached out for the black one.I know how hard you tried to remove that little tea/coffee stain that insulted the paper you were writing on.Sometimes I found some words a little erased, and I could just wonder whether it was water or the produce of your eye that did that.The way you joined T and H together in THE as if T were eager to embrace H, the way you left G alone hanging between the lines in all the DOING, WRITING words.Then you licked the stamps for me and finally dropped the letter.All this for me.
When my dad wrote to me, he left an evidence of paan(beetle leaves) that he was chewing on the paper always.And sometimes which was very rare, when my mom wrote to me, I could smell the spices in her hand as she reached out of the kitchen to grab a pen and paper.I was touched by that.
Well well let me not get too carried away and try to revive that feeling and begin writing some real letters.
Hail Snail Mail.