Ever recieved a hand written letter?
I do get ones written from my aunt once in a year,on birthdays mostly,or on the occasional celebratory feat,but otherwise finding them is a rarity.Everyone would rather send a quick text on messenger or an email to update you on their daily lives,rather than stop to pick a pen and paper and doodle on bits of paper.
School made it part of the curriculum,where you ended up writing a fictional letter,to the municipality(for the menace of dogs),your friends,or the local council to complain about some problem or the other,they conviniently also got divided into the formal and non formal formats to add a little pain to writing them.I frankly dreaded writing those letters then,whose soul purpose was just for the academic point of view,the grade that wouldn’t affect your marks in language,yet it was only when I walked into the real world that I realised what all the writing was worth.
Even the postman these days will only bring you the official stamped posts from the bank,those letters just meant to inform you of your account status,some investment details or the random magazine you subscribed to ages ago which you directly sort into the “not going to read again pile”!
From the times when pigeons used to make them up the only form of correspondence(according some bollywood movies it seemed the sane way back then),to the short typed telegrams from the war zone,or those beautiful hand written letters which spent days and nights to reach thier addressee to be then read,reread until worn out,sobbed over then crushed under the pillow,it’s these type of letters which seem long forgotten to most people of today.
Nostalgia includes those colourful letters from school friends just enjoying lunch,my teacher appreciating the hard work put in a report and the loving one dad once wrote to mom during their courtship.Over the last few years we’ve forgotten collecting the stamps,looking in excitement over the address as to who may have sent it,caressing the paper lovingly and pondering the contents of the beautiful threaded words.
This same letter though a little troublesome to start with,is amazing to write and even more amazing to read once sent to the person intended for.How many ever scribbles,hidden designs,tears and smiles have been intended for that little page ,there’s nothing like the feeling when you finally want to read it again,maybe read it twice to hear as if the other person is talking to you in first person.You can write with bravery something you haven’t been able to voice out,something you’ve been planning to say but it just doesn’t reach the tip of your tongue,but you could deliver it with flourish ,to appear on now a brave piece of paper who is your messenger of sorts.
The pen is mightier than the sword.
It’s a saying known from decades,but it hasn’t been truer unless one has read the words from a handwritten letter.I do hope children from the next generation do learn of this beautiful art,and not just the SMS,emails and phone calls.And I hope they don’t get archived in a museum soon for posterity.
Bring out love,warmth, friendship and even guidance in your letters,for even though the paper may wear itself away,it’s the words written from the writers heart which will definitely strike a chord with that of the reader,and if it’s touched the right cord it may be still preserved for a few more reads,glances or even snuck under the pillow to guide our loving dreams.