The love of pouring emotions on a postcard, an inland letter, or just a plain paper; the excitement of opening an envelope inside which there were love, tenderness, and feelings that were personal, was always something special. Do you remember that bygone era of letter-writing? Yes, I’m talking of the snail mails, the only way of keeping in touch with family, relatives, and friends even in the 90’s when the internet was not an everyday matter for the hoi polloi.
The internet has made the world a smaller, more familiar place. So much so that we can exchange words with anyone residing anywhere in the world within minutes. We can have live chat, we can exchange real-time pictures, and what not. Of course, we are indebted to this blessing of science and technology which has helped to accede to the growing demands of humankind. But, a little, silly question keeps on hovering; has the internet made us simulated? Has it taken away the simple joy and happiness from our life making us robotic?
I had a number of pen-pals during my schooldays. I’d lost all of them in the course of time. I remember the exhilaration and cheerfulness a single airmail could bring in those days. There was something magical about ripping open an envelope flown across countries, oceans and seas. It was something personal, very much of it.
My grandma used to write to me while she was away from us, staying with my uncle. I could feel her words caressing me all through while holding the letter close to my bosom. It was drenched with love. Pristine. One would never be able to find such pure feelings in an email. It’s simply not possible. Not because we are running out of words but because an email is not a three-dimensional being; it’s not palpable, intuitive.
Letter writing is one of the most beautiful ways to express human emotions. It lacks today’s on-the-spot acknowledgement, but it has the spontaneity of feelings. The fruit of patience is always sweet, and so is the case with a letter. It keeps us waiting, tests our patience and, is delivered with a sweet surprise.
Letter writing is a lost art, in the truest sense. In today’s world, we want instant response, be it real or artificial. We don’t have time to stand and stare. But the thought of a pen etching down a verbiage of thoughts on a piece of paper fascinates me. It’s not a laconic, mundane, way of pressing the keypad; it’s about relishing the thoughts, thinking about the person I’m writing to and, penning it down.
Why Do I Think Letter Writing Is An Art And Needs To Be Revived?
Your handwriting is a part of your personality.
When we write a letter, the personal touch comes with the handwriting. It isn’t a downloaded font. It is an inimitable work of a person’s hand. Be good or bad, cursive or block, legible or illegible, it genuinely displays the person’s effort. A handwriting also tells us a million other things, but that’s not germane to our discussion.
Letter writing takes time and hence, shows your sincerity.
To write a letter one has to pay quite an amount of time. (Sounds like a Gordian knot in today’s world, huh?) You need to think before you write because there is no ‘backspace’ or ‘delete’ button. And, just for that very reason, the feelings are genuine, you think of the person while writing a letter. A text message with the words “I love you” would never be able to manifest the feelings poured on a love-letter.
Letters outlive you!
They do, always. A few years ago, while sorting out things from our old cupboards, I got a bunch of very old letters. One of them was written by my grandpa to my grandma while he was staying away. The envelope still had traces of rose petals in it, the evidence of their love; the fragile, yellow, paper holding a testimony to their adoration for each other.
No one will ever care for the numerous texts and emails we may have sent to a number of people. But, a letter lasts. It is passed through generations as a treasure, as a legacy.
“In an age like ours, which is not given to letter-writing, we forget what an important part it used to play in people’s lives”. – Anatole Broyard
When did you last write or receive a letter? We would like to know.
Picture Courtesy: here