A few decades from now, it would probably be difficult for someone to remember how letters were written. In fact, someone born a few decades from now would probably read about ‘letters’ and ‘postcards’ in a history textbook. I remember my father telling me how they used to send telegrams during emergencies and letters once in a while to inquire about each other’s well-being. Telephones were not that accessible either. This wasn’t too long ago, just a couple of decades.
And today things have changed and how! We all roam around with mobile phones, not thicker than a pen and have access to everything upon a touch on the screen. Reminders are set on the phone calendar, a conversation happens for not more than a few seconds over phone and well-being is inquired over some chat line. Apps have changed the way we all function.
I have always been a writer. Writing letters is something I enjoy and I have kept in touch with many of my friends through letters. In fact, I remember how one of my best friends left school and moved to a different city in India when we were in fourth grade and we swore to keep in touch through letters. And we did! We kept in touch for almost 12 years through nothing else but letters (not even an email, I swear!). That feeling of holding a letter and reading through it, word by word, and re-reading it just to experience that feeling again is priceless. Just knowing that someone took out that precious little time of theirs to write to you is emotionally stimulating. I wonder why people stopped doing that. Some people argue with me saying that when they have faster ways of reaching each other, why bother writing on a piece of paper that will reach someone after days? But I feel sorry for such people because they probably never had the pleasure of waiting for a letter,for all those who have waited for their letters would know the bliss I am talking about.
I was trying to look up the history of letters to see who wrote the first letter ever. Turns out, a Persian queen Atossa, was the first one to write a letter way back in 500BC. I found this information on http://www.handwrittenletters.com/. Please visit their site for more interesting information on letters and how they came to be.
Letters have undergone several transformations over the centuries, just like any other process. Letters have ‘evolved’ according to human convenience. But now their evolution has stopped. In fact, they are almost ‘extinct’. And that leaves us with the pleasure of receiving letters from loves ones being in an ‘endangered’ state. And it is a beautiful feeling to be lost forever. I haven’t stopped writing letters. I still write to my family, my friends, my teachers, my neighbours and everyone else who has created at least one memory that will never get lost in the labyrinth of neuronal networks in my brain. When I remember them, they need to know I do. And when I miss them, they need to know I do. And most importantly, they need to know that I am more than happy to spare time to write to them and tell them what I feel and remind them of the happy times we shared. My reward is their smile!
If you read this blog, take a moment out to tell someone how much you value them. And write to someone who means a lot to you, someone you haven’t been able to meet/spend time with/call because you have been busy running at the speed of ‘life’. Don’t walk to your computer and to hit the ‘send’ button; walk to the nearest post office and smile as the postmaster looks at you for (probably) the first time.
See what it feels like when your pen touches that paper…
I want to dedicate this post to my pen friend Samuel Purton who is no more…I never got to meet him but I haven’t known a kinder human being…