People say that the art of letter writing is dead. But my idea of heaven is writing a letter to a dear friend in a far away town, a note to my cousin saying “ thankyou ” for the dinner we had this weekend, a fan letter to the writer whose story I read and admired. I love to write something, be it a short story, a poem, a serious article or just letters. It is so magical to gather the right words and put them together on the paper…
I write a couple of letters a day, and suffer from bouts of guilt, thinking I may perhaps be over burdening my friends and relatives with my written material. Letters have been very important in my life, those that I have written and received. I have treasured the ones which are very dear to me, to read them again and again reveling in the magical spell they cast on me every time unfolding something new.
It was a hobby that started from my childhood, when I wrote letters to my school friends, teachers, relatives and strangers as well. I std lX, when suddenly half the nation was consumed by the passion of acting, I too was one of them. I wrote my first fan letter to the great ‘Amitabh Bachchan’ and received from him a typed reply and his autographed photograph. His letter, the special handmade greeting card, and the letters written by my friends are the most treasured possession.
Recently when I revealed my letter writing habbit to my friend, I was told, ”but my dear, no one writes letters anymore! Where’s the time?” Agreed! I know people who never write letters for whom its just a waste of time. How easy it is to reach for the telephone type a few digits and talk to person miles away from you… no pondering over thoughts no addressing of envelopes and no waiting for response. No doubt, the telephone is more efficient and instant but I doubt whether it is, on the whole as effective as a letter.
Letters have a certain power, your heartbeat ticks rhythmically with every comma and a full stop… you can preserve a letter , read it study it, carry it around like a cherished possession. It is not momentary as a telephone call, quickly done and quickly forgotten.
As I have grown over years, I have matured and hopefully become wiser. I have learned to think twice before dropping a letter written in a melancholic mood. I have regretted it because by the time the letter is received the gloominess is banished and then one is left anxiously thinking about the reaction at the other end.
There were moments when shyness led me to writing letters. I would have never been able to make friends with strangers had I not been a keen writer. I cannot dream of calling up a writer, actor, painter whose work I admire, until and unless I know them personally. But without hesitation I write them letters of appreciation, and if my letter is welcomed, it is answered and if not, I’ve got nothing to lose. Its funny but I’ve maintained friendships solely through letters that may, I fear, break if there is a face to face encounter.
So keep in touch. The pen and paper you use does not matter— the voice coming from the heart does. The next time when you write a letter notice for a second the magical tune that your pen plays on your paper , the rhythm of the flow of your thoughts, like the first raindrops touching the mother earth. You feel as if you are actually sitting in front of the other person reading out thoughts, collecting thoughts, coloring them with ink and presenting them paper to loved ones….. anxiously waiting for the reply…. Letters have their special brand of magic.
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Topic: Ink and Paper Communication
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