Friday, January 22, 2010

L is for Letters

It seems as if writing letters has been a thing of the past. What happened to the good ol’ communication of putting ink on the paper? I know of very few people now who still continue to write letters. What prompted me to write this blog? Well – I received a New Year greeting from our very close friends, N and N. And enclosed with it was a little hand-written letter. A and I were so happy not just to read it, but simply see a hand-written letter. The feeling of getting a letter is so different than getting an e-mail or just a New Year greeting card or a greeting with the family’s photograph. That personal touch, the personal thought that goes in to writing a letter is evident when you read a letter. The personalizing of it makes a world of difference to a person who understands the value of a hand-written note or letter! When I see that hand-addressed envelope sitting in my mailbox, I have a smile on my face, and my walk quickens to go home and read it.

Have still continued to write letters. I still exchange letters with A’s and my mom. I would write in Gujarati (our spoken language at home in India) at times also. That used to be more frequent when I would communicate with my grandparents. It is an equally good feeling to pen a letter, as much as it is to receive one. Maybe you want to give it a try! It may feel odd initially. With communication having become more quick and efficient, it is highly likely that when you sit to write a letter to your parents or friends or significant other (if he/she stays away from you), you may not have matter to write. What I have felt is that when you sit to write a letter, there are things that come up, which may not come up in routine conversations.

The last I wrote a letter was when I sent a gift for another very close friend’s new born daughter. We were roommates in Mumbai and she’s now settled in LA, and is the mom of a beautiful baby girl. Every time I would write letters in Mumbai to my parents or grandparents in Baroda, she would always say, “When will you write me a letter?” Being in the same town, I never got an opportunity, but she did get a letter almost six years after that!

Letters make for beautiful memories! On a day when you’re feeling low, if you go back to the old letters that you got from your mom and dad, siblings, friends, loved ones, it would bring back your mood. For those who have lived in India or received letters from there would know of the light blue International mail letter. Sometimes, just seeing that envelope does the trick for me. For one of my birthdays, when I lived in Mumbai, K had given me this beautiful letter pad made of hand-made paper. It lasted a very long time and I still remember writing letters on those hand-made papers with a beautiful design on the top!

Some years back, when letters were already beginning to get replaced by e-mails, people would write long e-mails. And it would feel so good to see a long e-mail sitting in your inbox. A has a habit of writing good long e-mails once in a while. But now, getting long e-mails is also rare. They’re also becoming short and to the point.
I hope I convinced you to pick a pen and write a letter to anyone. Just think of the reaction they would have when they see a personal note from you! Happy writing!

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