Recently I wrote a letter. No, it was not the official respected sir type, this was the simple humble dear type. You may remember before we started using WhatsApp, emails and social media to interact there was the option of writing to one another.
Uncharitably called snail mail today the simple act of writing and posting letters is something many will never do. There is some magic in writing letters and words may not be enough to explain it. I had pen pals in school and they included some from overseas too. We kept in touch with a letter every fortnight or month and these letters kept us closer than the social media of today where despite knowing much we still did not know enough to reach out to the other.
Those were the days when the unopened letters brought about a lot of excitement and expectation when they were received. Once read and usually savoured then starts the task of replying to the letter, a good habit that is rapidly on the decline. In this age of instant messaging, people have stopped acknowledging the messages because they receive too many. Every development in communication seems to have kept people at a distance.
When ecards replaced the conventional cards many sent cards but today greeting cards both offline and online have become a rarity. I remember many pleasurable hours spent in Archie’s and Landmark spending time to select the best card for the occasion. Each card was selected that they spoke to the receiver as if it was said by the sender and I miss those days. Emails replaced snail mails and though earlier we did use Hotmail (now dead), Yahoomail etc till the gorilla Gmail took over and changed the way we communicate.
I miss the yahoo messenger of old with its cute emoticons which spiced up many a chat room and personal chats. The line “Aiyo unoda intelligence paathu kannu koosudhu!” was a gem among many others. I miss reaching out to people and genuinely sharing with each other by mere words when pictures did not take up so much of our communication. Yes we had our photographs but they were few and far in between and so did not become so ignorable as today. A picture may speak a thousand words but that is for the verbally and mentally challenged, the combination of words and the human imagination is a far better combination and can spark more than a thousand words.
So what are the benefits of writing letters?
In no particular order:
- A letter is a physical thing, it is something tangible that can be seen, felt by everyone and it works even without power
- A letter connects people both the writer and the reader in a way that an email cannot
- A letter calls for effort on the part of the sender, good hand writing is essential so that the other understands
- A handwritten letter that has no corrections is the effect of a clear mind that has already drafted it before the pen hit the paper
- A letter requires patience, diligence, neatness, clarity of thought, eloquence, brevity and so much more to convey the right message to the receiver
- A good letter becomes a part of history and gets preserved for the future generations
- A letter usually elicits a reply and the circle continues which brings the two persons closer
- A letter is usually a part of the person who sends it and can become a part of the one who reads it
- Writing letters was the first step of people in the media industry including authors
- An open letter carefully planned and executed makes celebrities of even wannabes
- A letter is usually an act of love
Try writing, it may make a difference to you and the person you write to.
Images courtesy: Google Images
P.S. I have posted the letter now waiting for a reply, excited.