I remember receiving a blue inland letter from my aunt once in two months with updates about my cousins, the climate at her end and about the little nothings that are happening in her life. When my Appa replied to the letter, he asked me and my sister to pen a few lines and I remember being excited about replying to my aunt. I would choose a colourful pen and will doodle in the corners- a small heart or a flower.I spent hours selecting the right greeting card for Diwali and New Year and attached a special handwritten note to my aunt and cousins. I can’t describe the feeling of waiting for their reply. It was just magical.
As years passed, excitement to speak over the phone, overpowered our love for the written word. We started calling our aunt once in two weeks. After few years we spoke to each other only on special occasions, as birthdays, anniversary or Diwali and New Year. Now I don’t even remember when was the last time I spoke to my cousins, as we are connected via Facebook and Whatsapp. It’s the age of texting and chatting and who has time for calling each other.
Recently when I visited my dad, he showed me some old letters that I wrote to him when I was on a long vacation at my aunt’s place. I was surprised that he had treasured those still now.
“I miss the old times, when you wrote to me”, he said, his eyes welled up with tears.
I wondered if we can treasure an email or whatsapp conversation for years. Even if we save them, will they evoke the same feeling like a handwritten letter? Technology sure is a boon and we can connect to our friends and relatives who stay faraway, however can anything replace the warmth of the handwritten letter? No!
After that conversation with my dad, I decided to introduce my daughter to the magical world of the handwritten letters.
“Why waste time in writing letter Mumma, when I can phone my aunt?” she said.
She did have a point, writing takes time and effort and that’s what makes a letter special. While writing you search for the right word and at times cut few phrases here and there, sometimes a tear drop kisses those pages and the ink blots. Those are the memories that last for a lifetime and it is magical to hold a letter after 10 years.
But how could I convince my super smart daughter, who then said, “Mumma, my aunt stays nearby, then why should I write. We can go and meet her.”
And that’s when instead of telling her to write, I started writing a letter to my dad. She kept watching me for few days as I scribbled in pages with different colours. I stuck few stickers and pasted few photographs. When the letter was ready, she was amazed at the beauty of written words. Today afternoon, before going to school, she asked me, “Mumma when can I write to my aunt?”
Today, she is going to write her first ever letter and I am curious to see the joy in her face when she writes.
The magic of a handwritten letter
Have you recently written a letter to a friend or loved one? If yes, how did you feel? Did they reply? In the age of instant messages, how did you feel to wait for the reply? Have you ever thought of making your children to write letters to their grandparents, cousins or friends?
The first one to comment gets a letter and a handmade card from me J
Love and gratitude,