Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Letters, Letter, Where have you gone?

The ‘tring-tring-tring’ sound of a bicycle bell, his sharp voice!

Keeping my ears all alert for his short and crisp words, peeping through the windows in every alternate minute for his sight…How eagerly I used to wait for this man!!! 

Yes, I am talking about decades ago, when I was a college gal. I remember myself rushing to pick up the accurately tossed letters flung into our house compound by this man.

Through time-machine, I can show you how excitedly my eyes used to be longing for this Khaki-clad mail man for my love letters, letters from my friends, far way family members. New Years’ time, from November till January, this post man used to become my most wanted man… 

Not too long ago, I am sure, few handwritten lines used to make our days. The words in the letter and the feel of the paper in itself gave us many beautiful memories. You cannot carry an email message in your pocket or a bag, to be opened and re-read whenever you want, may be sitting in the last bench in your college, or sitting on the culvert with your best friend.

I wonder how many of us even use a pen to write on paper these days. Now the practice of writing and sending letters is becoming a history. We will have to explain to our next generation – what letters mean, something like: “A letter is a hand written expression of emotion or information. It can be short or long, formal or casual, poetry or prose. Famous romantics like Keats, Shelley, Wordsworth and Shakespeare penned sonnets and odes, and inspired generations of young lovers to do the same, mostly.”

Emails, Video chats and couriers rule the present time, depriving us of the joy the khaki-clad postman used to bring to us. Yes, Email, Skype, Whatapps, courier – all are faster, require less time, less effort, mostly reliable, more direct and after all, one actually hears the person at the other end or one can track the location. I am sure the trees must be happy with all the paper being saved, but— getting a piece of white paper or an inland letter, sitting at a desk, choosing a fountain or ball pen, writing the address and the date on the top, relaxing down to compose a letter, putting some flowers inside the envelop at last to odor the paper, assuming the sweet fragrance would touch body and soul of the receiver, can you compare ???

"Please Mister Postman, look and see - Is there a letter, a letter for me?
I've been standing here waiting Mr. Postman, oh, so patiently
For just a card or just a letter - Please, Mr. Postman, oh yeah
Is there a letter, a letter for me ?  - The Carpenters ( English Pop Group)

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