Writing Letters: An Evergreen Ritual

Posted on July 6, 2012

By Tanaya Singh:

It’s yellowish in colour now, old and feeble
That letter you wrote me, my dear,
The ink smells fresh, and that smudge is still there.

How long has it been since you last wrote a postcard, a letter or a greeting card to a loved one? When you come to think of it, some will not even remember the last time, for some it might be the last birthday party, while for some the last New Year, and there will be others, for whom, New Year is the only occasion considered suitable for writing cards. There was a time which I remember quite distinctly, when writing cards and sending them off with personal letters used to be a family custom. And since I saw the custom being religiously followed (till everyone in the family came to know about e-mail), I am still an admirer.

I am sure a lot of you used to jump at the sight of a postman, expecting a letter or a card. But nobody is sure when was that moment when we left that time behind, and came so far that many of us don’t go to purchase cards anymore. I feel that greeting cards were and will always be the greatest way of wishing someone and sending that special message. No other gift can be found after 10 years, hidden somewhere in a drawer to reveal a smile and a twinkling eye and a tear, when the old message shines again.

It might sound illogical, but an email is still not able to convey the feelings you are trying to send to a person miles and miles away, but a letter or a postcard, seems to carry with itself the emotions of the writer in every sentence. It has the feel and a touch of the person who sent it. An email or a text message is quick, but the pleasure of reading a letter is incomparable to anything. The look of understanding in a man’s eye, his smile, the fulfilment in his heart, and the urge to write a reply, when he reads his grandson’s letter, while sitting in his garden, sipping his morning tea, cannot be obtained from any other thing. Not even a video chat on Skype. A letter or a card with a message will never be thrown away with the trash. Yes, it might be forgotten, but the smell never leaves, and one day when you find it again, you relive that memory, that day in your life when you were so happy, so proud and so much in love.

The habit of writing letters and the custom of sending cards can never die or be restricted to a certain fixed occasions. If we try and bring that urge back in us, to make someone happy with our words, this shall be one of the best ways to do it. If you can, don’t ever stop writing letters. Even a small note filled with love is a beautiful gift. If you are trying to hide behind the excuse of saving paper, just come out, shut down your computer, keep away the phone, and write a message to someone who will love it. Spread the joy.

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