Recently,I read in a magazine about letters written by Siddarth Shanker Ray to late Indira Gandhi & as I read the article ,I got. nostalgic.I recall, that, as a child,I used to write regularly to my aunt & later, to her sons as they were both younger than me.But slowly & surely,this all just died a natural death.Partly,because my uncle would not have a girl teaching his boys anything, no matter, even if, she was a cousin sister & also because,I had got busy with college.
I also used to write letters to my friend who had gone away to another town & I continued penning letters while, I was in hostel.I used to pen emotional letters, when I got married ,pining for my parents as I realised , that a job & housework was a very tedious combination, especially, after marriage.
I have read quite a few books which are only a collection of letters-from the Mahatma to Rajkumari Amrut Kaur,Nehru's letters to Indira,etal.Reading those letters transfers one to a bygone era-they are so very simple & emotional.One does get spellbound when one goes through correspondence of that age.In the modern times,I have read a book by Shobha De titled " Speed Post " .It is a collection of letters addressed by her to her children -natural as also adopted about various topics.I liked the empathy & the sensitivity of the book very much.
Letter writing is a forgotten art today.What with emails,cell phones,chatting,etal,nobody writes or receives letters.Except,perhaps, for business letters related to work.There was a play which had made quite an impact as it was about letters lovingly exchanged between two persons over a long period of time. It was enacted by two great actors & even the director was famous.
Now,even, I do not write letters as I am on the net most of the times & chatting is so easy & personal.Moreover,talking on the net is free in some instances & voices do sound sweet in this lonely world.Moreover,one can keep the video on & see the person.But still,something is missing.
Recently,my daughter had a homework in which she had to answer questions about the cost of a postcard,an inland letter & a postal envelope.I was in a fix-I have not used any postal stationery since ages.So,I asked my Dad & she got her answers.
I do write letters occasionally -whilst sending rakhis by courier but then the letter is an accompaniment to the rakhi.I do send personal emails through the net but these are becoming very rare as days pass by.
I remember, that I would be eagerly awaiting letters in those days gone by.Things have changed but maybe not so much.Now,I enthusiastically keep checking for forwards in my mailbox.