It was a sultry evening. I sat with my cuppa of masala chai in front of the calm view. The nature had painted quite a beautiful view. The flight of birds were heading to their destination and some of the birds were neatly perched themselves in midst of the branches of the tall palm trees. The rustling of leaves of the palm trees added a musical delight to my ears. The sun was hitting my balcony and I was bathing in the warmth of it. The distant sound of waves clashing the edges of the cliffs augmented the existing magic. I strained my neck to see the sun entering the horizon. Like Pablo Neruda says, every evening in the balcony of the sea, a fire is born, wings open. The ball of fire was clearly visible and I could imagine the sweat stewed hours that it put the whole day to shine down on us, to illuminate the dark corners of the world and also acting like a silent admirer of green blanket of nature. Music is the most alive of all forms of art and I heard it through the action of birds, waves, and the tiny tots. The gouged lawn in front of our resort was the eye catching element and I could smell the globe of petals withdrawn from the flowers of the trees even from distance. The local folks were rushing to their own place after finishing their daily chores and duties. The cuckoo sitting on the tree was busy cooing and making a sonorous sound. Such was the atmosphere. Fresh, clean and so virgin ready to lose it all for the mankind. The tryst with nature lasted for few more seconds before I heard a loud cry of my girl. I sat my tea on a chair and went inside to pick her up. Bringing her to the balcony, I showed her the true magic of Mother Nature and her kindness.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Festive season was here. The city was sparkling and glowing with lights, lamps and candles. Every nook and corner was brimmed with festive atmosphere. The exchange of pleasantries, packing the goody bags for special someone, the sweets and cakes on stores were the highlight. To top it all the events and soirees were pretty much a delight and icing on the cake. The decorations and organizing games took a front seat and not a single life felt isolated and withdrawn. The city was admired for the energy and joie de vivre.
In the midst of all this, one tends to feel the height of glory and one always gets charged up. I too felt the tidal wave of varying mixed emotions in my heart and felt the need to express my gratitude to my set of loved ones. So at the end of the day when the year 2016 was on the verge of getting to the point of shutting down its curtain, I ended up writing letters. In the days of social media, a letter may seem obsolete, trash and outdated to many but I can never get rid of the old charm that only a letter offers.
A letter is like opening the eyes of our heart and showing its true essence and nature with a personalized touch. In a world of communication where technology is a breakthrough and has opened up so many doors that a person doesn’t feel distant to their loved ones anymore, letters take a backseat and often seen as a backward means of channeling your thoughts and ideas to the opposite person. But I felt it is the lost art which is worth bringing back. Therefore I wrote. Firstly, it thrilled me to a great extent.
The prospect of sharing those ideas by bringing it to the pen gave me a joy that knew no bounds. The ink when touches the paper, those scribbling and overwriting few words, making a subtle nuances to the alphabets was unparalleled to the pressing of alphabets in the keyboard or pressing the send key in the messenger.
Going back to literature, letters hold a significant or rather coveted position in bringing two lovers together. A person’s rejection or acceptance depends on the manner in which the letter has been written. Letters were a common literary vehicle used to correspond. Many of the literary works include letter writing as a personal favorite. For example, In Austen’s Emma, the iconic work of the author, when Harriet smith comes running with a letter from Mr. Martin, Emma Woodhouse quickly asks her how great the letter is, and how is the length of the letter. The relationship formed through letters, it was held together through letters and lasted because of those letters.
I would like to quote the piece in New York times which is written by Catherine Field :
“A good handwritten letter is a creative act, and not just because it is a visual and tactile pleasure. It is a deliberate act of exposure, a form of vulnerability, because handwriting opens a window on the soul in a way that cyber communication can never do. You savor their arrival and later take care to place them in a box for safe keeping.
Following to the above passage, creativity lured in the corners of letters. A good letter was a blue print of an investment of good stationery, pretty piece of paper, and beautiful supplies.
The wait of receiving a letter was always a comfort giving, breathtaking and curiousity driven. There was a rush in our heart and minds when we saw the letters in mailbox. One waited to get back home and read those. The great excitement and thrill were the elements that letters brought out within us. The handwritten words and pictures meant a lot. Often the person’s state of mind was visible through their well- organized words, writings, and striking of a sentence.
In all the BBC period dramas and stories, I have often seen letters prove a great deal. The entire day was spent in answering them with detail, precise, and to the point. There was no way a letter was acceptable when it posed ambiguity, lack of clarity and short in means of length. Women would wait for a proper hour to let themselves alone to read the letters. Also the great power that a well handwritten has is remarkable. Think about the letter of proposal that transpired between Elizabeth and Darcy. It had a power that affected two lives dearly. When we look back, there was a separate genre for letters in novels. Epistolary indeed! It was wholly engaged in writing a piece of work using letters as a central ideas. To name few of those kind which were exceedingly successful were Bridget Jone’s Diary, Letters to Juliet, The Princess Diaries, The Perks of being a wallflower and Last Days of Summer.
Growing up, I have often seen people write letters in special occasions. We have experienced the joy and anxiety too as our family used to receive letters to the distant cousins and relatives. It talked of happiness, good tidings and good health. Even the marriage preparations were discussed. So ours was an era where letters lived and relished in the comfort of human hands which generation next could hardly get a taste of.
Not only this vintage communication connected war separated lovers, or used for deliver news but every beats of life were unabashedly discussed. Therein, approbation and comfort were sought in one another.
The increasing speed of technology rings a death knell to the sweet sounding literature. They are drifting away slowly from our lives. Today, social media have taken correspondence by storm but not to forget that in this gust of storm, letters serve as a fresh whiff of air coming through a narrow channel called heart.