Sometimes, an unexpected delight can brighten up a mundane afternoon. It has been a decade since I felt the surge of joy on receiving a handwritten letter. However, reading my best friend’s letter after so many years took me to cloud nine.
Emails are faster and more convenient but they can never replace the thrill of receiving a handwritten letter. There’s something magical about snail mail that instantly cheers us up. The joy of recognising the handwriting, postal seal of the destination and handwritten address is immense. Unlike a delete key that takes the mail off memory, handwritten letters are often tucked inside a book or a box to be read again over a cup of coffee.
I spent a lot of my childhood years writing letters to friends across the world. I took a cue from my grandfather who was very fond of writing letters using a yellow postcard. Every space on it was utilised to the maximum. He left no blank space, not even the top part of the stamp.
If writing a letter and dropping it into the red mailbox was one part of excitement, the anticipation of response is even more thrilling. The afternoon siestas would often be disturbed by the tinkling of a cycle bell. It meant the arrival of the postman.
Gone are the days when we would browse colourful cards for various occasions because we are now so used to typing texts or mails that it seems taxing to actually hold a pen and write a letter. We get the feeling as if handwriting is a lost art now. Days have changed with easy and comfortable electronic means of communication. But once a while, it is fun to grab a simple A4 paper and write to someone far and dear — chances are it might be cherished for years.
In my effort to rekindle this lost habit I encouraged my eight-year-old son to write to his grandparents. In today’s gadget gizmo world, they would never imagine receiving a letter addressed to them in a child’s handwriting. No matter what the child writes, scribbles or draws, the message that “I care” rings loud.
— The reader is an Indian stay-at-home mother and homemaker based Abu Dhabi