Of the Signed, Sealed and Delivered
Paper is now considered trash. …or is it? -The very question that popped into my mind, as I found myself elbow-deep into de-cluttering my piles of files and folders from the past.
High school-day memoirs, college-day jot-down’s, bills and reminders, medical prescriptions and reports, things that you journey back with, allowing the mind to take a quick flash-back and it all appears right in front of you almost as vivid as yesterday. Junk of the past, not really important but for the nostalgia.
Just as you’re ready to mark them as trashed, and good to let go as garbage, out surfaces a blue (faded with time) inland letter card with the mark of the post office seal and priced at Rs 2/-. The face breaks out into a smile as you recognize the name and address of the sender written at its allotted place along the dotted lines at the back. The smile beams brighter when you identify and recognise the ink scribble of the person who had written it.
It dates back almost thirty years but the memories that flood in are as fresh. I quickly do a hurried rummage to dig out a few more such letters, read and re-read them with heart-filled ecstasy. Ecstasy not only at the words that carry wonderful messages but at the wonder of a hand-written letter now considered so old fashioned, obsolete and unimportant.
For those of my readers for whom this may seem strange, bizarre or rather odd, let me tell you that there was indeed a whole lot of heart involved in the entire process of writing a letter, in the true sense of the term. As compared to letters, notes and messages as we have them today, none can measure up to what letter writing once used to be.
I have to mention, that besides the advantage of saving time perhaps, no typed out letter carries anything worth the treasure or cherish that a hand-written letter does or did. Emoticons, abbreviated words, images and fonts are but pre-arranged ready- to- use formats- everything short of personal from the sender to the ‘sendee’, nowadays. Weighed against which, choosing the type of paper on which to write- its design, thickness, colour, and the choice of pen or ink to write with, were options of which we were quite spoilt for choice not forgetting of course one’s own hand writing which stands as a one of a kind for every individual and is so personal.
The complete step by step procedure of hand written letters from the very go to the point of being signed, sealed at the post office and delivered at your doorstep was everything up close and personal in its entirety.
As I close, I have to confess that out of all the piles of paper that I set out to trash, before me still lie the old long forgotten form of letters once written with the very personality of the writer in every line that spoke straight from the heart…. Paper, which I can never consider trash.