I was reading a post by Irfaan,  which reminded me of this post I had earlier written, The art of Letter writing is becoming a endangered species ..

************************************

I walked into my office , the lady at the reception was sitting.

“Good morning Liz”…
“Good morning Bikraaaaam”. (This is how they pronounce my name)…

As I walked past her, she called me back, “Bik, I have something for you,” she had a blue envelope in her hands, passed it on to me … it was one of AIRMAIL Aerogramme that we had in India to post abroad.

OH MY GOD… I was like in shock… it’s the last thing I was expecting… A Letter for me … I mean we are in 21st century… Letters are not heard of I mean the Hand-Written ones , Now is the time of Blogs, Emails, Scraps, and SMS… Tweets etc… Off liners… Chats… Facebook…

Believe me it was nostalgic moment, I opened the letter carefully, cause the gum is bad and you have to tear off the corners to open it, I did not want to spoil anything. The letter was from my youngest MAASI (mum’s sister). All this time I had forgotten her Birthday was same as mine 11th November, and she wrote a letter to me. SHAME ON ME…

It was such a great feeling, I have so many handwritten letters from lots of people, When I had come to UK, I had made sure I brought all those with me, I am a sucker for such nostalgic stuff. I reached home and opened my box of Emotions-Memories-Warmth-Love, even when some of these have got torn and faded the memories they evoke are rich and resonant. So many memories came flooding back, not all Emails, SMS messages, Scraps invoke such emotions.

Oh all those lovely memories, I agree that world has changed and its time of technology, so many emails are sent every day, But imagine the Hand written letters, those carefully chosen words, written slowly, Imagine the thought going behind the words being written, then the time it took to reach, even though the news by that time was late yet it brought all that JOY, HAPINESS, WARMTH, TEAR, SORROW, everything with it and then you sat down to REPLY to it.

I remember I use to have a girl in my class, she later started to tie rakhi to me, immigrated to Australia after my 10th class, she use to write letters to me, every other week I use to get a letter, which I have till today all saved up, the fun things written in them, how she was finding living in Oz, what she was doing, the new people she was meeting, I knew her friends as she knew them there. I replied back to her telling her what is going on my side, my college days, what i was doing…

I also remember a few of my friends writing to me, The best are the letters that my dad wrote to me when I was in hostel , though they were basically STUDY HARD, STUDY and STUDY… yet thinking of them and seeing them brings back memories. My mother use to write to me in Punjabi, some of the words she used in the letters are sort of lost from the vocabulary now, the warmth – the sweetness- the love affection in it all.

These days all you get is a 160 character SMS or an occasional card especially on Birthdays, that too with 4 or maximum 5 words “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” “LOVE abcd”. I used to write long letters myself, I remember pestering people in the end of the letter why don’t they write more.

In School where I was studying SUNDAY use to be the Letter writing day, we were given the Blue inland letters , their use to be a special sitting, 10AM the bell would ring, all the students were to go to the dining hall, where the prefect would distribute the letter, while we wrote, then he would collect them and mark from his list who all have not given. It was compulsory to write, I remember I use to write 3 letters , To my parents , To my Grandparents Both sets.. Sometimes if I was in good mood write to other relatives, the letters were posted every Monday morning, so by the next week the wait started for the reply.

Lunch was at 1:30Pm, after lunch around 2pm all of us use to rush to the helper (BidhiChand was his name), he would have the letters that had come to us, he would distribute them, it was good moment if you got a letter , sad time if you did not, but nevertheless it was exciting.

Nowadays you start to write I am sure, hands start to ache, we are not used to writing anymore. It gives a very warm feeling when I check a handwritten letter from a close friend even after couple of years, the personal touch is missing in most of the communiqués that we send and receive these days. The Intimacy between the person who is writing and the one who has received the letter, sometimes you wonder that will the person you have written read the words as you have written, Will they understand the true meaning, the emotion behind those words.

If they don’t , then you write more to explain it all :), Wrote with more sincerity since it took longer to write, the heart to heart conversation that was etched on the paper, And the best thing was the beautiful stamps that were used.

Not all the emails or sms have the same magic as of those handwritten letters.

Check out the blog :-
By Pritish Nandy

 

ps:- Picture courtesy Google.

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Comments
  1. Such a touching post Bikram.. you know I have a box full of all the letters and greetings I have received since the time I was 10. Every birthday card from my parents till date gives me goosebumps when I read what they have written for me.

    You are right..no email / sms/ FB/ chat can replace this feeling ever :’)

    You made me nostalgic now… I have to rush home to check that box of letters today!!

    Like

  2. ashreyamom says:

    yes, personalized things always have great senti attached to it.. i still have all greeting cards sent by friends. letters i haven’t received anything till now except love letter sent by hubby for valentines day.

    Like

  3. R's Mom says:

    Awww! your masi is so sweet

    I loved the post 🙂

    Like

  4. Visha says:

    Admire your masi to take time out to write a letter and post it to you. We used to write letters about a decade ago to our cousins and aunts, with the advent of telephones the habit gradually died down 😦

    Loved your write-up Bik 🙂

    Like

  5. chaitalichari says:

    Emails/ SMS/ tweets can’t give u the feel of handwritten letters..
    Nice post Bikram!!

    Like

    • No surly they cant, Thank you Hey do you have a blog, as I cant see the url and cant come to urs 🙂 do let me know if you are write.. I am sorry if i missed coming over to your blog ..

      Thank you so much for reading and coming over

      Like

  6. manju says:

    Great post, Bikram! Yes, Hand-written letters have a charm that e-mails will never have.

    Loved your narration about writing and receiving letters at your school. I’m sure you were thrilled when the replies to your letters arrived! 🙂

    Like

  7. Bhavia says:

    I can’t even remember when was the last time I wrote a letter to somebody 😦

    Like

  8. I wrote the following comment over at Irfaan’s blog post and it is valid here too:

    It’s an interesting post, refreshing and a topic which often crosses my mind. As you said, and millions around me do, I type everything (but rarely) write. As technology has pretty much overtaken the era of writing.

    The worrying thing in all of this for me is that I have lost the ability to believe in my writing. One time, I was creative, enjoyed seeing the words drawn out on a paper, the different types of pens which made its own reflection on the paper – my favourite was a calligraphy pen. But now, I simply can’t see that magic in my writing any more – what’s worse is that my writing skills have deteriorated including my spelling while writing.

    I think, I should take time out and start writing again..

    Like

  9. I received one inland letter and I replied to that letter. But that’s all the exciting experience I had! After that the phone came in and killed the fun. I guess some of the largest letters (actually published as a fat book) were written by Nehru to Indira Gandhi. He details the whole history of the world! I have that book but I am yet to finish reading it. Wonder if Indira Gandhi read those books… 🙂

    Destination Infinity

    Like

  10. rama ananth says:

    You are so right Bikram, hand written letters are so filled with love. Even i am a sucker for long letters, loved writing long ones and also would insist they write back long letters. However, some people used to be so short and crisp, despite those days not being the so called internet days.
    I got a letter from my father a few days back, and I was so happy to see and read that and have kept it safely in my cupboard. It is not possible to talk with him as he has lost his hearing and so no use calling him on the phone too, and as fathers of that age he is not interested in making use of the internet to communicate. Reading his letter brought back memories of long gone days of the past, when I used to wait anxiously to receive letters from my mother, sisters and friends.
    There are many things in life, which even if we can, we can never bring back the same loving kind of relationship, for how many people would sit down and write a letter patiently with love, these days.

    Like

  11. nimue says:

    when i was in college , me and my roomies had the tradition to write to each other on b’days + annual vacations .. i loved those words and paper days !!

    recently i have decided to start writing to my mom and demanding a letter in return 😀
    hope it goes well !

    Like

  12. Life Begins says:

    This is such a touchy post. Brought back so many memories. And how much i miss writing letters. I was the one wanting to write to everyone. Wrote multiple Letters to friends but the charm diedq a slow death when there was no response. I must revive it.
    Unfortunatly i dont have any of the letters i received. *note to Self* >> Next time i go home i must bring along the whole bundle of letters and cards.

    Like

  13. Ruchira says:

    I remember those airmails so well ! and those inland letters – I tell you sms and emails took away all the fun from letter writing !

    Like

  14. irfan says:

    Thanks for the mention Bikram……

    And, as I said earlier that, no matter whatever advantages these emails n SMSs have and reaches us with lightening speed but i still I love to receive those snail-speed hand written letters, though they come to me rarely these days……

    Like

  15. jennyshetty says:

    My Mom still has her stacks of inland letters, postcards and greeting cards. Her most treasured ones are the ones from her in laws (my grandparents). Those letters are so old, when she got married, 29 years old. But she still reads them, and draws a LOT of strength from them. Those are in kannada, which I dont understand, but as you said, the feel the love the smell, all that is so over powering! It can never be matched by twitter, emails, messages etc. Good old days! Nostalgic post, bought back a lot of memories for me Bikram!

    Like

  16. Very nice post, Bikram. I feel reading a post on the same subject long time back. That was also interesting.

    Letter writing in school is the best thing to happen for children. They will experience the happiness of receiving and replying to letters. Yes, writing by hand has personal touch, which can never happen with emails or SMSs.

    Like

  17. The Fool says:

    Nice. Hand written letters. So many years since I saw them. Even e-mails are fast becoming obsolete. Tweets and FB updates are all there is. Wonder what is going to replace them.

    Like

  18. Absolutely lovely post! I was lost in nostalgia! We had a lesson in 2nd Std- on Letter writing and post offices… We had to write letters to ourselves and post it… felt such a thrill when i received it with stamp and my name on the “to” space! I used to ask my relatives to write my name in the “to” space- even while they write a letter to my parents… Awesome post!

    Like

  19. Always Happy says:

    heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Bikram, I had written a similar post once and tha was the first time you commented on my blog!!!!!!
    http://dilkibaatblogkesaath.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/ive-got-mail.html

    Like

  20. Punam J R says:

    I remember I was a sucker for hand-written letters and I would love writing to my masis and my nani. I also remember after my mama married, I used to write separate letters to my nani and my mami, even though they are the same family and would read it together. That was how I was.

    I was very young and would write as we talk – you know, like imagine how you would write these English words and sentences in Hindi script? Transliterate… that is what I used to do with Sindhi – I would write to them in Sindhi, and the script would be Hindi.

    My nani would always say that she likes the way i write – thinking back, I know it used to sound funny as i would write as we talked – like, I am fine is ” maa theek aahyaan” but since we say “maa theek ayaa”… i would eat up the ha ki maatra .. LOL

    Anyway.. very very nostalgic posts these are…
    The worst thing about the technology today is that it leads to a lot of misunderstandings.. maybe because of the cold nature of technology. But in a letter, the feeling one gets is only warmth.

    Sigghh..

    Like

  21. Asha says:

    Oh no! This is such a beautiful post. Anything made by hand or written with hand is personalized and is loaded with warmth. Great post.

    Like

  22. Bk chowla says:

    To be honest be honest with you,I cant recall when did I write a letter or received one

    Like

  23. aame says:

    Wow with this post you already started off a chain of nostalgic memories ! Nothing like the feel of hand-written letters…they are the treasure chest of life 🙂 Thanks !

    Like

  24. obsessivemom says:

    What a touching post Bikram. Brought back a lot of memories. We used to write to our friends during summer vacations… no phones and no computers meant no other way of contact back then. Wish I’d preserved some of those. We also had the concept of penfriends. Wonder whether kids these days have any.

    Like

  25. Swaram says:

    That’s so so nice Bik. I heart letters too 🙂 🙂

    Like

  26. Love this post, Bikram! Oh the nostalgia of the letters, as against the sms es or the emails! I too have become victim of the times, and have little time to write a letter, real letter! Which, incidentally I used to, till about 6 years ago, to my son who was in th NDA. At the Academy they HAD to write letters, and he hadnt the least clue 😀 ! But he too I know started loving it, and I still treasure those, as I do all those bundles from an aeon ago, right from school 🙂 I’m a sucker for them as well! 🙂 🙂
    Thank you! Feeling really good, thinking back on those days 🙂

    Like

  27. Varsha says:

    great post! And bang on…I miss the letter writing and sending and receiving greeting cards. Not to mention the joy of selecting them

    Like

  28. Latha says:

    I am a bigggggggggg fan of letters and letter writing. I used to write lengthy letters and make sure my friends do the same too…these days, only one friend remains to still continue sending long emails..:) I had a big bunch of all those collections until recently, when I learned that mom threw all of them away saying, how many more years will you hang on to those? 😦 😦 there is nothing I could do…I am living here and she has them in India and we still fear her…

    Like

  29. Yuvika says:

    so true, i did a similar post long back on hand written cards! i remember buying fancy paper and envelopes to write long letters to friends and family – then it was long emails – now it’s quick fb chats. gtalk pings and bbm – sad, how communication has deteriorated 😦

    Like

  30. Bhagyashree says:

    I too have preserved all my letters, cards etc, well most of it. I enjoy reading them again and again. My parents have kept all the letters that I used to write from hostel. And this time they read those to my son. Gosh I was so embarrassed.

    Like

  31. I do agree – the charm of a handwritten letter outbeats a thousand wonderful emails one can receive

    Like

  32. jaishvats says:

    That made me nostalgic Bikraaaaam 😉 Even I used to receive letters from my parents when I was in hostel and my mom used to write in Tamil. I have saved them all but they are in a box back home and I did not bring them here for fear of misplacing them. I totally agree, receiving a handwritten letter is a wonderful and warm experience in itself!

    Like

  33. Anita Menon says:

    I don’t remember when was the last time I got a handwritten letter. Most probably it was when I was in engineering and my father wrote to me every month. I feel annoyed with myself for not preserving them because they were really special

    love this post Bikram as it took me back in time. I write letters to my husband on special days but then I dont post them. Just hand it over to him. He doesnt say much but I know he treasures them.

    Really lovely of your maasi to write you a letter even if it is to say SHAME ON YOU!!

    Like

  34. I still write letters . . . many. And I write to many of my blogger friends whom I haven’t met. I am proud of being the old school types and writing letters. I can write you one 🙂

    It’s wonderful to see posts of these kinds. Nostalgia and an yearning to return to those days.

    Joy always,
    Susan

    Like

  35. techie2mom says:

    i agree to you completely!!! Recently i had to write something after such a long time and i realized that my handwritings have become bad and there was this ache in the hand!!!

    Like

  36. My Era says:

    I used to have a big box full of all the greeting cards I had ever received and all the letters that were written by my friends, my parents while I was in hostel, my husband and even colleagues. But, now I have none of them. Lost them with everything else I ever owned 😥 😥

    Such a beautiful post Bikram, I agree with you, handwritten notes are more than the words they bear, they have the scent, the touch and lot of things that electronic messages fail to invoke.

    Like

  37. Smita says:

    Your post reminded me of my similar state. In Jan when we had moved houses I had discovered a bag of letters that I had recieved during my hostel stay. Ah what memories it brought back, In fact I was thinking of scanning few of them…will do so now…

    As far as writing a letter is concerned, I make it a point that when I send rakhi to my bro I send a hand written letter. Yeh baat alag hai ki the number of lines that I write is getting reduced every year & all my letters end with ‘my hand is tired I can not write more than this’ 😉

    Lovely post!

    Like

    • did you , oh wow.. gold mine I bet .. all those memories , what you did or happened 🙂

      i know same here hand starts to ache, even at work its all getting electronic so dont have to write those lengthy statements and duplicate the , now type once and take as many copies

      Like

  38. Shilpa Garg says:

    Lovely post! For us, the hand written letters had become extinct too till Aaryan went to boarding school, this year. So we are back to writing weekly letters… which is so much fun and the anticipation of receiving them is great too.

    Like

  39. pixie says:

    I love handwritten letters too!! 🙂
    I try to send birthday cards to close friends with a letter 🙂
    and I got a couple of those precious letters for my birthday too!!

    Like

  40. umashankar says:

    Bikram, i have always suspected you are one mighty lucky chap…! I don’t remember when I got my last handwritten letter in mail! 🙂

    Like

  41. … good.. nice post!
    reminds me of my friends and their letters.. and also a first love -letter written by my hubby ..:P
    (m so shy) with all gulab petals.. lolzzz
    my my good old days …lost in time..
    and those letters..
    ….thanks bicky for sharing and getting back in memories!

    Like

  42. Androgoth says:

    Hey Bikram those hand written letters may have the dinosaur effect attached to them but they are certainly well receieved, as they are much more personal don’t you think? 🙂 I hope that your week just gets better and better my great friend 🙂 🙂

    Androgoth

    Like

  43. Dil On The Rocks says:

    I am going to send you my comment on a post card this time 🙂

    Like

  44. Ahh!!….I really really loved this post….made me feel nostalgic…Wish I get at least one hand written letter every year….Even I saved some greetings and letters I got….reading them again makes me feel heavenly…..Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂

    Like

  45. indiamap says:

    I cannot forget this in-land letter, Nowadays also people like to keep the letters as a treasure, and a south Indian(Tamil) movie was taken depends on the letter. The movie name is Pokkisham

    Like

  46. Krishna says:

    Nostalgic

    now official letters are sending through posts… Postal department planning other activities for survive

    Thanks

    Like

  47. Indrani says:

    Next to next generation will wonder if such a thing existed.
    Great post.

    Like

  48. dNambiar says:

    Bikraaaam, you brought back so many memories. I went boarding school and every Saturday there was letter-writing time. And in the first school I went to, we had a letter writing class, that’s when we wrote home. I continued to write letters even when I was in college, long after most of my friends had outgrown that habit.
    Hand written letters are really special, aren’t they. I’m sure you miss them.
    Hey, thank you for putting up that picture, feels really good to see it.

    Like

  49. Ria says:

    This post made me truly nostalgic…miss those days!! Hope u r doin well.

    Like

  50. Very nice post! And 11/11, i was born on this date too!

    Yes, Letters are always special. The emotions they carry are irreplaceable by any of the e-media.From choosing the kind of paper, the type and colour of ink everything is special in letters

    Like

  51. i4deeps says:

    Absolutely surprising…haha… nice to see an inland 😛

    Like

  52. Rachna says:

    lovely post! Written letters and cards are so special. I have kept old ones.

    Like

  53. R. Ramesh says:

    awesome post biks…and thanks for the brilliant nany piece u linked..i also saw irfan’s post…good ya..

    Like

  54. Very true.. emails can never ever give us the joy that letters used to give. I used to exchange letters with my cousin when I was young.. it was so nice to see his handwriting and to know the fact that he took the effort, wrote it and went to the post office to send it to me. All that is lost now! 😦

    Like

  55. Meera says:

    I remember writing letters. I used to have so many pen pals too. My letters ran to 3 or 4 pages. Now i make do with 3-4 lies of email. I think all frustrated letter writers have become bloggers, now 🙂

    Like

  56. Jazz says:

    So true so true Bikram. My grandpa would insist we write him letters when we leave after the summer vacation during school. We would be not so good at it but he loved letters, always cherished them and would reply with elaborate letters. Miss the blue inland letters and dear old grandpa who is no more.

    Like

  57. purbaray says:

    Strange isn’t it – we’d rather waste time on social networking platforms than give time to people who matter most to us!

    Like

  58. Rahul says:

    Bikram this was a very sweet post which brought a horde of memories rushing through! May be with your and Irfan’s inspiration I may write a post on the same subject soon:)

    Like

  59. surindernath says:

    Very refreshing and still so nostalgic ….so a sensitive Punjabi ? Very rare and precious blend. I like this :

    “Good morning Bikraaaaam”.

    Only Punjabies can have such self-laughters. Hasde raho vasde raho 😀

    Like

  60. I love hand written things, I write my poems on paper and I still leave notes for my family and friends. My dad saves them. It was such a nostalgic post. You are right, handwritten words are a treasure and emails can never match them…

    Like

  61. metherebel says:

    I used to collect cards, letters sent to me when I was a kid. Now nobody writes letters 😦 I wonder who writes inland letters these days!

    You brought back the memories of inland letters. Thank you 🙂

    Like

  62. alkagurha says:

    Nothing like the magic of hand written letters….The ones by your dad must be precious. You can cry and laugh each time you read them.

    Like

  63. Androgoth says:

    Have a really great weekend Bikram
    and watch out for any of those wayward
    nymph’s, they are everywhere 🙂 😉 lol

    Andro

    Like

  64. sm says:

    art of letter writing soon it will be a thing of past

    Like

  65. This is lovely Bikram. My father was a NRI, so my mom and I used to write him letters, those days in the Areogramme I was given sort of 1/4th of a page so that I could write. Later me and my best friend used to write out to each other after we shifted places! I have all the letters saved now, your post bring such a rush of memories 🙂

    Do stop by my blog!! I’d love your visits & comments! – Kappu

    Like

  66. Onkar Kedia says:

    Yes, hand-written letters convey very deep emotions

    Like

  67. dilipnaidu says:

    Yes handwritten letters are so quaint. Nice post and thanks for taking our thoughts back to years gone by 🙂

    Like

  68. swatimital says:

    May be one day we will all get sick of emails and chats and switch back to sending hand written letters.

    Like

  69. Ashwini C N says:

    Our writing has gone down to the extent that my hand starts paining when I write more then 2 lines. True, the art of writing letters was indeed special. Thoughts from the heart, poured out in the form of a letter to our loved ones. I remember the way I used to preserve the letters, coz I feel it would recreate the atmosphere in which the person had originally written. It sounds weird, but I like to believe it that way :-).

    I really wish someone surprised me with a handwritten letter 🙂

    Like

  70. […] I don’t have words to describe how it felt to receive a letter. Bikram does a much better job here Needless to say, the letter was brimming with love and oozing concern and best wishes. I […]

    Like

  71. Ashwathy says:

    Bah!! You made me all nostalgic. Kahan gaye woh din! Love letters, greeting cards, post…. the joy of getting them, the smell, the feel of them in your hands, opening the letters, reading the long and painstakingly written language…
    Sigh… I guess the next generation is never going to know the beauty of it…

    Like

  72. yes very true, we do not write too often nowadays and if we do, the hand starts paining after few minutes…sad!

    Like

  73. Bulls Eye ! Alas we live in a very detached world devoid of hand written letters. Calligraphy is a lost art 😦

    Like

  74. aarthycrazy says:

    Good one Bikram. Have you heard of http://www.postcrossing.com/ — I was introduced to this two days ago by one of my friends. It involves sending cards to random people across the globe. I have just started. I think you will dig this. Try it out.

    And yes, Nowadays social media communication is not about warmth and being personal. The written hand always contains magic that cannot be put in words.

    Also, if you do try postcrossing, do ping me over there @aarthycrazy. Cheers.

    Like

  75. Bhargavi says:

    🙂
    Writing a email itself is now taxing for a few, and that will include me.
    But hand written letters have a warmth that no sms emoticon can have.
    No letters, but i have still kept my school diary in which all my friends wrote, 🙂
    My dad had kept letters written by my grand father and at times he used to read them. I remember him saying, all this technology and back up will never feel like this paper in my hand. 🙂

    I have kept everything my dad wrote, it makes make me feel he is closer. 🙂

    Like

  76. meowpurrs says:

    Oh yes! Love those good old letters!I remember my parents used to write them on thin paper so that they can write more with less weight to the US 🙂
    Now we just video chat. And i am afraid i would have lost my good handwriting now…

    Like

    • Welcome here to this blog .. Thank you .. Please do keep visiting.

      YEah I know what you are saying .. I use to do the same when had to write to cousins to usa. otherwise the postage was expensive for us, who got 100Rs as pocketmoney in those days 🙂

      Like

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