Oh, I Juggle!

Home, Family, Success, Peace… Can a woman really have it all?

Handwritten Letters

Ah, the joys of reading a handwritten letter!

My sister and I loved sending each other handwritten letters. Long before the internet revolution touched our lives. Maybe even years after it did. We have now migrated completely to email, Facebook and online chats. Technology keeps us in seamless touch with each others’ lives even though we live on different continents.

But, I am nostalgic thinking of the letters I have got from my sister. I would hold them in my hands and imagine her mood when she penned the words. Looking at her handwriting I would know whether she wrote at leisure or was in a hurry. She would sometimes write down a few spontaneous lines of poetry to end the letter. Draw lips and kiss them. I would press that picture against my cheek and imagine a kiss. Then I too would kiss the letter and as I did I would breathe in the scent, thinking about the journey of this piece of paper. The letter was so much more than the words on it. It was such a wonderful experience.

Communication is the whole package, isn’t it? Emotions expressed so completely that the other understands you. Choosing words to best convey the emotion one feels is an art on its own. And with letters we did put in much more thought. The letters would take time to reach and the next one would be sent much later. Emails reach instantly. We don’t try and make them poetic. We know we can always add new information clicking on ‘reply’. The message is conveyed. Clarifications sought immediately. Replies sent. All in a matter of minutes sometimes.

Yes, I am nostalgic. But not regretful. Because although I miss the good old letters, I know I couldn’t possibly have known what my sister had for breakfast each day if I did not have the internet.

For that I am ever so grateful!


*Image credit to True Stories, Honest Lies


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2 thoughts on “Handwritten Letters

  1. This was really a lovely read, Oijuggle. The magic of a handwritten letter is impossible to recreate in the digital world. My mother has switched over to email and facebook, but my father still crafts his messages to me by hand, and almost always in our mother tongue, Bengali, with carefully encircled page numbers on top. The time and effort behind hand-writing a letter makes it a much more focused form of communication, each idea and sentence engraved with a great deal of thought. His letters will invariably spill over the pages with the last couple of lines tucked away at right angles into the margins. These letters are relatively rare, maybe a few in a year, as against the nearly daily updates from my mom on chat and email. Invariably, every letter will contain a piece of his personal philosophy, lines that one can live by.

    Your post reminded me that while it is wonderful to be seamlessly in touch with the rest of the world through the miracles of internet communication, sometimes they do end up discounting relationships to trivial levels. Perhaps this can be reversed by treating online communication with the same reverence as we did handwritten letters. Thank you for sharing these beautiful thoughts with us, and inspiring your readers to think more deeply about things that we take for granted.

  2. I still love handwritten letter and have a whole bunch of “Snail Mail Pals” from all over the world. Yes, there is nothing like those very personal letters. I would happily switch over to writing and receiving ‘snail mails’ over e-mails and stalking over facebook!! 🙂

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