Monday, January 30, 2006

Waiting for Letters!!!

Yesterday evening, I was watching a Hindi movie in the telly. There was a scene in which a postman comes to a house and delivers letters. This scene bought back a whole load of memories for me.

The time when the postman used to come to our house to deliver letter is somewhere around 1:00 Pm in the afternoon. My grandfather, grandmother, mother used to wait impatiently at the foot steps waiting for letters from our relatives. It used to be a eager wait, happy if there is a letter and a wee bit sadness if there is no letter in the house. Phone was not available in our house as was not available with many of my relatives houses. Calling from a phone cafe (phone booths as was known in India) was very expensive for poor people like us. So we would not use the phone call unless it is absolutely necessary. If needed, we will wait till 8:00 pm in the night, as the times from 8 to 6 in the morning; the calls were cheaper with the charge being 1/3rd of the original value.

Letters were the cheapest and most preferred means of communication for many of the Indian families and definitely that included mine. This was pre nineties. I was thinking of the big change that has happened over a period of 15 years. Phones started to become more affordable, internet came along and a revolutionary new means of communication cropped up - E-mail. How these 2 technologies have changed the world by making communication cheaper and affordable for the common man. Now a day whenever my mom wants to talk to some of the relatives, she uses phones frequently. It has become affordable for her and countless other families througout the world. having a mobile phone has been a necessity rather than a luxury.

Even with all these advancements, I have a feeling in a lone corner of the mind that waiting for the letters was more charming than sending emails. Still a hand written letter or a card brings a smile is a fact that i can't deny. Any thoughts??


Sriram said...

Can't agree more with you. Nothing can replace the charm of receiving a hand - written letter. It feels so personal. Recently I received a card from a friend with a few words for me on it, I felt so happy that day. I realised how I had forgotten this entire feeling of getting a hand written card... (blame it on the mushrooming e-card websites!!) . Till about as recently as 2002 I remember I used to write letters.., then how did it all change so fast , so soon..! Today i have got a computer at home with a high-speed internet connection , 80 watt speakers , microphone all to go with it. My dad composes e-mails and chats over YM! At times we do a confrence with my sisters logging in from distant places...
Wow! the internet can also be wonderful sometimes isnt it?? Also gives us a sad reminder how we have become so busy with our lives that we have forgotten the joy of writing letters!

Dino said...

Letters bring lotsa thoughts..i remember writing letter to my cousin in our code language thinking that we will develop a new language from stratch ..but only wrote 1 letter each ..i wrote many parents n friends a few letter writing in my english language exams tooo..

Once a love letter but never gave it to my sweetie with the fear of rejection..still love letter is always invited ....will be an INEXPENSIVE posession indeed :-)

Craig said...

I think you can’t beat a letter/card although I'm very bad at sending them!

On a side I know the post office was fearing the worse as more people used the internet to communicate with each other instead of writing letters however I heard not so long ago that post offices are very busy due to eBay!!!

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