Writing a letter is fun. It's a great way to pass time. For you'd have to think pretty hard to pen words for somebody close to you. In order to write matter worth a letter. I always keep this in mind when i start penning a letter. I can digress to a large extent, and i'm sure the recipient will not be pleased to read meandering lines.
I think i started writing letters when i was in primary(?) school. There was a 'friend' whom i'd met at a summer camp. I remember buying Re. 1 inland letters from a neighbouring shop. I must have scribbled some lines and posted it to with affection. It sounds very foolish when i think of it today. But isn't that the ways of childhood. All things, whether silly or not, appeared fantastic. Then.
N went to the US when i was in high school. That was when writing letters became a habit. We used to write to each other regularly. M and i used to wait eagerly for a reply. M and i used to put in our share of stories. At times, mother also wrote to N.
It gave way to exchanging greeting cards. Wishes for impending new years, birthdays, festivals flew back and forth between her and us.
Friends at school who did have cousins abroad, hardly wrote to them, apparently. I used to be proud of this practise of ours. How exciting it was to read from somebody who cared for you! To feel the dents on the smooth surface of paper, where the pressure of the hand is applied. To see a fat blot of ink at the end of a sentence. Perhaps, the pen was leaking.
To flatten out papers folded stiff. To cut open an envelope carefully with a pair of scissors, so that the letter is safe from any damage. To hear the crispness of starched white paper.
M had bought a colourful letter pad. Each page had a picture Alladin and the Magic Lamp at a corner(with the genie in it's characterisic blue hue). She, later bought a pack of envelopes with floral prints in shades of lavender and purple. I still have them with me. I finger them lovingly. Reminding myself that they are to be made use of.
Some letters never reached their respective destinations. Laziness prevented me from posting them. On reading them, i recall those movies, incidents, news that i'd seen, participated in, and so wanted to pass on to her.
We, then got a computer system at home. But, the ritual continued as it took time for the internet connecton to be installed. Some of those lavender envelopes were relevant. Most of them still remain enclosed within a thin sheet of plastic wrap.
I've persuaded myself to start writing again. I've been successful to some extent. The World Wide Web exists to make the process of e-mailing letters a very easy task. But, reliving the joy of putting thoughts onto paper, being gung-ho about an anticipated letter is oh so! wonderful.