I’ll Post this – Someday


17 August 2006

My Dear,

I don’t know if I will ever post this letter; for two reasons: I am no more proud of my handwriting and I don’t know why I write this in the first place. But, I don’t want to not write. When I think back, it seems to me that writing would have been second nature to me, but I have lost my handwriting to the keyboard. My strokes are tentative, hesitant and therefore flawed. I wonder if my thoughts follow and face the same eventuality. I splurge on various pens and different types of paper – hoping that my handwriting finds nirvana in those sheets – scribbled with ink made by new technology – free-flowing, thick, and what nots. Very viscous, though; made more viscous with my rusty and stiff right hand. I should be fair and avoid pushing the blame where it doesn’t belong. There seem to be more new pens than the words I would ever write in a month. Our world is like that – expansive and encompassing. All too much electronic and intangible as can be. our voices are digitised and reconverted to match what our ears can receive; our words and thoughts converted to ASCII codes. So I took it upon myself to put ink to paper – for a change – not overtly concerned with saving the environment – we are doing more than our bit to preserve that. At one level, to be able to write a letter as we knew it, at another level to remember what I potentially forgot, and at a much deeper level to send you something very personal – very tangible – not defined by checkbox option – that allows a ‘personal’ definition.

Some call it a dying art – in my opinion it is already dead. I haven’t received a handwritten letter in ages. I was in a store the other day that sold pens with shaved and roughed out nibs for calligraphic writing. I, predictably, picked them up, only to put them back on the shelf. Would my erstwhile fluid and now stiffened hand, do justice to that purchase? I thought otherwise.

I suspect this letter will remain in this pad for sometime; possibly for ever. It is not so much about the apparent convenience that I can always pick up the phone tomorrow and talk to you about everything that I have written in this letter (I almost wrote ‘mail’), as much as this letter itself. It is a mirror to my self. Questioning my handwriting and therefore my own self – staring back at me (isn’t graphology a way of determining character?) asking me who I have become – and how much I like what I see.

I don’t know the answers to the difficult questions – I definitely don’t like my handwriting. The alternative is to meet over coffee. I could talk to you about this. I must admit, I’ll probably have more questions, which I hope you will be able to help me out with.

It’s just a few days more; I will see you soon, over our cup of coffee. Try and remember – I like a little more sugar than you do.




27 thoughts on “I’ll Post this – Someday

  1. I am very touched.You have beautifully echoed my feelings.
    I wrote a similar sounding letter to an estranged friend, but never posted it.It wasn’t so much about the hand writing.Though I put it down to that.Didn’t feel like that letter mirrored me.
    I am not ready to give up on writing just yet,it may be a dying art,but not dead yet.


  2. Wanted to comment before but felt like I was evesdropping on something very private.

    For me, intimacy is more about the words than the medium used. But that maybe because I have such a horrible handwriting 😉

    With you, I am sure, your dear one would be delighted to receive this beautiful letter. So there won’t be much need for the extra sugar, yes? 😉


  3. –babushka: I am glad that it did @ the last line. The alternative is not that bad and given that my most of my waking hours are spent with the alternative, I even appreciate the alternative. I do miss my used-to-be-good handwriting, however. All’s well, you take care too! 🙂

    –E&U: Thank you. It’s about words and the way words are seen – imagine, the most beautiful word – whatever it may be for you – then imagine it written in an ugly way – it doesn’t do justice. Therefore the mirror! When I am not sure about a spelling I write the word – if it doesn’t ‘look’ good – I know the spelling is wrong. When we were taught to write ‘beautifully’ I am sure they didn’t have an idea why – but they knew that it was important. More than the words themselves and their inherent meaning – even their representation has meaning. I have gone through pages of practice; am just out of practice now. And I am still a two-finger typist. I do, however, agree with you – it is not completely dead. Just rhetoric on my part; some of us might keep it alive.

    –rulda: if it is on the blog already – you couldn’t eavesdrop any more :). I will not post this letter (I think) now that it is in the public domain – maybe we will just talk it over coffee. The point, after all, is communication. If there is any way to make it beautiful, intimate, personal, and tangible, so much better. I am a stickler for the right sugar (more than the current government norm) in my coffee, she knows it. We fight about it, I tend to win.

    –dwai: Thank you. You are too generous – at least with my handwriting. I am glad you like the post however. In these times, where email is de facto and even the email addresses are pseudonyms, this does seem to be a dying art. I must admit – I do not know the postal addresses of many of my friends. Email is good, isn’t it? At least we can email and get a postal address. 🙂 Thank you!


  4. i always love to write..me too have done like this before..but it was a letter to my father..it’s still with me,not posted….


  5. –ganga: there are often this times when ppl ask what you would like to change if you could go back in the past? well, for me – nothing except – that i would like to post all the letters that i didnt – and i should have. 🙂


  6. “I have lost my handwriting to the keyboard” – True, so true!
    A letter is so much more personal and communicative that an email, but it surprising how less we use it these days.
    Thanks for this post! Beautifully thought and beautifully written!


  7. so nicely put!!

    True its been ages since i wrote a letter too….or got one. I think I will draft a personal letter today….

    ya and a nice photograph…

    your handwriting was better than this??


  8. –anumita: Thank you. I am still trying to make sense of the second part of the comment – my response i.e. 😛

    –varsha: yes, it was better than this. this one is not good by any standards.


  9. Took the words out of my mouth! I used to be so fond of calligraphy..and ink pens, how I loved them! Had been thinking of writing such a post since a long time..

    BTW I agree with Anumita, your handwriting reminds me of a female friend of mine..with a similar handwriting.


  10. –TF: GRRRRR! NO! My handwriting is not like a girl’s! It’s nice, that’s why you think it’s like a girls 😛

    btw, just got me a Camlin (barrel) ink pen gifted to me. Have promised myself to write more on paper. I hope i am up to it!


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  12. I read the letter in the picture first before I read your post. The ‘letter’ was moving.

    The option of posting a letter or not – you don’t usually realise how valuable it is really until that option ceases to exist and there’s no way you can reverse it!


  13. Beautiful post …I still have alot of letters saved that were hand written by my friends and cousins as a child. Receiving a hand written letter or a card still brings a big smile on my face …though it’s a rare phenomenon.
    Till date, I save up hand written gift tags and loved to receive a book where a friend leaves a hand written note. What happened to those subtle pleasures ? Did technology erase them forever?

    While I am one of those who too has succumb to technology pressures but I still hate receiving beautiful messages or at times romantic thoughts/ messages from a loved one over an SMS. 😦

    “I have lost my handwriting to the keyboard” and I also think “we have lost the simplicity, warmth and expression of spoken words to dry and stale SMS and messengers of the world. While it’s got us better connected but yet taking us far away from the personal touch. Is the way to stop this and retain the personal touch ?

    “Try and remember – I like a little more sugar than you do.” …Surely melts my heart …:-D


  14. ==Explorer:
    You said it! no way to reverse a delay!

    the very fact that people like you and the others who have commented likewise above, means that is is not lost – we will keep it alive! 🙂


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