17 August 2006
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.