Back in the days before technology took over our lives, people would correspond by writing letters. I was one of those people. I loved writing and receiving handwritten letters. We didn’t call them snail mail back then. We just called them mail.
After my family moved from Oman to Bombay when I was 9, I promised several friends that I would keep in touch by writing letters. In the end, there were only four or five friends who wrote often to begin with, and then I mainly corresponded with two for several years more. It was always exciting to write about everything that was going on in my life and asking them about theirs. Then there was the wait. Wondering if they had received my letter. Thinking about their reactions to it and how long it’d take for them to reply. Waiting eagerly for the mail. Finally of course, there was the excitement at getting home from school one day and realising there was a letter waiting for me.
As quickly as possibly, I’d rip the envelope and devour the letter. It’s amazing that something that possibly lasts five minutes could create so much anticipation and excitement. But it did. It continued to do so for some years. Until of course, I went online at 16. The letters soon stopped and emails became the mode of communication. Even though there was some excitement at receiving an email from somebody, it was not remotely close to what it felt like getting a letter. Now of course, meaningful emails too are few and far between in a world of Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter and the like.
So when a blogging community I am part of suggested the Snail Mail exchange, I was excited and signed up at once. I was told who I needed to send my letter to but of course, my sender was a surprise. I sent off my letter — or rather, a postcard — to my recipient when I was travelling in Canada. I love sending postcards while travelling and it was nice to be able to send it to someone different this time around.
Then of course, was the one I received. I was extremely excited when I came home one day from work and my mail had something other than bills: there was a card from Cat. I had known Cat was my sender a couple of weeks before as she had very kindly sent me a scanned letter just in case the card would be delayed. Coincidentally, Cat loves cats and her card had the picture of her cat, Kobie.
The art of writing letters seems to have died. But it is nice to continue sending them, even if it’s once in a while. I do love sending birthday cards and a letter with them. If you would like to get a letter or card from me, do send me an email and we could certainly do that. On the other hand, if you exchange snail mail, you could just link up with the rest of us too.
When was the last time you wrote or received a letter?
Until next time,