Times have changed and so have we. Technology has transformed our lives and made everything very convenient & clickable. We talk to our phones more than we talk to each other and they even talk back to us! The world is confined to the gadget screen, handheld and laps. Like the silver haired say, “Everything has become digital” Electronic gadgets have truly been a boon to human kind and come to our rescue every day. Right na?!
Now, we don’t need to be perfect with our spellings or grammar. A spell check or better still keeping the setting on auto complete mode does wonders as you don’t even need to type the complete word. Most gadgets have a pre-installed programme which indicate a wrong spelling or grammatically incorrect sentence.
And, we don’t even need to be ashamed of our bad handwriting or be ridiculed for it. “Hmmm…I must say, you are a Doctor in the making” Such remarks have become a thing of the past. Just type the text and select your favourite font. And viola! We want to kiss ourselves in the mirror for the perfect masterpiece created within no time.
But this digital help has made us lazy and overtly dependent. We don’t bother to perfect our spellings and a shabby handwriting continues to deteriorate further over the years. The biggest minus point is that we have forgotten to write to loved ones. The concept of writing a letter or sending a postcard is dying. We have forgotten the joy of receiving one as well.
But for me, the clock turned back for a short while.
A very close friend of mine had recently gone for a two week Leh-Ladakh trip and she called up somewhere in the middle of her tour and informed me that she has initiated a small surprise for me which will manifest before she returns back to Mumbai. Despite all attempts at cajoling her to reveal the surprise she did not budge. I became increasingly anxious with each passing day. I had turned into a child who has been given a glimpse of her gift through a window of a locked room.
Then one fine day the door bell rang. When I opened the door, it was the postman. With couriers becoming the norm of the day, seeing a postman make his appearance was an occasion in itself. He had a postcard in his hand which was addressed to me. I had a quizzical look on my face as I had not received a postcard or a letter for years. Possibilities started racing in my mind. Which relative could have written to me all of a sudden and why? I am accessible on my mobile all the time and everyone has my number or the number of someone or the other at home. I took the postcard from his hand. It had the photo of a Buddhist monastery from Ladakh. I turned over and saw the text. The backdrop of my face changed within fraction of seconds. My frowned eyebrows relaxed, my eyes lit up with joy, lips stretched and parted for a genuine smile.
The postcard had been sent by my friend.THIS WAS THE SURPRISE!
With a grin on my face, I turned to the postman and thanked him. This time around he had a quizzical look in his eyes but he probably had too many addresses chasing his mind, so he quickly disappeared from the scene.
Never had the faintest idea nor could have I imagined that my friend would send me a hand written postcard. I closed the door and paced towards the kitchen to show off the post card to my mother. She was equally surprised and happy to see it. My euphoria was beyond my own expectation. The door had been unlocked and the restless child within me finally had her hands on the gift. There were just a few lines written on it but I kept re-reading it and turning it over to look at the beautiful picture and then repeating the exercise a couple of times. Every time I would discover finer details like the deep colours and glossy finish of the post card, a misspelt part of my address, the blue green ink, the handwriting etc… And then there came a time when there was nothing more left to probe.
The postcard had really made my day. I quickly clicked a picture and put it up as my Whatsapp DP. My status declared my joy ‘I received a postcard, Did you?’ prefixed and suffixed with heart shaped smiley. Haha! I called my friend hoping that she was in a reachable mobile network zone. Thankfully the phone rang and she answered. She said ‘Hello’ and my response to her was, ‘I received the surprise and I loved it’. I rattled on and on about how happy i was to receive her postcard not realising that I had not asked her how she was or how her trip was going? After a minute or so, she “butted” in and asked me how I was and how were the folks at home. That’s when I realised that I had turned into a non-stop talking machine. I put a break on my monologue so that we could indulge in a two way dialogue. Phew!
As the mad conversation between two friends who have been apart for a few days ended, I plopped me on the couch smiling to myself. I was taken down memory lane and remembered my younger days, those school times, when letters were exchanged and scrap books were the ‘in-thing’. Years back the concept of “Pen friend” was extremely popular. That’s how we connected with people and made friends from “abroad” Is it dying or is the world getting smaller? Now that’s a thought I will leave you with. For me I hope people don’t lost touch with writing to their loved ones , post cards, letters, greetings…anything! I know I won’t stop!
I hope that the legacy of post card continues and it doesn’t become a memento to be displayed in a museum!
- By Neeta Chhatwani – Writer
I am a passionate writer who loves to play with words. I want to weave everyone into the boundless world of my imagination and I have figured out that the best way to achieve this desire is by dressing up my thoughts into an intricate network of words. Besides writing, I love to enlighten myself with knowledge in any form, experiment with food (quiet literally) and look my best. I enjoy intelligent conversations about anything and everything under the sky. I stay miles away from fake and hollow people. Our very own Queen’s Necklace at Marine Drive is my favourite hangout spot to breathe-in every essence of this magical city… My City My Mumbai!