Not very long ago, I am sure you all remember the pomp and glory with which our esteemed self had announced its return to the home turf. The bon homie did last for sometime I must say, and now, our mommy dearie wants to get into the details. Just what are those specifics that she is underlining offlate is any boy-staying-with-parents’ guess! Right from picking up the clothes lying around in ma room.. to picking up a bride (to loiter around in my room) is on the list of have-to-dos. One is more akin to seein’ the quintessential linear markings of a certain silver kind on the dark horizon and thus amidst all this, we spotted a lot of grub for blog! So after mommy dearest handed down the list of “do-this-else-i’ll-whop-your-sorry-a$$”, we got down to handle the daunting tasks… in order that suited us! And here we are dishing out a post! Amen!!
While sorting out the fossils accumulated in my book shelf drawers (the first on the list), out popped the long dead Engineering notes, half drawn sketches of God-only-knows-what, birthday cards, mushy bye-bye cards, scrap books (Ah! the innocence of childhood), and finally a bundle of letters! Hmmmm… letters…. mused my mind. Much like the neandrethel gaping at the spherical structure in front of him, and uttering those weird sounds “Wheee”… “Wheee”… “Wheeeeel” to make up for the lack of anything more sensible, I made similar sounds albeit of more sophistication “OOoooooohhh!!” “Aaaaaahhhh”… “Awwwww” and the likes. Memories tumbled down of my first pen-pal(ly) ofcourse! She was a friend of Prarthana while we were in highschool and was looking for a pen-pal. Needless to say, being the boy of the hour, I stepped in duly to fulfill her needs, and soon enough, Prarts was playing the Kabootar between me and her. Ofcourse there was no romantic inclination, lemme make it clear upfront. But there certainly was the charm associated with penning words that we knew would be gazed at by a friend at the other end. And great wonder of wonders! We also found a wonderfully hidden, yellowing parchment of what was once a paper, that had in it the loving yearning of a girl, I was so totally smitten by while I was in 7th Standard! Yep! Buddies!! with eyes moistening, I realized that the Stupid Cupid afterall had managed to preserve just one letter of my Wonder years when I had written my first love letter to the one girl I had gifted my heart to, on a platter!! I read, re-read, re-re-read the letter…..and finally for lack of anything better, let out a sigh.
Do people still write Love letters? Have any of you written a love letter? The idea of a letter by itself in this fast paced lightning-speed email/sms age seems archaic. Needless to say, its already replaced the notion of a postman to someone who brings in the bills and statements than anything remotely humane in content! Maybe in the remote corners of India, people still communicate using letters, and maybe someday, if my mom has her way, I’ll be taking my kids over there to show them just how a snail-mail (such an unromantic and degrading nomenclature) looks and works! Anyhooo, lets get back to the Love letters. The idea of writing a love letter itself was so irrepressibly romantic that it spawned generations of lilting romantic numbers in every language that has dished out movies on the screen! Be it Rajendra kumar begging Vyjayanthimala not to give him a beating with “Yeh mera prem patr padhkar”, to Shashi kapoor doing his stick-dance for a sharmili Asha Parekh with “Likhe jo khat tujhe…woh teri yaad mein”…. aaaahh!! I know, so many of you are now silently nodding their heads and smiling! ;) Circa 1990s and Bhagyashree coaxing the dove to carry her letter to Sallu Bhai had set the hearts rolling on the streets, gallis and nukkads. And surely enough, every heart ever asunder in the burning fire of pining love was doling out letters by kilos! Nowadays, we have our ears bulldozed by Reshammiyas of the netherworlds, who don’t know which particular anatomy of their body should be used to sing let alone act!
The first time I ever saw a love letter was ofcourse by “accident” when I was fishing through the locker of my parents looking for chocolates (Yep!! There! I said it! My mom had the most dubious distinction of hiding my favorite chocolates in the weirdest of places least of which wasn’t the locker). I wasn’t ofcourse able to read through it entirely, what with the details being etched in miniscule letters for want of more space! But the gist mentioned in the first couple of lines of how much she missed my father was sufficient enough to turn my cheeks a deep hue of pink! Later ofcourse, entirely due to the fault of the genes my lovely parents bestowed me with, I was handling out love letters left, right and center! :D And if girls flipped by the lot, well, what can I say! Magic hands baby ;) (and the genes ofcourse!!)
The toughest part of writing a love letter, I feel is just that! The writing!! Painstakingly you have to choose the words to give just the right amount of feeling. Not too laid back, not too desperate! Not handing the heart on a platter, nor barricading it! How does one dish out such a word-perfect love letter?! I am yet to discover! The emphasis is ofcourse laid on the feeling not just the verbal cosmetics. And inspite of all the best laid out words, one can never be too assured of a hit (sic) both physical and emotional!! :P
After writing, comes the second daunting task of actually handing over the letter to the girl. Many a movie plots have found this to be the turning point that they seek! Hearts stop and breathes gasp just as the poor hero goes to hand over the love letter to the lady-love only to find her cozing up in the arms of his best friend or worst rival! Ouch! Else we have him with sweaty hands and smelly arm pits handing it over to the girl and soon are teleported to swiss locales to find them both prancing around like puppies with cooties! The best that has ever transpired when I handed a love letter was to find the girl smile and nod her consent while the worst… well… let’s not get into it! The post is increasing in its size! ;) For those who are worried of their well being, ofcourse there are friends - both human and non-human that can be called upon to aid in the need of the hour! Dogs, pigeons, swans, to monkeys have all essayed the roles of romantic messengers.
Love has certainly come of age! We no longer talk of “janam-janam ka naata”! Lovers these days philosophize about the effervescence of public buses and girls (or boys too!) in our lives and rightly forbid from too much of mourning. Love letters have become short and crisp. They have changed to the formats of emails and sms. From agonizingly long sentences prophecizing the lives that one would want to live with one another, we now see “I lv u. Wanna gt 2gthr” being txtd arnd! Love makes the world go round and Love letters ensure that corporates stay in business. The VHPs and Bajrang Dals of the world not withstanding, we still celebrate love the old fashioned way atleast once in a year with Valentine’s Day! People exchange greeting cards (for those strapped of cash, there’s e-cards), write love poems, treat eachother at candle light dinners, propose, depose, and maybe a few of them proclaim their love through words etched on a paper!!!
Those of you who are in love, go home, or if your project is boring, snatch that letter pad and write something out, in your own handwriting, your own feelings and send it across to that one loving heart that you feel is meant for you! Those of you who wanna be in love, do the same and keep ur fingers crossed! In the meanwhile….I have a lot more cleaning to do and who knows what I may find next to spawn a lengthy boring post to heckle you all with!! ;)