There was a time when 11 a.m would bring with it a sense of anticipation. The sound of the 'plonk' on tin, was very soothing. It was I should know. Those were the days when all that you needed to convey to the person living across miles was 'the snail mail'. The lovely handwritten sheets, the blue 'inland letter', the dull yellow post card. They were all there to witness smiles, tears, screeches as news let itself out or just the shy acknowledgement of sweet whispers of love from a loved one.Oh yes!! those were the days!! *sigh*
There were times when an urgent ( remember urgent meant 'emergency' ) message had to be sent, we had to trudge along ,amidst the pressing responsibilties just to stand in the crowded, dingy, dark stained walled post offices, only to send the limited edition messages. " mother arriving, 8 pm train", grandmother serious, please come immediately" ...They had charges for each word..so brevity meant saving those few coins ;) Telegrams were overshadowed by pagers and then the upmarket mobiles., but the fun was lost..no more calculations before trying out various ways to pen down your thoughts, into those miniscule spaces that the standard letters and postcards gave us.
It was fun though, when we would try to open the letter in a hurry and end up opening it at the wrong end, only to realise, that the letter was sliced into half :D...so it was a jigsaw puzzle after that.I used to write a lot of letters then, receive as many or many many more...I remember writing on trips to friends giving them a minute to minute updates, writing to my family when I would go away for weeks on NCC camps whining about the food, but raving about the time I was having. Though the fact that the letter would choose to finally reach its destination a week later was no setback, I would love to write. I guess that trait I imbibed frm my father who ,living in a different city because of work, would so lovingly write to each of us in our family a separate letter...no common letter for all of us to peep into..my brother was very young a kindergarten kid, but he would get one too...which we sisters would read out to him.
Nowadays I still try my best ( very poorly though) to keep in touch with the pen, paper and stamp routine...some of the stamps I used to have as backup( would buy one whole lot of 1 re stamps to avoid the walk up to the post office to buy them), are ready for archiving, its been that long. I do write a few bits here and there to family, those cards posted for birthdays, or new years...but they have never seen the inside of that solid looking, red coloured tin box on the street side. It goes straight onto the desk of the courier chap, and of it goes in its swanky settings to the destination...no more peeling of stamps in a hurry, no more trying to figure out where the card came from.
Times have changed, but some things do remain ; the excitement of seeing a card or letter handwritten, postage stamp stuck in the corner and the black half legible stamped seal on the cover...
I was the lucky one today...and that smile has been pasted and refuses to dissolve..
She said in her latest post, that Friendship can be found in unusual places. It sure does..I met her while browsing gingerly through my new found interest, the 'blogworld'..many posts and a few calls in between we did manage to meet too...was so thrilled to be part of her book launch session...Reading her posts, i'm caught shaking my head constantly, 'cos we are so alike as moms...and when she wrote this post many posts ago, I won her handwritten card prize :D....yes I was grinning then and I am grinning now....I am in receipt of her beautifully handmade card. My sons were so amazed to know that people send cards in such ways too ( they need to be educated on surprises too... ) and they were going " so sweet no ma!!, "awesome" "she made it herself", " why did she post it" " the little one had this to say " how did she send it from there???" and then I knew, I had made my own day...
Thanks Preethi, for the card, for the memories attached to it, for the sentiment that goes with it, and most importantly the friendship that tags along slowly behind it....
A HUGE THANK YOU!!!!
A HUGE THANK YOU!!!!