‘Writing letters’ (handwritten) is a topic close to my heart and I was involved in writing letters for over a decade. I began writing letters when I was 11. Thanks to my mother, who encouraged me to write letters and have penpals. In 1970’s, she had hundreds of penpals. Though I could never break her record, I had around 75 penpals. I used to take hours and sometimes, weeks to complete a letter. Writing letters of 4-5 pages were common and the longest must have been 12 or 14 pages long (long sheets of paper). Topics discussed varied from trends, my life at home and college and rarely, on attempting to teach a friend, ‘Malayalam.’
I no longer writer handwritten letters, but occasionally I read the old letters, of my penfriends. I still maintain contact with 15 or so of my penfriends. Though I haven’t met most of the them even once, it’s with them I have the strong bond of friendship. And one among them was my source of inspiration and support during my teen years. You can read the story at http://indian-chronicle.blogspot.com/search/label/Friendship (in two parts). Also, I wrote a story about penpals for The Hindu’s Metro Plus: “A pal for keeps.”
And in a way, I believe it’s the art of writing letters that eventually led to a career in freelance writing.
So, when I saw the word ‘Handwritten letters,’ I couldn’t resist writing a letter to the editor in The Hindu. I sent a letter yesterday, didn’t tell my husband and today, morning as we were having breakfast, I suddenly got up from my seat to check the newspaper. And there it was – my thoughts in The Hindu’s ‘Letters to the Editor’ page! If you read The Hindu, check it out. Or else, read the letter in the online version: http://www.thehindu.com/incoming/article497048.ece
PS: If you like writing handwritten letters or you have had penpals, anytime in your life; I would like to hear your story.