Valentine’s Day it is! Love is in the air, literally. FM channels are humming love songs, restaurants & cafes are serving special menu that are high on love potion, parties are being organized to celebrate love (even break-ups), brands are luring love-birds with special packages – what a day to be in love!
Amongst all the discourse around love & heart breaks, all the love tunes being aired, the red roses, the pink pastries, the heart shaped balloons and the lovey dovey teddies, I suddenly yearn for those sweet love letters. They were once considered the ultimate expression of love – handwritten love letters on ornate papers, sometimes even on perfumed papers. Letter writing pads, in different colours, with floral designs and mushy love quotes used be available, especially designed for love letters, with matching envelopes. As a girl I fancied those letter writing pads, I would buy and hoard them, hoping to use them some day.
The idea of love letters still stirs my imagination. The image of a lovelorn girl eagerly waiting for a letter from her beloved. Once upon a time, doves or pigeons used to be the deliverers of missives of love. With a letter tied to their feet, they would land on the windowsill or the garden of the sweetheart. Special emissaries would carry letters of kings and princes to their lady loves. Then came the daakiyas and the postmen. As a girl, I remember looking forward to the postman for a letter from my college time boyfriend. May be the wait made those letters even sweeter!
From snail mails the world moved to e-mails. We would just e-mail each other, the long periods of waiting for a letter was over. Soon there was SMS & WhatsApp, Facebook & Instagram, more pictures and less words. And with Snapchat there were no words at all. The whole world is digital now, it’s all about short & sweet, about catchy phrases, interesting hashtags, pictures and selfies. Handwritten love letters are long gone, nobody even has time for elaborate e-mails.
Pouring your feelings over a letter, waiting for the postman or checking the letter box every day for a response from your sweetheart, that is a feeling that the digital generation will never know. Sometimes I feel we have lost a bit of our eloquence and depth with those letters…or may it’s just me being nostalgic…