If you are trying to figure out a gift for Dad for Father’s Day, we suggest you do something very simple for him. Send him a hand written note. Write anything that you wish to say. We are sure he will treasure this most among any other thing that you gift that day. Sukanya Bora writes about this dying art form and what it meant to her to get a hand written note from her 83 year old dad on her birthday. We are sure this will inspire you to write too.
I don’t remember the last time I hand-wrote a letter. A simple note for that matter. Do you?
The art of letter writing, sadly, is approaching its demise unless we make concerted efforts to keep it alive. I speak for myself when I say I have turned into a letter writing snob. A useless being when it comes to putting pen to paper. The more I nudge my weakening grey cells to bring alive memories of the bygone when I used to dig letter writing, the sadder I get about my laziness, my ‘going green’ mentality, my technological (un) savvyness. Yes, we are saving trees, becoming environmentally conscious. Yes, we have become adept in living life in the fast lane, of cruising the information super highway effortlessly but at what expense?
Of tucking our beautiful fountain pens away in some obscure places never to be discovered. Of losing our alacrity in writing a three line thank you note to someone. Of relegating this beautiful art form / habit to writing those darn cheques.
I am out of practice, completely and totally. To come to think of it, my 4 year old’s handwriting is better than mine. Her’s is legible and mine, not quite. Her’s is child like, so is mine. I look at my 83-year-old father’s handwriting and I am shamed to bits.
I complain about my parents being behind times. They are technology dinosaurs with no access to anything that involves the internet. I am forever indebted to Alex Bell for his invention as this simple contraption is what keeps me connected with my folks. I pretend to write letters to them and I do but do I really write them? Of course not. Hallellujah MS Word and all things Microsoft.
My folks have become lax too. I have stopped receiving elaborate letters from them for several years now. Gone are the days when a thick envelope would arrive addressed to me in my father’s beautiful handwriting, filled with news of family, paper/magazine clippings of must read articles and at times snippets of my horoscope. Ones that proclaimed that I was born to be a star (fodder for another post). I looked forward to them, read and re-read them like a zealot catching on to every consonant, reveling in their purity. I stored them away like any beautiful memory for posterity, bringing them out as and when I needed some TLC. I replied to them with equal enthusiasm, detail, length of each letter topping the previous one. It was a simple yet powerful exchange, one that solidified our closeness and connectedness.
Life was good until my parents got old and I succumbed to the www.
This summer, as I celebrated my fortieth birthday, my father took out his favorite Parker pen and jotted down a few lines for me. Of all the generous gifts, this little handwritten note was the best possible gift I could have received on my special day. The gesture, to put it simply, blew me away. My father’s beautiful, heartfelt note in his wise, mature, handwriting did it for me. As I pored over it , a little voice kept reminding me, hold on to this one for good. You never know, this may just be the last one you get from him.
Holding on to it. I am. Like a child holding onto her blanket, for comfort, for strength. This personal note has found a permanent place alongside others I have cherished all along. It served as a fantastic ‘perker-upper’ just the other day when I was down and out. Nothing like good ole handwritten notes from loved ones to soothe your worries away. My father was many miles away, but I felt his presence right there, next to me, his note written with his strong fingers, lifting me out of the gloom instantly, gently reminding me of the power of this medium. One we ought to preserve, vitalize before it completely fades away.