Those lost letters!!!
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! The angry growl of our pet dog around 3pm would always used to make me thrilled. Then to verify, I would always wait for the second sign, the cling-clang sound of the tattered bicycle ring on the unpaved by lane of our neighbourhood. After full reassurance, I used to run at full force to the front gate of our home. And Echo, our black pet dog used to look at me as if I am the most stupid person on earth to run out while breaking his afternoon nap! Like our family tradition for whoever remains at home excluding the busy male members, and our pet dog (though it was a he – and I am quite sure Echo used to consider himself above all other for the plenty pampering lavished on him) used to enjoy intact sleeps during the afternoon time, no matter whether it is summer or winter. But then this was the scene when I used to be absent from my school due to some reasons. In other case I would directly walk towards my study table where my most anticipated item was to be waiting for me. In summer, even the glass of lemon juice could not beat the urge to run to the study table. And during winter the warm glass of Horlicks always used got neglected. You must be wondering what was making my younger mind so much engaged with, rite???
It was those much awaited for handwritten LETTERS from friends, cousins, other family members. Yes, you are reading right of course and it was those sweet smelling letters; I used to wait for so much during all my growing up days. It was the feel of that sweetest thrill and warmth that used to overwhelm me so much. I would always hold the letter for sometimes before opening it. Those letters were from my friends and cousins who used to stay in other nearby towns. Even I used to have many pen friends who used to stay faraway places. We did not had any other ways to be in touch that time as phone was not that much for the younger people and mainly those were being used for emergency purposes only by senior folks. But yes, we used to write so many letters on all the occasions. Even smallest of anything could not miss our attention to describe in our much cherished letters.
And how can I not mention our post office? I was brought up in Digboi, small oil town of Assam, Nort East India. We used to frequent it so much that it was kind of an extended part of our home and all the officials there were almost our neighbour, though the post office was little far from my home. It was not also very high profile just a general condition small town post office which used to be a place of frequent visit of us. Now I realize how simple people they were then, as we used to disturb them a lot with our many questions (about the delivery of our precious letters), then all our demands (about the urgencies for those communiqué)! They even used to know about many important details like our birth days and all, as our frequencies to the Post Office used to increase phenomenally during that time. During New Year eve, Bihu, Puja, Diwali, Holi etc the bunch of colourful greeting cards used to capture our fancy for may be about one month prior to the actual occasion. And likewise our visits to the post office will be numerous as we used to post cards every now and then without any planned manner.
And our dear postman, a sweet little old man with his tattered bicycle used to be the bearer of our expected letters, our sweet nothings! Even our graceful family used to treat the dear postman with little gifts during all festivals and sweets to express their gratitude for being an important part of us, the children. He still holds a very special place in my heart, although sadly enough I could not remember the name of the person as we used to call him, khura (uncle in Assamese). Although the postmen are not at all in demand as their charm has all dimed in the modern glitterati of the technology but for us, the one from the dream world, they will always have a special place in the core of our many hearts.
I ponder the patience level we used to have, as every detail, even about the environment surrounding us used to be of utmost importance to obtain a detailed description like the new leaves and the Dahlia flowers about to bloom etc. The extra care amazes me now, which we took to write those letters in colourful latter pads and those different sized envelopes. The blue inland letters used to be the most normal mode but then letter pads with many designs used to be also very frequent for me. I still remember the crispiness of the latter pads with different motifs which I really used to adore very much. The handwritings in the address used to be so known to us that we at once used to realize from whom the letter is coming. Then the charismatic smell of the unopened letter, that I always took special care to feel before opening each of them. Now if I think it leaves me with much amusement as, it was like, I wanted to sense carefully the feel of my friends in the outside of the letter itself. We did not prefer the uses of postcards for the scarcity of space their as we needed many for our all important gossiping. So strong our imaginations were at that time as really we used to walk around in an imaginary world of our own!
Another important aspect was preservation of those letters. I used to have the lower drawers of my study table all filled systematically with those many letters. And lowest self of my grandma’s wardrobe used to be another place to keep those letters/greeting cards etc. But again very sadly I lost all those most pricey treasure in the long journey of life as I had to shift many places after my marriage. But the day before yesterday only, Sonali/Rupali ( my best friends- they are twin) told me they still have those wonderful gem of our letters with them which bears many not so long distant precious memories of our days, times, plans etc. At least we still have some breathing memories.
But I feel so sad to see the world around us now void of those precious jewels. The age of techno savoir-faire generation full of SMS, MMS, Chatings, emails, video conferencing etc has made a pathetic end to the world of emotions and simple joys. Though now we talk over mobile about almost every small thing but then it can never be compared with the thrill of those beautiful letters which our kids will not know in their lives. Even the colourful greeting cards are in decreasing trend now which used to decorate each possible selves of our living room during our childhood days. We used to write letters till may be the beginning of the millennium. But I really miss those letters very much. I miss the cling clag sound of the bicycle and the angry view of my dog, Echo. Really I lost my mails of those carefree laughter.
With growth of modern technology we are losing our simple joys or we are advancing towards some c complicated goals in life, really I wonder so much!