Handwritten Letters: Nostalgic much?

Date:

It’s the year 1953.

A boy, aged 21, runs to the post office, buying a stamp for 6 Annas, filling the details of the Inland Letter Card encasing a letter he wrote to his future wife, his parents arranged with all the emotions he’s always hidden in the society yet the letter says otherwise. 

He’s also attached a rose from his garden. It took him hours to write as he had to dip in ink multiple times, wracking his brain with all the words he could muster in a language that screams love.

He ends the letter with a Shayari and his favourite song of Mohammed Rafi he heard on repeat this week, imagining her.  

Meanwhile… Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru woke up from his 4-hour sleep schedule, leading our Independent India with grace and wisdom.

He’s a force to be reckoned with and is randomly sitting under the sun tasting freedom; our fighters have been dreaming with open eyes since the mutiny of 1857. 

He’s written a letter as a reply to Indira Gandhi, as he reads her previous letter understanding all that she wants him to listen when it comes to solving a moral dilemma she finds herself in.

She’s confused between right and wrong, asking her counsellor- her father for help. 

Nehru posted his reply and has sent his letter patiently, waiting for her to receive it. 

It’s now a waiting game.  

In the 1950s- 1970s, a Chivalric Era was manifesting Hindi and regional languages as one which isn’t simply a concoction of words; instead, it’s an eloquent expression of the emotions we harbour in our hearts. 

Letters are sent, an inland letter card for day-to-day communication and a postcard for urgent notices. It’s a busy day at the post office. 

It’s been more than a decade since then, as trunk calls, telephones and SMS service began evolving later to WhatsApp closing letters in a trunk box lying in your attic labelled as “forgotten art.” 

Let’s categorize people around us- one raised in the digital age- who haven’t heard of handwritten letters.

One in our mid-twenties, we know the process might have done it once, but we did write to our classmates and fictional friends in our grammar class and lastly, the one who’s lived in a timeless era of handwritten letters. 

Handwritten Letters: Nostalgic much?
Image Source: Outlook India

 Here’s a sneak peek? 

For all our curious minds out there, take a step back to the 1980s. 

Here’s how you post a letter- Two options for writing a letter: An inland letter card and a postcard. The postcard, or “Taar”, as my parents tell me, was for urgent notices.

Receiving it was synonymous with bad news. The inland letter card, coloured in blue, came with three flaps to become the envelope.

Concealing the envelope with the letter with the relevant senders and receivers address followed by the stamp. You can now post the same in the red letterbox people saw at every nook and corner on their street.

Post the letter and wait 4-5 working days depending on the pin code for the addressed person to read your letter and another 4-5 days to acknowledge the response as you receive it. 

Post Card was more openly communicated. The postman bringing you the postcard read the message aloud as opposed to the inland letter, which was more of a private matter. 

Postcards came in two main categories- single and replied postcards. Other varieties of postcards include Printed Post Card and Megh-Doot Post Card.  

Fun Fact- Postcard was only commissioned in India 

Post Letters to your loved ones 🙂 or reminisce about the era with your parents and grandparents. 

Remember the boy we started off the story with?  

That’s my version of the romance between my incurable romantic grandparents. 

Guruksha Gurnani
Guruksha Gurnani
An economics graduate amidst pandemic still whining about the farewell that didn’t take place. Unfinished letters, manuscripts, and poems adorn my library. Writing isn’t just a skill, it’s a safe haven after an exhausting day at work. This is home.

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