SHASHI DIP stumbles upon a bag full of old handwritten letters and cards, which remind her how abundantly rich and blessed she has been all through her life 

Recently when I was searching for some files in the loft of my bedroom, I spotted an old bag lying innocuously in the corner. I couldn’t recall what the bag contained and my first impulse was to shove it away, since the papers that I was looking for were more important. But curiosity got the better of me and I quickly unzipped the bag.

Lo and behold! From the bag tumbled out a treasure that brought back fond memories, sending me into raptures of pleasure. I saw plenty of old greeting cards and letters that I had received long ago. It was around midnight and there was pin drop silence in the house.

Walking on tiptoe, I entered the living room without making any noise and started unveiling all the greeting cards, one by one.  Each greeting card evoked feelings of joy and nostalgia. It seemed like I was having a rendezvous with those loved ones, who had sent me handmade cards filled with messages of love, adoration, encouragement and inspiration. Words of kindness and appreciation make us happy and are worth reading again and again.

Some of the cards were very old, but the text was still readable, with the handmade drawings quite clear. My eyes sparkled, my lips smiled, my ears could hear the sweet voices of my loved ones through their handwritten words.

The author Shashi Dip examining her treasure

My heart was filled with love and there was a deep yearning to meet those people in exactly the same time zone. But it’s been years and since then everyone’s life has changed and is different ― time and age really change people.

There were cards of my school friends, sent to me 25 years ago, even before my marriage. The cards were collected and preserved not as a hobby, but as a matter of respect, as I always feel handwritten texts and cards are rare.  

I am still continuing the tradition of writing by hand on special occasions like Rakshabandhan, as my brothers wait for my rakhi letter more than the rakhi. These days, emails, tweets, and text messages are more convenient than handwritten notes, which is the natural evolution of communication, but handwritten letters remain impactful and unique in several ways.

Among the letters, were ones from my better half sent to me before our marriage. Those letters reminded me of how a 27-year-old shy young man used to hand over letters to his elder brother-in-law, with so much of embarrassment, as he used to visit him every month while returning from off shore work in Mumbai to travel back home in Chhattisgarh.

A glimpse of the author’s treasure

He used to hide his letters in an Air India in-flight magazine. Perhaps to conceal the content, he sent letters with scenery on the cover, but with soulful English poems penned by him addressing me as Ms Shashi. As I read the letters, I got goosebumps.

There were letters from my father-in-law with some great thoughts, poems and quotes for life. The cards from my nephews, nieces and some other children who were close to my heart made me feel so happy and wanted. It took me down memory lane when the children who have now grown up were so small and sweet. These memories are priceless.

These cards and letters are handwritten testimonials, which remind me how abundantly rich and blessed I have been all through my life. 

Shashi Dip is a thinker, bilingual writer, poet, columnist, social activist and an author of the book ‘Waves Within (Horizon and Beyond)’. She is associated with various literary associations and has written more than 200 blogs, 500 quotes in Hindi/Urdu and English and 100 poems in both Hindi and English.

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