This morning I was looking for something. Not finding it I decided to open my childhood cupboard, the one whose use I had given up years back. I just remembered that it was full of childhood junk of all kinds and loads of audio cassettes, which of course are now obsolete with song downloading & online music the latest trend. For years now I hadn’t thought of its content, hadn’t realized what a treasure trove of lost time, innocence & pleasure it would be.
I naturally forgot what I was initially looking for when I came across numerous small bits of paper with my scrawny illegible hand on them, bits of discarded and broken toys, pebbles yes!!!! Pebbles (I fail to comprehend the lure and love for these small stones for a person any age and yet I couldn’t throw them out even today).
Finally I came across a bag full of old letters. Letters from friends and a very special teacher I once had. I couldn’t help reading them all. Laughed at some, tried to remember the events so vividly explained in some, guffawed aloud at the things which seemed so important to a teenage girl and yet to me were beyond funny today. All the while I had this peculiar and very satisfying feeling of watching my life unfold before me through those letters. A kind of calm descended on me. I was transported to a time which though is just 15 years old, but seems like a lifetime.
In one of the letters, my friend was trying to tear out of the fold to scold me for not picking up the landline because she herself had taken the trouble to go to an S.T.D booth just to be able to say a simple hello. Some friends took out time to write weekly and reading their letters made me realize that even I had written to them frequently.
The simplicity of times gone by stared me in the eye. None of us had imagined that life could change so drastically within a decade. Who could have imagined the cell phones, the emails, messages on the go, skype( for god’s sake)!!!!
My heart yearns for that simple, honest life. We have come a long way since then, not all bad I would say, but the personal touch is somewhat lost.
Such is the power of a letter. Even if we happen to read it decades after it was written, it still brings an honest, guileless smile to us.