Remember that song – “ Likhe jo khat tujhe.. woh teri yaad mein..”. Now imagine these words “Likhe jo email tujhe woh teri yaad mein” or “ Posted jo status message tujhe..?” or worse.. “Phool tujhe bheja hai  khat mein…”  or “Phool ki taswir bheja hai email mein?”

These- my friends  are the challenges of love in the 21st century!

There was a time when a swan was the conduit of the message of love between Nala and Damayanti.. today it is the internet!

I still cannot come to terms with this…

Nothing can surpass the pleasure of pouring your heart out to a loved one on that piece of paper. The movement of the pen on paper is like the beating of your heart. You can choose stationery you like , indulge in calligraphy and poetry to your heart’s content finally sealing it with those petals of flowers inside..

And then there is the time and effort you have to invest in to identify the appropriate courier service! The Indian Postal system certainly has its advantages in terms of  promptness of delivery but it also carries with it the dangers of being delivered into the wrong hands ( parents of the beloved?). So what do you do? Find a pigeon- who is often in the human form -  a friend or that kid living next door. If it is the later you have to pray that s/he remembers to deliver it all the while keeping it safe from prying eyes and hands. If it is a friend then .. it is safer! But then you might meet some “friends” like me or my kind  who delivered letters promptly but made sure that they  were allowed to read parts of it  ( just for kicks!)!  There are of course  those really “dangerous” lot of people who accept to be couriers only to tear up the letter, blackmail the sender/ recipient  or worse write a reply spurning your love.. remember how many stories have been written on that?

 Now tell me can the internet compete with any of these? For instance, it limits the font and style options and as also the writing stationery. It often leads one to type out single letters for complete words  “u”  for “you” is a prime example.. Nothing wrong you might say as it conveys the message adequately enough! But then communication when one is in love is not exactly telegraphic.. one wants to communicate verbally and non verbally- unfortunately in terms of verbal communication in the absence of direct speech U is a poor substitute! We also lose the thrill of receiving in our hands a piece of paper that the loved one has touched with his/ her fingers – silly you say? But then whoever said that people in love were logical? You are silly, crazy and mad.. ! You long for connection but an email or that wall on face book or a text message are poor substitutes for the connection and communication that being in love demands!

I am sometimes surprised when I see some status messages on face book. They are obviously meant for someone special but unfortunately the forum is too public and all your 200 plus friends read it too!!!  Then there are a few annoying ones like me who make some comment on that message embarrassing the living daylights out of the poor person for whom the message was meant  ( because you see I may be one person’s friend but not the other’s )

Sure the telephone is still  around and with a mobile  it is almost like holding his/ her hand all the time… ! I would again like to say that  nothing is like the written word!

Ask any woman of my generation how she felt when she received her first love letter? It is the first certificate in writing about your being an attractive person! You can  have someone tell it to you directly but a letter can be read, re read and re interpreted! You can see the handwriting and sometimes (like me)  notice the grammar and punctuation too deciding if the person is educated enough or well read enough to be worthy of your affection! You can store them in a box or tie them up with a red ribbon reading them when you are in your forties , fifties or seventies..! Tell me can you do that with email? I suppose you can take back ups but with the quick evolution of technology everything even ten years old quickly becomes redundant…!!!  First there was email and now there is skype! 

Let me make it clear , I am not against technology for communication. Blogging for example is one major breakthrough in terms of what technology can do to encourage people to express themselves. But there is still communication that demands a certain intimacy which can only come out of human efforts. I treasure those cards my husband sent me during our days of courtship where I can see his name  scrawled laboriously across the paper along with some interesting quote!  He is not much of a writer- has a handwriting that has not evolved out of middle school but then that is him.. and what I have on those sheets of paper are the efforts he made to reach out to me – hand writing notwithstanding! The writing of the human hand is very unique – almost like a thumb print..! It is like having a part of the person on paper.

I wonder if it is something to do with the way society as a whole has changed today? There is a certain casualness and flippancy in whatever we say or do. We are also very economical in our use of words – LOL, ROFL… I guess it requires an entirely new dictionary to be created! Somewhere along the way it also indicates the limitations we have by way of time..!

But seriously, if we are not able to invest in a relationship in terms of time and effort is it surprising that the number of break ups are on the rise?


  1. Very good post! I agree with you, I am online a lot, chatting a lot, but I would rather write letters to my friends, I started a Christmas tradition where I mail a card to my online friends, and some of them mail me back too. It's so much more fun than sending an e-card. Same goes for relationships. we need to invest time and effort into them, do not take them for granted else we will loose them

  2. LOL!!!;) I know that would irk you:P Writing a love letter is of course the best way to sne dyour love. But when a letter takes ten odd days to travel and reach its destined hands, the flame dies out:P Hope you would understand that;) Facebook status updates are the easiest way that your love notices what you say. And the 200 plus friends obviously know whom the message is for:) I still hold a treasure trove of hand written letters which i love to read when am particularly feel low, but still, the fun of instant texting and pinging in FB keeps the flame burning for people in long distance relationships like me:)))

  3. Meera,

    You rekindled my memories of our days. Those letters are still preserved in a box. However we have to move on with technology which is much faster but for some special ones we should still stick to good old ways which has personal touch.

    Take care

  4. @ cloud nine you have now given me a new angle - instant gratification...!! What about the wait and longing for that reply? yes I do understand the need for promptness of response! Jack I am glad you have those letters saved carefully. Emmy it is gratifying to know that some one of your generation understands the importance of handwritten communication!

  5. love letters!!!hmmphhh...:-( never got to write em.....thanks to this onslaught of social n/w ing....

  6. I do agree that those letters and cards had their own charm. I have so many of those and go back and read them sometimes. I like the new age too :). And, it seems so difficult even for those of us who know the importance of handwritten communication to go back to writing letters. I guess the convenience of technology has made all of us rusty :).

  7. TOTALLY agree with you.. I still have all the letter from everyone ..

    I do read them sometimes , Nope internet email or a phone cant compete with it .. I remmeber writing a article on the same topic.. the time spent in running ot the letter box to see if I have got replies those blue inland letters and then when i came ot uk the big blue international aerogrammes ...


  8. Give me your address...shall send you a lovely card...what say???
    Would you believe if I said, I've written all my posts (98 to be precise) in my personal journal first...and then posted it in the blog... I don;t know why...but I prefer writing them down in a book...with my favorite a way i want...

    I ave preserved...all the greeting cards and some special notes from my a box...and I read them, when i feel low...or when i miss them a lot..

    A post on similar lines..
    Take care

  9. I was nodding my head all through this post. I totally agree too. The best part is, now even break ups happen through sms or email. No time and energy for emotions. Sigh!

  10. @ Bikram, Jyothi and Gayu- you seem to be my kind of people :-) Gayu I cannot believe you actually write out your posts. I type them out. Bikram I guess living abroad must be making each one of those aerograms special. Jyothi-so true! I am told you can also divorce through triple talaq over SMS

  11. Superb post Meera. Oh those were the days....writing pages after pages and pouring out heart and also tears and laughter. I myself have written (kind of) booklets instead of letters..ha ha ha.

    And when the e-mail culture just started, I remember actually taking out print outs of the e-mails and preserving them..that was as a transition period

    Read this post sometime when you get the opportunity:

  12. Meera, you have such an ability to transport the reader back in time and effortlessly bring him to present! It was like a ride on the swing... beautiful post

  13. well....whatever may be the advantages of technological development, nothing can replace the fragrance of hand written letters, they are so heart felt with personal touch into it......

    Nice post Meera ji...:)

  14. More than a decade ago, during a research with a group of disabled persons we were communicating through emails. It lasted for about 6 months and was one of the most intense experiences of life for me. A written letter could not have done it, but rather reading about the experiences of others and expressing your own ..

  15. At last the jinx with my failed attempts to comment on this post has finally gone away.I was trying for a while and the "comment as.." window did not open

    Well, like the many other things that have come to pass, ours seems to be a generation that is destined to heed and accept the call for change and at the same time force ourselves to accustom to the change itself.

    The ubiquitous red Post Box, where have they all gone?

    Superficial is the word now .May be I'm wrong and can be disputed.But nevertheless as you mentioned only if one has felt the feeling of accepting a hand written letter of love will one understand what technology has robbed or displaced.

  16. Seriously......Even i have an urge for that kind of love where in the longing was so divine....The affection so sacred....Unlike nowadays where love is totally based on attraction, what clothes one wear, how hot he or she looks and so on.....


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