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?