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Just prior to Valentine’s Day, love seemed to suddenly rule the air. In editorial meetings at our office, we talked about doing features on love, romance or even the lack of it. The florists, restaurants, lounges, diamond jewellers all talked about ‘celebrating love.’ In the midst of all this, there was a small news report which said that writing a love letter is now facing extinction. In a poll of 1,000 Britons, almost four in ten men admitted they never sent a love letter, the Daily Express reported. Also one-in-eight confessed they never show their feelings for their partner. But women voted being sent a love letter as the most wanted romantic expression ahead of receiving flowers, being cooked for, having a poem or song written for them.
Out of curiosity, I asked my friends ‘when did they last write a love letter’? One of my friends answered: “Never in the true sense. I only wrote when we broke up to make matters clear.” Another one answered: “Two years back.” I told her it’s time to write one. She replied, “But I can’t write to altu faltu people and men who don’t deserve that.” Yes, point well-taken. You write only when you feel from deep within. Randomness and love letters don’t really go together. A young male colleague told, “I just wrote one three days back. And it was a hand-written one.” I asked him what made him write that letter? He replied, “I feel I can say many things to her when I write without feeling constrained. It helps me to express himself.” Another one said, “A hand-written one two years back. But now it’s mostly e-mails.” Fair enough in times of technology.
For generations, romance had one thing to fall back upon i.e love letters. Regional Indian literature has beautiful collections of love letters in the form of books which will leave you asking for more. If you have not read love letters exchanged between late Amrita Pritam and Imroze, you definitely need to just to have a surreal feel of emotions. I have a book of Ghalib’s love letters and they are perfect to read on a rainy evening.
In an age of  Tweets and Facebook status updates, love letters are so very old-fashioned or so many think. Moreover, the most popular explanation is who has the time and energy to actually sit down and write (when you can just dial the number and talk to him/her). Or may be a message ‘I love you’ as BBM. Don’t we all have loads of instant noodles, coffee and chat messengers in life?
But I won’t do justice to this piece if I don’t write about a very dear artist friend who did his masters from the country’s premier design institute. I asked him over a drink, “When did you last write a love letter?” He kept on thinking for quite some time and then with a sheepish grin said, “F***k man, never. Am I so bloody unromantic?” And then he asked me, “Will an SMS do as answer to your question?” I just told him to keep quiet and enjoy the scotch.
P S: Few days back I woke up in the early morning to write a love letter. It was one of the most wonderful moments I lived through in last few years. The whole experience of letting my innermost thoughts flowing effortlessly on a paper was an experience to cherish for many tomorrows to come. If you have that special person in your life, don’t hold back your thoughts. Just let it flow. May be we can bring back love letter to life. InshaAllah.


About Deepika Sahu

I earn my living through writing stories, editing what other people write (in simple terms I am a journalist). I dream of opening a cafeteria in the mountains, owning a beach home on the shores of Bay of Bengal... but right now, they all seem like wild dreams.. A gypsy at heart --- am passionate about life, music, words, cooking for people I love, soaking in the lashing rain and just looking at the changing colours of the sky.... And I am a great fan of the Indian Railways and I long to travel in First Class AC coupe across India.....with my man

One response to “R I P LOVE LETTER …

  1. Parul Khullar ⋅

    I agree, it is the most romantic gesture of all. At least for women.

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