Monday, October 09, 2006

www.heaven.com

Back in those days when we didn't have email attachments with pictures of us and our family members grinning away those mega pixels taken on that 'smaller-than-my-palm' cyber-shots, when we didn't have messengers and skypes and what-have-yous, we had something that connected directly with our hearts: Picture post cards. You had this lovely sunset from somewhere, which you held lovingly in your fingers, and turned the card around to read even more lovingly, the scribbled letters of a friend, thousands of miles away. You probably received the card a month after the season shown in the card, but you didn't 'delete' the post card. You adorned it lovingly on your loving black n white TV, for the world to see, that you had a dear friend overseas who sent you lovely colorful picture post-cards.

My father was one such lucky person. And he received his card from a colleague who he'd befriended while on a trip abroad. He'd receive the cards every christmas and new year, sometimes even out of the blue...and read out the tiny, scrawly letter etched on the back of the card to us. Sometimes, he'd get a full letter in an envelope. The letter even smelled good! And we kids would pride at the fact that dad had an 'American' friend.

We received countless cards and letters, until one year they just stopped coming. Just like that. Stopped (much before the internet and emails...even STD calls). We spoke about it for a year or two and then carried on with life. One day, last year, we remembered this friend and wondered what would've made the guy stop writing.

"I guess, he passed away."

In truth, this might really have been the case. Because he was the only person who my father knew. We didn't know his whereabouts, we didn't know his changed address, if any (father tried writing to him years back, but the letters just returned to him).

I even googled him out for father, came up with a couple of close matches, but perished the thought, because of the age differences. I guess he really did pass away. But just think - at least for father, his very existence depended on just the cards and letters he wrote; the wishes he sent across the oceans.

Now, if only there was an email service in heaven.

11 comments:

SilenceKilled said...

:)
U made me miss all those Cards I used select for my loved ones......
All those letters I used to write...
All those letters and cards I used to treasure...
I used to go to my college's postoffice so often to chk for cards and letters for me.....
Email and messengers might have made things easier but they don't have the personal feeling u used to get from the letter somebody has written for u...U miss their handwriting when u see MS font....
And Yup...even I wish they have something as "www.heaven.com" with email IDs......

Vin said...

yea.. those lovely cards... i still have hordes of them.. sent on my birthdays by my friends and cousins.
Once it so happened that i disposed school book with my address on it. It landed in hands of a guy living far away. He started corresponding to me with and sent calendars etc. But i was a kid of say 9 - 10 years then, so i wudn't respond to those letters. Gradually those letters stopped.
Now , I wonder who that guy must have been .. :-)

enigma said...

Very true. You brought back so many memories!

I miss receiving letters and I miss writing them too.
Ah, the joy of running to the post office with a few rupees, buying the fresh, blue, unfolded inland letters , folding them neatly sitting near the window sill, writing , sealing them with glue from a blue "Bril" bottle (or even with a coupla grains of cooked rice :)) and then giving them to dad to post them in the Head post office near his office so that they reach on time :D..
I have spent so many days during the summer vacations doing just this! sigh!!

I still have most of the letters, post cards and greeting cards that I've received from friends. And reading them always makes me smile but also makes me a li'l sad!

Prerona said...

that happened to me once.I even tried looking for him when i got back to the uk, but i couldnt find him again!

Harsha said...

I didnt even get one of them :(
I think count of my handwritten letters may not even exceed 5. :(

phatichar said...

SilenceKilled: oh, i've received several cards and letters, since i too belonged to that era for a good part of my young life...have even blogged about it countless times at my old blurty blog...hmmm, true. nothing like the good old feel of paper in ur hands, huh? :)

Vin: if that guy had a name and return address, you could always try getting back. Or better yet, google him out and see :)

enigma: ah, the 'bril' pot and rice glue...now you brought back memories...i used to love sticking those inlands with rice.. :)

Prerona: hmmm...try again, who knows maybe you'll find him one day :)

Harsha: gimme ur address, I'll post you a card. :) (am not kidding)

Vin said...

I wish had the contact details... but i ahve none of those.. neither do i remember the name. I just remember that he was from Sivkasi... :-(

phatichar said...

vin: hmm....

SilenceKilled said...

Agreed.....
Paper's feel....joy of writing with a chinese ink pen.....filling ink...I miss all that....
I was crazy abt having a smooth, sleek, chinese pen...
I even miss the camlian ink pen....
now, I play with MS fonts and colours, but nthing can be compared to writing......

Harsha said...

Harshanand M V
EMC DSS (India) Pvt. Ltd.
No. 12, Subramanya Arcade,
Tower-B,
Bannerghatta Road, Blore-29

Plz delete this comment once you take down the address? Dont forget to mention yours on the postcard and I shall look forward to my first pen friend. :-)

KJ said...

i still treasure the letters n post cards and b;day cards that i have recd...

such a sweet n senti post...

Hugs

KJ