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Letters anyone?

Aruna Rathod on the death of the written word in relationships.

sex and relationships Updated: Feb 02, 2009 13:23 IST
Hindustan Times

Has anyone received a handwritten love letter on paper in the last 10 years or even written one? At one time, they were the rage and the mode of communication for lovers. Right from the anxious wait to having a messenger to deliver notes and messages, to tracking the timings of the postman, love letters were a heady experience.

But the present generation is blissfully unaware of its pleasure.With cell phones, chats and emails, handwritten love letters are a thing of the past.

Bridging the gap
Akshata, 42, “I used to write pages to my boyfriend when we were in college. He was studying engineering in a hostel in Andhra Pradesh while I was in Mumbai.”

Once in a while, they would speak over the phone when he came to Mumbai. She continues, “Now the mode of communication is short and sweet. People don’t even have the time to key in long messages and romantic phrases. It’s a sign of our times, I guess.”

But the written word has always maintained its popularity. Forty-five-year-old Rohan runs a successful ad agency. Once, he made a fortune by writing love letters for his friends who couldn’t express their feelings to their girlfriends.

Feeling low
His letters were a huge hit. It wasn’t just a money-spinning exercise but also a way to showcase his talent with words. He points out that the biggest disadvantage of the ‘love letter’ was the fear of it going into the wrong hands.

Rohan recalls the affairs of his college friends, “Many love affairs were exposed because the letters fell into the hands of their parents or other family members. In a way, that was an advantage because the couple were either forced to marry immediately or break up.”

“One of my friends was so caught up with the idea of writing love letters that she used to buy perfumed paper abroad,” laughs 39-year-old Sanjana. It seems friends always wanted to know about her latest innovativions.”

Most women, who used to write and receive love letters, have kept them as mementos. “I’ve preserved all the letters. When I’m feeling low, I read them to remind myself that being in love is a high. It’s always refreshing to read about the good old days,” says Evelyn, who has been married for 20 years.

She adds, “I feel happy when I read them. It makes me realise how much my husband loves me, although he’s not so expressive today.”