Friday, March 21, 2014

Making Memories through a Postbox

Leaning by the road, now rusted and forgotten, stands a postbox that I pass by every morning. The paint isn’t rich red as it used to be many years ago, when people still wrote letters to each other. The words on the postbox are now just a collection of white lines, numbers and stray alphabets – SUN…10.30…COLTION..TI..ME. Like a crossword puzzle, the words and numbers tell the story of the time and day when a postman would pedal to the box, unlock it and collect the letters piled inside. He would hoard them inside a sack and carry them back to the post office to be marked and stamped and then sent on their way. Messages of joy, sorrow, smiles, lunches, children, routines…stories of everyday life that weave the fabric of our lives.

Letters, handwritten in the fragments of time, in leisurely longhand or the scribbler’s scrawl. Letters quickly folded like white handkerchiefs and slipped inside brown envelopes. Messages jotted on yellow postcards and blue postal letters.

Written in ink or pencil, embellished with a child’s drawings or clipped together with a photograph, letters crisscrossed across the country, carrying moments, sewing together a patchwork quilt of memories.A postman at the door offering an envelope bulging with a letter meant news and stories…a nugget of gold in a day that was ordinary.

I miss letters. Writing them and receiving them. I’m also out of practice. The entire ritual of putting together the implements – paper, pen and thoughts, collecting everything you want to say in your head and your heart, recording the story of your life within the span of a few sheets, stuffing them in an envelope, gluing on a stamp and dropping them off at a postbox. And then waiting for a reply.

Do you write letters? What are your thoughts on writing and receiving letters?

photo by chandana banerjee

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