When was the last time you wrote something? I am not talking about writing stories, poems, assignments or whitepapers. I am not talking about the content of writing at all. I am talking about the actual act of holding a pen or pencil between your fingertips and carving alphabets and words on the paper for whatever purpose. And excuse me, filling in forms and signing off with your signature does not count. When was the last time you actually wrote something, in the literal sense?
I asked myself this question multiple times as I was writing a letter to my husband yesterday. Yes, my husband and I have this habit of surprising each other by writing random love letters to each other on special occasions. Words said eventually dissolve into thin air, but the written words, especially loving ones stay forever. Expressing sensitive or sexual feelings face-to-face to a loved one can sometimes arouse hormones more than feelings, and the romance takes a different direction. That’s awesome too, no denying that. But, we also want to enjoy the non-carnal pleasures of life.
When life becomes too busy with work, home and children to take care off, it is not uncommon to let romance take a back seat. These letters remind us of the fire that keeps our house and hearts warm. These letters are like wine. The longer we preserve it and reread years from now, the finer it tastes to the soul. It teleports us to the time when the letter was written, triggering back the memories and emotions that caused the flow of words and make us fall in love with each other all over again with the same intensity that we did, when we fell in love for the first time, if not more. We feel as though our youth is rekindled, romance rejuvenated and we are hopelessly smitten with love for each other.
All that sounds so absolutely enticing, isn’t it? It did to me, and that is why I wanted to up it a little bit and decided to hand-write it out this time. I wanted the thoughts from my mind, take shape as words, flow through my veins, touch my fingertips, transfer to the nib of my pen and play themselves out on the white paper. As I caress the canvas, it would absorb my scent and breadth and convey to my husband more than what I had expressed in words. Perfect! So, thrilled by the thought, I picked up a clean sheet of paper, resisted the urge to draw side margins and started on.
It felt queer in the beginning as I balanced the pen between my fingers that had conveniently forgotten to write. My mind was excited and kept spinning romantic words after words, but my hands couldn’t keep in sync at all, that what I believed was my cursive handwriting was now all crooked. The string of words was deliberately mischievous. The line started at one point on the left, took its own trail, reached a high or low on the right that was nowhere in alignment with the starting point before it turned around for a new trail.
Frustrated, I asked myself, “When was the last time you actually wrote something?” At first, it was a tiny musing, then a little curious thinking and as I went on writing through never ending sheets of unruled/unruly pages, my wrist started aching, my fingers were going numb and I repeatedly asked the question to myself, wincing with pain that was physical on my hands but weighed heavy inside my head. I wondered how I managed to fill more than sixty pages in three hours during my undergraduate exams. I wondered how technology has helped in many ways but in the process, killed a few natural forms of expressions. As I kept wondering this way, my mind started wandering away from the romantic zone, thoughts stopped flowing, words didn’t come, and the me-machine stopped.
I was so upset. All I wanted was to write a love letter to my sweetheart! I threw my pen and folded my head over the table top. Ten minutes passed. With a sigh, I walked to the kitchen, made myself a cup of tea and crashed on my couch. How can I let trivial discomfort spoil my romantic mood! “Come on Archu, think, think!” The steam from the tea seemed to clear my head, and a bulb lit up deep inside. With a wicked grin, I figured a way, wrote the letter and sealed it triumphantly.
That night, after the kids were tucked in bed and deeply asleep, I presented this letter to my hubby. He was surprised, ripped open the cover and started reading it patiently while I was drumming my fingers impatiently, waiting for a reaction from him. He became all dovely-eyed, pulled me closer and put his arm around me. I was sitting inches from him, eyes closed, waiting for that romantic kiss that I tried to engineer through the pages and pages of written effort.
He came even closer and gently whispered in my ear, “Tell me honestly, didn’t you type this all out first on MS Word, emailed yourself a backup and then sat down to copy it on the paper with your favorite playlist on the background?”
I was blushing, not because I was shy but because I was fuming. I took all the trouble to pour my heart to my husband in handwritten words, and he deciphers the mechanics of the attempt just-like-that. When you know a person too well, deception doesn’t work. “So what?”, I asked, trying to push him away.
He laughed, “Not a single spelling mistake, no scratch marks or insertions. You write your love letters like you write in your high school record notebooks!” He laughed, even more, making me angrier and angrier.
“Get lost, you romance killer! No more letters for you. I am going to write one for our neighbor” I retorted.
“Oh, you will, will ya? Let me see you try it”, he challenged.
I faked to write another one for an imaginary neighbor. He faked to stop me and pull that apart. We played the faking game so hard that real romance sparked on once again and took a different direction. That was awesome too; I am not complaining!