ravings, rantings and ramblings
I miss the fact that I do not receive letters any more. There was an inexplicable sense of anticipation and breathlessness upon receiving a light blue-coloured inland letter or a mustard coloured postcard. I preferred inland letters over postcards, purely based on the anticipation bit. Postcards were far too public for my liking and had a lot less space. I liked long letters.
I used to receive long letters from my grandfather. I miss my grandfather a lot. He was the one man I used to look up to, in the wider family. He was the one man, I felt answerable to. He was the one man, I always wanted him to be proud of me. My (maternal) grandfather was fond of writing. He has a great control over the two languages he knew – English and Bengali. He would challenge me with his prose and I would challenge him back. One day would be a new word and the next time would be a new spelling. It gathered momentum during my summer holidays. He would be peering into his tattered dictionary, that he so prized and I would flip through mine. We were 1,441 kilometres apart; and those letters connected us.
His letters would look like calligraphy lessons. His alphabets were happy and ‘well-fed’. My father would show me the intricacies of ‘trunks’ and ‘tails’ in handwriting. Both dad and I have a good hand (no way to tell on a keyboard) and sometimes it was hard to tell who wrote what! I used to draft my letters before writing to my grandfather. Dad would proof-read my drafts, so that there were no grammatical mistakes or ‘typos’. Then I would use my favourite pen to write that on paper and post it to him. I used paper and envelope and usually grandfather would use those inland letters.
As the years piled on his shoulders, his alphabets buckled a little under them. The ‘trunks‘ would be a bit wobbly and the ‘tails’ would be short. The dark blue jotter ink would dance in a ‘justified’ way (in MS Word parlance). The letters were a bit shorter in length.
And then, one day he died. And with it, died the blue inland letter.