Letter- Chitthi Aayi Hai! (You received a letter)


I bring with me today, the whiff of old letters.

Back in the 1970s my father moved to a different town for work. I speak of those days when it took seven to eight hours to cover a distance that would take merely three to four hours today. My grandfather, who lived in Chandigarh then, would write to us every week. I was only about five or so, but I vividly remember the blue colour inland envelopes that would be slid from under the door. We didn’t have a letter rack or a letter holder. My father, in turn, ensured writing back every weekend. It was a ritual. My mom, I remember, would send ‘rakhi’ in an envelope to her brothers every year along with a hand-written letter. Although, we always joked how her letters had the same format and were only copy- paste versions of each year.

So, it was but natural, that I picked up letter-writing long before it was introduced in school. But obvious, the first person I wrote to was my grandfather. And gradually, we started receiving two letters from him every weekend. One for my dad and one for me. He had a beautiful hand-writing and always used an ink pen. My father is also blessed with a lovely writing and without the fear of sounding vain, let me state that I inherited the craft from them.

When means of communication were less, we probably had a lot to say. I used to write very long letters, running into several pages. Now that we are only a call away from people our conversations have reduced to monosyllables or simple emojis. Here, let me state, that I do regret not having kept a single letter written by my grandfather.

Since Shimla had severe winters, we would be whisked off for three months to my grandparents’ house. Dad couldn’t accompany us for that long a period, because getting an off was probably as tough back then as it is now. That was the time when the two of us wrote to each other. Needless to say, those were the best conversations I had with him.

As I grew, I started writing to my cousins and friends. Receiving their letters was Joie De Vivre. I think the written word was the bond between us. Some times I feel that had letter- writing never ebbed and died, people might just have flourished a little more together.

My husband and I were in a long-distance relationship for many years. It was a time when mobile phones were not very popular and both receiving and making calls was exorbitant. I was staying in a hostel and the plight of that one land line telephone in the girls’ hostel cannot be justifiably stated. So, we both resorted to writing letters to each other. And don’t gasp if I tell you that we wrote to each other every day! I do have those stacks of letters with me even today and I keep going back to them, specially whenever we have the customary husband-wife banter. After twelve years of our married life, we again went through a separation period of three years due to work commitment. But by then, mobile phones and WhatsApp calls had taken over. Honestly, I do wish some of these inventions had never taken place.

They say, distance makes the heart grow fonder. Maybe this was for the times when letter-writing was common. Because you could cuddle the hugs sent across the seven seas.

Writing this piece today warmed my heart and I do hope that the warmth could reach you as well!


Image source: internet

This post is a part of Blogchatter’s AtoZ Challenge. You may read the other posts here.

18 thoughts on “Letter- Chitthi Aayi Hai! (You received a letter)”

  1. Thanks for any other informative blog. The place else could I get that kind of info written in such a perfect method? I have a undertaking that I am just now working on, and I have been at the glance out for such info.

  2. This post has certainly warmed my heart Sonia.
    Aah for those long gone days of writing letters to parents, siblings and cousins. Miss them. Your post brought back memories. 😊

  3. Ohhhh! Those words at the end… “Because you could cuddle the hugs sent across the seven seas.” So apt yaar! Love them! Totally worth quoting!

    I also loved writing looooong letters in the pre-socialmedia era. We even exchanged equally long emails, so I won’t say that the internet killed all those long conversations. And when I started really missing all those personal stories, I created my blog.

    I still have all those letters from my best friends from school. None of my family members have ever been into letter writing though. My sister says I write too much! The one time I wrote a letter to one of my cousins, he got so stumped by my writing that he never wrote back!


    Anyway, my L post is finally up. Find it @ 5 Must-Have Luggage Essentials That Are Most Overlooked | Best Luggage For Easy Travel

  4. This post of yours has taken be back down the memory lane. Even I’ve a pile of letters stored received from my friends during school days. Ohh! How I miss those golden days!

  5. We wrote letters to each other even though we shared the room Sonia … to make up with each other 😋😜..indeed , yours were always long ones . I must be having a few I am sure . This post got a smile on my face after a stressful day 👍😊😘

  6. Feeling nostalgia..I remember my mother used to write letter to my grandparents and we used to send Rakhis to our cousins with letter attached to it..those days are gone now. Lovely article..

  7. Vandana Bhagra

    I guess our kids won’t really enjoy this art of Letter writing, it will just be reduced to learning in Grammar Lessons… it is a really nice piece…

  8. I LOVED this post! I adore letters and writing letters, and my husband and I continue to correspond through them even today. We had a long-distance relationship for a long time too; several years of our courtship was in different cities. We used to write letters of all kinds – physical and virtual. This post has the aroma of all things good and heartwarming – just what I needed on a Saturday! 🙂

    P.S.: You might enjoy this post: https://paneerandpulao.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/letters-to-my-love/

  9. I remember the post cards and blue inland letters that my Ma would receive from my maternal grandparents. When I moved to a hostel, my parents would send me letters and it would feel like I could feel their love all the way. A beautiful walk down the memory lane kind of post.

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