On Writing Letters

“Oh, her? Writing letters is just her way to show off that she is better than others”, said a colleague. The way words scar you and leave you hurting inside, only words can do.

Sometimes, I wonder about things people talk. Mostly, when they talk things you least expect to hear. That is one reason I prefer books to people. They tell you of things only when you are prepared to accept them, unlike people. Before I begin let me state clearly that this is not meant to offend anyone but just to highlight how insensitive we tend to get sometimes. Or maybe I am just so offended that I am blogging about it.

One of my colleagues explicitly expressed this in a group I’m a part of. It is not about what she said that hurt, but the fact that she derived her conclusions and stated them all too publicly that hurt. Okay, now I do believe in life-transforming quotes like “Don’t let what others say affect you”, etc. but the bottom line remains, it does pinch you.
Truth hurts bad whereas Falsehood hurts like shit.

While ranting about it to my mother a few days ago, suddenly my mother got up and walked away. I sat thinking that I wearied her too just like my friends. But she came back a moment later with a worn-out folded sheet of paper that she handed out to me. It was a letter I had written to her when I was 7 or so. A day she was sad and sobbing over my grandpa’s (her father’s) demise. Although full of errors, I had tried to console her in my way, in as many words possible. She had kept it safe and maybe for this day. I tried to make sense of the letter’s content but failed terribly. All she said to me was, “You used to write even when you didn’t know to write.”

It reminded me how I used to leave hand-written letters in my father’s dresser before leaving for school sometimes telling him about things that I wronged in school, sometimes apologizing for having him upset and angry at me and I don’t think I was flaunting my literary skills at that age too. I was always just too nervous to talk things, express them verbally. And writing letters was my ideal escape. Over the years as I grew up, I wrote short letters to school teachers, my tutors, classmates, my pet dog after he died and some close friends expressing things I couldn’t talk of. Somehow, even now, just like then, I prefer to write because I know I can express myself better in writing than out loud. Showing off a trait is when you are exceptionally good at it, maybe, even best. While I am none, I don’t see why I would do just that.

So, dear reader, if you someday receive a letter from a nerd like myself, before you conclude, do understand that writing letters is more than a hobby for a kind of people called introverts, it is a way of life for them.
Asha Seth