It is an oft quoted regret that one feels when one sees the art of writing vanishing. In of my favorite scenes from the film ‘Sex and the City’, Carrie Bradshaw while dating Mr. Big shows him a book that she is reading- 100 famous love letters. Later, when they have an argument due to the wedding disaster, Mr. Big cannot think of any other way to apologize and to express his love except through typing these love letters and sending them via mail. This is what ultimately floors Carrie.
It is this moment where technology becomes personalized and personal when he types a letter of love and Carrie finds it in her inbox- a moment colored with nostalgia in the history of all die-hard romantics. The disappearance of perfumed letters in tandem with the extinction of the friendly postman is another moment that indicates this dilemma strongly. Letters carrying such wonderful smells of flowers and dried petals recalled to the mind the person themselves leaving behind an intense fragrance of memory. Even those amateurish letters scrawled on sheets torn from notebooks and written in a hurry to be handed to that crush were something special- affectionate souvenirs to be cherished long afterwards when we were done becoming adults.
These do not seem to have much significance in this day and age and neither do I have an argument with technology or instant messaging services. They have managed to connect us to a global web of ideas and perspectives. The space that technology occupies has it’s own benefits but the space that these handwritten fragrant tokens of love come to occupy in the memory remain fixed there, never getting lost in the fast evolving machine and rhetoric of money and power. So do those essential lines of verse copied on paper that one would sit down and pore over for hours just to select the right expression. The image of someone penning a romantic verse with paper balls littering the floor is an eternal token to be treasured-not a physical or a concrete one but definitely an experiential reality. The act of unfolding those multiple paper balls to make sense of the tangled mess of thoughts dedicated to someone would have been even more fascinating if one ever had the chance. Though paper wastage is something that one would not encourage now but the image still gleams perennially in one’s memory.
Technology on the other hand has bestowed us with the ability of sending live recordings of songs, reciting verses and even face time for distant lovers when required. These are the newer tokens that define the changing dynamics of tokens of love- no permanence. You won’t forever save that message or recording n your phone and you would not chance on them suddenly one day when sorting through your old school or college memorabilia. They will adorn the corners of your brain and the virtual archives imitating a hyper reality.
Isn’t it better to pen a verse or hand a perfumed letter, to make that effort of gifting someone a token of love that they would treasure forever? Isn’t it better to sometimes to go old school nostalgic rather than the new tech-savy way? Or maybe do what Mr. Big did type those famed words of appreciation and devotion and mail them- integrating the new and the old. Maybe that would have the magical effect.
Image Credits: Google Images
About the Author
Aspiring writer who likes to see the different colors of the world and then write them down. Shrehya Taneja is currently studying English literature at Delhi University and likes to keenly observe things. She is a forever aspiring author who is interested in viewing the world differently. Among other things she loves books and traveling along with her pet dog and the simple things in life.
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