Sunday, June 17, 2007


Sumant showed me a file which was looking very old from the appearance.
"What is this?" I asked.
"The letters Nikhil wrote to me" said Sumant.
"Wow so many letters?"
"Yes, they are 303 letters in total", Sumant was smiling as if he was proud to express this accomplishment.
"And are these the answers to your letters?" was my consequent question.
"Well, yes some of them are answers to my letters and some are written to me directly".

"They are dated 1990, so they are so old"
"Yes those were days when there was not much email and messenger communication popular. You know even the mobile phones were not much in the markets and people used to write letters to each other", Sumant said this as if he is describing dinosaurs from pre-historic ages. We laughed which confirmed we both have enjoyed the joke.

"I can feel the passion of collecting letters in a file so you can go back any time and read them again", said I
"Wow! you hit the nail", said Sumant, "that was the best part of those letters. I still go through them and spent many hours sometimes reading those moments. Nikhil is a poet so many a times he used to write poetry while writing to me, so that was first cut poetry written just for me."

"But you know what", I interrupted Sumant.
"This electronic era ruined all the magic in communication. Now people don’t write letters"
"You cannot say so people still write letters", argued Sumant.
"Do you still write letters? Do you still add new received letters to this file?" was my cruel question.
"No, now-a-days Nikhil doesn't get that much time so he could write a letter on paper and neither do I. But yes there is email now"
"Oh, yes but what about the charm and the collection of letters which used to give happiness in many folds"

"Sumant smiled at me"
"What? Why are you smiling?"
"My friend", Sumant said "you have to find ways to achieve the same thing in new environment"
"I was perplexed", I thought I missed something because what Sumant was saying was going bouncer to me.
"Can you explain?" was my innocent question

"See you mentioned the magic of letters coming by post and the collection of those letters in a file as we have done and the going back to each letter again facility"
"Yes how romantic it feels"
"We still do all those things but in different ways."
"No way" I exclaimed "you mean you still writing letters and collecting them so you can go back and read again? Without papers? With emails? Emails doesn’t have that charm” I was sounding like a disappointed person.

"See", said Sumant "how you utilize the tools is completely your choice and we can use it creatively"
"Ok, let me tell you what we do now a day so you can appreciate the creativity"
I was all ears now...

"There are many email providing sites now a days which provide email accounts with lots of space. We can create many accounts for us on those free sites. We chose Google mail GMail for us and opened an account for just the two of us. We don’t use that account as an email account. Actually both of us operate that account so we both have username and password of this account."

"You mean a single account is operated by both of you? And how does it work?"
"I write a letter to my account and post it so it is received in the same account and remains there as unread letter. When he logs into the account he can see the unread letter in bold font so he opens that letter and reads it. He replies to that letter and that also is received in the same account."

"Wow, so you use this mail account as a file for letters"
"Yes now you got it, we can go back any time and see old letters and now we can even attach photos, songs and different type of files to our letters."

"Wow this seems a great idea", said me
"Yes and now we got a universally available file of letters. And you know Google also provides documents, calendar and photos support for the same account so we got to store lots of things which is even better that our old days paper file."

"True", I said agreeing fully with Sumant. What an idea I said to myself. "But Sumant this will need lots of trust in each other because you share the same username and password?"

"Yes but that is what friendship is, isn't it?" he asked "It is built on trust"

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

(photo by Muffet originally from flickr)