1. Have an Interesting Snippet to Share : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice
  2. If someone taught you via skype, what would you want to learn? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice

Stamped Out By Progress

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by twinsmom, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    708
    Likes Received:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Female
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"><meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 10"><meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 10"><link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5Ckarthik%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="City"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="country-region"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="place"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="stockticker"></o:smarttagtype><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} </style> <![endif]--> This morning Giri paid us a visit. Giri is a young entrepreneur, if so sophisticated a term can be used in the outback like ours. He is a professional cook with an impressive turnover. He had supplied us with food for 13 days plus undertaken the formal feeding program on the 10<sup>th</sup> and 13<sup>th</sup> days of Appa’s death ceremonies. Somehow I liked the attitude of the young man and kept in touch with him, ordering savouries and sweets to be sent or taken to UAE and to my kids.

    Seeing him so early in the morning however was a surprise. For a minute I wondered if he was there to ask something of me…money, perhaps? Well…he wanted something alright, but his request surprised me.

    “Madam, can you give a couple of stamps?” he said. “I need them urgently,” he added.
    I opened the drawer Appa’s office table and pulled out the brown leather folder in which he used to store his supply of postage stamps. I had recently replenished the stock of 5, 3 and 2 Rupee stamps. As I was about to take them out, Giri told, “ Illaa Madam, Use maadiruva Stamp beku.” (No, Ma’am, I want used stamps) . Oh! I said and started looking for envelopes with stamps. While I was rummaging among the old magazines, empty envelopes and paraphernalia in the magazine stand, Giri explained why he wanted used stamps. His son had to do some project as a part of his school assignment and he needed used stamps. He couldn’t get any.

    I was surprised. I know Giri doesn’t have a computer at home yet, but he must be receiving letters via snail mail. “Mostly inlands and post cards, very rarely envelopes,” he said. “If any registered letter comes, it no longer has any postage stamp on it. Instead there you find a seal in indelible ink.”

    Well, I searched high and low for an envelope with stamps, but couldn’t find even one with postage stamp stuck to it. Giri looked disappointed. ( Parents are the greatest facilitators for kids these days!). I started thinking furiously about where I might have stowed some used envelope and T<st1:stockticker>RRRR</st1:stockticker>RING! A bell rang in my head.

    “Just a minute, Giri,” I said and ran in. I opened my cupboard and opened my locker. Stored inside are my twin sons’ collection of coins, stamps and other knickknacks. I took out the various envelopes in which stamps were put in. I didn’t want to give away any precious stamp from the collection. In a few minutes I was able to take out two different stamps with the post office seal quite visible across their face. A very grateful Giri accepted them and thanking me profusely, hurried back to his house where probably, the son was waiting in uniform, tie and shoes, for his Dad to bring his homework material.

    This little predicament made me think seriously about another tradition that is fast disappearing. With the advent of mobile phones and internet in our lives, certain traditions are facing death due to negligence. Giri’s grandson probably won’t even ever see an inland or post card…leave alone a postage stamp! Will post offices close down altogether? Last month when I was in Sharjah I went around looking for blank audio cassettes. Everywhere salespersons gave me blank look which turned into a sneer before they said, No Ma’am we don’t have tapes anymore. Somebody told me that even CDs and DVDs are expected to become obsolete…

    Coming back to postage stamps, I feel a little guilty. Last time I met my Mom, I had promised to write her proper long letters, the kind we used to exchange when I was newly married and lived in <st1:country-region><st1:place>Iraq</st1:place></st1:country-region>. My parents and in laws used to write letters and send them to the company’s head office in <st1:city><st1:place>Delhi</st1:place></st1:city>. From there we used to get Daak whenever someone came – one of the directors, or any new recruits or even labourers. We’d wait for the day flight from <st1:country-region><st1:place>India</st1:place></st1:country-region> would land. The next day we’d get letters, sent from the HO in Bagdhad to various sites. Those letters were very precious. My Mom used to write pages and pages about all little things happening back home…my Dad would also write page in his neat handwriting. My sister would scrawl a page or two for me… I’d read them again and again and write pages and pages of news from my end…especially after the twins were born.

    Why, ten years back, my sons who were in Ramakrishna Vidyashala used to write to us in UAE and we used to write back to them. The five years they spent there we have written letters to each other. Then seven years back, a gadget called ‘cell phone’ changed our lives forever. That and the internet made us too lazy to take a pen and indulge in the fine art of writing letters to our near and dear ones. Initially, communication was a few hurried exchange of news and the bittersweet lingering of the voice at the other end for days till we dared to call again. Nowadays, everyone walks around with head cocked to one side, a mobile phone attached to one ear, murmuring, talking or yelling out personal matter in public. Excesses are the order of the day what with various telecommunication companies offering very cheap and affordable prices to fillip their business and to retain clients. Teens can SMS faster than they can breathe … They have given a whole new dimension to the art of sending and receiving messages. Even five and six year olds use a phone, at least to play games or to take photos.

    Five years back, I had to teach my Grade students how to write a telegram and post card using the correct ( Indian) format. I had to carry inlands and post cards to show my UAE born Indian students that such things exist in <st1:country-region><st1:place>India</st1:place></st1:country-region>. When I painstakingly explained to the format of a telegram and demanded that they learn to do it ditto, one put her hand up to air her doubt. “ Ma’am, if I want to convey something so urgent to my parents or grandparents, I’d phone them, why should I bother with filling forms and writing in strange grammarless series of words?”

    She had me stumped there… Our CBSE syllabus is terribly outdated. Maybe they should teach them how to email…of course 80% of them would know how to as, now a days, the kids can teach us a few nuances of communication. A couple of days back, I went to <st1:city><st1:place>Mysore</st1:place></st1:city> by car. Early morning, in a place like Kikkeri or Gandasi, I found a school girl, waiting for her bus, a mobile phone glued to her ear. Mobile phones have taken over the nation, they are here to stay.

    And we better get ready to bury the tradition called letter writing. Postage stamps will be things to be seen in museums….or sold as collectibles.
     
    Loading...

  2. natpudan

    natpudan Gold IL'ite

    Messages:
    8,420
    Likes Received:
    233
    Trophy Points:
    183
    Gender:
    Male
    Twinsmom,

    How true & sad it is for us to realize that some of these things close to our hearts are becoming a thing of the past similar to those endangered species.

    You have reminded me of the letters my dad used to write to me and the eagerness with which he would wait to receive my replies.

    I am peserving those in memory of him & in memory of the bygone method of communication of the past. The pleasure in writing & receiving is equal to nothing.

    In the last 10 years, I don't remember having written a single letter or received one from any one.

    I was an ardent collector of stamps & coins and won numerous prizes for that.

    My kids haven't picked that hobby from me. Nothing to blame since they haven't seen a letter or written a letter themselves.

    Time to change the syllabus not only on this subject but in many.

    There was a recent Tamizh movie in which the hero used to write a letter through out the movie, no wonder it was a (post) box office failure in this generation.

    Most of the government offices, banks are still continuing the letters to clients, so this form of communication is still in existance, but for how long?

    Once franking came into usage widely, even these letters do not bear the stamps anymore.

    More of the means & technologies of yester years are in serious trouble for existence - The Endangered Species, we may call them.
     
  3. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    13,153
    Likes Received:
    5,810
    Trophy Points:
    545
    Gender:
    Male
    Dear Viju,

    Well well, a lovely blog, bringing back old memories.We have forgotton how our handwriting looks like:rotflThe telegram people , they just come for Diwali Bakshish, the 180 telephone booking people are obsolute, and yes even the maids and the vegetables have better mobiles than us, rather than me, what to say.

    And yes the kids can teach us a thing or two eh ! Agreed.

    Superb one from u once again.

    Regards

    kamal
     
  4. Padmini

    Padmini IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    6,795
    Likes Received:
    1,177
    Trophy Points:
    345
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear twins mom,
    A thought provoking post. Really your attempt in searching an envelope with stamp, brought to me the memories of (G)
    olden days. Still i feel not one modern communications marvel can replace a letter. It is more than a communication. It is a gift. A letter can have special powers. It can be more intimate and touching than even a conversation. It can be more personal than any telephone call.They are special because they show that you care to take a little extra time and effort to communicate in a more personal manner with someone you care about. Who knows, maybe it will be your letter that a grandchild reads 35 years from now and remembers you. Even now I remember, the moments I used to wait for my mom's affectionate letter enquiring about my health when I was in Hostel.
    People rarely acknowledge the miscommunication problems that arise from using e-mail rather than phone or face-to-face communication, possibly because one rarely knows when the tone or intent of their e-mails have been misread.E-mail is a necessity in business and life, but it is no replacement for letter writing.When we die, our e-mail exchanges may vanish into thin air, other than perhaps in the archives of Yahoo or Google or, if friends store such things, in their own storage.
    with love
    pad


     
  5. Tubelight

    Tubelight Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Gender:
    Female
    Hi !

    Only while reading about your frantic search for a postage stamp did it suddenly strike me that I have not gone to a post office or bought a postage stamp for....let me see, three years now ! Three whole years ! And i hadn't even given it half a stray thought ! Times change so imperceptibly and often some old routine dies quietly, unsung !

    I remember those "Letter writing" exercises we were made to do in school. Had to be mindful of where to place the sender's address, when to use " yours faithfully" and when "yours sincerely" . Much ado about what has today become , nothing ! Even formal letters these days do not conform to those Wren & Martin examples !

    Though e-mails and Msgs. have come into rampant usage, the Government keeps issuing colourful stamps peridically - probably to satisfy the appetite of Philatelists. The few communications that do arrive by snail mail carry only franking marks. The post office itself has introduced Hybrid Mail that delivers faster than the snail, but also without stamp.

    I was very amused to read the remark of that perplexed student that stumped you . Only children can come up with gems like that ! And CBSC is snoring complacently........

    Yes, Audio Cassettes are passe. But more frustrating is the fact that individual ( not 2- or 3-in ones) Audio Cassette players are also, naturally, passe ! Walkmans are extinct too. My old player has gone phut and I am sitting on 250 precious cassettes that cannot sing for me. :-(

    Lovely read, T.Mom !:thumbsup
     
  6. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    4,839
    Likes Received:
    3,734
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Gender:
    Male
    Viju I suppose we have to hold on to all our postage stamps. For in a few years they may be worth a fortune as antique items! Not only the rare stamps but even ordinary ones may fetch a good price because of curio value. Why only letter writing, the telegraph office near my place has closed down. Sending telegrams even greetings telegrams has become obsolete in these days of internet. and SMSes. Forms of expression are being determined by technology!
     
  7. Jpatma

    Jpatma Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,550
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Gender:
    Female
    Hi Twinsmom,

    Letters in hardcopy is out, so does the stamp. Last year i stopped buying newspaper and subscribed to read it on line. So now when i get a hard copy i hold it with love.
    I suppose our great grandfathers were relishing the olais, its matter of time grandchildren won't know anything about letters.
    Only people like us caught in between the past and future relish all these.

    As usual your style is commendable.
    Jaya
     
  8. feduptocore

    feduptocore Senior IL'ite

    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Female
    Viju... this is one of the topics so close to my heart as I love collecting stamps.. as I child i used to be so fascinated by stamps from different countries and whenever my dad toured aboard or in India he would send me a small note. he would go to the post office and make sure that they would give him a unique stamp for his darling DD... i've just realised how precious those moments would be for him....
    just over the lunch table today at office I was discussing my 1st salary with my junior staff and she could stop giggling!!!..it was RS 100/- stipend!! during my student days... and I was telling them how these kids will never experience the naivety of life as they take all for granted...
    We too have the most treasurable songs on cassettes when we bought a new car we wanted a player with cassette player and the dealer was shocked!!! but we managed to get one.... Our Video player has conked off and there is no one to repair!!! and we have a treasure of movies recorded on them...
    todays mantra is use and throw... and then they worry about waste disposal!!!
    K
     
  9. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    708
    Likes Received:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Female
    Hi natpudan,

    I wish I could start writing letters again...but what with reading, blogging, watching TV and certain DVDs from collection, there's hardly any time for sitting down to writing letters. It seems easier to call and talk! Sad but true!

    And we.... are a generation like the rope in a tug of war game... pulled from both sides - the past and the future!
     
  10. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    708
    Likes Received:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Female
    Kamalji,

    Hello! I fully agree with you that the maid and the milk woman have better mobiles than ours. Mine is a Motorola I bought 4 years ago... the Nokia I had earlier, was given to the twin who wanted a spare phone ( and he lost it in a month!) I just don't buying new mobiles, simply because I don't have any exhaustive use for them. Just make calls, receive calls and send and receive SMSes... I have not explored the options available on my mobile...still.
    I know we have to move with times... but is it sentimental arthritis that makes such movement difficult????
     

Share This Page