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Sydney, Australia
My musings and meanderings on childhood - mine juxtaposed with that of my kids'. Everyday incidents and images from our life in Sydney turn my thoughts towards my own wonder years growing up in Bandra, Bombay, India.

15 November 2012

The Write Way

Caitlyn and I are at loggerheads at the moment. She flat-out refuses to practise her writing. I know, I know, she’s part of a texting-tweeting generation; my need to teach her the art of penmanship may remain a pipe dream.

My kindergarten report card (age: 5 years 4 months)

But I relish the chance to write something down on paper – a birthday card, a cheque, a To-Do list... There is something organic about writing; a connection between your physical and emotive selves, between your ideas and that blank sheet of paper. You have to distil the thoughts that somersault through your mind before you put them down. There’s no backspace. No cut and paste. No delete button. So you take more care. You pay more attention.

I remember when I was little, my Nana would write letters to our relatives scattered far and wide. Inland letter paper for domestic post; blue aerogrammes for international. I can still picture her beautiful cursive script – every loop and swirl languidly arching across the page. But first things first: the ink pen would take a delicate drink of indigo ink, and then, minding its manners, wipe its nib on a pink square of blotting paper. Soon the words would pour forth – yarns spun about family, friends and festivities; tales about love and loss, the minutiae of life... Once concluded, she would fold the letter upon itself with a lickety spit and, hand-in-hand, we’d stroll down the street to pop it into the gaping mouth of an old letterbox...

Then we would wait for a reply... Nana and I would peer out from the front porch, waiting for the khaki-clad postman to do his rounds. Never mind that the news was probably a couple of months’ old by the time it got to us! While my cousins and I would bicker over whose turn it was to get the fancy foreign stamps, Nana would pore over the letter, reading it once, reading it twice, savouring each word.

So tell me, do you have nice handwriting? Can you write cursively? When was the last time you wrote something? Did you ever write letters to anyone – a penpal, a relative, a lover? What do you remember most about this?

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back Al. I enjoy reading your blog. Don't stop writing them.


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