Monday, September 27, 2010

Pleasures of letter writing - contd !

It was very heartening to note the overwhelming response to my first blog. It has encouraged me to go in for the next one - albeit on the same subject - immediately. So here are the stray thoughts - flying all over my head - right in black and white ;

In response to my blog Varun - my son - expressed his disappointment in not being able to have the pleasure of reading his grandpa's letters. Well none of the grand children enjoyed this privilege as they were all very young when he passed away.But I did manage to save a dozen or so of his letters written to my daughter Chaitra(5 years at that time), for the next generation. It doesn't say much but the way it is written - in big bold letters so that she could read it easily - says a lot. I will request my son to scan it and add to my next blog and request all you youngsters to follow this habit to make your little ones happy. Send the PP cards from the lovely places you visit on your business trip. If you are too busy to shop for the PP cards carry them as a habit after purchasing them in bulk.If it is a tour in India post them plain post cards. They will love it. It is not enough if you love them you have to express it. You can do this with your spouses too but no post cards here please !!

If I ever have the opportunity to visit Europe - I think I will as I am a die hard optimist - not many places therein will appear strange to me and the credit for this goes to my only sister Meera Gururaja who was in France in the late 70's with her husband, thanks to ISRO. They toured Europe no doubt but we too had a ring side view of all the places thanks to her excellent letter writing habit .She is to keep us updated about every small details of their tour which we used to enjoy as much as them if not more. These letters used to be my solace - apart from father's letters - when I was serving in remote villages of Madhya Pradesh. People might say that the telephone has shrunk the world into a village. It is true no doubt but written words have a magic of their own which spoken words can't beat. While reading a letter - written as a travelogue - you can go back to the details time and again and live the journey all over which makes the pleasure doubly so. Now a days people seem to feel that others are not interested in small details of places and their perceptions and hence hesitate to share it with their loved ones. Don't make this mistake. Reach out . You won't regret it. It will be like planting the seed of a fruit tree. You might not get to eat the fruit yourself but some one some where will relish it and will probably carry on this good legacy. If any one feels I am sounding like a preacher, my sincere apologies. But I will be back again soon. Let God bless you all.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The first step

I am an excited youngster of just 59 years old as I take baby steps into the world of blogosphere. This was never my cup of tea as I grew in a world where letter writing was considered an art. I had fine tuned it thanks to the opportunities I had in my formative years. Some of the great letter writers - obviously - were my close ones the best being my father C.D.Govinda Rao who not only wrote exceptionally informative and loving letters but they were instructive as well. This was perhaps very much expected as he was the first PhD in English literature from the good old University of Mysore.Leaving the safe heaven of the warm house hold at the young age of 21 years (1972) I had the privilege of corresponding with my father for 12 years till he passed away into an eternal silent world.

I knew the pleasure of writing and receiving letters ever since I was 9 years old because of my cousin C.R.Nagaraja Rao who had ventured out of the country in true search of knowledge and not for the love of dollars. He started by sending picture post cards with a few lines written at the back side from all most all the places he visited in the US of A as a research scientist and one of the earliest employee of NASA. The names of the places and the pictures of the monuments had been so well hidden in the deep recess of my mind that when I actually had the opportunity to see those places in the year of 2007 they all looked so familiar !! This is the magic of letter writing. Well to say thanks to my cousin Nagaraj then was not possible as he too had joined my father in 2001. I did tell my Vainee (sister in law) that my visit to her place in Virginia was like a pilgrimage for me and I meant it wholeheartedly.

Another person whose memory I cherish with respect to letter writing is my late uncle C.Ranganatha Rao more famously known as C.R.Rao in the circle of advertising to people who were active in this field some 5/6 decades earlier. His letters were mostly written to my father which my mother and all my siblings used to read in that order. It used to be more like a treatise on all things under the sun with special emphasis on Kannada literature and the writers .The brothers between them knew all most all the writers from close quarters right from Kuvempu to SL Bhyrappa who was an emerging author then.The so called path breaking writers like UR Ananthamurthy and Lankesh were my fathers students and friends of my uncle and this helped them to know the ideas and ideals of the author better. How I wish I had preserved those letters to-day. It would have been a master piece on the growth of Kannada literature in the decades 60s and 70s.

I think I will stop my stray thoughts for the time being as my son - a regular blogger - feels readers might just give a go by if the thoughts are too stretched. Will come back soon on letter writing and a lot more.