“A Letter A Day” – My soulful journey

A sabbatical can do wonders for you. Today, happens to be the last day of a six month long blissful leave. This phase has transformed me as a person. Till the sabbatical happened, I was just passing through my life – aimlessly, diligently and mournfully! As I look back upon these six months, I am glad I took this plunge. Obviously it wasn’t easy and we all know the best things in the world do not come through with a click of a button. The netizens and foodies might argue here, “Butter chicken and kadai paneer are just a click away!” I counter it with the argument that live the sabbatical and then we will sit together to debate which is better!!

As I proceeded on my leave, I allowed myself to relax. Believe it or not but it took about two months to de stress and accept a life away from the hum-drum of a chaotic job. Thankfully I did not have a particular agenda for this duration. I indulged in activities which appealed me. We do call social media a vice but it propelled me to a plethora of activities which were being conducted in the close vicinity. As I indulged in them, I grew as a person. One such activity was Shinrin Yoku or Forest Healing Walks.

I started the Forest Healing Walks in December. These walks are meditative in nature and they touch upon your subconscious mind. And there lay in a corner of my subconscious my passion for writing letters. I was elated to connect with this memory. I loved writing letters as a teenager. I wrote to my friends and family members especially my nani. Since papa was in the Army, we moved places and there was all the more reason to write. As an adult in 20s, I wrote numerous letters to my bestie till my boy friend – my husband to be, entered the arena. Time passed, we got married and parallely social media took over our lives. Letter writing as an art, was forgotten. It was easier to type a message on the phone or easier still was making a call. 

One fine day, about two months back, I embarked on the journey – A Letter A Day! This was to revive my passion for writing letters. My friend’s gyan, “In the present, we are happiest when we do the activities which gave us solace in our bachpan (childhood)” held so true. The letter writing has given me immense joy and needless to say the recipient of the letter also feels important, elated and rejoices in holding a letter which is especially written for her/him.

Initially, I wrote letters to all the people to whom I had never written-to earlier. It wasn’t easy and I enjoyed the mini-challenge it posed. There was a degree of discomfort which made it pleasurable. As I sat down to write, I had no particular person in mind. My heart identified the person and then the baton was passed on to my mind. 

Each day, my mind was taken over with the flood of memories associated with that one person. These were the beautiful intricately woven memories which lay somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind. While traversing in the digital world, we forget to connect with our subconscious mind but with letter writing, I pause, I look deep within my memory bank, see the familiar reflection of the person, find pleasure in what I see; how that person was associated with me, the memories we made, the times spent together and how they have made a difference in my life. I go through a gamut of emotions and then…I write! 

Who are these people I write to? They are my uncle and aunts, cousins, grandparents from the extended family, some are from the fauji connect with whom I had stayed in touch mostly through fb after papa’s death. Later came my friends! I am blessed to have so many people to write letters to. It is a long list and it is growing with each passing day, for e.g. day before I wrote to the son of my father’s friend and the other day I wrote to my best friend’s father. (Unfortunately my friend had passed away few years back after giving birth to a charming baby girl.)

Do I type the letters – bilkul nahi (not at all)! I have handwritten all the letters. No postcards so no shortcuts. I have given only one privilege to myself – when I write in Hindi I allow myself to write on a smaller page.

When I told my first recipient, my mamaji that I had written to him, he asked me in all innocence, “Have you sent it on WhatsApp or e-mailed it?”. Even in his wildest of imagination he could not perceive that I had ‘handwritten’ a letter in this time and age! 

In today’s world, it is still easier to write a letter than to find a letter box to post one in. I have literally walked extra miles to post the letter in a post office. There aren’t any letter boxes in the colonies, like earlier.

When I had set out, I wasn’t even sure if the letters would be delivered. In anticipation, I scanned each letter before posting it. If the recipient did not get the letter, I could atleast (unwilling) WhatsApp it. Most of the letters have been delivered by Indian Post and the others over WhatsApp.

What’s more? I have inspired at least two people to reply in the similar fashion. Yes, believe it or not, I have received TWO hand written letters in these two months. My daughter thought I was the only insane person to pursue a hobby which was long dead, now she is surprised to know there are few more of my tribe. The others recipients have either texted me or called me to express their feelings. The main thing is that we connected!

My treasure!!

These handwritten replies have made me realise one important aspect of letter writing which I forgot to mention. When the letter is written (handwritten), we usually tend to convey our feelings which otherwise are not spoken. No one prohibits us from saying them but generally we tend not to express them verbally. We best express them when we write. Thus with letter writing there is a deeper connect. And this art is far more creative than the fancy texts and visuals on the social media which we unmindfully forward to the others. I am sure I can even beat ChatGPT at this with my heartfelt exclusive letters!

So far, this journey has been enchanting. Unlike the Vande Bharat super-fast train journey, it doesn’t whiz past at a fast pace. This pleasant journey is like the one taken sitting in a passenger train – life happens here! You sit at leisure, form a connect with the sights and sounds, look around, form a bond with the person next to you, do a bit of soul searching together…and then when you disembark at the destination, you feel richer and happier with the experience. 

A Letter A Day – has been my soulful journey which I intent to continue for my own sake and to bring a smile on so many more faces!



  1. Dearest Charu
    My kindred soul
    Yes I love writing letters

    I love to connect with people

    Send me your address and I will write to you

    My address is
    Chitra Prasad
    10 Exmoor place
    London Ontario
    Canada N5 X 3 W 2

    Love blessings
    Chitra Mausi


  2. You got an amazing soul. Always searching for something tempting, something extraordinary. Waiting for my letter ☺️


  3. Awesome work Nani.

    Letter writing reminds me of my fauj days. The only solitude.

    Btw, mera number kab ayega??


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