Have you ever gone through old letters and mails of years ago? I did just that, the other day. Thousands of mails choked the inbox. So I sat down to declutter my inbox. After all the cleaning of spam mails and unwanted forwards what remained was a treasure of mail exchanges. It was a piece of past – forgotten, a big bunch of memories sitting safe in a corner of the web world.
So after the cleaning, I dug deep into the heap of treasure and had a wonderful time reading them. There were moments of warmth, smiles and love. Also an immense exchange of information and feelings. Treasured most were the mails to and from my husband exchanged, before our marriage. How I miss all the sweet nothings, the flirtatious and romance dipped mails!! This was followed by mails exchanged with my parents and brothers, as I set up a new home and settled into a new life and role of a wife. My cooking adventures and disasters. Precious lessons of discovery of how to run a home smoothly.
But what touched me deeply, were the mails that began with my first pregnancy. I literally ‘bump’ed into a vibrant group of pregnant ladies on indiaparenting.com, all due in late September and early October and we created a group of our own to keep in touch. The whole saga of pregnancy, the joys and hardships, were all there. Tears rolled down, as I read the posts of deliveries and the restlessness of those who were still counting days to see their new born. The exchange of first pictures, the ecstasy of the birth of a mother ( all of us were first time moms). The exchange of mails went on for more than three years with regulars updates from all. Second pregnancies followed, as though one inspired by the other. The mails slowed down with the arrival of the second child as we had gained more chores and experience, on hand. Its been more than a decade now and we are still in touch, September-October being the most active period with wishing our first born, Happy Birthday.
While these mails were touchy, another thread of mails was simply hilarious, that of the cousins’ group. I was in splits reading a list of common set downs given by our moms, most of them used the same lines to show us our place. Also a chain of mails that revealed the secret pranks played and who broke what at Granny’s place during summers holidays.
One mail revealed the username and password for flickr when Yahoo photos closed down and I had to transfer all the pictures of my son, with captions, from birth to two years. That was one big discovery as I was mourning for long that I had lost them all. I had even forgotten that I had successfully saved those pics and mailed myself the details. The pleasure of finding something that we thought permanently lost, is something indeed special. After the mails, it was this treasure, I pounced on!
Rare messages from old friends,that special mail by my brother sent on my birthday with a long list of quotes on sisters, mails by parents dripping with affection, are all safely tucked in a special folder.
It is such moments of discovery, that reveal the life’s journey and its ups and downs. The special milestones and small gestures that have touched us. The people and relationships that survived the test of time. Those, that changed the course of our lives. I saw a decade of growth, fall,joys and sorrows all summed up in these mails.
Letter writing vanished as e-mails became popular. But mails kept the tradition alive. But now, the new age instant messaging has made this beautiful saga of exchange of letters and mails, see a slow demise. The old mails have inspired me again, to log into my mail box and compose that long mail again, to mark new milestones. To capture my kids’ childhood and celebrate the small victories and failures of life in mails. So that after a decade when its time to declutter again, I have a reason to smile and shed tears of absolute joy.