Bringing back to life nostalgia of letters

Drishti, who studies Applied Linguistics at University of Hyderabad, was moved by this idea and decided to do something similar here.

By Author   |   Published: 17th May 2018   12:04 am Updated: 16th May 2018   10:48 pm
Members and volunteers of Hyderabad Poetry Project at Dogs Park, Necklace Road.

Hyderabad: There are millennials demanding more emoticons for instant messaging apps. At the same time, there are also millennials who are reviving the human touch of communication that has been lost to technology.

Taking inspiration from a group of young volunteers in Bengaluru, community organisation Hyderabad Poetry Project (HPP) has started an initiative where letters are typed out on a typewriter dating back almost a century.

“My grandfather left me a Remington typewriter made in the US in 1920. It was in use till 1995 and was then packed off for 23 years. But all it took for coming back to life was some oiling. We are writing out personal letters for strangers on postcard-size colour paper pieces, and we don’t charge. If there are donations, we spend the amount received on social causes,” Drishti Nagda, co-founder of the organisation who is leading this initiative, said. She is supported by a core team of five and an extended team of tens of volunteer friends.

A group of youngsters set up stall outside Blossoms bookstore in Bengaluru every weekend, and write personal letters for passersby in their effort to revive the culture of writing letters — longhand or typed. Drishti, who studies Applied Linguistics at University of Hyderabad, was moved by this idea and decided to do something similar here.

“While we started with only one typewriter, more may join in. There are no set rules. We started two Sundays ago, and we shall keep it going every Sunday, at whichever public place works out at the moment. We have written letters at the Dogs Park, Necklace Road and The Sheraton Hotel, Gachibowli. A nine-year-old boy wanted to tell his dogs how much they mean to him, and we wrote one letter to each of his pets from him,” Drishti said.

At The Sheraton Hotel, a cancer survivor wanted to tell her son and daughter to be strong even if she did not make it. “We wrote free verse poetry letters in first person for her, one each addressed to her son and daughter. She was worried about them more than about herself,” Drishti said, adding that such encounters make their effort worthwhile.