Ikea pencils… 
Postcards...

 

Stickers and stencils..

 

Bookmarks

 

Stationery… Anand Prakash goodie box..

Something magical about putting pen to paper and writing out words to a friend/loved one… The earliest memory I have is from my childhood when uncles & granpa would send me postcards from their trips [most of them were to exotic destinations in Europe or from Japan] I still have most of them, and have collected those sent to others in the family as well. 
 
Thus began my love for handwritten letters and notes. I started sending greeting cards for birthdays – uncles/cousins & friends.. Once we moved to Chennai, a junior school friend & I began exchanging letters, the only calls I received were on my birthday when he would find a PCO and call to wish. Similarly, I had a friend in high school who did not have a phone at home, and when we went to different colleges,  we kept in touch through letters, she again would call me on my birthday promptly.  The trend continued and being a stationery freak, I began buying interesting writing paper, stickers and what not. I continue to do so, just that now my collection has grown thanks to friends giving them as gifts as well. 
 
Another friend from college got married right after Bcom, and moved around a lot [ her husband is in the Navy] and again we kept in touch through letters, long detailed ones. Infact a few of hers had an extra sheet with stuff written by her husband. She event mentioned it once ” you are the only one apart from me that A has written a letter to”… he has amazing handwriting as well, very stylish… 
 
I used to write letters on onion paper [ different colours], add in colours and stickers to greeting cards and send them out. The joy in putting together these letters was something I cant explain [ heck, am actually smiling as I write about it]. Now, it has become a norm that whenever anyone in my circle [family or friends] is travelling, I get a postcard [either from the destination or they bring me back some]…  A few also sent me magnets and notebooks, all of which I treasure.. It used to be a running joke at home, esp mom who commented that when I got married, I would get my Stationery stash as dowry.. I used to threaten them saying “don’t you dare touch or move em, the earth will shatter if they threw them away…”  
 
During my trip to USA, the only things I picked up were pencils across all the places I visited, which are part of my prized possessions. I also loved that IKEA had these small pencils near their entrance along with brochures… 
 
Another prized possession is a box of goodies I received from Anand Prakash for being a part of his project back in 2013/14.. We had to send him a local paper and in return he sent us a box of goodies made with papers collecting across the world- it had coaster, pencils, notebook, journal, a neckpiece and more… 
 
I remember right after learning Calligraphy, I experimented with what I could on these cards and letters. Well, not very stylish or smart but what the heck, I loved adding a little doodle or word somewhere on the letter/card. 
 
Today I happily give away stuff to friends and their kids , and hold on only things that matter. I also collect bookmarks, and have quite a collection- 3D, paper, woven fibre, metal, wood and everything else you can think of. There are some I am willing to use but others sit in their packaging and get a fleeting glance every now and then. 
 
Even though there aren’t too many writing letters or sending greeting cards, I know I will continue. I also have the habit of adding little notes along with a gift , it would never just be a “with love, aarti”.. 🙂  I hopped on board the Postcrossing wagon, and exchanged quite a few, but somehow that kind of fazed off, mainly cos my post office moved to an inconvenient location… But then through the Indian group, made some friends who I am in touch. 
 
2019 new year was special – not only did I get the greeting card from my uncle in USA, I also got one from my niece in UK. That felt so special and nice… I do hope these kids continue to send these cards out to their loved ones… 
 
Writing is such fun and it is also one way I built my memory. Back when I was in school, we used to write a lot, home work and exams involved pages and pages of writing… Maybe that is why I still remember most of what I studied [atleast from the subjects that I enjoyed].. Recently, my cousin in Delhi had a whole bunch of holiday project and all of them had to be hand written, not typed out .. Had me gaping in surprise but was glad the school was getting kids to write… 
 
When was the last time you wrote a letter/note/card- not digital, but pen to paper?