Friday 25 July 2014

Exploring the unexplored in Julie and Julia

While food and blogging are the most obvious and often written about matters while discussing the 2009 film Julie and Julia, I was fascinated by another story which though significant is not given much afterthought. I am referring to the friendship between Julia and Avis as long time pen pals. It touched a chord because writing letters and emails is something that I immensely enjoy and look forward to. I did have a couple of pen pals with whom I shared my everyday life stories and curious incidents. Inspite of not having met, there existed a bond that went beyond faces, touch and smiles. We connected via the medium of letters -- words, words and words. The anticipation was worth the joy received when I held the letter in my hand. A weary day in school would be transformed into bursts of happiness when the long awaited letter arrived. It was indeed undistilled pleasure.

Then email happened.

But the letters still were being exchanged along with long emails. The instant gratification of emails though praised to the high heavens still carried with it an element of anticipation and waiting. The few hours between hitting the 'send' mail icon and seeing a new mail notification is of course similar to the waiting of days in receiving a hand written note. I enjoy both the mediums and exploit them fully. 

When Julia casually mentions at the airport to Linda that she has never met Avis but has only corresponded with her through letters, the look of Linda's face is priceless. That was a moment that I savoured in the entire length of the movie for I know how it feels.

And today, my wait for emails is intense than the wait for snail mail for I am not expecting any snail mails in the present. This also reminds me that I have to write in order to receive and I shall soon do that.
As I grapple with teaching my students how to write formal letters, I am afraid that they will never know the joy of writing hand-written letters. I can lecture them on the pleasures and beauty of sending and receiving a letter but I can never make them understand the warmth and satisfaction of the act of writing letters.

In the meanwhile, I await an email from an interesting person.

How about you, dear reader?

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