The era of handwriting

I came across this article in the paper that talked about handwriting classes for middle school children. Some activity that would keep them busy during the impending pooja holidays in September and October. It intrigued me.

Well maybe one could look at this way – when I was in my middle school, there were an unimaginable number of typing classes that were conducted all over the city. Considering the boom that was about to take place, learning how to type was probably the only way forward. And then there were other art forms like tanjore painting, oil painting, calligraphy, etc etc that were conducted. I try to apply the same analogy, and as amusing that it is to me, it makes sense more and more. Writing by hand will soon most likely be considered an art form. And good handwriting would probably be a priceless art to know.

Just this morning, my mother asked me find her a pen so she could jot down a telephone number that a friend was giving her over the phone. I went into an immediate state of confusion. Firstly, I have no idea where those pens are stored anymore. Secondly, she had the phone in her hand!! She could either just type it in her contacts and ask for a business card to be sent over. But no. First instinct was to write it down on paper with a pen. And then this article that I mentioned earlier came to my mind. How this information technology has changed the way we think and go about day to day life.

It never ceases to amaze me that as we unlearn and learn, we adapt to such a great extent that we become so comfortable with the new things that we have in our lives. Of course I’m part of that generation that wrote 15 page answer sheets for exams – by hand! With an ink pen! But do I even consider a paper and pen to jot down my thoughts today? No. I immediately reach for my iPad or laptop. Well, I don’t complain. Life is easier definitely. But then I worry that as we get so comfortable with the new stuff that we discover for ourselves, we soon might forget what it was to have green trees, a blue sea and flooding rain.

So sometimes I think I’d rather stick to an old ink pen and have the time to admire the sky than to forget what it looked like.

3 thoughts on “The era of handwriting

  1. shakshar

    I hope it is not too late to comment on this blog. In fact I got directed to this blog as a cross reference from another blog on handwriting. If we look at the transition, then historically there are many. From Bhojpatra to hand made paper to machine pressed paper; from charcoal to chalk to ink pen to ball point pen. Over generations, the way we handle our chores have changed. It is obvious that we have an attachment with the things that we learnt in the past. When photography started, artistes frowned; when digital photography emerged, traditional film photographers were critical of it. The list can go on and on. The point I want to make is, every new invention is an improvement over the existing technology, we should judiciously adopt it and improve our work efficiency rather than regret losing old art. Good handwriting was a challenge for me; my handwriting at best was terrible. I see technology as the greatest respite from my handicap. Today, I type without fear of embarassment due to bad handwriting.
    Ultimately, both old and new survive together. Old for its antique value and new for its ease and efficiency.

    • sruthihamsini

      Thank you for dropping by and commenting! And it’s never too late – the subject remains relevant at any point.

      I completely agree with you that we must be accepting of innovation and changes. In fact if we are not open to changes, we may be at the losing end. But there is no denying that there is a certain nostalgia attached to things we learnt and used in the past. And like the traditional analog film critics, it is the handwriting lovers that feel a twinge of regret at how the practice seems to belong to the past with each new day. I still enjoy typing out my blog 🙂 and I’m thankful to technology. But the joy I feel at writing out a page by hand and reading it, is something else.

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