Friday, March 02, 2007

Pens, Papers, Books, Reading & Writing

Last week I read an archived article of ITPeople. I cannot seem to find it now. The writer was of the opinion that the current generation of kids do not read or write sufficiently, they browse, skim & scribble. They do not read a prose or article and enjoy the beauty of the written language. The love for books is all lost in browsing and hoping from one link to the other getting distracted often. An another view I came across, which again I cant seem to find was exactly the contrary. It said, the kids these days are exposed to so much, they can read stuff that interests them, to their heart's content. They have access to all kinds of literature at the tip of their fingers. Children at the age of 10 are dealing with sms texting, mails, essays, atleast 2 different chat softwares, all requiring a different style of writing & understanding and they do it with ease moving from one mode to the other effortlessly.

The first letter I ever wrote, was probably when I was 9-10 yrs, to Dad, when mom and us were vacationing in Kerala and Dad could not join us. Then latter I remember writing a couple of letters to my cousins, grandmom(s), a couple of letters for change of address to different utility departments under the supervision of dad, to my best friend in class V, who moved to a different city, letters to mom & dad when I stayed away at my aunt's place for college (I used to post them without a stamp because I did not have the patience to wait and buy the stamps and stick it on and so my parents always had to pay the fine to pick them) and then to an another friend, when I moved to a different city (with the stamp). In all, approximately around 50 letters in the past 30 years of my life. How many e-mails have I written. Countless. To friends, parents, cousins, strangers, colleagues, different utility departments, banks, agents the list is endless.

About Reading, it was limited to the school library (which had 100s of copies of "King Midas' Touch", I still don't understand why) and the weekly, monthly subscriptions of local children's book & a few walt disney story books from generous friends. During the teens, Nancy drews, hardy boys, Dad's subscription of magazines like Indian Auto, India Today, Competitive Review etc held interest. So coming back to my point, the access to number of books, kind of books was all pretty limited and so reading was all limited by resources. And so I have enough reason to believe, kids today will surely read, write & know much more than we did.

If they will mess with something, that will be 'Handwriting'. If handwriting of people of a few progressive countries are anything to go by, then we will have cursive writings long forgotten. I miss writing so much. All I write these days are MOMs, to-do-list, notes that only I can understand if read the same day else even I can't decipher it, grocery list .... all in all ...scribbles. I miss my ink pen & the ink bottle. I miss my Parker pen. I miss writing while the ink flows continuously onto the fresh white lined book.


Risha said...

I totally agree with you, I think these days everything is very well available, not sure if they are being utilised or not coz of the cartoon tv, video games, and other gadgets, but yeha definitely they do have everything easily accessible and are so knowledgable.

sometimes i think wht is the diff between me and a school kid in grade computer skills I think we r same , though i get an upper hand of having more experience.

I so wish that the concept of libraries, good ones come to India too. its so limited to british library and those tiny miny shops..but not a full fledged one. Thanks to you for getting me into the habbit of reading, now i think what wud i do without books. i have so much to catch up on reading. I love the library system here in UK.

:-), I miss writing too with the ink pen, rather the white fountain pen. In school days i was praised a lot for my handwriting.

these days my writing is limited to the list u mentioned, except that my groceries are also in excel sheet :-)

Risha said...

oops!!! sorry for the long comment..dint realize i wrote so much

Binesh said...

It's a fact!
I really miss the habit of writing with pen or pencil now. These days, in office we note the points in a Word doc or text file only. School days, it was fun asking ink to someone for the pen. I remember how I used to go for school exams, with atleast 2 pens, 2 pencils, sharpener, eraser.... + instrument box. :-)

Sunita said...

@Risha: You are a techie all the way, grocery list in excel :)
@binesh: Yeah i know, 2 pencil, 2 pen ....and I know class mates who used to have spare stock for the entire class :).