Whatever happened to the pen being mightier than the sword?
Remember the last time you wrote a letter? Remember the last time you received a hand written letter? Ages it seems, doesn’t it? Who has the time now-a-days to write with a pen? Leave alone lack of time, who takes the trouble to pen a few words on paper when the computer is always there? And if you are not the very writing kind then, the email or the SMS is always there to communicate and keep in touch!! In today’s world, where everything has to be fast and convenient, the famous line, ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ no longer stands true. Today’s line reads, ‘The keyboard is mightier than the pen.’ Sad to say, but today, the pen is no longer strong and mighty.
I still remember the feel of a letter in my hand with the handwriting expressing personal feelings and information so simply with nothing more than a pen. In fact, the wait to receive a letter itself was so joyful. And, you would feel like reading the letter again and again. Today, does the email or SMS give us the same joy? When people personally write by hand from afar the letters remind us that somebody somewhere has made time for us to sit and patiently write to us. Today, it is the age of the computers, of technology ruling the lives of humanity. It is the era of web sites and emails, of chats online and portals. Be it a letter or an article, one makes use of the keyboard as it faster, easier and more convenient. One does not have to worry about anything else. Where does that leave the poor pens, those lovely long hand instruments?
I remember the first time I had held a pen. It was way back in school. I also remember feeling so thrilled just to hold my pencil to write alphabets and words on paper. In later years, the stained fingers were only a temporary price I paid for holding that regal object of communication. Today, my fingers are all neat and tidy as I sit down at the computer to compose letters and articles. It’s not that I cannot use a pen to write. But when I do make an attempt (and that has been many several times) I find my thoughts racing ahead of my pen. The synchronism that had existed earlier between my thoughts and my writing (with the pen) seems to have got lost somewhere.
No wonder when we sit down to write something, even a grocery list or maybe an essay for a child, our handwriting is indeed shameful. So, how can we expect the future generations to write legibly when we ourselves make use of the computer to essay our thoughts only because it is convenient? There are times when I sit at the computer and thoughts come to a standstill. I then go back to my note book and pen. Just writing the date on that sparkling white paper makes my mind become vibrant with thoughts and my pen races along. The only thing is that if I need to send that piece of writing to someone or say a website, there is no way out but to type it all using the computer. But, at least I am relieved that I did do some literal writing with the pen!
Today, the computer does it all – Thinking and editing, Communicating and expanding. Where does that leave the pen and the human thought? Creativity seems to have become the sole possession of a machine (even as I type this matter my computer interrupts me with a note informing me that I have made a mistake in writing my sentence.) Now that is irritating! Isn’t it my choice to write a long or a short sentence? Agreed that it was the human mind that had actually designed the keyboard to make things easy but surely, such an arrangement was not done to take over thought, reason, feeling and creativity of the mind and heart!
It is ironical isn’t it that at one end we have technology moving at a great speed making things get done in a jiffy while at the other end, the human mind seems to be stagnating rapidly. But is there really an alternative when we find more writers coming up today writing blogs and articles on various websites, expressing and sharing their thoughts and feelings (all using the computer)?
This blog revolution is to be appreciated but I still mourn the death of the pen😦