Muse n' Motivation

The Thinking Blog!

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😦

Advertisements

31 Comments

  1. Know the feeling, my mother when we were little always encouraged letters between my brother and I and our cousins even over the telephone. It was exciting to get that letter in the mail. An every mundane day had that little jolt of excitement getting that letter. I truly believe I got my love of writing from those letters, the blank paper was a chance to create! (Like a new box of crayons!)
    Too bad kids aren’t encouraged anymore to do such things I think they would get a real kick out of it!

  2. Nice post 🙂 True, I don’t use pens much..in fact ever since I started blogging(when I was in 10th), I tend to write everything on the comp.

    But I like to write with a pen as well. My speed is pretty good, though my hand writing is the neatest around..but then again, I still have to write exams 🙂

  3. Jess

    Hmm…lovely blog. Brings back memories. The burning desire to use the pen when as a child was forced to use the pencil and the graduating to the use of pen. I remember –how I secretly used to take Dad’s parker pen–simply because it was his prized possession. 🙂 Today –am no longer little and can afford to buy one(Parker) myself, somewhere along the way the usage of the pen has become minimal. Everything gets done the comp! But the pen is most handy whilst writing.

  4. During my school days, using a pen used to delight me. But now I type faster than I am able to write with a pen…so now I even take down notes directly on the laptop!!

  5. kerry622 :
    Know the feeling, my mother when we were little always encouraged letters between my brother and I and our cousins even over the telephone. It was exciting to get that letter in the mail. An every mundane day had that little jolt of excitement getting that letter. I truly believe I got my love of writing from those letters, the blank paper was a chance to create! (Like a new box of crayons!)
    Too bad kids aren’t encouraged anymore to do such things I think they would get a real kick out of it!

    Hi Kerry,

    I agree absolutely. Yes, writing is not encouraged much, not at all in fact now-a-days. I too got my love of letter writing from the letters my father made me write every year to my innumerable cousin brothers for raksha bandhan. He would make me keep his briefcase (it was brief case then for office goers!) on my lap and mighty heavy it was I tell you. And then, that big writing pad and a pen. Ah! how important I felt then. Gradually, I started writing my own letters and still love it so!

  6. vishesh unni raghunathan :
    Nice post True, I don’t use pens much..in fact ever since I started blogging(when I was in 10th), I tend to write everything on the comp.
    But I like to write with a pen as well. My speed is pretty good, though my hand writing is the neatest around..but then again, I still have to write exams

    Hi Vishesh,

    Ah ha! you still have exams to write. We haven’t advanced to that extent to directly upload our answers into the computer! Till that happens, the good ol’ pen will be there.

    Happy writing!

  7. Jess :
    Hmm…lovely blog. Brings back memories. The burning desire to use the pen when as a child was forced to use the pencil and the graduating to the use of pen. I remember –how I secretly used to take Dad’s parker pen–simply because it was his prized possession. Today –am no longer little and can afford to buy one(Parker) myself, somewhere along the way the usage of the pen has become minimal. Everything gets done the comp! But the pen is most handy whilst writing.

    Hi Jess,

    Nice to see you. Yeah, nothing beats the pen even though we tend to use the computer and our thinking pattern has also changed accordingly. But I still love the pen. Nothing to beat the pen when we are lost in our thoughts and don’t exactly want to sit before a computer or a laptop.

  8. Ashwathy :
    During my school days, using a pen used to delight me. But now I type faster than I am able to write with a pen…so now I even take down notes directly on the laptop!!

    Hi Ashwathy,

    I know. Advancing technology, availability of easy and convenient resources makes the usage of the pen minimal. But, I still use the pen whenever I don’t want to be bogged down by a piece of machinery and want my own bit of space. Somehow, seeing my writing on a blank page gives more life to my work. Something that a computer just cannot do!

  9. Prerna

    I just love the way you remind of all those things and moments which are vintage. I think now I want to write with an ink pen…haven’t done it in years 🙂

  10. Hi Prerna,

    Consider me a vintage item too!!
    I am glad you like my posts enough to think about them and comment. I appreciate that initiative.

  11. Sridharan Rengasamy

    That was a good piece of writing, Shail. Something we writers can always relate to. I too started writing with my pen.
    Shail, if you don’t mistake me, I don’t have any sentiments for the pen. Longing for the pen is like longing for the bullock cart. With the pen editing is very tedious. Many times I can’t decipher what have I written. With the computer you have infinite editing capabilities.
    Your writing is of course refreshingly new. I should have read a dozen articles on the subject. Yours is very different and much more interesting than most of them.
    sridhar

  12. Hello Sridhar,

    Nice to see your detailed comment. Yes, over time we tend to be content with what makes life easier. And now, writing at the computer has indeed made writing an easy task. But I still miss the pen and try to use it as often as possible. Of course, when I have deadlines to meet it becomes impossible. But other times, I definitely make use of it. And, no letter is complete without putting ink on paper literally!

    Nice that you liked my writing. That is enough constructive prodding to make me write better!

  13. Bhargavi

    Shail,
    Truly said..we are not against blogging, but the usage of pen has considerably reduced, makes us feel, are we losing our personal touch (through our handwriting, which is unique in our own way!)
    When, I first came to US, only means of communication at that time, was the letters.
    (My family didn’t have a landline at that time). As you had pointed out, waiting for the letters by our parents, or anybody, is a joy by itself.
    Writing with pen is also related to fine motor skills. We make our children write our mother tongue, so that it has a double sided effect on learning it and also using your hands to write.
    As always a good thought, Shail

  14. Jay

    Shail, I enjoyed reading this post! The timing is perfect! Even yesterday I had an argument with my mom who insisted that I write a letter to my uncle instead of sending him a mail. I had always thought ‘why these uncles and aunts never learn to use technology?’ but when I sat down to write the letter I felt writing with the pen was more lively and it had ‘something more enjoyable’ to it! I thought it was just my feeling as it has been ages since I took a pen to write a letter! But after reading this post…ah!! I guess that ‘feeling’ is genuine! Thanks for this interesting post! Keep them coming.

    And thanks for visiting my blog 🙂

  15. knot2share

    Nice blog Shail! You take me to about 20yrs back. I remember going out with my friends in the evening from our hostel, crossing the railway tracks and on to the railway platform at Egmore Station. There used to be a small counter from where we could buy inland covers and aerogrammes. They had a unique smell and that blue colour of the paper used to be so charming. It used to be exciting to write the address of the sender. I used to make sure that I used the best pen to write. The fountain pen was cleaned and ink filled and pen was all polished before I sat down to write on it. It was a joyful experience writing to somebody dear. And when we knew that the space to write was coming to an end, the size of the text would go smaller and smaller to fit more in and then I used to write in all directions and made sure every corner of that paper was covered with arrow marks everywhere hinting the flow of information. Surely pen anytime is what I prefer, but these days trying to hold on to a pen for a little while makes my fingers ache and always used to wonder how I used to write pages and pages to friends but now I can hardly manage three lines on an email to anybody.

  16. Bhargavi :
    Shail,
    Truly said..we are not against blogging, but the usage of pen has considerably reduced, makes us feel, are we losing our personal touch (through our handwriting, which is unique in our own way!)
    When, I first came to US, only means of communication at that time, was the letters.
    (My family didn’t have a landline at that time). As you had pointed out, waiting for the letters by our parents, or anybody, is a joy by itself.
    Writing with pen is also related to fine motor skills. We make our children write our mother tongue, so that it has a double sided effect on learning it and also using your hands to write.
    As always a good thought, Shail

    Hi Bhargavi,

    Good to see your comment here. I feel bad to see many children and even adults write so horribly. Leave that aside, all want to use the computer to express their views or do their assignments. Something that modern technology has gifted us! But I am sure there will always be many like us who will not let the pen just die away!:)

  17. Jay :
    Shail, I enjoyed reading this post! The timing is perfect! Even yesterday I had an argument with my mom who insisted that I write a letter to my uncle instead of sending him a mail. I had always thought ‘why these uncles and aunts never learn to use technology?’ but when I sat down to write the letter I felt writing with the pen was more lively and it had ‘something more enjoyable’ to it! I thought it was just my feeling as it has been ages since I took a pen to write a letter! But after reading this post…ah!! I guess that ‘feeling’ is genuine! Thanks for this interesting post! Keep them coming.
    And thanks for visiting my blog

    Hi Jay,

    Nice that you liked reading this post and that it did make a difference to your writing with the pen process (your letter to your uncle):))

  18. Sneha

    Today as I was writing a cover letter, this was the thing I could identify with the most. Infact, what you’ve written in this blog, I always tell people.

    I don’t know Shail, but I somehow dislike this entire romanticizing with the technological world. Sure, it has made the world communicate easier and the like and geeks could blah blah about it their entire life. However, it appalls me to see even schools encouraging typed projects than written ones.

    When I worked as a sub editor with a leading newspaper in Mumbai, we’d once covered the story about how letters/postcards are dying. No one sends them. I always prefer a handwritten note than any material gift, but that’s the eccentric me.

  19. Sneha

    Last, I need to say this. My fondest memories are that of writing letters to my grandfather in Erode. I still do. And I hope my grandchildren write me letters too, though its a far off thing for now !! 🙂

  20. Very interesting to read this about the mighty Pen. Writing with pen gives a emotional and personal touch to your language. In those days, we used to eagerly wait for the postmen to deliver letters to our house. My parents used to preserve my post cards to proudly narrate various incidents. Even hand written greetings used to bring lot of happiness due to personal touch. Such personal touch is totally missing after the ‘copy & paste’ culture introduced by computers.

    A.Hari

  21. Yes… emails and texts have taken away the fondness and romance in today’s relationships… Even though we can archive emails and all, the joy of going through the pages of letters and memories cannot be expressed in words…

  22. Sneha :
    Today as I was writing a cover letter, this was the thing I could identify with the most. Infact, what you’ve written in this blog, I always tell people.
    I don’t know Shail, but I somehow dislike this entire romanticizing with the technological world. Sure, it has made the world communicate easier and the like and geeks could blah blah about it their entire life. However, it appalls me to see even schools encouraging typed projects than written ones.
    When I worked as a sub editor with a leading newspaper in Mumbai, we’d once covered the story about how letters/postcards are dying. No one sends them. I always prefer a handwritten note than any material gift, but that’s the eccentric me.

    Hi Sneha,

    I suppose most of us identify with writing with pens. In fact, we have come to romanticize handwritten letters so much that it has almost become extinct, something like a vintage item!

    I love hand written stuff any time. It is more personal and shows that the person took care and time out. Of course, badly scribbled, illegible handwriting is not what I am talking about:))

  23. A.Hari :
    Very interesting to read this about the mighty Pen. Writing with pen gives a emotional and personal touch to your language. In those days, we used to eagerly wait for the postmen to deliver letters to our house. My parents used to preserve my post cards to proudly narrate various incidents. Even hand written greetings used to bring lot of happiness due to personal touch. Such personal touch is totally missing after the ‘copy & paste’ culture introduced by computers.
    A.Hari

    Hi Hari,

    I know. Nothing beats the written stuff. Anytime. Sadly, children now-a-days are encouraged to become adept at computers so much so that the personal touch is going out of fashion. I have still saved some handwritten letters which I treasure. Of course, how long they will last is another thing. But whenever I look at them I am transformed to another realm unreachable by the impersonal world of computers.

  24. revuu :
    Yes… emails and texts have taken away the fondness and romance in today’s relationships… Even though we can archive emails and all, the joy of going through the pages of letters and memories cannot be expressed in words…

    Hi Nitha,

    Yes, you are right. Although I am able to get across faster and maybe to a greater audience through computer, email, sms, blogs etc, nothing like the handwritten stuff.

  25. evolution

  26. Ah ha! One word explains it all. But why has evolution make us lose the things we need not do without, which can make life more personal?

  27. I loved th epost..At times even I used to feel bad thinking about my good,old,beautiful handwriting.I stopped touching the pen after graduating and in IT industry pen is rare..
    I feel bad now..I should try to write something with pen tonight 🙂

  28. Hi Bhavia.

    Please do write with the pen. I still do inspite of using the keyboard for sending my assignments. But I don’t hesitate to use the pen when I write my poetry or little notes for myself, for the family.

    Glad that this article made you think of writing something tonight!

  29. knot2share :

    Nice blog Shail! You take me to about 20yrs back. I remember going out with my friends in the evening from our hostel, crossing the railway tracks and on to the railway platform at Egmore Station. There used to be a small counter from where we could buy inland covers and aerogrammes. They had a unique smell and that blue colour of the paper used to be so charming. It used to be exciting to write the address of the sender. I used to make sure that I used the best pen to write. The fountain pen was cleaned and ink filled and pen was all polished before I sat down to write on it. It was a joyful experience writing to somebody dear. And when we knew that the space to write was coming to an end, the size of the text would go smaller and smaller to fit more in and then I used to write in all directions and made sure every corner of that paper was covered with arrow marks everywhere hinting the flow of information. Surely pen anytime is what I prefer, but these days trying to hold on to a pen for a little while makes my fingers ache and always used to wonder how I used to write pages and pages to friends but now I can hardly manage three lines on an email to anybody.

    Hi Shree,

    Nice to see you sharing your lovely affair with the pen. It’s a beautiful isn’t it, to see one’s handwriting on the page instead of some indifferent alphabets that appear before one’s eyes on the computer?

    Let’s hope more people get back to the pen. After all, old is gold isn’t it?

Trackbacks

  1. AriWriter
  2. Archive | Hello I'm Venus

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s