I have been writing quite a few letters lately. After all those scores of letters I sat down to write one to my friend today. “ Dear Aparna,…………………… with reference to………………….. considering the circumstances……………….I would be glad to ………….. Regards!?” I suddenly realized how mechanically I was writing all that stuff. It seemed more a collage of all the letters I had been writing, than a new year wish for an old friend. God forbid had I sent it to her………. For one it was supposed to be a new year greeting letter (“today is 15 Jan you idiot! ***********) And I had signed it off with regards. She can take nothing but ‘Luv’ from me. ‘Regards’ is blasphemy! (“Regards! who the hell do u think were you writing to?”)
That got me thinking. How many of us actually think twice before signing off a letter. Generally for official/ formal ones we blindly sign off as ‘Yours sincerely/faithfully’ or ‘Regards’. With more informal ones it is either ‘Luv’ or ‘Yours truly’. And how many of us care to read how a person has signed off? Hardly. We know who has written us the letter and we assume that it would be either of those above. And so it is blindly ignored. And yet there are guidelines on how to write letters and how to sign them off; what should it be for the President and for the CEO and for the Queen. Yet that fussy teacher scolds you for writing ‘Yours truly’ and not ‘Yours sincerely’. Yet my friend would have let hell loose had I written ‘Regards’. Yet your boyfriend/girlfriend would be ‘hurt’ if you don’t sign off with a ‘love you’. And yet you cannot expect that if you sign off innovatively that would be noticed!
I have a journo friend who’s into a long distance relationship. So their main form of communication is emails. Once she happened to attend five lectures on IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) in 2 days flat and was so saturated with it, she signed off a letter saying “Yours IPR (Incurable Prem Rogi).” Another time she wrote “Love you. Mrs U”. I am sure that must be adding so much romance to their communications over miles. And then there was this HR person I communicated with at one time who signed of as “Cheers”. Another friend who wrote “God bless you!”. And there must be innumerable others out their who write innovate stuff to sign off their letters. Something that is probably forgotten after that one instance. Something that they consider a stroke of brilliance. Something they have put a lot of thought/love/time into. Something that was never noticed!!
8 years ago