Remember the days when you use to write letters to people, maybe you never even did, depending on your age, and today in an age of instant messaging, writing a letter to someone not only feels cumbersome but also is seen as a complete waste of time. Paromita Bardoloi, however, does not see it this way. Her ‘Initiative Letter From A Stranger’ has become a sort of a therapeutic experience for both writers and receivers as they exchange ideas, information, wisdom and so much more.
We all want someone to recognize us. A letter does that
In spite of so much communication technology all around us, people are feeling more lonely than ever before, not to mention that people’s mental health levels are at an all-time low these days, writing a letter and receiving one can connect people better than just instant messaging. “The basic human need of every human is to be seen and heard. We all want someone to recognize us. A letter does that. Do you know why everyone so ferociously posts on social media and wants to be popular? Because they want to matter,” says Bardoloi. From making people who are lonely feel welcomed within a close-knit circle, one of the first people that they reached out to was one woman going through a painful divorce. Not only did she find solace in those pieces of paper, but it changed her entire perspective to a positive one and this was one of the first emails responses that Bardoloi got for her letters and it changed everything. People did want to receive encouraging letters and some people wanted to write them.
Women have different experiences and often go through more hardships
As a frequent letter writer herself, Bardoloi, knew the joy of receiving one and she decided that she must share this with people despite 2018 being the lowest year in her life. She started writing a letter to a stranger who loved it and soon, word spread around and she received too many requests to write some more. Just one woman, she couldn’t keep up with it and decided to promote writing letters to people and when so many people responded to her status on Facebook, she decided to start a group. All of the writers are women. Why? According to her, women have different experiences than men and often go through more hardships and throughout history, we have known knowledge only through the male gaze and she wants to change this. “Through these deeply personal letters that are intimate, the idea is to have a platform where women share their life experiences and wisdom with one another. Our writers are everyday women. Women you meet at work, your neighborhood, or at home. Even I wasn’t expecting the kind of letters we are receiving,” she adds.
Image credit: Edexlive