Where there is creativity, there is no dearth of ideas. Two women, Onaiza Drabu and Prachi Jha are reviving the pleasure of letter writing and reading, literally!
They have started a weely newsletter, Daak. Every weekend a digital postcard is sent to 400 subscribers with a quote, nugget of information or a limerick from little-known stories, artworks and poems by writers, authors and activists who have shaped the Indian subcontinent’s cultural heritage.
“Daak” evokes the lost art of letter-writing: a patient, deliberate and thoughtful exercise in articulating your most compelling thoughts, giving us all something interesting and meaningful to read.
The first ‘postcard’ was sent out in May’17 and it carried a single quote from Salim Ali, written in his own cursive handwriting on a yellowing postcard. He said, “A monsoon ramble through the woods will delight anyone who has the eyes to see and the soul to wonder at the romance and charm of this other world within our world.”
The postcard is sent with a quote printed in cursive on the left side and a few words on the right from Jha and Drabu, offering the context and a brief explanation. They even give a link to the full text of the chosen story or poem.
Since then, they have sent out “postcards” from Kabir, quotes from Arthashastra, even the image of Raja Ravi Varma’s Shakuntala, Rabindranath Tagore’s poem, Gandhiji’s letter to Hitler, AK Ramanujam’s love poem for his wife, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s quote from his first novel – Durgeshnandini.
It’s a beautiful venture and great for some us who want to read something meaningful. It’s a great way to start come good conversation too.