The art of writing love letters has not died – merely changed with the times, as love letters written by students of a Kozhikode college show.
Name: Alin K. Boban (name changed). Age: 19. Educational qualification: engineering student. Objectives: to graduate and marry you. Special skills: nothing singular to speak about, however, my love for you is my biggest strength. Blood group: pure red. Future plans: live happily with you if your dad permits, if not… (I don’t know what will happen to me). NB: So far, no bad habits such as smoking or drinking.
If one is still wondering what this is all about, wait. It is a love letter, among 450 others, invited from students of Government Engineering College, West Hill, here by the students’ magazine committee on the occasion of Valentine’s Day and displayed on the campus for the public.
“Only 50 of them selected by the committee based on their merit of being innovative, interesting, or inspirational were displayed here,” C.I. Fahad, editor of the college magazine, said.
While students such as Mr. Boban attempted their love letter in a biodata format (as given above), others such as Sithara Sreedharan (name changed) went about experimenting with them, and come out with a modern approach in a few cryptic lines.
Mr. Fahad said the entries were invited as part of a deliberate attempt to make people write love letters. “Because, we are living in an age when people seem to have almost forgotten the art of writing love letters,” he said.
The result was very uplifting, he said. The majority of the entries were in Malayalam and handwritten to imaginary lovers and beloveds. “Some of them took it as an opportunity to disclose their so-far hidden adoration for someone on the campus,” he said.
Gossips, separations, and disillusionments became the subjects of some letters. Some chose to write on behalf of well-known lovers on the campus under pseudonyms. Some had political content, while others appeared laden with quotations from famous poets and writers. Letters written to senior students and those with illustrations and wordings in the local Malabar slang such as “Ijj Nhammante Muthalle…” (Aren’t you my sweet heart…) were also not rare.
“This is the first time that the campus is witnessing an exhibition of love letters in such huge numbers,” Mr. Fahad said. He plans to pick a few of the best for his upcoming college magazine. “Who wouldn’t love to read a good love letter, eh…?”