For Nivendra Uduman, writing letters was an incidental thing.
While he was in India during ’07 studying for his Bachelor’s in Phychology, he conveyed his homesickness through pen and paper, as he was marginally averse to gadgets and technological advancements.
A closet poet and an ardent reader, he took to hand written letters the way a fish takes to water.
However, little did he know that his innocent act of writing letters to loved ones would take to what is known as “Letter Earthlings” today.
So what is Letter Earthlings?
Varying from writing letters to friends and family and organising informal letter writing groups, to leaving letter atop water coolers and standing behind a banyan tree to capture reactions, Letter Earthlings started in 2012 when Nivendra was still in India, this time reading for his Master’s.
Having come back to Sri Lanka last year, he has now organised three consecutive letter writing circles in Colombo, and has also encouraged a few of his friends from university days to continue it in India and in quaint coffee shops in Dubai.
Letter Earthlings, starts with a request for letters on a Google form that is mentioned widely on their Facebook page. The Google form allows anyone to nominate recipients, (including themselves) and reason out as to why the recipients deserve a letter. These letter requests are then consolidated and distributed among the letter writers who arrive at the letter writing circles. The writers pour their thoughts and hearts into paper and write letters, which are later posted as one bundle.
The first of the letter writing circles in Sri Lanka was held at Coco Veranda, Ward Place and the subsequent circles at Rama’s Tea House, Kotte this year. The circles often include friends, family, friends of friends or even strangers who may have seen the event page on Facebook.
For a gathering of nearly twenty adults, the letter writing circles are neither noisy nor are they claustrophobic. There’s plenty of food, caffeine, stationery and everyone comes together for a common cause: to spread love, happiness and positivity though the writing of letters.
However, the excitement of writing letters does not stop with the writers. The response received from the recipients so far has been overwhelming. Not only are they genuinely touched by the sentiment, but they have also become proof of good writing going a long way in creating a positive impact.
If you are interested, the next letter writing circle in Sri Lanka takes place on Sunday May 24 at 1600h at Rama’s Tea House, Kotte. For more details, log on to their event page on Facebook.