Is the Keyboard Mightier than the Pen?



I am gloating with pride as Little Princess tries her hand at writing her first word – her name –  in lopsided and irregularly formed letters.

“You know my alphabets?” she questions referring to the alphabets that comprise her name.

I wish I could explain that her parents had a big hand in deciding her name but she has given that privilege to the school identity card and uses it for reference.

It is about then that I notice Sid struggling to read his handwritten work. I am caught unawares as my eyes take into the untidy hotchpotch of words that have been scribbled mindlessly. The unrealistic mother inside me who refuses to acknowledge what the eyes see manages to clutch on to a twig of positivity and interpret it as the first step to the long road to becoming a world renowned doctor.

I rush to share my Eureka moment with the husband who seemed nonplussed.  I wonder aloud if the friendly pharmacist downstairs will be able to decode his writing.

“Pharmacists have caught up with the digital era and have stopped playing guess games with sloppy hand-written prescriptions.” he reminds me. “You should buy him a cursive writing book,” he suggests turning his attention back into the digital world.

I wonder if cursive writing books are available in stores these days.

E-mails and texts have replaced snail mail. Perfecting cursive writing is not among the joys of schooling anymore and the digital keyboard has replaced the treasured ‘Hero’ ink pens and Camlin/Nataraj pencils of the pre-digital era.

A cousin who lives in another continent recently shared a picture of his handwritten script on social media.  His perfection for the art and the knowledge that handwritten scripts are going the way of the dinosaurs had garnered his picture more ‘likes’ than he intended. I will have to ask him to e-mail me a copy of his hand written script so that I can treasure it as a relic for the digital world has snatched the joys of handwriting but  made the world a smaller place.

In the meanwhile, I need to download a few cursive writing practice sheets from a student resource website so that my son can at least decipher what he writes.


42 responses »

  1. Hi dear pranitha.. Yes, I still remember the excitement I had in grade 4, from next year I’ll be writing with a pen. And I would love to have blotches of ink on my fingers that I have grown up and write with a pen 😂😁
    I also remember the perfumed “scent”rubbers as we used to call it then. The joy of owning one was truly something to be proud of…
    While I appreciate the ease and speed of the “e”world, I do miss the days of our snail mails…
    Lovely post as usual, enjoyed reading it 👍

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi dear Deepika. Thank you so much for your feedback but thank you more for the bit of nostalgia. I had forgotten about those scented rubbers that came inside cute little toys. The pride of owning one is beyond words. And the ink pen and the ritual of filling them the night before. We too started writing with ink in 4th grade and how important we felt we were!
      Simple times and so many joys that still warms our heart. I too miss letters but I often wonder if we have gone impatient in this fast digital world.
      Wishing you a very happy Sunday, Deepika😇😊


  2. Hey friend 😄😄 how is it going? I’m sorry I’ve been a little irregular with WP this entire year, there’s just too much to be done!
    Anyway, so I’m glad read I read this post first thing in the morning because now my day has started with a hearty laugh😂😂 I lost it when you were talking about the perennially hopeful mother who took his handwriting positively although I’m sorry I hate to break it to you, I’m Sid in this case, it’s like a snake covered in ink has crawled all over my paper when I write and I’m not a doc. Thank God for digital means😂😂
    But you should go easy on Sid as the poor kid definitely didn’t even have the chance to try his hands at various writing books that were mandatory for us as part summer vacations in primary school. It doesn’t help much. 😂 Having said that I realised the importance of a good handwriting soon enough so now whenever I have to write I do it very gently (kills me) lol but I do it and all is fine😄😂 so just be patient with him! And I agree with you soon becauses enough they’ll be abundance of typed manuscripts as the handwritten ones will fade into oblivion slowly but at least we’ll have the ones from the past that is if we preserve them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey TW! Such a pleasure to meet you once again😀😍… no problem, we all have our priorities so I understand. I am super. How are you?
      So glad you had a good laugh. It’s a pity that Pharmacists don’t read badly written manuscripts as they were our only hopes😜. I am equally guilty as my son where writing by hand is concerned. My writing is entirely confined to diary writing which for some strange reason starts reasonably well but becomes as you very well put in ‘ snakes’ all over the page. Yes! and like you very well know, I am no doctor. So we are all on the same ‘terribly’ written page there. But what happens when you cannot read what you have written yourself?😢
      Well, I have been reading that examinations, class work and home work will soon require only a screen so may be I should stop complaining and teach my son to use the keyboard better😏
      Wishing you a happy Sunday, TW😍

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m awesome too my friend, I’m actually planning to return to WP, so yeah if writers block doesn’t take much interest in me, things here will fall into place!
        Ahahahaha Yess they were our only hope but seriously docs have messed up writing and yet chemists always get them. So intriguing if you ask me😂😂
        Yeah I know right? It always starts proper and by the middle of it, it’s actually some Khichdi. Lol One time even I couldn’t read my own writing, made my friend read, she was like, “Vageeeesha what’s this baba?!!!” So yes we’re on the same page.😂😂
        I hope you’re doing amazing. Keep in touch my dear friend. Have a happy week😄😄❤❤

        Liked by 2 people

      • A happy week to you too, dear friend. With writer’s block, you would not have written THAT! It was amazing. The words of wisdom were very insightful and very thoughtful too.
        Haha! I like that Khichdi bit, yes that is what happens and now I take a little more effort to keep it un-Khichdi like simply so that my son can take the inspiration and improve his. But even docs don’t write anymore, so cannot even have that consolation these days. 😉


      • Hey TW, got to your space and was delighted to see a new post. And what wisdom in those words! This is what you write from your experience, my dear, but it is applicable for us all. We all have our little demons, our joys, our reason to live and all that we dream and look forward to. On this last day of the year, I (once again) wish you more power this coming year, my dear friend. And what a pleasure to have you, Vageesha, as a friend.Good day, my dear.


  3. In the world of WWW it is becoming increasingly difficult to write with good handwriting. My husband who is an IT Engineer can hardly write well. I miss the written words, the joy of receiving letters. It’s fun to write actually but well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You brought back some wonderful memories from my years of working in medical offices trying to decipher the Doctor’s handwriting…I still send snail mail and treasure each piece that finds its way to me…I have a dear older friend who lives in the US and doesn’t have or want to use a computer, my greatest joy is to mail her printed copies of my posts…I hope Little Princess will find joy in writing as much as I did as a child!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is wonderful. I did that for a long time too. It is so nice that you still manage to write letters for the joy of getting personally written letters in flowery handwriting is like an unexpected Christmas gift these days. I hope Little Princess will enjoy writing as much as you still do. Such a pleasure to read your feedback, Kim. Wishing you a very happy New Year. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas too!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. though written well in jest, I completely agree with you.As my handwriting and the beating it has taken down the ages stands testimony to what you’ve penned or ‘key-boarded’. though my hand-writing was one of the best in my class to begin with, it began to degenerate in the medical college. right now, I have successfully joined the types who confuse the pharmacists with my ‘hand-writing’! time is not far when I will fail to decipher my own handwriting. therefore, I’ve hung up my pen, and its keyboard these days for me!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha! It is heartening to hear it from the doctor’s mouth. I have often wondered if sloppy handwriting is part of the medical course. Luckily, now a days everything is easily deciphered, thanks to the keyboard. Yesterday the pediatrician filled in the insurance form and I was so glad that deciphering his handwriting was not my job as all I saw was a few mangled shapes written with his designer pen.


    • Hey Shilpa, what a pleasure to catch you here. You do remember? My son will use the inspiration if he uses his pencil to write, unfortunately the exercise of writing is going extinct. But after making him read the post, he has taken it seriously and working on it, he says. 😉
      Love you too my dear and lots and lots. (here is a big red heart):)


  6. Another interesting piece 🙂
    In India we still have cursive writing books and it is insisted upon till grade 4. Thereafter teachers fail to impress upon their pupils the need of having good handwriting or the pupils refuse to get impressed and each one writes they way he or she wants!

    BTW, thanks for visiting my post. There are two more series of butterfly life in my posts. Have a ‘dekho’ when you are free- Giant redeye and Common crow 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so thankful for keyboards. Haven’t had the best writing. Remember when I landed my first job, my dad still felt I should practise writing using a cursive writing book just in case The Boss did not understand what I had written😊. I sustained and so will Sid! You brought back memories of writing class, ink pens, stained hands and everything in between. Enjoyed the discovery of Little Princess😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so very much, Smitha. So glad to say that I showed him the post and the little that he ever gets to write at school has shown a big improvement. I am glad that my efforts have been worthwhile.
      So glad you enjoyed it and reminded you of your old days. Thank you, Smitha.:)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This made me remember all those numerous occasions when I was late for my school bus because I was busy writing the “copy” as we lovingly called the cursive writing worksheet that we had to do every single day! But my handwriting has progressively worsened ever since college. And even more so now. But I console myself with the fact that geniuses have terrible handwriting as their brain process is far too far for them to note down! 😆😆😆 But now, my thumbs are in severe danger of wearing out because of the amount of exercise that they do everyday! Whoa, Nitha, I just got ideas for multiple blog posts while composing this comments. Thank you for that. Anyway, I recently read about two doctors who were penalized because their handwriting was illegible! Turns out they might have to borrow your cursive writing worksheet too. Take care, dear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! That was a hilarious response indeed! Now a days I think cursive is out of fashion officially by the school itself. I like the way you console yourself, even though it is actually true 😉 In this world, the thumb is bigger than the brain, I suppose. The future might have a whole chapter dedicated to this important part of our body.
      Oh were they, serves them right. Doctors do a messy job leaving the normal humans wondering. I will be happy to share a few of mine. They sure deserve it.
      So glad to catch you here again, Shweta. Need to go catch your blog too. Its been a while now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My co-workers beg me not to write in cursive because *cough cough* it’s maybe a bit illegible. 😂
        Yes, some doctor’s handwriting makes you wonder if it’s a prescription or an ecg! So glad to catch up with you too. I still have so many posts to read, but I’ll catch up soon. Don’t worry, dear. It happens. I haven’t been that active of late. Ippo Kore naalku shesham veendum ezhuthaan Oru mood okke vannu


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