The last time I’d seen an aerogramme was over fifteen years ago, when I got one from my parents after I’d just moved to the United States. A single sheet of paper, it was the cheapest form of international communication – you write on the inside, fold it in thirds, and write the address on the outside. No enclosures allowed.
A week ago, I was in a small town on the Ganges delta with half a day to kill. So it was with a mix of nostalgia and affection that I walked into the post-office to buy an aerogramme to write to my American, Skype-spoiled daughter.
“Aerogramme? I think we last sold one 3 years ago.”
The clerk emerged from the back with one with a 6.50 rupee stamp printed on it. That’s about 10 US cents. “I doubt that’s the current rate. Let me check the India Post website.” I suggested she’d have better luck googling it. That’s how I ended up with nine Gandhis that nearly squeezed out the address.
The paper was so brittle that I was afraid to write much on it. If it makes it to New York, that will be a minor miracle.