Mumbai’s beloved Letter Writers.

A group of men sitting in their open air office just opposite the GPO could be a strange sight for somebody like me who is fairly new to the city. But on further research (by which I mean doing a simple google search) one becomes informed about the rich past they have lived as chroniclers of personal narratives of their clients.

What used to be a lucrative profession of writing letters for illiterate clients usually migrants has come down to becoming an odd job of packing parcels in muslin cloth among other tasks. The profession may have lost its glory, but these men are not complaining. They have accepted that there are better ways to communicate in the present times.

But the sheer fascination about the history of the city and the love for nostalgia brings people from around the world to this very spot where the Letter Writers sit with pride. A pride that is the outcome of having seen the city transform.

The open air office of the Letter Writers.
The open air office of the Letter Writers.
Heating the adhesive
Heating the adhesive
Shakeel Ahmed a well known letter writer
The signature stamp
The signature stamp
A transforming city around a transforming profession.
A transforming city around a transforming profession.
Packed up.
Packed up.