Monday, February 22, 2010

Pen Pal(repost)

I think it must have been in 8th when I saw the ad. It was in this children’s monthly called Champak and the ad was for some kind of pen pal connecting service. My dream of having a friend in Madagascar or Lesotho was so much closer to reality. But since having a pen pal didn’t fetch you better marks at school, the very thought was considered to be a sin by my family.

It was in undergrad when I finally put my plan in action. With unlimited access to internet and no supervision, I googled some friendship sites and mailed a bunch of people saying I wanted to be friends with them. Needless to say all were girls of the right age group. Yahoo chat rooms were a rage then and social networking was unheard of. I wanted something more sophisticated than ASL. A couple of the replies seemed legit but somehow I thought that it was not a good idea. (The rest were selling Viagra)

Later on in undergrad, a television series about teenage life in US made me really desperate to have at least one girl in my friends circle. (Engineering colleges are not really green in some aspects) I remember going out of my room towards the computer center, with the sole intention of sending a mail to this girl from school whom I knew vaguely. I had just then friended her on orkut. But alas, fate intervened and the computer center was closed.

All along undergrad , I had a friend who sent me mails often. He was in Kohima and we used to meet once a year. A couple of years later we realized that it was the mails that kept us going while most of our common friends fell out of the loop. I tried to follow the same example and asked a few friends to mail me while I was off to do my MS in US.

I met a bunch of them yesterday and I am not quite sure if the mails really did have a role to play as I had good interactions with people irrespective of them being in my mailing list.

And just when I was about to leave US I met her. To this day I am certain that provided a longer time frame- there was nothing to stop me from falling in love with her. I was glad that I met her only 4 times because inspite of everything we had religious incompatibility. I have successfully been in touch with her for the past couple of years via long mails. She knows that we shared something special and I am glad to have retained that one friend from my US days. In some sense my 10 year search came to an end and I found a pen pal at last. God bless

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