With the introduction of e-mail and voice mail, we hardly find hand written letters posted to our residential addresses. During those days receiving a letter from faraway place is an event to celebrate. While shifting to our new house, I have come across the bunch of letters in an envelope in one of the boxes in our attic. As I opened the bunch, my mind was filled with sweet memories of my pen pal Teresa.
It was during final year of my High School. Our teacher gave me her address from the list of American students willing to make friends with Indian students. I have immediately posted a letter to Teresa introducing myself. Her reply was very prompt The letter, along with a greeting card for the Valentine’s Day, with a caption “Be My Favorite Valentine”. All papers including the Valentines’ day greeting are in pink, her favorite color. The hand writing is so beautiful, just like pearls lined up on a silk cloth. Like ours, she also hails from a large family. She has sent her photograph and she is a stunning beauty. We continued writing letters for almost a decade.
As a member of middle class family, I have never dreamt of visiting US, which is so many thousands of miles away from our home town. But it has become true. In 1997, I have made a trip to visit my son, working in US. During a local tour, I had a chance to visit the city where Teresa used to live during her Schooldays. I tried to find her address but couldn’t succeed. I left the issue alone, as I respect the privacy of my beloved pal.
Initially she has mistook me as a girl and sent some gifts like necklaces and chocolates, wishing happy birthday to a nice girl. When I wrote her that I am a boy, she took it as fun and commented that I should have sent my photograph instead. I still remember her first remark “It’s wonderful the way you have mastered English”. I could not understand it, till I found my score in English in pre-university exams.