Pen Pals.

pen_pal_clubPerhaps that should read as “Because two computers are better than one.”
The internet has made it possible for us to have more pen pals than one would have thought possible when pen pals were all the rage. I had one brush with that phenomenon.

I was all of 13 years old when my cousin Mangala who was the librarian at the United States Information Service Library in Madras put me in touch with a young lad of the same age from the USA named Johny Horrigan Jr.  The USIS had a program to encourage such exchanges and Johny and I exchanged a few letters and photographs taken with our box cameras, during the next two years and both simply tapered off due to other preoccupations.  We had Boy Scouts as the only common interest and there was the  dampener that I did not have a clue about base ball and he about cricket!

After that great experience, all my penning was to people I knew and I was an inveterate writer of letters.  I wrote to my friends, cousins, mother and a few times to the editor of the local news papers too.  But I never got back to making pen pals till the advent of the internet.

I don’t know if I can call my internet friends who I have not met face to face as pen pals but it makes sense to me to.  I don’t put a pen to paper to write to them, but type on a key board I do to correspond with them through emails, facebook, blog posts and comments; and now with the world becoming smaller on skype, whatsap, sms and so on too.

If I am allowed to include my internet friends, then my list of pen pals would run into a very large number and one of these days, I shall sit down and count and give this post an update.  In the meanwhile, I am glad that I have them in my life and I hope that they are happy that I am in their life too.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where six of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic was chosen by yours truly. The five other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, gaelikaa, Maxi, Paul, Shackman, and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

The Internet,Senior Citizens and Relationships.

On the 24th inst. I had posted that I intend sharing three stories with my readers about Senior Citizens. As chance would have it, I have had to post two posts on the same story about SCB and Anand, and the way events are unfolding, it is likely that I may have to post more.

The third story that I had to share was this. I belong to a yahoo group consisting of ex employees of one of my employers. Most members in the group are retired from the same company and some like me left prior to retirement but, we were all known to each other for many years and enjoyed our being colleagues during the time of our employment with the company. A few such persons now residing in Bangalore decided to arrange a get together of as many ex employees as possible and thanks to the Internet, the number of persons thus located and contacted became quite large. The first meeting took place last year and the second one is to take place by the end of September.

Since the list of members has been compiled by the moderator quite exhaustively, our email addresses telephone numbers etc have all become available to all of us. On my responding to one mail from the moderator, two old colleagues who I had lost touch with since twenty odd years ago, sent me emails wanting to reestablish contact. One of them also is the younger brother of a classmate close friend of mine, with who too, I had lost touch for over forty years.

Thanks to the Internet and the initiative taken by some well meaning ex colleagues, I have been able now to reestablish contact with three persons and I am extremely happy to have been able to do so, as the three others are too.

The point of this post is to emphasize, that the Internet when properly put to use is capable of bringing people together like this. In these days of isolation and alienation, such relationships are priceless and I wish to express my gratitude to technology that makes this possible.

What about you? Have such things happened to you too?