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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Did you ever like pen friendship?

    Before the invention of the mobile phone mostly people depended on postal services to communicate with each other if they had to contact friends or relatives living in any other city, state or country. During those days pen friendship was a popular hobby of the people especially the young generation liked it too much. I had also several penpals. I used to receive almost daily a letter from those friends who were unseen to me I never met them till date. Now I have forgotten their name also. However, a few of them are still in my memory storage. I was fond of correspondence. I used to listen to radio stations also and would send letters and would receive their materials also. Some of the penpals I got from radio stations. In newspapers and magazines, a daily or weekly page was dedicated to penfriendship. Three penpals were from South India. They lived in Mangalore, Vallore and Bhatkal. More or less, 20 friends, I had whom I remained in touch through correspondence for several years but now I don't know what were their names except a few.
    Now we have several social sites where people interact with each other online. Facebook was mainly started for this purpose. Now I don't see any column of pen friendship in newspapers or magazines. Past is gone and gone is bygone which never returns.
  • #719603
    In seventies, I used to write programmes for Srilanka (Tamil) Radio. Few girls got attracted by my programme and they became my penfriends. One was from Srinlanka's Batticolava. I still remember her name. She was Shanthini. Every week I used to receive letters and photographs from her. One of my friend wanted to befriend her. I gave him her address. Something went wrong with their communication. I lost the good girl. My second penpal was from Mysore. We were in good communication. In one of her letter, she requested me to search for a good groom for her. I said,"Sorry, It is not possible. I am not a match maker." Then she proposed me. I said NO. We lost each other. Thereafter, I put an end to pen friends.
    No life without Sun

  • #719681
    These days we don't have pen friends. But we have social network friends. In Social media, we will have many friends. With some of them, we will become friends and chat with them through messenger or WhatsApp etc. In the 1970s and 1980s, we may be interacting with a few penfriends by writing letters to them and always interact through letters only. These days the habit of writing letters is not there and we can send messages online. Pen friends can be called online friends.
    I have no penfriends during my student days or afterwards also. But now I have many online friends. On Facebook, I have almost 3000 friends. Many of them are not even seen me nor I have seen them. But I don't have any close friends on this media.

    always confident

  • #719684

    What you have mentioned would not be called communication from pen friends. That kind of correspondence is called fan mail!

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #719705
    I agree with the author that making and maintaining penfriends was a hobby for many youths about thirty to thirty-five years (or more) back. It was a sort of excitement to get in touch with people whom you have not actually met and to interact with them. And it had a special charm, unlike the virtual friends we have today because letters always carry a special meaning and are totally different from the acquaintances we create through the social media where the communication is so formal and limited. Communications between penfriends used to be detailed and were close-knit due to the details that used to be shared through letters, unlike the 'likes' or emoticons or the modern SMS language that are expected to express and encompass a whole lot of emotions. People of those days were not miserly in using words or sparing their time.

    I did have a few penfriends during my school days and did maintain the relationship with them till they shifted to mobiles and networking sites. I still have one or two of them in contact through FB pages.

    The Malayala Manorama weekly in Kerala had recently started an initiative of publishing the addresses of volunteers, particularly aged and lonely people, who were interested in making pen friends and I did write to some of them. I think such initiatives must be encouraged because no communication can replace the solace and excitement that a letter can provide.

    'Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power'. -Lao Tzu

  • #719710
    Such type of maintaining close relationship with pen friends was very popular during the period of 1965. I was tempted to make contacts with some of such strangers when I witnessed such advertisements appeared in some papers. I could establish contacts with five often sending their details regarding their studies and some notable places around their localities. They used to write letters very frequently at least in a week. Their piece of information ranged to ideal leaders, favourite films of those days, their fascination for some careers and so on. Our common areas of interest was regarding the Hindi films and the actors and actress of those times. However, with the times say when the year 1978 approached communication dropped drastically and ultimately ceased functioning with the approach of 1980 but still they are with my memories and their reminiscing at times give me some sort of pleasure beyond narrations.

  • #719712
    Glad to know about all of your experiences with pen friendships. Unfortunately, I have no personal experience of pen friendships or any other pen relationships, but yes my mother and father still have many old pen friendships related cards or letters that they often read occasionally. I also understand that recalling the memories associated with them makes them feel very happy.

  • #719713
    There was a time when it was very interesting to have pen friends. I came to know about that when I was in my intermediate classes, almost 50 years back. One of my classmate had pen friends and he used to show me their letters which were so affectionate and bubbling with emotions. At that time we did not have phone or email or anything like that and only details or plan or any other program could be only known through the letters. I also started to make some friends and soon I was having three pen friends one of whom was in the famous tourist hill town Nainital. We had communication for a year or so and then it discontinued. It so happened that I had to go to Nainital for my PG as that was the nearest one available for my subject. I tried to connect with that boy through letters but it seemed that he had moved to some other place and there was no response and then I could not connect with him.
    Knowledge is power.

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