7.6 billion people in the world and yet you and I became friends without even meeting!

Can you believe that we actually started off with handwritten letters? We used to pen down our thoughts on pages torn out of notebooks and then mail these letters to each other via the local postal service. Obviously, the post wasn’t very reliable and then we would wait weeks and weeks for the letters to reach the intended address. Since we didn’t even live in the same country, this could take about forever! I miss that desperate wait sometimes.

From handwritten letters, we moved to the occasional phone call made after saving up a lot of our pocket money. Then we got our first cellphones and we started texting or sending messages through Facebook. And now here we are, our letters have evolved into video calls. Well, video calls whenever we actual manage to make some time and get the time zones right.

Physical presence is not necessary for a lasting friendship and we are the living proof of that.

I won’t be exaggerating if I tell you that you’re one of my best friends.

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We have known each other for so long! You are one of my oldest friends in the world and one of my closest too. You’re the first person to know all my secrets and you’re the one who has to listen to me complain about all my problems. You have been a constant support system to me through all these years as I have tried to be one to you. I won’t be exaggerating if I tell you that you’re one of my best friends and I love you so much! I love how you got me into Star Wars or how I introduced you to one of my favourite TV shows in the world. I love how our birthdays are only two days apart and we always dream of a time when we can afford to spend our birthdays together.

So, I’m going the traditional way and writing you this letter because I have news for you. Next year, I will have saved enough money to be able to afford a plane ticket abroad and there is a place that is very high on my priority list. Hey pen friend, I’m going to be visiting you next year and we will actually get to meet in person!

Do you think our first meeting will be something like this?

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I have a fantasy where I walk out of the airport looking all cool and chic with sunglasses on, and you are waiting for me. We take a cab back to your place and there is absolutely no awkwardness. We don’t have those weird silences where neither one of us has any idea of what to talk. We start off in person from our closeness in the virtual world.

Do you think our first meeting will be something like this? Do you think it will be this easy? Or maybe when we finally meet in person, we won’t know what to talk about and behave like complete strangers. Won’t that be absolutely horrible?

However it goes, I can’t wait for it to happen! I have a feeling that my visit will basically be a long, cosy sleepover. You can show me around your beautiful city and maybe I can finally taste that delicious-looking pizza you make and send me pictures of.

Most importantly, I look forward to giving you a proper hug instead of all the virtual hugs we’ve sent to each other over the years. Oh, I can smell an adventure!

Loads of excitement,
Your Pen Pal!

Author: Maitreyee Mhatre

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