Tag Archives: penpals

Life is too short

A while ago I blogged about my penpal and told you about one of my penpals named Raja Gurung who is my Facebook friend now. I was shocked to find out from his Facebook that he has passed away recently. I have no details but I am really sad to know about it.

Actually, I was shocked to read RIP messages in his Facebook wall and have no idea how to react.

As I told you before Raja was from Darjeeling, India and he was only a few years older than me. He was happily married, with two kids. I had met him a couple of times. The last time I chated with him was on Facebook which must be more than a year ago. He was telling me his plans of making a new family home and about his kids and now he is no more.

Life is short but looking around everyone seems to think that they will live forever. We spend time and money as though we will always be here. We don’t tell the ones we love how much we love them often enough because we assume there’s always tomorrow. But thinking about him now brings tears to my eyes as I know that he was a good husband and a father who loved his family a lot. But at very young age he has left this earth and his family to go far from all of us.

We think we have got forever and worry about millions of thing. We talk of killing time, passing time, and getting through the week, forgetting we are wishing away the moments that comprise our lives. We say time is money when in fact the time we have is all we have. Money can be borrowed, time can’t. We fear taking risks, unaware that the biggest risk we run in playing it safe is in fact living as long as we hope and never doing the things we dream of. And then it’s too late.

Every time someone around me dies I face the reality of life but when someone so young leave us it really makes me think harder on my choices in life because I know I may not live until tomorrow. So I am vowing to try my best not to piss anyone around me just in case. Also I want to keep my loved one close and tell them I love them a lot so that they know I will be with them even if I leave this earth before them.

I am a planner and I always plan my years in advance and it is working well for me but sometimes I wonder what will happen to my dreams if I don’t wake up tomorrow. Will my ghost haunt the earth and fulfil my dreams or will I be nothing but the ashes after cremation?

Today this is a reminder for everyone that life is short. It must, therefore, be well lived.

Penpals

Yesterday I was just going through my old papers and I came across a pile of letters. They were letters from my pen pals from my school days.

When I was in middle school, we had an English teacher named Sally Baker who encouraged everyone to write. So she had this idea for all of us to have pen pals from different schools around the world. She got around 100 letters from students from US and randomly gave those letters to us.

 I got Emily Roberts from Massachusetts, US. She wrote,

 Hi,

My name is Emily. I love flowers and Unicorns.

Will you be my friend?

There were a few stickers of unicorn.

I felt so special to get her letter so  I send my first letter to her and then we were pen pals. She used to send me birthday and Christmas cards and I sent her Dashain / Tihar and birthday cards. It was fun to know someone so far away. It was really nice and I would tell everyone who listened that I have a pen pal in US.

Around the same time, I also made 2 more pen pals, Ahmed Yakub from Lahore,Pakistan and Raja Gurung from Darjeeling,India.

With Ahmed Yakub, I had a short friendship as he stopped writing to me after few months but with Raja, our friendship is still on. He is my Facebook friend now. He is happily married with 2 kids.

Back then, he used to send me ‘Churpi’ from Darjeeling and it was a big treat for me. Churpi is a dried smoked cheese and they said Darjeeling’s Churpi is the best. He even came and visited me when he was holidaying in Nepal with his parents. It was so weird to see him in person. Even though I had seen hin in photos both of us felt bit awkward when we meet face to face. But I was glad we met. He is one of the nicest persons I have ever met and I am glad he is my friend now.

With Emily, I lost touch after 1998. I am not sure what happened but I didn’t get any reply for 3 of my letters so I stopped writing to her.

I can’t believe I used to use snail mail and wait weeks for the reply to come back. It was really exciting to see the postman coming to my door and deliver the letters from my pen pals. Surprisingly back then my mail was never lost even when it contained birthday gifts and big packages.

If someone asked me to write a letter these days I would never do it but back then I learnt so many things from these pen pals about their country and culture. There was no internet or 1000’s of channels on TV so my source of information was books. I used to go to libraries and read lots of books but to have pen pals had its own adventures. I received first hand information from them. I could ask questions to them and they would write about things in their countries. I used to write about our festivals and send them postcards of Nepal. Emily once sent me the American flag.

While blogging I felt, it is a modernised version of having a pen pal. We don’t know people when we start reading someone’s blog, they are just a name or initial in most of the cases but if we follow their stories, we learn a lot about them. That’s why I guess I started to blog and read blogs.

Happy blogging everyone!!!