I was searching for my painting brush this afternoon and eventually found a post-card dated April 2002. Whenever I read my old letters, I become emotional. They have always been my source of inspiration.
The journey started when I was just eighteen. I had started writing some articles for local newspapers and magazines. My first article was on ‘Music’ in Kannada which got published into four editions in ‘Sugunamala’ from Udupi. Following which I practiced writing on various facets of society encompassing youth, corruption, women empowerment, self-control etc. When I rewind my pages of life, I now feel that I was matured more than required. I now feel why was I so serious in life to write on such heavy topics just at the age of twenty or early twenties to be more precise.
Anyways, I have always cherished to be in limelight all the while because of this hobby of mine. I was recognised in my college from a different stature which I have thoroughly enjoyed. This hobby of mine actually amplified once when I passed out my engineering and started to work at Dell. This was the time I received a letter stating ‘I want to be a pen-friend of yours’. I was taken aback when I saw this letter addressed to my residence.
It was a registered post carrying two photocopies of my article-one published in early 1997 and another recent article published in 2001. Four years was a good gap to recognise anyone and I was literally taken a back looking at it conveying that – I recognise you and can I have a pen friendship with you and the one who posted it was Dr. BS Manjunath from Davanagere one of districts in Karnataka. He was still practicing his medicine. And this registered post along with the request carried good articles on friendship which was certainly special. I had received around eighty fan letters appreciating my article, but this was different and I was very inquisitive to know more about him and I immediately sent a reply stating that his letter was thought-provoking and remarkable as I could not even dream that someone can recognise a personality with a four year gap and that too only looking at photos which had got published in the magazine.
‘Pen-friendship’ – A friendship which just stays black and white and only to pages. That was the time the internet, email usage had just taken birth and going to cyber café to check mails was an expensive affair. The friendship started with a treaty signed in between us stating that – ‘We shall never see each other in life, we shall never call each other and we shall stop writing letters when anyone feels that ‘it’s enough’. With this we started………….
This was one of my beautiful expeditions or a passage of my life. We must have literally exchanged around 200 letters within a span of three years. And the letters is just not stipulated to a page or two. Both of us used to write at least ten to fifteen pages. And Manju always used to overtake me in writing. His letters always over shooted mine. There is no topic on the earth that we did not uncover. It started with introducing ourselves, our individual traits, family, life until then and the current status. He used to write on all the medical terminologies, introducing me to various medicinal fields and on the contrary I used to given him lot of information on electronics, technology, my work at Dell, my hobby of RJ’ing on AIR and all my experiences when I was on air as a Radio Jockey on FM Metro(Currently FM Rainbow). My voice was my world and with all this we used to share so much of knowledge that we exchanged books, photo-copies of interesting articles, poems and thousands of poems and we used to even argue and write critics on various literary works.
The best part of the entire journey was ‘Knowledge Sharing’, and I owe this entire credit to him. There were few things which I still treasure about my pen-friend Manju. I had this ambition of becoming a Medical Practitioner since my childhood and I had shared this secret and not worked dream with him. And one of the best gifts I have ever received for my birthday in that year was an Apron, Statoscope and few other medical related accessories. He wanted me to wear that apron and listen to my own heart beat in that gifted Statoscope. And I sincerely did.
The information and knowledge we have shared carry no bounds. It’s absolutely fascinating extract. Well, they say everything in this world will have to come to a logical end. I am not really envisaging if this is true or false. But, yes as I travelled abroad the other phases naturally took a priority and the pace slowed down. The best part of the entire stroll was its end. The last letter I posted clearly communicated that …. ‘Kannanchina neerinondhige, Thutiyanchina mugulnageyondige, Vidhaya heluvenu geleya ninage…………………….’ (With a twinkle tear in the corner of my eyes, With a sombre smile at the end of my lips…. My dear friend, I bid you goodbye)