Fountain pens and faraway friends

There are some days you have to erase from your calendar. The sick days. The ones where you wake up and don’t want to get out of bed, even if you are in paradise. Ofcourse, I wasn’t in paradise. I was in my apartment in London (the one I am being evicted from shortly). So, I stayed in bed. Day 20 was one of them.

Day 21. Still in bed. But, something came like a breath of fresh air. Blast from the past.

It was 5 years ago that Neesha and I wrote to Luiza on Couchsurfing asking her if we could stay with her in Sao Paulo.  I think she had already accepted some other guests and we landed up in Luanda’s couch instead 🙂 Nevertheless, when we landed in Sao Paulo, Luiza whisked us away from Paulista Avenue on a food trail around Sao Paulo and won our hearts in 5 minutes. Then, she promptly invited us to stay at hers for Christmas, which was still a few months away. We connected instantly.

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What does today have to do with Luiza? And, what does all this have to do with fountain pens and faraway friends?

Well, just a few days ago, I got a text from a friend who I had sent a postcard to with a smiley that he was a sucker for good handwriting. That felt good. It just made me think about my grandfather who used to make sure we wrote every postcard or letter using a fountain pen. Every school assignment. Nothing else was allowed at home. Ink stained fingers was a punishable offense at home. All in all, those fountain pen days resulted in neat postcards. Ones that I used to write to him when I was in Pune. Those little yellow postcards.

And, then today, I received a postcard from Luiza. Unexpected. 5 years since that day and she has moved to Rio and has a couch waiting for me. This postcard arrives with silver ink on a dark blue card and with a little note – “I have terrible hand write”. You gotta love her.

Something about her radiant smile, the love that she pours on her friends (especially me) and the occasional surprise in my postbox makes me feel closer to her than anyone else.

Good handwriting or terrible – its the love from faraway friends that makes things so special. And nothing can take away from it.

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