How Having Penpals Helped Me Blog


When I was little, I used to love reading and writing. One more thing I loved – Bollywood movies.

I remember we would go to the cinema nearly every day while each movie is was running. I used to catch Bollywood movies on TV and try to sing and dance along. All of it later turned into me learning and performing Contemporary Indian Dance. But that’s not what I am writing about the today.

We used to have kids magazines and newspapers where there was a special section with children all over Soviet Union at that time, and later – CIS countries, looking for penpals. They offered exchange of hobbies, pictures and biographies of Indian actors, per se. And so, I was moved to start writing to these children.

Very soon, I had around 100 penpals. We sold to each other various items, exchanged pictures, trinkets. We told each other about our lives.

Among them were some children who were my friends in my grandma’s town, or whom I met in summer camps. I literally had letters coming in every day! I still sometimes see myself receiving these letters in my dreams.

So, writing to so many people on so many different subjects, moved me to write a diary. And then – short stories. My love for writing only increased with getting a computer and being able to type.

Fast-forward, many years later I became a teacher. And then – a mother. I started my first  blog some time between 2001 and 2003. It is still there.

And I moved onto LittleArtists in 2010, which evolved into Creative World of Varya.

Having all these experiences of writing and creating in my childhood, in my youth, and in my adulthood, I believe helped me not only be eloquent in my own  language; but later, when I was learning foreign languages, it helped me learn to express myself better in foreign languages.

I don’t have any connection with my childhood pen pals anymore. And I have honestly forgotten most of their names. But I will forever cherish that memory of having pen pals, of the experiences that help form who I am now.

Did you have penpals? Do you still keep in touch?

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