Hi everyone! This is the last Penpal of the Week interview of the year! 2012 was great, but I know that 2013 will be even better. I can’t wait to tell you all about my new project with Laura! In a few days…
Who’s celebrating tonight?! I’m spending the evening at my mom’s house with Martin, Louis-Justin, Nicolas, my sister and my mom. We’re eating fondue (meat & seafood) and spoiling my son with presents. It should be fun!
And now on to the interview…
Please tell us about you!
Hello there! My name is Harjyot (It’s hard to pronounce, I know) and I live in Mumbai, India. I’m turning 18 next month it’s kind of terrifying but amazing at the same time! I live with my parents, grandmother and sister. I am going to university next year, hoping to find one that offers both graphic art and psychology.
That’s me after eating red velvet cupcakes (and wanting to eat more).
I adore dogs and horses but sadly, don’t have any pets.
I can safely classify myself as a nerd, I watch a lot of telly shows and read a lot of books too. Mainly fiction but also read some classics and other short stories, and fanfiction.
I want to travel around the world and sometimes I just think I want to own a little coffee shop in Paris or Ireland, still not sure if I can actually do that.
I think that’s about it!
A picture of me.
Describe your personality in 10 words!
Empathic. Creative. Chaotic. Geeky/ nerdy. Caring. Dreamer. Thoughtful. Honest. Spontaneous. Slightly shy.
A few friends that I made at junior college, we actually cut a cake on the promenade!
How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!
I’ve always had friends online and as much fun it is to receive emails and IMs, being able to have a hard copy is much more personal and heart-warming. What’s better than something you can always keep from someone you’re friends with but lives halfway across the world?
I wrote my first letter when I was 15, so it has been three years! It was to a girl called Danielle from England, I met her on a page on facebook that was about a book series that we were both reading and that’s how we started talking. We stopped writing to each other though, because we used to Skype and via IMs all the time.
The first letter I received was from a girl called Marie from Denmark! We still write to each other occasionally.
What my neighbourhood looks like at 5 am in the morning!
How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?
I have around 15 penpals, out of which there are 4 or 5 of them that I only correspond through letters. The rest, though, talk to me almost every day. I have penpals from Hong Kong, Philippines, Canada, Germany, England and various parts of USA. Most of them talk to me online everyday but letters are always better!
Some of the envelopes I’ve made and decorated, it’s addictive!
What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?
I happen to talk about a lot of things, the day I had, the cultural differences, education systems and dreams and goals in life.
The last book I read, the last film I watched, the last show I watched and what I thought about it. Experiences and ideas, career plans. I can safely say “everything”. Since I am not very social in real life due to studies and other things, I’m more open when I’m writing. Getting to know a person like that is wonderful.
One night I stayed up and painted my wall because it looked “too empty” and I
hadn’t taken my parents’ permission so I had to finish it somehow before they woke up.
What are you looking for in a penpal?
I don’t really have any special criteria other than the person being non judgmental. I also do not mind if people do not have a lot to say but it’s always nice to know that they are equally interested!
If the person is willing to give the other person a chance, looking past the differences it’s a great thing and isn’t that the best part about penpalling?
I took care of five stray puppies a few months ago!
What do you like the most about penpalling?
Coming back home and seeing a letter at your doorstep or in the mailbox. We are all so busy with our lives that we forget that sometimes. I feel very lucky that I have penpals! Most people don’t even know what they are missing out on. I also love how you go from being complete strangers to friends, it’s a much slower process but in a way, it’s also more genuine and honest.
A few of the postcards and letters I have received.
It also makes you more open since people are different, there’s a lot of diversity.
It always brings a smile to my face and I hope my letters do the same!
And like I said before, emails cannot fill the spaces that letters can. So A+ to letters!
In what language(s) do you correspond?
Sadly, it’s only English for now.
What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?
I usually turn my music up at night and write the letters. I try to get them done the day they arrive but sometimes I can’t make it. Sometimes I write them when I’m at college (I carry a lot of stationary in my bag, then wonder why it’s heavy) but I always mark the date and time.
One thing I look forward to before school starts is decorating my notebooks.
I also mention what I’m listening to while writing, so there are lots of “Now listening to:—” notes in my letters.
If I’m writing on coloured paper, the ink is always black and if I’m writing on white paper then the ink work looks like a rainbow.
If I sit at the dining table, all of it is filled with stationary! I also draw a lot of little doodles on the envelopes because who doesn’t like doodles?
To make my study desk look a little more interesting, I have pinned up several
drawings on it, this is one of them. Finnick and Annie from The Hunger Games.
Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you’ve been penpalling?
Nothing really funny or strange, but this year, Georgia sent me a present for Christmas and told me it wouldn’t be here until the 20th or so but I actually received it on the 10th of December itself. So I’m still helplessly looking at it since I can’t open it, hoping it would open “accidentally”. Since I took the wrapping paper off, my mum kept it in my closet as a punishment.
Mixed media art owl, made with eggshells on canvas.
Have you met any of your penpals?
Sadly, no, not yet but I would love to meet them all. Kristina from England is trying to visit me next summer!
Are you currently looking for more penpals?
My favourite place in the world,
I often sit on the rocks while watching the sunset and eating muffins.
Thank you so much and have a nice week!
Thank you Harjyot!
Happy New Year everyone!
I’ll see you again in 2013!