You’ve never met them but you almost know what they look like. You’ve never spoken to them but you know where they went for dinner last night. You don’t even know their name but you know some of their darkest secrets.
20 months of blogging later, I'm still enamored by the paradoxes inherent in blogging. And although I’ve met a dozen or so bloggers, I’m still a cocktail of elation, anticipation and nerves each time I meet a new one.
So you can imagine my state last week when I met three bloggers – two of them, for the first time. I met them individually, of course. For some reason, the idea of meeting a group of bloggers (group of anything, in fact) unsettles me. There tends to be a bunch of knots where my tongue usually is. And things go downhill from there.
Not so, when I met…
Josephine’s been a frequent a visitor to my blog, and she emailed me in response to the posts about my sister. Her friends were surprised when she announced that she was attending the funeral of someone she’d never known. I knew I had to meet her. She seemed quite a fascinating lady – an export manager, an aerobics instructor, and best of all, a grandmother!
I was expecting to be surprised, and Josephine didn’t disappoint. Dressed in a Nike sweatshirt and trousers, she was the most ‘with-it’ grandmother I’d ever seen. But beneath the trendy exterior, I discovered an extraordinary woman. Jo, as her friends call her, has had a bumpy ride through life, but each time, she’s proved she’s tougher. I was impressed with her self-awareness and poise, and her disarmingly immodest views on aging gracefully. Jo is proof that it’s never too late to live out your dreams. In fact, one of Jo’s newest ambitions is to work in a fast food chain (I forget the name!) in the US. Why, I asked, astounded. Because I just like the idea of serving people breakfast, she replied. Oh Josephine!
I’ve been following (or rather, doing my best to keep up with) her blog, for a few months now. I think it was Amit Varma who once described her as the blogger who ‘writes like an angel and updates like a demon’. (It strikes me that Uma and I have diametrically opposite blogging styles – 10 posts per day v/s 1 post in 10 days!) I enjoy her pithy comments on the articles she links to, sometimes, more than the article itself. Uma, apparently, reads like a demon as well. Quite fast, she said, modestly, when I asked half-enviously.
Like Jo, Uma, too, responded to the posts on my sister. And with an ailing mother, knew exactly what the ‘waiting-game’ was like. She’s been extremely supportive and I looked forward to meeting her. Like with Jo, there were no awkward pauses when we met at the Tea Centre in Churchgate. We whizzed from blogging to books, advertising to bloggers and traveling to, well, blogging. Apart from Indian Writing, she also pitches in at Animal Rights India, loves travelling, reviews books and movies, and somewhere in between it all, also has a full time job! Uma was rather generous in praising my humble blog, and insisted I give that ‘book’ a shot. Gee, Uma, that’s a scary prospect, but one of these days… :)
Kahini is an old new-blogger (just coined that one) and, in fact, one of my early ‘blog friends’. I used to be in awe of the seamless prose she hammered out day after day until she decided she’d had enough. Fortunately, she’s back to doing what she does best. Check out her ode to Toast and Porridge.
Kahini is back in the city she loves after a long (TOO long, she’ll say) hiatus. And we had a lot of catching up to do. A meeting with Kahini is always preceded with a flurry of text messages. ‘Hey, are we meeting today?’ ‘Then you know where. Grin’ ‘In case you’ve forgotten what I look like, I’m the intellectual with the book and cig.’ Actually, there’s no forgetting Kahini. At Toto’s, her favourite watering hole, neither the manager nor the waiters, nor even the cigarette vendor outside, has difficulty in recalling the girl with OODLES of attitude. The last time we met, we got free drinks in another pub where an ex-waiter from Toto’s recognized her! We chatted about books, bloggers, Bombay and other random topics, which didn’t necessarily begin with the letter B.
Jo, Uma, Kahini… it was a pleasure!
Surprisingly, for a person who loves lists, I haven’t made up too many on this blog. So starting with:
Bloggers we’ve met:
Aekta– Angel on Fire
Amit L – Amit’s Musings
Carpe Diem - Good Times, Sad Times, Changing Times
Josephine - Happenings of the Heart
Joshua Newton - Reportage
Kahini – Here We Go Again
Manu George – Georgie’s Jungle
Smiley – Joie de Vivre
Spaceman – Residual Self Image
Uma – Indian Writing
Prashanth - Unratiosenatic
Bloggers we’ve had lengthy conversations with and made promises to meet up ‘soon’
Rash – Good Days Bad Times
Alpha– Pieces of the Puzzle
Parmanu - Parmanu
Colours - Vibgyor
(and just for lists’ sake)
Faymbus Blogger we met at a job interview aeons ago (erm.. who did the interviewing)
Peter Griffin - Zigzackly