Monday, April 07, 2008

...and a blackout

...the first thing that I noticed was a familiar picture taken by Marlee inside the bookshop, the shot of an older lady reading the book "nudes". My eyes started wandering for a familiar face that I had never met. And there she was, sitting in red against a red background and almost meshing within it except for a beautiful smile that greeted me. I wouldn't lie but there was an initial awkwardness from my side but it all vanished by the time we sat on the couch. We started talking where we had left in our chats, smses and phone conversations. My first impressions of Marlee was that she was a beautiful girl with a certain innocence about her that reflected in her writings too. She gave me a wonderful scarf from her native Assam while I didn't got her anything, not even the damn red roses. After some iced tea, we decided to go for lunch and I left it onto her to decide since Delhi was like a strange dream to me after so many years.

We decided to go to a Chinese place, Bercos, where I had been before once, long time back. The place was crowded like anything but we managed to find a table for two. I told Marlee to order and almost wished she wouldn't order any kind of dish with silkworms in it (just kidding). Jokes apart, the food was delicious and we were full in no time. Marlee had told me about a Delhi Blogger's Meet that she had been invited to the same day and we decided to join them in the evening. We still had an hour to go, so we decided to goto the Central Park and relax under the winter sun. We called our common and dear friend Mehak from there and it was almost an extension of our chatting sessions together.

Blogger's Meet was in Blue's pub and we walked into some really good music. Marlee met and then introduced me to Lalit, the blogger that had invited her for the meet. There were about 10-15 other bloggers that we had never met online or otherwise. We found a seat at the corner of the table beside a journalist from a national newspaper. We introduced ourselves to few bloggers but were almost feeling out of place as most of them knew each other and were also serious bloggers. It has to be said that Lalit really took very good care of us and in no time we were mingling with bloggers and having the Blogger's meet cake.

It was surprising that couple of bloggers knew me as Seventeen tomatoes but had never commented on my blog and vice-versa. The most surprising part came when one of the bloggers asked me if I knew Harry and I said that I have a cousin named Harry. As it turned out my Bua's son was one of the founders of Delhi's Bloggers Meet. Suddenly everyone was referring me as Harry's cousin. We had couple of drinks and it was almost time for us to leave. We made short videos about blogging and what it meant to us, for the organizers and left. My parents had to pick me up while Marlee's friend had to accompany her. So, we called them at a common place where I introduced my parents to her and then it was time to leave. We had made some plans to meet again but as I said earlier my plans never turn out as planned.

I don't remember when I met Neetie online but its like I have always known her. She used to write poetry but would change her blog-address every time. She would come to my blog once a month and tell me the link to her new blog. With time I was able to convince her to stick to one blog and she eventually did. Suddenly we were chatting everyday and despite of the fact she was very shy, we opened up to each other. It has been a wonderful journey to not only see her grow over time but become a confident and independent girl. Although, with time she almost left blogging and would meet me online once in a blue moon but our friendship remained as strong as it ever was. We would talk about our lives where we had left the last time and the conversation will always flow. I had promised her that I will meet her whenever I would come to India. She would ask me everytime, "Tu kab aa raha hain?" And here I was in India, but again like all my plans, something or the other would come up. First time even though I was in her area since my Bua lives there, it was pretty late when she returned from work and we decided to meet sometime else. Other time she took a holiday to meet me but I had a Doctor's appointment and that plan was canceled too.

It was my last week in Delhi and my Uncle from US was visiting. We once again went to our Bua's place and I called Neetie. She was leaving work and it was late-ish evening. She told me that she will try to see if her cab-driver can drop her near my Bua's place. She called again when she was near our place and told me that she was unable to find our street although she was very near. I told her to wait and I would come to the main road to meet her. As soon as I left, the city blacked out. Here I was, who had no idea about the place, had never met this friend and looking for her without any lights on the streets. I was running from one corner of the street to another, talking to Neetie on phone when she suddenly asked me what I was wearing. I turned back and there she was accompanied by one of her cab-mates who left as soon as I waved her. I crossed the road and met her where she gave me a shy smile. Again after a second of awkwardness we were talking like we knew each other since ages. By the time we reached my Bua's place we were very comfortable with each other. I introduced her to my extended family, including my parents, bua, chachi and even Marshaal, bua's Labrador. This had to be the most awkward way to meet a Blogger, with your whole extended-family in toe. But I was more than impressed with how Neetie handled herself. I could not believe it was the same shy girl who wouldn't even go out of her house for days. It helped that she had met my parents even before she had met me (Post: Meet my parents). We ended up talking mostly about stocks as she is in the stock industry and my Dad has invested in some stocks as well. It was already late and her fiancee was at my Bua's place to pick her up. We bade good-byes and she was away within only half hour of meeting me. Next day she called me and said that never for a second she felt that she was meeting me for the first time and I told her that the feeling was mutual. My only regret was not to attend her wedding which was in two weeks time. Few days back when she showed me her wedding snaps, it was like I was there with her during her happiest hour. As she would always say to me "God Bless !!"

I wish I had met some more bloggers but am sure there will be a time and place for each one of them. I am just thankful that all my blogger friend's made me feel so welcome back home. I can't wait to be back among them soon but this time there will be no plans.

12 Comments:

Anonymous rain girl said...

phew!! finally finished reading it :P

lolz but it was fun to read. psst! why did you meet only girls, haan? :P

yaar itta acha laga na reading this.. wish we had met too :(

2:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah read the post :) and sorry to say to but apne baare mein hi pada--
it was nice meeting u after such a long ent frdship with u--though ppl dont believe net frd are real--but we made it true--

and yeah it was really a bit awkward meeting infront of whole family but aunty uncle knew me so i was cool--behaving like i have been there before--

teri book mere pass padi hai--next time aaye to le lena--

thanks a lot for being wonderful frd-

Love
Neetie-Nitish

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AND YEAH ME 2ND AFTER SUCH A LONNNNNNNNNG TIME :D YUPPIEE

NEETIE

10:44 AM  
Blogger Colors said...

The pics showed that you guys had a good time..nice to read abt it in detail.

They don't say its a small world for no reason, isnt it Harry's cousin?

12:07 PM  
Blogger Beauty and the BEast said...

For brief moments I was there in Delhi with you, catching up with friends and having a time of my life :)

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, meeting bloggers is one of the most wonderful feeling:)
i rem u used to ask me, wht do bloggers do when they meet, n so many other innocent questions.
Now u know..they meet like the best of friends, sumtimes like a part of the family :)

enjoyed every bit of this post:*

-shono

10:16 PM  
Blogger Ricky said...

rain girl - Oho post padh ke thak gayee :P

I didn't met only girls but only girls met me, so what can I do...haan? :P

Milenge zaroor and that will be as fun :-)

neetie-nitish - Yea, it was great meeting you both.

You were great meeting the whole family and yet being so cool about it.

Tune mujhe koi book wook nahin dene, sirf bolti rehte hain :P

Silver Medal goes to Nee...err Nitin ;)

8:41 PM  
Blogger Ricky said...

colors - Yea, it was really good meeting both of them.

By God, that Harry's cousin was spooky :P

beauty and the beast - :-)

shono - Yea, me and my innocent questions...sigh :P

You are right, now I know how it feels to meet blogger buddies :-)

I enjoyed writing this post very much.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Karthik S said...

It was like I was there with you when u met ur blog buddies... well written..

1:07 AM  
Blogger Marlee said...

:-)

5:50 AM  
Blogger Jyoti said...

wow! it was really cute...
i never ever thought about any "blogger party"

That was damn interesting boy

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chandu ~ grrrrr... u donno ricky how hard PP and I struggled to control the upset gals who were about to "women-handle" us after we told them that you are not landing in bangalore. anyways next time we can handle the crowd better since the airport got bigger in bangalore. do drop by.

2:41 AM  

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