Monday, May 19, 2008

Making friends

Today, I am more regularly in touch with friends I made through blogging, than with my "other" friends. Each time someone asks me how I know such and such a person, I say, "blog friend" and smile. Five years ago, I had college friends, school friends, colony friends, and now a new category has crept in - blog friends.

When and how do blog friends turn into real friends? It is not really after a face to face meeting. But somewhere down the line, a blogger stops being just someone and starts being a friend.

But meeting face to face does help immensely. And so here is an account of the people I have met through blogging.

The first group of blog friends I met in person are what we call the Mukta Balaga. I once stumbled upon a post speaking about the then running Kannada serial Mukta, and I made a comment on it. I came back to see further discussion, and joined, and before I knew it, I had got drawn into a major discussion on the blog. about what? Everything, but mostly something connected to Mukta. Scores of discussions and daily updates later, the conversation moved on to literature, music, spirituality, politics, and just life in general. Out of the discussions and numerous commenters and more than 5000 comments (yes!) emerged a handful of us likeminded people, and we formed a yahoo group and continued our conversations there. Next, obviously, we had to meet, and the first meet had a bonus attached to it - one of them brought along TN Seetaram himself, the very popular maker of the serial Mukta. A leisurely chat over coffee at Kamat Bugle Rock followed, with the tab being picked up by the generous man. We moved on. We meet regularly, in big groups or small groups or individually, on some pretext or no pretext at all. And when someone asks me how I know such and such a person, it takes me a minute to realize that it is only through blogs that I know them!

The next blogger friend I met was Chitra, who worked in the company next to mine. We met once during office hours, and started chatting on even personal matters as if we knew each other all along - and our friendship has only grown over the past couple of years.
In March, I met the ageless Usha, whose blog is one of my favourites. I already felt like I have known her for years, and meeting the wonderful lady was just like moving to the next level. I met her at a Film Festival which was organized by Abhipraya, another inspiring person, someone I knew only slightly. And though I know her real name very well, all I could do was say, "Hi Abhipraya, bye Abhipraya, I enjoyed myself Abhipraya." It was impossible for me to address her by her real name. So much for blog identities!

And now, over the weekend, I met Poppin's Mom and her adorable daughter, who else, Poppin. I had corresponded with Poppin's mom a bit, and meeting her in person was something I was looking forward to. She is very easy to talk to, and being with her was as comfortable as her blog makes one feel!

Like the icing on the cake, yesterday I met Anitha, whom I have greatly admired through the years. But somehow we have never been able to meet. I finally did meet her and her ebullient, affectionate little daughter, charm oozing out of every pore. Anitha is as sweet and mature a person as her mails made her out to be - and I am still on a high, having met her.

There are many more I would like to meet, and then there are a few bloggers I cannot believe I haven't met in person.

Oooh I love this way of making friends, especially at this age where I realize that making friends gets progressively more difficult due to lack of time, prejudices and plain non-effort.

Bring on the next round of bloggers! When shall we meet? :)

11 comments:

Which Main? What Cross? said...

If you see a middle aged man on a girly black scooty clicking pics of obscure kaka things with a pocket camera and blocking traffic on a busy Bangalore street, don't curse him. Say Hi. That would be me.

rajk said...

Hi Shruthi, I read on ~nm's blog about her meeting a blog-friend and now this post by you...and my imagination is running wild with thoughts of when and how I'll meet my blog-buddies!!

Kadalabal said...

what you have written is true to the core how you become friends through blog most differently even without seeing one to one. it is a great feeling and these friendships bringing lot of links and families together. it is something very special. bth be I am one from Mukta Balaga mentioned by shruthi we have met on various occasssions as mentioned by her superb and great time all like minded people irrespective of age meeting and talking and talking what a great fun really I enjoyed this and continue to
pranesh

Veena Shivanna said...

and Prof Shruthi, that was a lovely post. I remember this -- when your grandma asked how you know me .. You just mentioned 'Mukta balaga'.. I never thought that would emerge as a new post on hallucinations!

Well, that was a very timely post and its nice to know you.. Not important whether through blog or otherwise..

Anonymous said...

A post already?! You're so fast! :)

Yes, I too like the blog-to-friends route. All the people I've met so far - it's been as if I've always known them.

Thanks!

ano

Devaki said...

I sooooo wish I could meet you too Shruthi!

Wunderyearz said...

When do we meet ??????

Swati said...

Hey why were you not a part of the recent meet.

http://myamusingmind.blogspot.com/2008/05/and-we-met.html

Poppins said...

Hey !! You beat me to my post. I have it all typed out about our meetup, and then internet went phut at home and I'm still struggling to catch up.

Will link you up when I'm done (hopefully today)

Sanjay M said...

well there's certainly something special about your writing shruthi to attract good people wherever you are. I like not only your posts here but usually enjoy the comments by the readers of your blog as well - and often have followed up their link to read more from their pages.

Btw recently I was having ragi mudde and I actually chewed it after reading one of your recent posts (which was as if I'd written it, because I used to swallow with some difficulty as well, thinking it would get stuck to my teeth :) )

Thanks for the nostalgic post about our memorable time with TNS! :)

Thats a nice comment by Veena which I completely agree "its nice to know you.. Not important whether through blog or otherwise.."

chitra said...

hi,

Yes, i am amzed at the relation formed among bloggers. Chitra (chitraaz.blogspot.com) and I almost chat everyday on the net on personal and general things . Am looking forward to meet her on my trip to blore.

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