Thursday, August 06, 2009

An Enchanted Evening

A cool night in the Bay Area.

Two bloggers planned to meet for dinner. One, a so-called "veteran" of blogger lunches. :-) ....The other was someone who was simply enchanted with the idea of blogging, and of course , meeting another fellow blogger.

The former, at the end of her sixth decade of life, visiting the Bay area from Mumbai to attend some family function. Several blog comments, and a little bit of sitemeter and feedjit research over a decent period of time had identified the younger one as someone who lived in this area. Initial tentative emails had resulted in plans to meet.

Chuckles over the phone, slipping into Marathi(the mother tongue for both of them) as folks from Mumbai often do, she promises to come by and pick the older one up. And myriad thoughts bubble over in both minds. Neither knows how the other looks. But both have a mental image of the other....

She drives up in an SUV, and slows down at the house. The older one waits at the curb. They meet. Go in to meet the older one's family, who are all totally entertained by this concept of these two meeting.

Introductions. Smiles. Excitement. And the two leave. Both are vegetarians, and they go to a place that reminds the younger one of home, an the older one of her younger days .

An Idli Dosa place. South Indian Cuisine. In the middle of the Bay Area. Totally packed on a weekday evening.

The two order and start chatting. The menu brings up so many familiar items. Rawa Masala Dosa, Medu Vadas, Sada Dosas, Sambar, 3 types of chutney. You could be in any Udupi place in Mumbai.

All it needed is a fellow with a towel flung over a shoulder, lungi hitched up, scribbling something on a writing pad, and shouting something over his shoulder towards the kitchen window informing them about the order, while simultaneously gesturing to the "water " chap to land up forthwith and replenish the water glasses.

But this is Silicon valley, and most of the patrons actually "live" most of the time at Yahoo, Google, Oracle, TCS, Infy and the like, so the idli -dosa fellows have " IT-fied " and advanced in the world. The waiter scribbles on some kind of electronic pad, and the order is directly gulped into the innards of the system, probably informing the kitchen as well as the cashier.....

The food arrives with a speed that would warm the hearts of diehard Udupi food lovers. And the two get talking. About their families. The younger one's work. How her husband couldnt join them, he was held up in a meeting. They talk about common bloggers they "know". Folks whose sites they have lurked on. It amazing how they have the same take on some bloggers who they both enjoy. They talk about the younger one's school, and the older one is fairly familiar with that area of Mumbai. The younger one is also familiar with the place the older one comes from. Twelve thousand miles away from home, two women of disparate generations, meeting each other with only a previously imagined persona of the other in mind, suddenly find common names to talk about.

The delicious repast over, they leave. Interestingly, the bill is carried by them, to the counter near the sweets display and paid at the cashiers counter; something we have always done in the high turn-around Udipi places in Mumbai.

A nice touch, that.

There is a lurking feeling of home as they both leave. The older one is delighted at how well the younger one has settled into her life here; she is just a few years older than her own daughter. The younger one is possibly amused at the attitudes and stories she hears from someone old enough to be her mother. They walk out into the darkened cool evening, towards her car, which seems to wink through the headlights as they approach, as she unlocks it remotely. They both want a keepsake, and they ask a lady , in English, if she could click a photograph on the older one's camera. Appearances are deceptive and they think she speaks Hindi, another Indian language. She smiles, and gladly obliges. Then she shows us the picture, and asks in Marathi, "Is that OK ?" ..... and there are amused delighted smiles all around.

It is a short drive back and they are at the older one's place. It has been a lovely evening. The older one has brought something for the younger one. Mango Panha concentrate. A little gift of some Indian stuff, made at home, with American ingredients (applesauce), for the busy young woman; something a mother would possibly make and keep for a daughter to enjoy later on at leisure, something which would not require too much work to prepare.

She comes out of the car to bid the older one goodbye. There are hugs and promises to meet up in Mumbai when the younger one comes again on a visit. Somewhere the eyes well up a bit. Gulp. They wave goodbye. And she is gone.

There is a mild breeze , The branches of the tree above, move in symphony with breeze. The older one looks up and peering through the trees, it feels like the moon is shaking its head from side to side, indulgently exasperated at the way these bloggers from Mumbai keep having these meets..... and so it keeps going on its path, to its assigned duty over Mumbai , twelve hours later.

Back at home, everyone is excited about the visit. No one else blogs. And the older one sems to be making so many wonderful friends,

Like the younger one.

An Enchanted evening, that.


  1. What a nice evening which two persons met having acommon interest i.e blogging. A nice place to meet. But a little dnarration about the subjects of blogging could have been there. I wish to make it one day.

  2. A Bloggers' Meeting in the U.S. too!

    I'm glad you enjoyed it. And let us enjoy it, also, through your post!

  3. Thats fantastic ! I guess we have a topic for conversation when you come back here...!

    And Saravana Bhavan tie ups are always good. ( I know numerous romances flowering in their various branches). So there !

    I am tempted to blog more. Perhaps more purposefully. find people who will feed me like this when i travel. Whenever i get to do this.

    And live off the blog. Hmm.

    You always show the way ! :)

  4. How delightful and the blogging world is yet another way unlikely people to meet then do. Wonderful.

  5. You wrote already!!!

    I just cant stop smiling. Read this again and again to understand what was better the meeting itself or the description of it. I thought of writing up something too but now glad that didn't attempt it.
    I couldn't have done more justice than this post to our exceptionally wonderful meeting ( read date ;-) ).

    Before the meeting i was bit uncertain of what can possibly be the topics of conversations between two complete strangers only acquainted by each others words.
    And I am still in awe at how we were able to connect so instantly and had so much to discuss that our conversations continued till the very end and the evening seemed so short. But it was a wonderful experience and cant thank you enough for everything.

    BTW the Panha was delectably tasty. I tried it the first thing after coming home. Thanks again.

  6. Oh! I wish I was there with you guys! I live right here in the bay area too! But I am no blogger, I only read your blogs, wouldn't be able to write as well as you do.

    Am glad you were able to meet a fellow blogger!

  7. Dear Suranga, I am so glad that the dinner and meeting went well. Blogging does make for good friends of all ages.

    Thank you for calling me. I was thrilled and surprised.

  8. Sounds like a wonderful meeting between two people from the blogging world in the real world!
    I very much enjoyed reading about your experience together. Thanks for sharing with us.

  9. Hi,

    Wonderful that you were able to meet.

    Nice description.

    Njoi ur stay..

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  11. I totally admire your initiative and enthusiasm. And of course, the wonderful gifts that you so thoughtfully bring along.

    Hope you had a lovely time. And hoping to hear all the (uncensored) details of the transatlantic bloggers' meet at our next meet.

  12. Pradipda You know how it is. The subjects of discussion were just too numerous to fact we fell short of time :-)

    manju Thank you. Yes, this has been a trip with so many interesting meetings...all enjoyable.

    Kavi I wish i had known of this aspect of Saravana Bhavan before. Would have looked at the folks there a bit more closely. Just wondering if you were ever part of the stuff at any time. Just asking. :-)

    Rain Thank you.

    Enchanted :-) See, experience counts. I never had a doubt that we would talk so much and/or fall short of time. I think those who blog simply do a lot of "gappa." (Nothing to do with the name of my blog, of course).

    AnanvaI wish I had known you earlier. Would have loved to meet. I will keep this mind if and when I come visiting this side again :-)

    Darlene Yes, it was fun talking to you, and since you have your photo on the blog it was easy to visualize !

    Judy Thank you, yes, it was fun.

    Tina, Vinita Thank you.

    Sucharita Thank you. Actually, I was also able to talk to Darlene in Arizona (got her number from the Net :-)...) ! I had contacted "Enchanted" once it looked like the trip was happening. And everything worked out very well.

  13. What a wonderful post. I came here through Enchanted's post. You have a away with words.

    Isnt it funny how the topics never stopped. One is never short of things to talk about even though they have never met before. That always amazes me :)

  14. Very interesting story of meeting bloggers.

    When you come back, we will meet and tell us more about it.


  15. I'm just reading your blog for the first time and I think I'm hooked! How fantastic to read about your recent meeting with another blogger.

  16. Vivek Certainly.And you know what, it helps if you have been to blogger lunches before.....:-)

    AsaanWe would have talked for hours together, had this not been the middle of the week thing. But yes, we never really ran out of subjects....

    Sapna Welcome to the blog. and Thank you.

  17. OH Gappa I am jealous. I do hope to get to have dinner with you one day too. And we will both be old ones, lol!!! Just a beautifully written post too!! What memories you are making. Friends all over the world, love it!!

  18. lilly,

    Thanks for all your wonderful comments on my various posts, as I traipsed thru the longitudes. This was a short quick trip to attend a family event, and I had some free time after the mainevent which is why such meetings worked out. I even spoke to Darlene of Darlenes Hodgepodge in Tucson, Arizona, after findng her number from the Net. Which was fun and enlightened me about new phone technologies.

    The world indeed teaches you a lot. And yes, I certainly look forward to the oldie blogger lunch with you. ....