India Uncut

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Monday, October 31, 2005

The best thing about blogging

This Sunday I had breakfast with a few fellow bloggers. Shanti Mangala, the lady who created the concept of the Blog Mela, was flying down from the US, and spending a few hours in Mumbai before moving on. Ravikiran Rao, Yazad Jal, Gaurav Sabnis and I fixed up a plan to meet her -- and a junior Mangala who turned out to be one rocking little dude -- for breakfast.

Although Shanti had met none of us before, it was a meeting of old friends. Shanti, Ravi, Yazad and Gaurav have all been blogging since 2002, a good two years before India Uncut started. They have tangled on their blogs, fought bitterly, disagreed fervently, and so on. And in all this give and take, they have formed a bond that does not depend on geography or knowing how the other person looks. I got to know Shanti early this year, though I never had the good fortune of fighting with her.

As one by one we congregated for breakfast, there was this sense of easy familiarity, as if old buddies had gathered together. We already knew so much about each other, through our blogs and email, and we didn't feel like we were meeting someone for the first time at all.

In the last year, this has become a familiar feeling for me. Since I started blogging, I have met a whole bunch of bloggers whom I would not have known otherwise, and the friendships I have formed have enriched my life. Yazad, Gaurav and Ravi are three of them -- I wrote about my first meeting with them here -- as are the other libertarians in our merry band, Madhu, Ravages and Gautam, whose blog is defunct for now. Another of my good pals, Sonia, first turned up at a blog meet. After that, she, Chandrahas, Rahul and I have met repeatedly, forming a merry band of wannabe-writers-but-bloggers-for-now. Such fun we have together.

And then there's Jai in Delhi, Prashant in Washington, Zainab in Mumbai -- every time, instant familiarity and comfort. And so many of the people I've met at the blog meets.

And in the small world of blogs, I feel comforted by the knowledge that there are so many other friends waiting to be met. As we travel, I know that I'll someday bump into Nitin and Patrix and Primary Red and Hurree and Michael and Arun and Kingsley and Megha and Reuben and Arzan, and so many others, and for about five seconds we'll look at each other and think, "Ah, so that's what so-and-so looks like." And then we'll sit right down and be like old pals.

It's the best thing about blogging -- actually, make that the very bestest. It's a short life, and even for a writer, the friends you make is much more important than the things you write.
amit varma, 6:14 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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