Monday, February 14, 2005

When Virtuality Met Reality...

It was 1.20 a.m on 12 Saturday when we hit the sack at our uncle’s place in B’lore…we had started at abt 5 p.m on 11th fri, after the kids came back from school..Tho tired after the journey, sleep seemed to be far away…and my last thoughts before traipsing off into slumber land was of course about the meet a few hours away- abt my “friends” whom I was to meet soon- that I was excited would be an understatement-

I had been refreshing Vamshi ’s memories abt the other “bloggers” ( at this point this term sounds too detached)- I was eager that he enjoy the meet as much as I was sure I would- I did not want him to feel unfamiliar at the meet-( I needn’t have worried abt that at all- everybody knew the non blogging members as well as the bloggers- and they were welcomed with warmth, there was just no question of feeling unfamiliar…)

Waking up early was always difficult, but not today- …we were supposed to reach the meetinng point atleast by 8.20 a.m- but we reached a bit late- Uncle dropped us and he wished us a happy trip- We could see the others already gathered on the other side of the road-

The b’lore air was freezing- my heart was thumping- I could identify everyone- IBL, Ananth and Asha of course, I had seen them before- but the rest were easy to place too- my hands were shivering- was it the chill weather or was it the excitement? Only Suresh, I could not place and I asked ano- and she told me-we decided that he did not in the least look like he was bottled at all-

The first few moments passed in a crazy blur as intros were made- I could not be with everybody all at once and I was trying to- lil D, ano,ano’s husband, Meena and her bubbly kids- Salonii- Asha, Nithya- Chander,sumit, suresh,ananth, and Kcu- Kcu stepped upto me and said that he was Bhattathiri- I almost fainted…and I confess I believed him- and it was only when Meenu assured me that he was joking did I recover from the shock-

And then I realized that Salonii would not be able to accompany us- it was a terrible disappointment – both for us and her- but it just could not be helped- and tho we understood her predicament- it did not deter us from recriminating her – abt her desertion- betrayal-

We were treated to some wonderful coffee by salonii- we were getting to talk to one another without the aid of db- we were chattering away, giggling, guffawing- blissfully unaware of others in the place- right then the whole world concentrated into our meet- it was just DB come alive-

After coffee, we walked up to where we were to board the van- plans were being revised..the chill air was warming up- yap yap yap we went- and then we set off for Thalakkadu after bidding goodbye to salonii- felt bad to leave her back but nothing could be done- like ananth said- this meet had come to be becos of her in the first place- we did consider kidnapping her and whisking her off with us but then thought better not complicate matters.

We settled into the van- Meenu took out delicious home made sandwiches- lil d was as excited as us- she had no qualms abt being passed around among us- and she remained playful through out…she was having a bad cold, hope the trip did not worsen it...

Chander talked more than Nithya :-)- Asha was totally silent in the beginning- (which she made up for later tho)- we suspected that she had fallen asleep- Ano’s husband told us where he used to live -and he mentioned something abt the location being very convenient :-).
Meena kept reminding us that she was silent because rides made her feel queasy – she showed us her college- Sumit was christened as Mr. Main Hoo na by Meenu’s elder daughter-

After reaching Thalakkad- we immediately set about lunch- the place was abounding with monkeys- the lunch was delicious- Vamshi kept trying to learn new words in Kannada and insisted on speaking(?) in Kannada-

After lunch, we moved on to the river banks- the weather was quite hot now- most of them went into the waters- I preferred to stay back- the children had a blast- I was entrusted with a few mobiles, cameras,purses and Kcu and me became co conspirators and we seriously considered absconding with the booty- but had to abandon the plans becos my co conspirator backed away at the last moment and anyway- Vamshi would be lost without me- so we decided against it-

Suresh, Sumit and Kcu took the kids for boating- and I do not know what happened there- my elder son said there was some interesting discussion abt snakes that he enjoyed…

Meenu, Asha, me, Nithya, Chander, Ananth, Vamshi - watched from the shores- Nithya tried to test the probability of how well her cell would function when submerged in water- did not turn out to be a very clever idea- but Chander was sure it would work once it got dried in the sun-

Ano and her DH had a tough time dragging lil D out of the waters- she wanted to go back- finally when they brought her ashore- she kept picking the sand...

After boating, we refreshed ourselves with cool drinks, tender coconut- we proceeded to the temples . The temples were submerged in sand- the sight was amazing- excavation is still going on- but by now, all were tired, we trudged wearily back to the van- it was time for the trip back…

We played anthakshari- sumit and ananth were belting out these plaintive- numbers- you know those bachelor worthy kind of songs- they even expressed dissaproval when we married veterans joined – they seemed to believe that such songs were exclusively meant for them to sing- Ananth was singing these Kannada songs- to the effect of “where is she…when will she come”- or something similar, and Sumit was crooning a few “jilted” numbers with so much of feeling-
Chander looked mighty pleased when Nithya sang "o saathi re…” Ano, Asha and Meena seemed to know every song ever composed in Hindi, Kannada- Kcu also joined in, Suresh however was distracted and seemed preoccupied with his mobile- ananth explained that he was missing his wife…Sal called in between and Asha immediately sought her advice for a song- Vamshi of course was in full form- he seemed to have forgotten that these were MY friends- he had happily adopted all of them! He had a blast pulling my legs- but I have magnanimously forgiven him for bringing me all the way for this meet- the flip side being- now I can never crib abt him here- nobody will never ever believe me again…. :-(

We got down to take a few pictures of the sunset- we played Chinese whisper…Vamshi became wicked during this time- some of us talked abt how they first heard abt the weblogs- how they started blogging/commenting- we talked abt the other bloggers- and though it was the 12 of us on this trip it was like most of our other friends too were invisibly present…

Ananth, yes, it is true we got delayed by a few hours, but I for one did not regret a wee bit the extra time that I got with you all…

We were nearing the fag end of our jouney- when Virtuality merged into Reality- and suddenly we saw a bus right in front of our van- it had a huge ad on the back- “Sulekha Classifieds” and tho it was abt the classifieds- for me it was like a special moment- because it was Sulekha after all who got me in touch with some special people…Thank you each one of you…

We said our Goodbyes-- I know I ought to feel grateful for the time I got to spend with these wonderful people who had become so special- and yet I could not help feeling gloomy at the prospect of saying Goodbye- Also, I had this feeling of having left many things unsaid…I had a whole day with them, and yet kuch kehna baaki tha-

Ano and family got down with us at the Rly station- The Day was finally over- and tho we were tired, I could not go to sleep for a long time afterwards, because my mind was awake with some great memories…

And how would this post be complete if I did not mention Vamshi for taking me for this wonderful trip- and even better for adopting my friends as his own…

And let me end here with the hope that there are many more such meets…
I hope I did not bore anybody here with my post…

12 comments:

inspiredbylife said...

Mommy,

I dreaded being called Mr. Main Hoon Na by everybody on DB... I actually wanted to request everyone not to blog/discuss it on DB! *sigh*

Wokey... for the records... I'll not respond to anyone who calls me Mr. Main Hoon Na! :P

Sumit

Ananth P said...

:) wonderfully summed up ! more like a trip report !

PS : prolly you kept thinking about Palakkad and wrote Talakaadu as Thallakad :D

Nithya Swaminathan said...

Lovely blog Ardra:)
I loved the way you call ur DH as Vamshi in real too!!:) Was great having you all here... Hope the kids enjoyed the meet too:)

Silent Melody said...

Hi Ardra (Lovely name)..Just wanted to say that it was a wonderful blog..

SeaSwallowMe said...

great trip report, ardra ... sounds like a good time was had :) ... i'm still awe-struck by the idea of driving 9 hrs for a DSS-meet. honestly, don't think i could've done that ;)

dogmatix said...

Sounds like u guys had a wonderful time! but what is the need for everyone to repeatedly elaborate the menu... that is where i smell conspiracy! ;)

kculon, introducing himself as 'bhatta'!! that was the best part for me!!

Reshmi said...

hey ardra!

lovely account of happenings - better than AP's version if i might add :-P

am waiting to plan another trip when i am there next time ;-)

Adithi said...

Ardra mommy,

Does sound like you had a great time. Joing SSM i cant believe you drove 9 hours....
Again waiting to meet you all...

FunnyCide said...

Wow, One bunch of hyper people and hubbys, eh? I cant believe it.. the lengths that all of you went to make it happen!! Amazing!!

Very nice! Almost felt that I was there.. wish I was there.. how nice.

buckwaasur said...

very cool ardra...i can't believe vamshi drove 9 miles for the meet...:-))

asuph said...

Ardra,

Hats off to you guys and your enthu. And all these meet blogs at one end make me feel as if I were there, and at the same time I feel like I missed chance of lifetime. Hopefully, we'll do it again. Thanks for the warm blog!

asuph.

Meenakshi said...

thanks for the lovely blog Ardra :)) Twas as heartwarming as your smile .

Amazing how Vamshi mingled with us and was literally the life of the picnic. A spl mention of Mr Ano1.....a benevolent smile all the time, and though silent, he was always tuned in to what was being said and i thought he was a great sport too....you had to turn around and look at him to blv he was laughing at something someone said :))