My month long stint in Hyderabad came to a close on last Sunday. Never before in my life has a one-month period meant so much to me.
Strangers became friends, a rented apartment became ‘home’, and deep within myself, I discovered a mirror image of my Mum.
I had never imagined that I would have the same obsession as Mum when it came to cleanliness, and washing clothes. But, one morning at about 1:30, when I found myself cleaning up after a party and loading trash bags before throwing them out, I stopped in my tracks!
“Shit! I am just like Maa”, I said to myself, with much horror.
Perhaps that is how things work. One grows up picking up qualities from parents, without even realizing it at times. In more ways than we realize, we are mirror images of our folks, no matter how hard we find it to admit.
One thing that made the Hyderabad experience most memorable was the visit from Allwin. It was the first time we got the opportunity to meet in real life. So you see, virtual friends can become real life friends too, and very good ones at that!
He took all the trouble of coming from Coimbatore to Hyderabad, just so that he could spend a day and a half with me. That was remarkable!
Now, the shift from virtual to real is surreal. You know the guy, you comment on his blog, you exchange thoughts through facebook and phone calls. Yet, when you meet him in real life, it is different.
It took my mind takes a little time to re-associate the Allwin I knew with the Allwin I was seeing before my eyes. To start with, he really doesn’t look like the gravatar image on his profile. That picture is a younger version of Allwin.
He was taller, and lankier than I had imagined. But, when he spoke, it was no longer difficult to associate the two Allwin’s. The association became easier, and fifteen minutes later it came naturally.
Through the photographs on his laptop, I was introduced to his history – his life in college, his first job, his family. In an hour’s time, the author of Allwin Bright writes was no longer only a guy behind the computer screen.
The best experience has to be the chat we had sitting outside the apartment from 3:30 to 5 in the morning. Sitting under the starry sky, with a pleasant breeze blowing across our faces, I discovered a new dimension to friendship.
Despite all our cultural and geographical differences, somewhere deep down, we relate to each other very well. Glad to have discovered a great friend through this blog.