There I was minding my business in the blogging world. Writing posts regularly, replying to comments received on my posts, visiting other blogs, commenting on the ones I liked, promoting my posts on twitter, FB and whatnot. Mulling over site stats, etc. All waz well in my little blogging world.
Then one day, this self-made equilibrium in my blogging world shifted. I left a comment on a discussion thread in a blog forum. And got a response from a blogger I had been secretly admiring from afar. I responded. To which I got another response. And so on and so forth. Soon I de-lurked on her blog and, I guess, she on mine. We started exchanging the occasional mail. One day, this blogger wrote to me saying that it would be nice to meet up and asked me if there was a chance of my visiting her part of the world. And as coincidence would have it I was due to visit her part of the world in October 2011. I said yes, and we fixed a mutually convenient date to meet up.
But then apprehension set in. Did I really want to meet a fellow blogger offline? Weren’t bloggers supposed to interact only online? And so on and so forth. I had second thoughts, third thoughts, and then some more thoughts as well. But then, curiosity to meet this particular blogger prevailed and if you had been around Dilli Haat in New Delhi on 13 October 2011 around 11.30 am, you might have seen me waiting for this blogger.
I was excited and nervous at the same time, and wondering how on earth I would recognise her as I had no clue as to what she looked like. Even though I was familiar with her rather distinctive Gravatar of a belan-wielding woman, I doubted if she would actually come to meet me with one. Yes, I was meeting Zephyr, a.k.a. The Cyber Nag.
I needn’t have worried or wondered about anything. We recognised each other just fine and had a great time together. And all my doubts and second thoughts, third thoughts and then some more thoughts about meeting a fellow blogger just vanished. Today, I cannot imagine not having met Zephyr or the interactions we have had since then and the interactions that continue till date.
With all my doubts about meeting fellow bloggers offline having vanished, I returned to Mumbai determined to meet up with some more of them. And the first blogger I met with this new-found enthusiasm was Anu Shankrn of A Wandering Mind. It was one of those meetings where I did not feel like I was meeting a stranger as conversation and laughter was in full flow that evening. And it continues to be so as we have met many times since then and speak on the phone now and then.
Then it was the turn to meet Richa of Richland Talk. Again it was one of those meetings which was easy, fun and serendipitous. Though I have not met Richa since then, for some reason or the other, we have kept in touch via Twitter. It has been an ever lasting source of amusement for us to find that we always choose and are almost always chosen to review the same books under BlogAdda’s Book Review programme.
I was on a roll by now. When Zephyr was in Mumbai in December 2011, she initiated an informal bloggers meet. And I was there, with bells on, to meet the others. And what a treat it was. I met bloggers that I followed avidly like Suranga (Gappa and Strewn Ashes) and Deepak (Mumbai Daily and Travel Magic). I met bloggers that I had only come across on blog forums and read occasionally like Umashankar (One Grain Amongst the Storm), Mayank (Photo Street), and Manju (Of Cabbages and Kings). And then I also met bloggers I had not come across till that day like Deepthy (Word Sketches) and Archana. Since this was a large group, it was not possible to interact at length with everyone, but was nevertheless a great opportunity to meet and match the face to the blog, if you know what I mean. While I may not be in touch with all these bloggers today, they are all just a tweet or an email away, not to mention their blogs. Suranga wrote a beautiful poem on the blog meet or rather what we ate, which you can read here.
In March, I met Meera of Meera’s Musings, when she was in Mumbai for a day. It was an unforgettable afternoon where we laughed and laughed and then laughed some more. It was so easy to talk about our blogs, blogging, her family, my travels, books, films, London, the US, the quirky TamBrahm community both of us belong to, the awesome 55 word fiction that Meera writes (which in my opinion is the best in the world), etc. Anybody listening in to our conversation that day could be forgiven for thinking that we were two old friends meeting after a long, long time (you can read Meera’s version of our meeting here).
Along with the hits, I also had misses in meeting bloggers. Actually, just one miss—Deboshree of Paneer and Pulao in Pune. I missed meeting her twice—once each in Delhi and Mumbai. But with Deboshree now moving to Pune and thereby, in my geographical neighbourhood, I am hoping that we will meet soon. After all the third time is lucky, right?
Now for the bloggers I have not met, but I hope to meet in the near future. There are too many to mention here and I am only going to talk about three bloggers that I hope to meet soon. The first is Puru of Shadows Galore. I have a bone to pick with him—he has travelled to all the places that have been on my bucket list for like, forever, and then he writes and photographs so well too ! Luckily for me, he has moved to my geographical neighbourhood and that will make it easier for me to persuade him to meet me. The second blogger that I am hoping to meet is Bhavana of Tilling the Earthwoman. I love the range of topics that she writes on, and particularly the offbeat ones. I really look forward to meeting her and putting the face to the blog. The third blogger is Nona of Nona’s Pensieve, who writes post on photography, books films, life in Paris, and Pappetan. I am the self-confessed fan number 1 of his Pappettan Says series (and if you have not read it before, then this is time to go ahead and get acquainted with Pappettan).
So, as I said at the beginning of the post, there I was minding my business in the blogging world. All waz well, but boring and predictable too, to be honest. When I began blogging two years back, I was doubtful of my lasting beyond a few months. As for meeting fellow bloggers, that was not part of Plan A, B, C or Z of my blogging journey. But nearly two years on, I can say without hesitation, that the best part of blogging has been the connections that I have made with fellow bloggers. And meeting bloggers has been an added bonus, as I can attest from the fact that some of them have become close friends today.
I would love to know what you feel about meeting fellow bloggers, the ones you have met, the ones you have missed meeting, and the ones you want to meet.
P.S.: It is my blog’s 2nd anniversary in a couple of days time, and this is the first of the two posts that I am writing on this occasion. Do not forget to come back for the second post which will be up in a couple of days.