What is it with the monsoon and meeting new friends? For every year that I have been in Goa, come monsoon, and I get the chance to meet a new friend. Someone I have never met before, but only read and interacted with. And finally I get the chance to put a face to the person and the words that are so familiar. The first year it was her, and in a happy coincidence we found that we were both self-employed writers, slightly out of our depth in sleepy old Goa. We discovered we had so much in common, it was happy days when we’d meet for coffee and dinners, chit-chat, about books, writing, boys, and the world at large. I even spent Diwali, my first here in Goa, with her and her family, and felt like I was in a home away from home.
And then last year, she came down to visit Goa, family in tow. It was such a thrill to meet the Mad Family, each one of whom, I had read so much about. Strange and exciting to see them live up to every quick, every nuance and every detail that I had only read about thus far. In the few hours that we caught up over hot coffee, in the pouring rain, conversation flowed. I guess it helped that the both of us don’t need an excuse to chatter a dime a dozen. It was only when the OA pointed out that it was nearing dinner time, did we realise how time had flown by.
It is that time of year again, and last week she wrote to me, asking me what the weather was like, in Goa! I responded with details, and in no time an impromptu visit just fell into place. With just two days in hand, we didn’t have the luxury of time, but where there’s a will, there is a way, I suppose. And we ended up at Venite, watching the fairy lights, downing Feni and chowing down calamari, prawns and Goan sausages. And quietly, at the back of my mind, I realised that you don’t really have to know someone in person, to make a connection with them. We’ve shared our worlds through our blogs, we’ve exchanged emails, we get each other, and sometimes that kind of a connection is stronger than anything you can possibly have with someone you have known for years. In the flesh.
It’s always nice to turn a page and experience something new, unfamiliar and out of the ordinary. And thankfully for me, every time I have stepped out of the routine, I have not been disappointed. In fact, it has opened up a fresh channel of communication, a brand new friendship and I can’t help but notice how uncanny it is that in the three years that I have been here, each of the three monsoons I have experienced have brought me three new friends.