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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Reaching across the Globe via computer


I often laugh at myself when I think of some of my web friends. Whenever anything happens in Mumbai (Bombay), I think of Sunita, and I think of her as my friend.
Last week, when I was talking with my neighbor about "Slum Dog Millionaire", which he had recently seen, I talked about "my friend Sunita." It gave me pause.
I've never met Sunita. In fact, I've only "known her" through the orchid forum, and probably for about 5 or 6 years. We don't really email much...she'll email me, and I'll send one back, probably about a month later...then she'll email me about three months after that....or not...and that works both ways.
Still, I feel like I know her. I often think of her. Sometimes, about silly things. When the wind is blowing like gangbusters, and the temperature is 6 degrees F at night and a high of 21 in the daytime...I think of Sunita in her tropical world and think that she'd never make it here.
When the sun is at its strongest in summer, and the drought and heat build up --maybe 96 degrees, I think of Sunita waiting for the monsoon season. Last night, I made a fish dish and as I was thinking about how to make it, I asked my husband if he wanted curry--thinking of making a sort of version of seafood Kerala ....a version because the original recipe Sunita sent me is long gone to some oil splattered place in the sky--he didn't, and we had a Mediterranean version in stead...but still, she's with me in the kitchen.

In thinking of writing this...I thought of her lovely blog "The Urban Gardener" with all her tropical pictures...and the only thing I can come up with is last year's tulips and iris....spring is only a whisper here....a snowdrop raised it's head yesterday, and a snow crocus today. No dendrobiums. Even my orchids are just now getting ready for bloom...spikes on phals and a tiny little dendrobium....
Recently, I purchased a disreputable Ralli quilt from a seller on ebay. It is damaged (and smells awful...I can just think that some Indian or Pakistani dealer is laughing that ANYONE would buy such a thing...) and I intend to take it apart and use the pieces in a jacket....and I think of Sunita, who lives in the north.
It is amazing how people you never met can be thought of as friends...half a world away. The internet links us all...people who have similar interests but never have met...and probably never will. It also allows me to keep in touch with friends I have left around the US...not that I email them...I've gotten pretty bad about that....but I know, if I want, they are just a keystroke away.

2 comments:

Sunita said...

Oh Lisa, you'll have me blubbering all over my keyboard! This is the most touching thing I've ever read about friendship and, wonder of wonders, I feature in it too!
You are an amazing friend! There's just no other word for it. Who else would reach out across continents and cultures to make a nervous orchid initiate feel so much a part of the orchid community. Who kept mailing me even when demands of family and life got in the way of regular communication. And its always been as if no time at all has passed since we last chatted in the virtual world. No stilted, uncomfortable silences while we caught up and got our friendship back on track again. Its great knowing I have a friend like you and I feel all the richer for it.
Yeah, the inventor of the internet definitely deserves the Nobel Prize, if not the sainthood!

But I still would give my favourite dendrobium to hear what you told your neighbour about me ;D

Michigoose said...

Hey Sunita, pack up that Den! (no, don't, it would probably mean a slow death here...). He was talking about Slum Dog and I said that you lived in Mumbai and I actually started it as "I have a friend who lives in Mumbai" and I talked about your cook on the farm who works as a caterer for movies in Bollywood.

But there you have it...I actually started the conversation as "I have a friend in Mumbai" and since I have never met you face to face, it made me feel sheepish...and the entrance sounded soooo Isak Dinesin (I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the (I've forgotten which) hills...

Oh yeah...and the blubbering works both ways as I've gotten misty-eyed on your blog too. :)