And I met Shail Mohan of Shail’s Nest. Hence the “Nest” meeting.
I was sitting in office hardly working when a chat window opened out.
“Hi Ritu” popped up. It was Shail Mohan. Now I know Shail Mohan. She is someone who writes fantastic humor and is a big fan of Wodehouse. I like Wodehouse and I like her stories. Of course her poems zonk me out, but then serious poems zonk me out any way so I don’t hold such things against someone so nice as to make me laugh. Hence I replied “Hey Shail, wassup” or some such thing. “Can we meet?” was the question, of course worded ever so politely. The question should have been “When and how do we meet?” I was not going to miss out on meeting a weaver of some of the most profound tales I have read!
It turned out that she was in Ghaziabad. Now Ghaziabad is closer to my home than Trivandrum is. Which meant that if I swung in a chutti, I could meet her. Of course I am lousy with Geography and directions. When I was a kid, I remember writing that Nile flowed through Greece and then pleading with Godji to make Nile change its course. I have also driven to Apno Ghar in U.P. when I meant to go to IG airport at Palam. So I was a wee bit intimidated. I could, like Starship Enterprise, boldly set forth, but where would I reach? Thankfully Kid#2 and Google Maps stepped into the breach. We left nothing to chance. Kid#2 opened Google Maps on my … well, his blackberry and downloaded the app on my phone too. Shipra Mall, a place close to where Shail was staying was the place we rendezvoused. Ruchira of Nirjharini was to meet us there and Abha Midha of Daffodils, who lives in Faridabad was keen to go too. So I picked her up and off we went.
Shipra Mall is amazingly gracious a place. It is a mall, alright, but it has a certain old world charm. It is spacious and leisurely. None of the frantic feel that malls in Delhi, Faridabad and even Gurgaon have. I liked it.
The funny thing is that we were the first to reach even though we lived the furthest from Ghaziabad!
Ruchira was the first to come, and I spotted her far away. She can’t be missed. And then came Shail. The impression I had of Shail was (1) A thinker (2) Shy (3) Easy on the smiles. I got two out of three right. Shail is quiet, soft and easy on the smiles. She definitely is not shy! And she is pint sized 😉
In the picture above we had her standing on a stair to come up next to us. Of course we put her with Ruchira, who is tall 😈
Then we settled down for a leisurely lunch (which we forgot to order) since we had so much to say to each other 😛
The waiter was requested to take the pics, and he willingly obliged. So lets forget/ignore the fact that we did not order and say that the waiter was too busy clicking us to serve us food.
Nothing like some (as Shail puts it) “refined sunflower oil” on a hot summer day 😉 😛
The food at Pind Baluchi was good, the company better. And Shail was sweet enough to get us all books. She gifted me one called “The Male Brain”. It is a fascinating insight into the working of a man’s mind, though I do feel that its unfair to explain away everything that a person does by listing hormones and neurons … but it does simplify male thinking a lot.
Here Abha and I are holding on to our gifts standing right next to that awesome door of Pind Baluchi. Sigh … now I want my front door to be like that, its so ornate … but I digress
And I wanted a photo with the Pind Baluchi Babaji, I always did. This time Kid#2 and I got one clicked 😆
To people who have put up the question on FB … this is the younger one and he has not written a novel. But he writes the most awesome poems, most of which are edgy and serious. They stump me.
Abha wanted to go once we were done with lunch (or that is the impression I got). But my son actually enjoyed the lunch. Makes me think that we are not old biddies after all! And that we are fun and witty. He suggested coffee … and hit off totally with Ruchira, both of them lamenting the fact that they have difficult and bossy older siblings. I kept shut, I was the older sibling 😛 Could imagine my brother joining in LOL
We exited Pind Baluchi and landed up at Barista. I did try to get myself a chocolate excess, failing which a slice of apple pie, failing which a cold coffee with lots of cream. Sadly Kid #2 was with me and vetoed all of that, All I got a standard issue cold coffee. 😦
It was a delightful afternoon. I love meeting blogger friends.