One of the reasons that I decided to blog this in these days is because there's a good chance that I'll never get to meet these nice people again! On that sad note, I'll jot down these friends, in no particular order, as they occur to my mind... (unless otherwise mentioned, all are from the room #pune on talkcity)
Her real name being Gauri and who would talk like a kid many a times, leaves me no choice but to call her Gaulee. Whenever addressed by her second name Shringarpure, she would say: "purey" as in "atta purey". She's the sister I never had, who's settled in US with her hubby Pandu and a cute li'l son, Adit. I attended their marriage at Blore with Niks and we still await to see the photo of the four of us clicked together. Gau, any luck scanning yet? ;) I've had the best talk with her. Gau's the one who was always herself on chat and gave a realistic picture of life-after-chat and how things will never be the same as they seemed on chat! That although we all knew, some would've had a difficult time to digest post-chat days. I didn't have much luck to capture this camera-shy friend since she was always the one to hide behind someone else during clicks. She also holds a title I coined for her Max Muller followings, that she lived up to: German Queen :) I still can't believe that we talked so easily on chat, but couldn't exchange more than a hi when we actually met first at the Pune Mega Meet! Gau was able to guess my voice years later when I gave a surprise call to her during my UK visit. Hats off. There was an earlier time when G claimed credit for having guessed what book I sent her on receiving a parcel on her bday!
Mayur Pendse, "blee blee blee", is what I remember addressing him. He was one of the famous ones on #pune. Settled in US, married now and runs an insurance business, I guess.
Nikhlya, 1976 trademark, another of me in terms of laziness. Thanks to this common habit, we didn't meet more than a few times even while being in Blore. Most of these meets were courtesy Anjaan's company who sent him on trips to Blore. Sometimes I feel that this is the only reason that Anjaan was sent to Blore! A busybee with his network management coding, Niks has, since a couple of years, been able to find time for his stage acting. I've been fortunate enough to watch his two performances, but thats all the time we had then that day. Before marrying recently, Niks was at Blore and I believe he's still here.
I missed out nk, sorry, due to Niks name overlapping Nk's, both being Nikhil! Okay, nk's another cool chap of belonging to my thrice calling names on chat: nk nk nk. Later, I moved to calling him nkya after I habituated myself with the ya suffixing work. Another guitar player, or I recall he learnt with the chat folks, perhaps Srini. Nk's also been a badminton champ and a good piano player. I've a pic of him riding the bike that I clicked when I was pillion riding another bike, both in motion. This was during the mega meet. We hadn't been in touch for a quite long time till gmail made us exchanging emails again for a while! Nk sourced a gmail account from me; well, back then gmail was beta and I got lucky getting a few extras.
I guess this guy was studying in Singapore, when he made a trip to Pune for the mega meet.
I remember laraa, Laxmi, had two dogs and was quite a favorite on chat. I remember wishing her a few birthdays after the chat days.
Coded official tea-guy on #pune, perhaps by my sick jokes on "Ramu, chai la". I met him once during the meets.
Vivek Gupta, ajnabi, to whom a lot of people are thankful for founding #pune, including a few couples that were made online, was last known to be addicted to work at Veritas, Pune.
Damtya, Amit Dharwadkar, the biggest PJ master, not only in quality, but also in quantity. He has to his credit of being made it to the group's abuse phrase "haa damit hota" on someone's cracking a PJ. Sorry Damit, I hope you don't mind me saying this ;) Damtya has been a great contributor to all that was organised in the name of #pune from many a megameets to small Vaishali/Rupali hangouts. After many days of chatting, Damit and I found out that our dads knew each other from MGM hospital days. When we got this info, I was still at MGM then. Damtya spent some years at Bosch, Blore, when we met a few more times, before he moved back to Pune a few months back to work for Deutsch group.
Damit's cousin, French Vanilla, Amrit; my hand still hurts when I think of his hi-fives that spread across more than my palm, or anyone else's for that matter. He always came up with some colorful UI on chat when he logged into the room. A Java freak at heart, its no wonder that FV made it to some game company in US.
Sharadya, anjaan dada, who's in Hyd with a company that unknowingly sponsored lot of his #pune meets not only in India, but in US too! .
Shona, at Blore, loved lollipops and actually asked for orange flavor on chat. I recall she was in architecture.
A tending-towards-US fella, who ended up coding at some high-profile defense projects in US, who once in a while throws a "namaskar saheb".
Lost him in US. We spoke a couple of times during his visits to India earlier.
Swati kaku, who moved from Canada to US some years back, claimed Canadian beer as the best. She was lively on chat and even when she made a trip to Mumbai. There, we landed at her place after some meets at some restaurant in Dadar West. Anjaan, as usual, made it too! That evening, Shardya and I planned to talk over drinks and Swati kaku joined us. We were worried that it was getting late, but smd seemed cool until we, mostly her since we escaped after dropping her home at almost midnight, got blasted from her dad.
A well-known guitar wizard, many people don't know that this guy and his guitar were actually siamese twins ;) We talked much over phone when he spent a few months in Bby. However, his routine needed him to practise playing even on phone. It was fun talking with him listening to his music, until one day he vanished and I ended up talking to his aunt, with whom Srini was staying. She told me that he'd moved back to Pune. Funnily enough, when I said, "Oh, I didn't know; he didn't call me or anything", she went "He hasn't even called me after going back to Pune". Well, that was our Srini.
A very good short-time friend. We met twice but we gelled so well that he shared his bad times with me. Unfortunately, I even stopped hearing news about him these days. Years back, Nilya ran a (hacked account) cybercafe and we all were, at some time or other, guilty of gatecrashing there to surf for free!
The #pune stud who makes bold comments always. Our first meeting at Dadar is still remembered by Damit and me at times. Ameya was seen with a paunch overlapping his gym-physique during his GRE days. Immediately past this, he spent a week to flatten it! Quitting CA after his MS, spent some time with a startup and now, Mountya is with Bloomsberg. I still remember feeding him with an answers to Bansri's game questions "Which animal do you like?" and "Why?" He bought them and said "Rabbits" and "Because the taste good!" That was some fun.. Bansri was wild at him! :)
Baaaaaaaansri, in a high-pitch, would this short kid yell while introducing herself. One of the rarest named girl ever, she used to attend many a meetings. She would always say "Why do I need a nick? I've a good name". I remember travelling with her to Pune on the mega meet.
Posing him a "positive or negative?" question invariably has ion answer: "ion is always positive". We were mostly the first ones to arrive at meets. My memory refuses to recall his real name.
An NCST scholar, who spent most of his time being modest, has the experience of running a company, before venturing into deep waters of security, insurance and Saudi projects, all at once! Gotya and I've fought over AMIETE issues whenever we met and none of us changed our point of view, ever. He'll be furious to know that I quit AMIETE for good, for my reasons! Then again, I'll be quitting everything for my reasons! Anyways, after knowing his plans in Saudi, those insurance and security interests make much sense! :)
Smriti taai, who made it a point to send her graduation pics, follows my birthday by two days, but is much younger than me. Most of us have spent meeting many a hashpune folks at her house in Prabhadevi. She's settled in US now with her husband, a kid and her dietician role. I've had the pleasure of shocking Smriti taai on phone twice during my UK trips.
Mamta, always seen with Smriti is also in US with her hubby and kid.
Smita, called me guru and herself shishya due to my all time blabbering, perhaps. She's the audiologist who could be completing her PhD anytime now and is settled in US. We mostly spent chat time, humoring each other out.
Coolhary, Harshya are the names of this dude who's working in US now. I don't remember chatting with this fella, but we met a couple of times.
Amrut, a thums up, Linux and Hariharan fan. I always called him pUnekarU or something like that. He didn't want to go to US, but spent a year on an Indian job there. I've heard that he refused to take a mega-paying job by the US client, reasoning "I want to return to India". Hey Amrut, hats off to ya man. We need more people like ya. I didn't have a chance to meet him past our chat days, even when he tied himself to a Bangalore job a couple years back!
Always known together, thought of together, talked of together, sisters who've hosted many a get togethers at their beautiful flat at Dadar. Aarti, I guess continues their father's business while Angee is a a groundstaff with some international airlines.
Pixu. Major Pixar fan. Always colorful, always fun, great chap, always ditching meets, in short, always himself.
One who hated being called pishvi, was last known doing her MBA at Symbiosis, Pune.
Madhura Maideo, another sister online, whom I recently googled out and contacted. She told me that she married a couple of years back and is settled in US. Boy, she hated being called "dhaakti" and used to yell back "mothyaa" against my prefering "thorlyaa" :)
The sweetest kid I remember whom all loved online. This Chennaite now misses idli sambar in UK where she's giving finishing touches to her internship at HR dept in some co at London or maybe she has a job already.
I haven't chatted much with maddu, maddixit, Varsha, but have met her a few times and talked over phone. An MBA, who has tried out more than one field of work. I guess she used to work with her brother before she took up a job with Wipro (was it? Well, I could be wrong)
Zp, oft mistaken for zilla parishad, but actually zweet pea, who talks in shortforms such as VM, JB, JM, that I guess stand for Vande Mataram, something and Jai Maharashtra. For that something, my guess is as good as anyone else's (except zp's). As one may know by now, zp is in the habit of replacing all s occurences with z's, zooner or later.
If I remember her name correctly, I went to her house once for giving/collecting a book.
I only remember her frequent :Ps
We didn't chat more that we spoke on phone. I don't recall his name right away, but he's known to be a guitar wizard. Last I heard that he too moved to the US.
I remember he was doing his MS and was also a favorite #puneite in US.
Another #pune frequenter who slowly reduced his frequency and one day vanished into US to resurface one fine day on the #pune list.
A paki girl:
One time chat with this paki girl helped me conclude that Pak has some great set of people who share very similar peaceful feelings as Indians.
One of my favorite americans, who has a family of seven. Her kids are just too cute, all of them. I lost touch with her since she vanished from her mail id. Ms.Willard's husband used to chat as TPM, the piano man. I hope her youngest kid Elizabeth is doing great. I still remember the day when I chatted with HB, while she was still at the hospital, after Liz underwent heart surgery as a kid of less than two yrs.
This one e-mailed me one day when she was admitted due to her handicap causing some trouble. She was bedridden for a few months and we exchanged emails in her broken English. Although, I didn't remember chatting with her at all, she clearly did. Most often she talked of social service. She too vanished one day without a trace. I hope she's doing well.
I don't remember her nick or name, so I'll just call her Gita, a befitting name for her. A dentist at Blore, who ran the (bhagvad)gita room.
#india friend, who hailed from Delhi. Totally lost this chap.
Something to do with spiritual readings, I used to hangout at this place that had one of the most lovely people I came across. How they helped each other out to wade through the death of near and dear ones was touching.
One more server, where I used to chat with a kid who was an Indian in LA, my memory failing me. But she was definitely a lifeguard at some children's swimming pool.
(I reckon another reason for blogging these could be that I've been looping through all ten seasons of F.R.I.E.N.D.S lately, a series that comes second only to M*A*S*H. The third fav is definitely Seinfeld. I know this has nothing to do with my chat friends, but I can't help listing MASH when I talk of favorite TV series anywhere :)
Th... th... th... Thats all folks!!!