Tuesday, February 02, 2010

A net friend comes home

I have known Anna Morawska, a Polish citizen living in Legionowo, a suburb of Warsaw, since the past several years. Or, have I? I must say that I had never met her; I had heard her voice but twice; and I had spoken to her just once over her mobile phone. Apart from this, we had exchanged a few SMSs and about a dozen-odd personal emails. Thus, I was to meet her for the very first time on her maiden trip to India. We interacted a few times on the chat module before planning and finalising. Finally, I decided that my family and I would host her when she came down to Mumbai, and help her out whenever she went to different parts of the country as a tourist.

Anna arrived in our society building on Monday morning at around half past eight, escorted by a doctor friend of hers (he is Dr. Sandeep Pendse, a non-practising MBBS doctor, who is now a teacher in "humanitites"). Lugging a large orange suitcase, and a smaller, softer bag and a hand bag, she arrived with a large - nay, huge smile. Chatting with her, I realised that she is a witty, soft-spoken, fit and intelligent person. Nishrin served her and the doctor "upma" and "gulab jamuns" for breakfast. Afterwards, while I went to my clinic, Nish took her to Fort for a little bit of shopping. She wanted some Indian dresses. I joined them at a store near Kala Ghoda, and Nish left for her parlour work. Eventually, she (i.e. Anna) and I went to the Gateway of India, took the harbour cruise, lunched at the Colaba Delhi Darbar, and returned home on my scooter - weaving this way and that, and scaring the day-lights out of her!

She vows to write about her experiences in the form of a novel!