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'We can be good frenz'

Bijoy AK | August 04, 2003 10:34 IST

It's not only love affairs that bloom on the Web; but great friendships too

"ASL pls"
"Tell me more about you"
"Can we be friends?"

Great friendships, often, begin this way, online.

Over chat sessions and email exchanges you reach a juncture where the relationship could mean just a 'hello-goodbye' or result in a love match. Or you could find a very special friend. On the occasion of Friendship Day, celebrated yesterday, a few lucky people share their experiences of special bonds formed online.

'It was our love for Bollywood movies that brought us together'

Based in Abu Dhabi, Fatima Q works as an office assistant. In a conservative Muslim society, she found it very difficult to interact with people and make good friends. But the Web threw open a window for this young girl.

Fatima frequently posted on message boards on a Bollywood site, and relates: "My first try was wonderful. Thank God it didn't take much trial and error. I found my best friend, who is from India, by mere coincidence. It was our love for Bollywood movies that brought us together." They now share a very special friendship across borders. 

"The Net helped me find a friend, who is more like a brother to me. We are like a family. I share both good and bad times with him and in spite of the distance, he is very supportive," adds Fatima.

'We developed a close bond over a few days'

Mumbai-based Sheetal Dias (name changed) found her best friend while blogging. She narrates: "I started a blog and was interested in reading others. Being a writer, I love to get an insight into people through their writings. It so happened, that one day, I came across a blog that fascinated me. I was struck by the honesty of the words and I could relate to it at a very deep level."

The curiosity to know the person made her a regular reader of that blog. But it did not ever enter her mind to communicate with him directly, since it would have been against her nature. "But, to my utter surprise, and a pleasant one at that, I received a mail a few days later, about a comment I had left on his blog. I replied and we kept discussing subjects that were close to our hearts, until we realised how close a bond we had developed in those few days."

Sheetal, who does not form close friendships easily, says: "Sometimes I felt I could never make a good friend, since the level of understanding I would require of that person was too high. But when I met him, I was really surprised and happy that it was possible."

Sheetal goes on: "The Web brought us together. Never in my dreams did I think I could grow close to someone I meet online. And of course, it has helped us maintain our friendship, be it through mail or chat. We're always there for each other."

When Manisha landed in Mumbai, her online friends were there to help

Baroda-born Manisha Issrani came to Mumbai to pursue a career in filmmaking. She made a lot of online friends and they were there to help when she landed in the city. She talks about how one of her good friends, from Malta Islands, got concerned about her safety during the Kargil war. "He asked me to come to his country with my family during that time!"

'The Web is an extended society!'

Mumbai-based Ravi Nair was skeptical about finding good friends online. 'All alto-faltoo talk that reaches nowhere' is what he would tell himself. But when he developed a strong bond with someone online, Ravi changed his mind, "We are now members of the same family. Both of us are in Mumbai and interact regularly. I am a social person and my experience has made me view the Web as an extended society!"

'It's not only love affairs that bloom online; but great friendships too'

Pramod Kumar who works with the Taj Hotels in Mumbai started using the Web on the job. He began visiting chat rooms with the intention of having some fun in his spare time. He soon realised that true friendships could be formed online. "I have made some great friends through chat rooms. And it is a nice experience to spend time with them. My experience made me learn that it's not only love affairs that bloom on the Web; but great friendships too." 

Some, like Manisha, are wary of the negatives as well: "You might come across a pleasant person online but once you meet, you are disappointed! You cannot trust easily. But I guess the same applies to friends you make in real life too."

As Sheetal says: "There are many people out there who are ready to deceive you. But, if you can sift the wheat from the chaff, the Net is for you."

Have you formed a special friendship online? Share your stories with us.


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