Monday, July 25, 2016

Virtual Friend

Today is the birthday of a Facebook friend that I never met in person. He lived in Bangalore and I was in Goa… and there is no further chance for us to meet as Mohan Pai passed away on 15 June in 2010. But he was not just a virtual friend; we were virtually as good friends as two persons could be. 

Mohan Pai was born in Goa, educated in Mumbai and worked in Advertising. He was a researcher, blogger, writer on environment and ecology, an avid photographer and involved in running an old age home at Bangalore. A self made man, he had a keen, analytical and sensitive mind. His published books include The Western Ghats, Mahadayi River Valley, the Flight of Gods, the Elderly among others

We never met, yet we could and would connect with each other. We spoke regularly to each other on phone and through email. Of course, the initiative to keep in touch was largely his. We talked about the environment, temple architecture, and about so many things. In fact, on his recommendation some of fiends would drop in to see me during their trips to Goa.

So often, we insist that friendship is strained by distance. While physical proximity helps nurture a relationship, it may also becoming overbearing by constricting the space in between. Relationships require only closeness of communication that comes from an interest to interact with each other... as seen in the case of Mohanbab who remains among my list of close friends, although our friendship spanned less than three years.

My friend from the virtual world created a real relationship
Mohanbab taught me the value of building a friendship

- Pravin K. Sabnis

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