From Iowa with love…

October 5, 2010

“Dear Goddess,” started the letter. She had obviously read my post and committed the meaning of my name to memory.

I was speechless as the contents of the carefully unwrapped package were revealed.

I stared at this piece of sheer beauty for a good 30 seconds before I bent forward to touch it.

The pattern, the details, the careful handiwork that betrayed the hours, days, and weeks that went into its creation.

Made of a cotton, bamboo, and silk yarn the fuschia/purple hue of the scalloped scarf shone brightly under the lamp.

“It’s also sparkly to match your sparkly personality! icon smile From Iowa with love… ” the letter continued.

We have never met. Never spoken on the phone.

We didn’t even know of each other until about 18 months ago.

I can probably check to see the first time we exchanged e-mails … likely a professional exchange over some egregious writing.

And then just like that, we were “liking” each other posts on Facebook, fiercely competing to break each others’ Bejeweled Blitz scores, and leaving snarky comments on each others’ walls.

Both of us understood the term biscuits referred to cookies and when we had tea it was with milk and sugar.

She, a middle-aged Caucasian of British origin. I, a soon-to-be-about-middle-aged Indian.

The University of Iowa was the common link between us. She, the editor of the alumni magazine; I, an alumna.

We never met when I was getting my master’s degree there.

I didn’t even know about her until I joined the college and university editors listserv a couple of years later. And yet, here I am, holding this beautiful token of friendship.

From a woman I don’t know per se … from a friend who cared enough to take time out to knit every day.

The letter ended with a request: “I hope you like it! Please send me a photo of you wearing it, so I can put it in my Facebook album.”

You got it, my friend.

I don’t have any remarkable talents like Ms. Tina, but am sure grateful to have found in her a friend for life. And someone whose genius I can brag about (and show off).

Thank you isn’t enough to express my appreciation, but will have to do for now.

Here’s to friendships that come in all shapes and forms, that surprise and delight, that leave you with a smile and a warm heart. Here’s to kindness and genuine affection that surpasses anything money can buy. Here’s to real relationships formed over virtual networks.

Here’s to you, Ms. Tina.

(I promise to follow the care instructions you duly noted in a “P.S” at the end of your note.)

16081BD1A60533E0F1173D28DE4F0D3F From Iowa with love…

dp seal trans 16x16 From Iowa with love…Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mansi Bhatia

You might also enjoy:

Tags: , , , , , , ,

9 Responses to From Iowa with love…

  1. Tina OwenNo Gravatar on October 5, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    You do so TOO have remarkable talents, Ms. Mansi. You’re a super talented writer. And a super wonderful person to inpsire friendship from a person who has’t even met you (yet!).

    • Mansi BhatiaNo Gravatar on October 5, 2010 at 3:25 pm

      You’re too kind, Ms. Tina. I am humbled by your graciousness.

  2. Susan DeborahNo Gravatar on October 5, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    I cannot stop gushing at the scarf and the proud recipient of the scarf. How lovely the scarf complements your dear Mansi! I share your joy in finding a thoughtful friend and a warm gift.
    Here’s to Tina and Mansi’s association.

    Joy always,

    • Mansi BhatiaNo Gravatar on October 5, 2010 at 11:12 pm

      Thank you, Susan. I can’t stop gushing either :-)

  3. arpanaNo Gravatar on October 6, 2010 at 6:37 am

    An excellent write up about inspiring friendship.

  4. SokheyNo Gravatar on October 6, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Hey the goddess of knowledge,

    I visited your blog few days back through others’ blog. I was thinking of asking you few questions but since I never commented on your blogs so somehow I was not feeling comfortable to ask questions, therefore, I was not able to make up my mind to do so. Today, when I read your entry and came to know about the meaning of your name- I felt quite relaxed! You know why? Because “to ask something from the goddess of knowledge” one need not to know her “FORMALLY”!!!!

    So, I hope you won’t mind if I ask a question!

    (1) Can we make an adult to trust the people around him/her or improve upon his/her abilities (to trust) to do so?

    (2) Why does the divorce rates are going so high in the world and in particularly in India as well!

    • Mansi BhatiaNo Gravatar on October 7, 2010 at 3:31 pm

      Thanks for introducing yourself, Sokhey, and for your kind words. My name may mean that I am the Goddess of Knowledge, but by no means do I live in the illusion that I know everything. I don’t know how one can go about “making” another person grapple with trust issues … they probably need to talk to someone and introspect … be brutally honest … to come up with the answer. As for divorce rates going up, I have my theory on that but you said you’d ask “a question” and you asked two … so I can safely ignore the one you didn’t intend to ask ;-)

      • SokheyNo Gravatar on October 8, 2010 at 12:27 am

        I could not stop hearty laugh reading your response!;-);-);-)

        I am not surprised to know that you are not living in illusions rather I would say this is the reason (though not very explicit) I asked you those TWO QUESTIONS. Because, after reading your blog entries I felt you might have some opinion about these issues.

        Though I mention ‘A QUESTION’ but I have written two and both were intended to be asked. So you can safely answer the second question. Your response will surly be appreciated!!

        Thanks for the response

  5. Robert WilsonNo Gravatar on October 18, 2010 at 1:53 am

    thanks for the post


More in poetry (5 of 46 articles)