IndiBlogger - Connecting Bloggers (across India)
As you read it, it is my knock off version of Nokia's famous tagline Connecting People. That is precisely what IndiBlogger does. Well though the actual one is what you see here, the aforementioned does a decent job in sending the same message (I hope)
The 58th meet took place on 19th August 2012 at the Taj Lands End hotel in Bandra, Mumbai sponsored by Nokia. Before the event itself since few days before I was bit skeptical for firstly despite me being a "techie" I don't own a smart phone! Yeah one reading this might find it hard to believe, me being a computer engineering student, having 5 computers at home, being the "Alienware and Razer" elite, hobbyist, photographer, adventurer, geek and doing all sorts of crap I'm a stone age man when it comes to a cell phone and all it's related stuff. That was a big reason for my awkwardness (which to some extent followed in the meet, but to no worries)
But despite that I did really want to go being a part of the community for some years and receiving their e-mails all the time. So I went which became one of the most memorable evenings of my life.
The ambiance of the venue was splendid. (As people I know always tell me) I usually end up at the right place at the right time, I got to meet the men (and women of course) behind IndiBlogger itself, old timers and got to volunteer being a part of the team! An awesome start with more to follow. (And I also made a new Alien-brother) :D
It was a very marvelous site. A gathering of more than 200 people, bloggers to be precise in an already great venue, most being online friends talking in forums, twitter, etc. throughout the time all related by a single connection - blogging (no Nokia pun intended) who were all meeting for the first time. It was a wonderful site to see and be a part of. Myself meeting literally everyone for the first time.
After (getting a bit high and) greeting all the attendees of the evening and making everyone "feel the brilliance" the much awaited Vikas Khanna and Rajiv Makhni took the stage, who began the main theme of the event AppTasting (Applications, Appetite, Testing, Tasting whichever mash up you like) And since it was sponsored by Nokia with a lot of goodies so #NokiaAppTasting
The IndiBlogger team welcoming everyone
The IndiWelcome "HO HO!!"
They started off by how technology is deeply rooted in our lives today, in particularly mobile phones, how integral it has become and how food being (an actual) essential be merged with it. Apps have become a big deal in our lives used extensively (remember my awkwardness?) Rajiv totally pulled if off by making everyone stand, telling everyone to "lustfully" look at our phones and say "I love you" since it makes so much sense in a perspective (Although I agree, I so wished to tell that guy "dude look at me! I'm still waiting for my love god knows when she will enter my life") :P
Rajiv and Vikas in their game
Thinking for myself it would have been tough for me to choose since I'm both a big time foodie and as mentioned a techie, but considering overall as one blogger very brilliantly put forward, it is relatively easy to tolerate without food but how much without technology and internet? (Sorry Vikas!) It appeared Vikas was getting all the love initially but Rajiv soon managed to give a fight.
The Master Chef than shared many of his expertise to the delight of food lovers, cooks and future wives most notable the "Kya aap pyaaz kaat sakthey hey?" contest which was filled with laugh bursting moments, and surprisingly the guy with the "best performance" doesn't even cook. Looks like bloggers win here too. This was followed by a quiz which some of the brave took part it, and when the need arose the crowd took a role. Many foody-facts like famous Indian dishes (which Vikas claimed even he didn't knew like most of us until he heard of it from other places) Being a South Indian myself I was pretty shocked to hear myself that Rasam was so famous which I considered "meh" as common to our households have it every second day. And to the very delight of Mumbaikars when we came to know Vikas honored Vada Pav to the world as nod to us during his visits. Well I guess he won the crowd's heart there itself. (The same dude answered that question who took the first pic above of my back of the tee)
But it was not all just about food, it was AppTasting remember? There was a lot about technology and mobile phone tech in particular, uncommon to most. A very enthusiastic contest between the participants went on. On these parts I remember jumping raising my hands from the side, well I couldn't take part since I was part of the IndiBlogger team, but hey atleast Rajiv acknowledged me saying that looks like I'm ready for every question's answer, so the participants be thankful I'm not taking part. That was a win for me :D
Well in the end the winning 2 chicks got a Nokia Lumia phone and everyone got prizes so I was wondering for once some right place I was in.
A coverage of the entire audience was shown on screen which was shot by a guy before and during the events of the meet, on whom even I had an eye on before the meet started when things were being set up. A fashion show turned silent Charlie Chaplin short movie and a photo hunt which made the entire crowd (finally!) get up their lazy asses, a vast discussion and sharing of knowledge which took place followed by all the ice-breaking and contests. Our celebrities roamed around the places asking for ideas on what would their ideal apps be made, many interesting and hilarious ones included which ranged from how to swap their husband's credit card from the phone (dam woman) to various food and travel related. In the end the one with how drunk one is got a nod, and it actually already exists.
So with nearly 3 hours of awesomeness the dynamic duo signed off for the evening, when the next phase of the much awaited meet came up - Dinner & Drinks :D (well there were snacks and drinks served throughout and I don't remember how much of the latter was already in my system)
Before catching up with people, post discussions and photograph sessions, was announced that IndiBlogger had completed 5 years of existence on 15th August, when a cool cake was brought in to be cut and rejoiced by all. Bloggeshwaris had brought a very sweet card filled with best wishes for the community. Humbled and Thankful!
Birthday card for IndiBlogger's 5th Birthday!
The yummy birthday cake
With this wrapped up a very successful IndiBlogger meet and I'm already looking forward (and helping/working on) the next!
To (sort of) summarize:
- Meet many amazing folks from the people behind IndiBlogger and being one of them in the true sense.
- Didn't have a smart phone, but I was smart enough.
- Its good to raise your lazy ass up once a while always helps
- Active discussion and such meetings are good for the soul (and head, though occasionally somethings are realized after the hangover)
- Cool and Crazy contests, good ideas and thinking can let you win something, gut helps too.
- Continued from of Pt 1, met Vikas Khanna and Rajiv Makhani. Enough said.
- Happy 5th Birthday IndiBlogger! Would be great to see when you turn 50 (By then if I'm alive)
- I realized even my blog is 5 years old, coincidentally even I started blogging when I was 15 in August 2007! So destiny made me be here.
So I end with kudos to IndiBlogger for organizing such great meets, and which I never mentioned for FREE! Free always feels good, even if you have hell lot of money (In my case, poor student me)
And special thanks to Nokia India for sponsoring us.
There were Angry Birds cookies too!
With the stars of the show
Disclaimer: They say a picture says a thousand words, but I decided to go with the words instead as by know one knows from how miserable I felt (sort of) in the beginning and feeling awesome in the end. But yeah, refer to Pt 1 and 2.
Courtesy of IndiBloggers Swati Maheswari (IndiBlogger album link) and Hemal Shah (album link) for all the amazing pictures.
Special thanks to Firzoe Shakir (album link) and Harsh Sodi (blog link)
(Thanks to them was able to hook up the words with some images in the end)
This year 2012 I have been least active sadly, and this was the push I needed to get back on track!
Though this post was inevitable and in the making, the fact that there is a contest and Vikas and Rajiv are going to read (and judge!) this themselves and there are Lumia and Pureview phones to be won, that is like an extra fuel in itself :D (for the god-knows-what-time I need a phone) :P
Update: Well I didn't win (but one of the winners was BlogwatiG, the one who gave that idea for the credit card swipe app) Congrats to the winners. Looks like I'm stuck phone-less for real now until god knows when. Oh well, next time.
Until next time.