When I saw the notification of the ASUS happy hours, I left the page midway between the line that read about some invitation for some meet. Travelling 5 + 5 hours to Bangalore with my toddler son would be a pain and I had put the invite aside. All of a sudden, a couple of days before the meet, I felt determined to make to the meet. Don’t ask me why, I am still trying to figure it out 🙂
My first ever IB meet
As a five year old IB member, I must be ashamed to have never appeared for a meet before. But as I write this, I feel less shameful because I atleast did it at last. I keep reading other blogs, though not so often. But do I know anyone personal enough to welcome me at the meet? Again it’s a shameful no. The thought of landing at a new kind of event knowing there would not be a known soul, gave a nervous feeling. I rehearsed and re-rehearsed many moves in my mind to enact when I would meet new faces at the event.
And here I was on the 30th of January, 2015 @ ITC Royal Gardenia, Bangalore!
Believe me, it didn’t take much time. I managed to pair with Archana Natarajan even before registration. Thanks Archana. Sometimes it feels easy being with a new somebody.
The meet began with Nihaal & team’s headbanging, heart-pounding and ear-deafening music. Renie rushed us to move closer to the stage as though we would miss the noise, I mean the music otherwise. “Na na na na, na na na nandi” Nihaal made the crowd echo the first line of his four-liner song. I was thrilled that it had a part of my name, ah! For the second line, the crowd became dumb for the lyrics couldn’t be picked except for “you and me.”
Well, nothing could have given a better start. I felt my body connect to rhythm and music for almost the first time after college. Thank you guys! By the way, who was behind the mask?
Following the band was an activity to interact with other bloggers. We had to collect a personal item from each blogger we met. I got active into this, choosing faces based on what, I didn’t know, questioning about their blogs and demanding a personal stuff. Check my collection!
After the winners of the activity were announced, the ASUS head presented the product of the day, ASUS Eee Book X205, giving enough tweeting freedom to all until giving away the stage to the Rani Mukherjee-voiced ASUS lady. Bloggers discussed their technical queries about the Eee Book with the ASUS lady, following which vouchers for best this and that were announced. I hoped they were some useless vouchers because I didn’t get one 🙂 The event kind of lacked a sync until it headed to interesting group activities. The crowd was divided into five groups and each group had to present the significance of blogging through a unique theme given to them. I belonged to the Gagnum Style group. Just belonged, I don’t think I did anything good other than copying dance steps from others; the nursery dance! Vijay headed our team; he did a fantastic job. And the much awaited dinner session had a simple and neat menu though the time factor was nudging me throughout.
Overall, it was a few hours of great time out of my everyday mundane routine. Thank you IB and ASUS and all of the bloggers who made it fun.
The Indi Guys
I have always been curious to know the Indi team. The man and the only man I’ve known of IB was Renie. I caught Renie for a snap when he escaped his backstage of computers for a while. My first pic with a celebrity 🙂 Very precious! I assumed he’s THE IB MAN until Anoop appeared in the scene, hosting the event. Anoop was a store house of wit, humour and their synonyms though he looks serious. Anoop was wow until I heard Nihaal rocking the stage with his band. And then Vijay. Vijay was next to me, yes all through the show. I went awwwh, every time he was given a mic.
I got what brought IB to where it is now. The team and humour! The best I felt about this team was that each of these guys are absolutely unassuming. They’ll give you the feel of your classmates in college. We found Nihaal and Karthik for a mini chat after dinner. Sadly, missed to meet the rest of the team 🙁
I could meet only a handful of bloggers from the big crowd. Here’s my list of new bloggy friends:
Archana Natarajan: She likes writing romantic short stories and doesn’t bring in her personal life in to her blog. I could see a bright writer in her and hoping to review her publishings in my blog soon.
Partha Sadhukhan: He’s a human rights and social causes man. He maintains five blogs and he has a unique opinion on anything you talk about.
Farida Rizwan: Most IBs would be familiar with her name. So do I. She is known for inspiring writings on the battles of her life. She gave away her pen to me because that was what she writes with, she said. Honoured mam!
Venkat Ramakrishnan: He is interested in Indian population. He explained a few stats that literally shocked us.
Prakhyath: The man behind our Gagnam style dance moves! He focuses on book reviews, author interviews and other stuff about books. His website looks very impressive. You must take a look if you are into books.
Manoj: He’s a hockey blogger. It was amusing to us too.
Shivraj and Jyothi: The duos bloggers blog on tech stuff. Jyothi is a new blogger, inspired by her H.
Divya: She enjoys writing about her travels. We couldn’t hang on for long but took a quick selfie.
Deepika Muthusamy: She is a personal blogger and the author of a fictional love story, ‘Touch of Mist’. She recognized me by one of my comments in the forum. That was nice.
I met Sachin, Sameer, Nikhil and Seema too. I am yet to find the other blogs whose links I’ve missed here. And perhaps, I missed to take more pictures with all of them 🙁
My Learning Experience at the Meet
- The virtual world is after all not that different from the actual one. People exactly appeared the same way they carry their blogs.
- It is not an embarrassing task to open oneself to a new face, especially when there’s something common to talk about.
- Blogging doesn’t seem a hobby, it is of a much higher regard to most.
- Visit at least one blog and interact with at least one blogger everyday. There is so much that bloggers are working on!
- Better not to miss any of the next meets happening near by. They are valuable.
- My rehearsed moves were a waste of time 🙂
- Free food has always been and will always be exciting.
What I would want to see better in the next meets
- Time was a concern at the last minute. It was almost 10 in the night when I boarded my cab alone from the hotel. I didn’t feel quite safe during my drive back home.
- If there was a way to identify bloggers by their names, like may be a paper with their names stuck at the back, it would have been easy to find people whom I might have known better in the IB pages.
- It is a good idea for bloggers to bring small written or printed papers of their names and blog urls in it. It was a pain to write my lengthy blog url so many times.
- Indi guys, where’s my T-shirt?