Tuesday, February 22, 2011

IndiBloggers @ #Indical – A synopsis

* Some of pictures reproduced here in this post were clicked by and copyrighted to Kuntal Gupta – an avid photographer. You will see his signature watermark on his pictures. I have taken express permission from Kuntal to be able to reproduce his images in this post, promising him celebrity status in return :)

This is by far the best winter Calcutta has had in recent memory. And the same can be said about Spring. It is nearly March and it is still very pleasant and morning air is still nippy. Perfect timing for Indiblogger.in – a network of Indian bloggers to head to CoolKata for a social networking event, where the bloggers could come face to face. This was to be my first meet, after an unsuccessful attempt to attend the previous one at Mumbai.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. But now have to admit that, it was a perfectly orchestrated event. The venue was the relatively new corporate site called CII - Suresh Neotia Centre of Excellence and Leadership located just behind the ubiquitous City Centre mall in Salt Lake.

venue

The meet was in a big enough hall that could easily seat up to 150-200 people if it had to. The numbers here were much smaller. I would say there well all of 75-100 people including the organizers, if that many ! But the atmosphere was nothing short of electric. There were tall bloggers, short bloggers, fat bloggers, thin bloggers, funny bloggers, intellectual bloggers, pretty bloggers, legal bloggers, bloggers who were retired government employees, there was even an IndiBaby blogger. The range was mind blogging. I had to simply sign in at the sign up laptop using my email id that was used to register for the event. I felt great instantly, it was only a few minutes after noon when I walked in, a little nervy initially, this being my first such meet. I could see and hear the rock band playing already ! Amazing ambience, I said to myself.

indibaby

Before I go any further I would like to set the record straight about something ! This meet was enabled by Akshay Patra. I am not just linking to them or talking about just because they paid for the event and the nourishing lunch they provided us with. This is a truly a noble cause, you must visit their website and you would see what I am talking about. They are enabling the mid-day meal program in hundreds of thousands of schools across eight states in the country. And they are coming to Calcutta soon. This was a program that under ideal circumstances the government should be providing. But then again it is not an ideal world we live in. Akshay Patra shows us the power of NGO. With people like N. R. Narayana Murthy on their Board of Advisors, you can be rest assure that you are putting your money in safe hands. Hands which will feed hungry children. At this point I urge you to be part of this admirable cause and feel better about yourself.

And no I am not getting paid to either support their cause and link to their website :) I honestly believe this and it is a cause close to my heart. Hence the words.

indigraffiti

A graffiti wall was set-up by the organizers. Great idea this wall ! The shy young man that I am, I stayed away from adding my two-cents to the wall !

indigraffiti2_kg

Once again these amazing pictures are courtesy Kuntal Gupta a fine young blogger and an ace photographer ! You can see more of his work at his Flickr collection.

After a brief introduction, we were given our chance towards 30 seconds of fame, where in each blogger in attendance was given 30 seconds to stand up and speak about themselves, their blog – it’s purpose, age , yada, yada, yada and life in general ! Wish I had a speech ready for this grand occasion. Since I didn’t – I just stuttered and stammered my way through it with little help from Guerilla Marketing tactics like pushing my freshly printed blog id cards. 

This segment was everyone’s favorite as it gave them a chance to know others and announce themselves on the world stage !

indibloggers_kg

The 30 seconds of fame segment was followed by a presentation by Akshay Patra. It indeed called for some introspection. This was followed by a sumptuous lunch, which was arranged for all the attendees. I wish I had taken some pictures of the camaraderie that ensued during the lunch break, but I was simply too busy eating.

The post lunch session featured the Live and Let Comment where in the participants had to hang paper boards on their backs and walk around the room, commenting on other’s backs and in turn asking fellow bloggers to write on their backs ! Once again Kuntal Gupta took a candid shot of my ‘back’ wall and highlighted the only baldpate at the meet !

theshining_kg The Shining !

This segment made us once again feel like school kids. Trying to garner the most comments from people. I saved the ‘paper wall’ and have hung it up with bald pride in my office.  Below are few more pictures from this segment.

20022011026

20022011027

pensive_bloggers_kgBloggers in a rare pensive mood, my favorite !

What followed was a group discussion. The attendees were divided up into different groups. The topics of discussion were IndiBlogger.in, Blogging and Technology, and finally social issues which basically meant Akshay Patra.

All in all, it was a Sunday well spent, networking with people. Below is a list of people and whose blogs caught my fancy, other than my own ;-)

The best was saved for the last. This is when the Five Little Indians performed. Do check out their website, the band pictures are just the best ! Absolutely enjoyed the performance. This was my first time hearing them and would surely not miss a chance to see and hear them again. The neat thing about them was – they write their own songs, and do not play as a cover band ! So requests for Pearl Jam and such were turned down politely by lead singer Neel Adhikari. I  have captured a few videos and am uploading it, will share them soon !

My only gripe – the largest Tee they had there was XXL, and it doesn’t fit me. One size too small for me. Indiblogger need to get fat-friendly ! But I will pardon them and be sure to attend their next meet in the city and may be even elsewhere, if I can make it !

So long !

25 comments:

  1. Really well written round up of the meet! You did forget to mention the occasional breaks for fresh air! :) It would have been nice to see you there in the Graffiti wall, wouldn't that too help with your Guerrilla marketing? :)

    These are really nice pictures of the meet by Kuntal, and many kudos to him for clicking some serious shit!

    Glad you came, awesome we met, and happy to know you Sir! From one Vineet to another, signing off for now..

    Keep Blogging always!

    Vineet
    www.vinni.in

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  2. Lovely write up and thank you so so much for mentioning my blog :-) That was really nice on your part :-)

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  3. @Vineet - Thanks buddy ! The lone break for fresh air was left out in public interest :). Also my wife who is not a big fan of my nicotine desires would have shown me the stick ;-). But come to think of it. This comment is just as bad.

    Amen to Kuntal's pics ! I am glad I came too. Be sure to catch up on future meets brother !

    See you in hell - "Chhota Rajan" ;-)

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  4. @Debosmita - You are quite welcome. I have only mentioned the blogs and people I cared for, not to suck up to people. For I dare be anything short of brutally honest ! You may return the 'favor' by checking out my posts from time to time, time permitting :)

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  5. Nice post. Kuntal's photographs are really awesome.

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  6. Thanks for linking me up. Great summary. Great usage of fotos! Loved your guerilla tactics. hope to stay in touch! :=)

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  7. @Dr. Skeptic - Glad you weren't skeptical of this post or me in general :) Let us keep in touch, absolutely !

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  8. nice brief.like the subtle humour at times self-humiliating that make it all the more interesting for a read :)

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  9. You have presented it very well ! liked it...

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  10. @Pratik - Thanks ! Glad you like it :)

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  11. NKOB - well done ... tho' I had to squint my way thru ur post!

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  12. @ NKOB - Yes i am (to answer ur query on my blog!) I tried searching but there are so many of u (namesakes)!! haha.

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  13. Hey man.. awesome post. The bloggers at pensive mood is an excellent photo! Well taken! And the Tees.. This time I don't think we got any XXXL requests buddy! If you hadn't at Cal already, be sure to add that during Registration next time. We'll get you an XXXL! :-)

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  14. @Sukanya C - Sorry about the 'squinting' part ! Will try and do something about it, like I said. I am working towards giving my blog a new look, and will keep that in mind !

    I couldn't find you on facebook either, but here is my landing page and the link - http://www.facebook.com/DonVineet

    There may be namesakes, but I bet not very many 'baldsakes' or 'sizesakes' :).

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  15. @Zeon - Glad you like it brother ! The credit for pictures goes to Kuntal Gupta, I have linked him up in post. I just used the photos, with express permission from Kuntal.

    No worries. I did add my size preference at the time of registration, never mind - I am sure I was the 'odd one out', like I always am :)

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  16. Enjoyed reading it...lovely pics indeed !! Had a whale of a time :-)

    Mrs Muffet/ Panchali Sengupta

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  17. @Panchali di - Thanks for you comments. Will be visiting your blog soon - is it not - mrsmuffet.blogspot.com ?

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  18. Hey i left a comment here, did not I? It seem to have walked off the page back to indie blog site may be.

    Well presented and Good work...! Do visit my space too http://a-blind-date.blogspot.com/

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  19. @Ghazala - Got your comment now. No, I had not seen a comment from you earlier. But I see it now. Have checked out your blog. Loved your style of writing. Have marked myself as a *Follower* !

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  20. Hello there! Got a little late to comment here but how can I forget the guerrilla tactics ;) True it was a great Sunday and savoured every moment of it. :D

    Check my post too http://www.bongbuzz.net/indiblogger-kolkata-meet/

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  21. Nice blogging, My review is very good example.
    Lindsay Rosenwald http://www.lindsayrosenwald.info/ Dr. Lindsay Rosenwald is one of the re-known venture capitalists and the hedge fund managers in the world.

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