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Notes from the Indiblogger Meet at Kolkata

February 22, 2011

1. The venue was behind City Centre, about 25 kms away from my home.

185740_10150142862870336_554370335_8497930_2538533_n( Image copyright: Gargi Mandal-Mukherjee)

2. The journey time was an hour, which was spent in reminiscing about my college years. This was the route I used to take, to return to hostel after spending the weekend at home.

3. I reached nick on time – at 12 noon and found the hall quite empty.

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4. As soon as I registered, a blogger forced a spray paint can into my hand and told me that it was compulsory to take part in Indigraffiti.

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5. The meet started almost an hour late, with Anoop from Indiblogger finishing the first 3 items in the agenda in 3 minutes flat.

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6. The most eagerly awaited part of the meet (for me) was 30 seconds to fame. I was looking forward to hear what all the Calcutta bloggers had to say in those precious 30 seconds, while I myself did not know what to say beyond “Hi, I am Debosmita.” Almost everybody was sent to jail (because they took more than 30 seconds to become famous). Everybody spoke about their blog and why and how they started it. Someone even mentioned that he started blogging after breaking up with his girlfriend! There were some total newbies, who have started blogging just a few days back! 90 percent of them were tech bloggers, who blog about stuff in which I am frankly not interested. A few other types of blogs caught my fancy and I noted down the URL. When I saw my name flashing, I just stood up and told them my reasons to come to Indiblogger meet. I tried to sound all witty and interesting, but must have sounded like a jackass! Well, I also mentioned that I am a lawyer and offered everybody free discounted legal advice. No one has approached me yet!

7. The AkshayPatra Foundation introduced us to the noble work that they do. They use advanced technology to provide mid-day meals to government schools across 9 states. Our dear state West Bengal is yet to enter into the foray, but we were assured that the good people at the Foundation have managed to convince our government.

8. The video on N R Narayan Murthy’s speech on AkshayPatra turned out to be too long, as all of us could hear that loud noise made by our stomachs. But one portion caught my ears and I paid more attention to what he was saying. He was recounting his own experience of braving hunger for almost 113 hours while hitchhiking! Now that was something!

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9. The mid-day meal which was provided to the bloggers by the sponsors was a light and very tasty vegetarian affair, complete with soup as starters and lovely misti doi and sandesh as desserts. We also mingled among ourselves, formed a Ladies Group, gossiped and took numerous photos of each other.

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(Image copyright – whoever took them; can’t remember now)

10. We returned reluctantly to the hall and found sheets of yellow chart papers and sketch pens. While everybody wondered whether they would be asked to draw now, I (armed with my secondary knowledge of previous Indimeets) smugly told them that it was for others to write on. We hung them around ourselves and welcomed everybody to write behind our back. The Indipeople very intelligently told us that the one with the most comment would win gifts. It prompted the enthusiast ones to walk up to others randomly and say “Hey, please write…” Some of the sly ones wore them back-side front (hiding the side filled with messages) and gained sympathy scribbling from others! I wrote for some people whom I knew neither online nor offline! A lucky draw was conducted to decide the winner, but I doubt any prizes were given! All, in all, it was superb fun.

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11. The Group Discussion provided opportunities for the bloggers to brainstorm over social causes, technology and such other topics. I was part of the “Indiblogger” group, which in effect was “Interview of Renie Ravin about Indiblogger”! Newbie Indibloggies bombarded Renie, Karthik and Vineet about the website, I made sly remarks about the voting system of the contests and another blogger mentioned how she found Indiblogger cool, which made Renie smile broadly like a proud father!

12. Finally, the band performance, by Five Little Indians. I spotted a few juniors of my law school, who admitted that they had nothing to do with blogging and Indiblogger but had come down just for the sake of Neel Adhikari (vocalist) and Allan (Guitarist)! My! My! college kids, I tell you! They performed superbly, mixing classical tunes into original English numbers.

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13. I got my tee!! 🙂 😀

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14. The Meet introduced me to some new bloggers, some nice people, a nice concept and some nice Sunday memories. Thank you, Indiblogger for coming to Calcutta!

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34 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2011 6:48 pm

    I wish I was there too. Btw, am the first one to comment..tumio greatbong er moto ipod dao ki 😛

    I would have loved to meet you in person. Hope to see you next time 🙂
    I don’t own an ipod myself!

  2. February 22, 2011 6:50 pm

    Wow, what a wonderful experience! I wonder if bloggers in Dubai ever meet. Perhaps I should start one 😀

    What did you write or spray on the Indigraffiti?

    There was a Dubai Indimeet, I believe! Of course, you can start one 🙂
    Now, the worst graffiti there is mine.. keep guessing 😉

  3. February 22, 2011 6:57 pm

    most of us sounded like idiots during the thirty seconds. i know i did 😀
    there was another secret group doing adda during the discussion session, you know? it was visited from time to time by vineet and addy, but it was mostly 6-7 of us being total lyadhkhors. hehe.
    anyway, it was awesome fun, i must admit 🙂

    Ah! Another ‘idiot’ confesses 😉 Being lyadhkhors is synonymous with Bengalis 😉 Glad to have bumped into you there…

  4. February 22, 2011 6:58 pm

    superb. marvelous treat.

    Thank you 🙂

  5. February 22, 2011 7:04 pm

    Hmmmm actually you should’ve not mentioned anything about the cost of your consulting 🙂 Let them walk straight and fall for the bait, and start handing out bills as they come 😛 Surprise is the best element 🙂

    See you soon! The next time we are Kolkata! Or maybe we can get into some trouble for you to save all of us! 🙂 Hopefully not!

    I am an honest lawyer! 😉 😉 I say everything upfront!

  6. bastab permalink
    February 22, 2011 7:07 pm

    Well, I could not attend it, ‘coz am out of Kolkata currently.
    but good to get a good tour of the event thru’ this post.

    Hey, sorry to have missed you there… See you next time 🙂

  7. February 22, 2011 7:32 pm

    @ Debosmita Looks like sum1 had a lot of fun 🙂 Happy for you, and really sad I missed it 😦

    @ Paushali Debe to na, ar chaile usually marte tara korbe 😛

    Yes, it was lot of fun! And don’t badmouth me! I will never ever beat up Paushali (though can’t say the same about you) 😉

  8. February 22, 2011 7:51 pm

    Write-up by me of the Bloggers meet. Feel free to leave ur feedback –

    http://www.ygoel.com/2011/02/bloggers-make-history-again-in-kolkata.html

    Sure, will drop by

  9. February 22, 2011 7:56 pm

    that was a nice write-up! I really wished I could be there in kokata… visiting Kolkata + meeting u and other bloggers… it would have been awesome… Kolkata is one my places to visit in the near future so ill be there pretty soon 🙂

    You had the perfect excuse to come down to Calcutta this time! But make sure you visit my city soon 🙂

  10. February 22, 2011 8:20 pm

    HELLLLLLLLLO..!

    Good one with some SAD pictures of me..! LOL

    Hey, welcome dear 🙂
    “Sad pictures” I don’t agree 😉 I am not even revealing that particular comment you received on your back 😉

  11. February 22, 2011 9:47 pm

    I missed this time… so upset…

  12. February 22, 2011 11:25 pm

    I missed it! It made me so sad, I wanted one to be held in Cal for so long, and now that it happened… whoa, i’m not there! pathetic!! 😛

    Damn! It was good fun and catching up with you here would have been great! But there’s always a next time 🙂

  13. February 22, 2011 11:26 pm

    Who all did you meet, by the way? 🙂

    Apart from Renie, whom I knew at least virtually, I didn’t meet anybody whom I knew previously. I bumped into a school junior (Reetam, who has commented above) and met some awesome new bloggers 🙂

  14. February 23, 2011 2:47 am

    Love your blog, will be visiting often and it was nice meeting you. Hope you were not planning a PIL, when we discussed my SaveNewTown blog ! 🙂

    Welcome Vineet
    It was good coming across a person so frank and open in his opinion. No, I was not planning any PIL, but if you are, well, you know where to come 😉

    • February 23, 2011 11:40 am

      Thanks Paromita. I have sent you a facebook friend request, but have not heard back yet. As and when you do come across, you may want to consider adding me.

      Keep in touch !

      Who is Paromita????!!!!!!????? You don’t know the name of the person you are adding on FB? 😉

      • February 25, 2011 12:48 am

        Sorry Debosmita. Obviously I was ‘Looking London, Talking Tokyo’ ! Please consider my ripe age for amnesia-tic comments.

  15. February 23, 2011 6:07 am

    Hey it was nice to read this! 🙂

    Read mine too! http://www.bongbuzz.net/indiblogger-kolkata-meet/

    Hello, sure I will drop by soon!

  16. February 23, 2011 10:33 am

    @ দেবস্মিতা, আমি তো নিজের কথাই বলছি !! পৌষালি তো হ্য্দেরাবাদে , কোথায় পাবি ওকে মারার জন্যে ?? দেখা হয় তো আমার সাথে শুধু তাই মার খাবার ভয় ও আমারি !!!!

  17. February 23, 2011 10:44 am

    Thats a very nice post! And it was great meeting you there. Calcutta bloggers rock!
    Keep blogging!

    Thank you Karthik! Hard work by all of you guys made meet so successful 🙂

  18. February 23, 2011 11:47 am

    Aamar chhobitai jhapsha. Hmph. Btw can’t i sue you for claiming copyright on a picture with me in it? Or at least using my picture without my express written permission? 😉

    Really? Is that you? 😉
    Copyright in photographs is with the photographer. You may surely sue me, if, say, I morph you or show you in a derogatory manner 😉

  19. February 23, 2011 12:57 pm

    Hey, I remembered your intro! 🙂 Nice summary!

  20. February 23, 2011 3:08 pm

    Heh. Was just thinking of ways to make a quick buck.

  21. February 23, 2011 6:30 pm

    Thanks for the nice roundup, Debosmita! Calcutta was everything we remembered it to be! 🙂

    Renie, it was great to meet you and other team members of Indiblogger in person. You guys did a fantastic job 🙂

  22. February 23, 2011 11:18 pm

    What was the comment on Ghazala’s sheet you’ve mentioned ? I’m dying to know now !!!

    Great coverage, btw My article on the meet would be appearing in the Salt Lake supplement of The Telegraph on Friday morning. Try and grab a copy if possible. I was just chatting with my editor on Mon morning and she obviously liked what she heard, because she demanded that I submit an article by Tue night. Thank God I took photos that day !

    • February 25, 2011 12:52 am

      Gargi,

      Sorry for eavesdropping. But you hadn’t quite disclosed this secret that you write for ‘The Telegraph’. If you did, I would have been nicer to you :).

      Really looking forward to The Telegraph – Salt Lake edition this Friday with bated breath ! The Salt Lake edition is only distributed within Salt Lake but I believe is available online to anyone who would care for it !

    • March 1, 2011 1:54 pm

      Missed that: any chances of handing over a link?

      From what Gargi told me, the Salt Lake edition is not in the web.

  23. February 24, 2011 10:57 am

    Hm. . . m a ladies’ gossip group. . . . The most interesting thing would be to know wot u guys were discussing. . I know. . I know. . That’s a BIG secret. . . But u know wot, men also like gossips. . Well at least sometimes!

    Hey, we were discussing really random stuff, but mostly about blogging 🙂 So, not too interesting, I tell you 😉

  24. February 25, 2011 3:43 am

    Great to see the pics of the event!

  25. Abhishek permalink
    February 28, 2011 2:35 am

    You should consider putting the copyright at one corner. Not that the pics are awesome 🙂 just that they look messy.

    I sure can; just that flashing my name in the middle gives me a high 😉 Making it messy is the idea behind it, as you correctly pointed out 😉

  26. March 2, 2011 8:10 pm

    I was not sure if I would regret not going to the meet. You sealed it in the affirmative. But I had no choice, anyway. I was away. 😦

  27. Anusuya permalink
    March 4, 2011 6:43 pm

    I like whats written on the tee:
    Indian by birth,Blogger by choice!
    U sure are having fun while blogging

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