Saturday, June 23, 2012

Of Meets and Surprises...

I never really happened to write about the Indiblogger meets, did I? Tch tch. Keeping busy has just too many drawbacks for me to even keep track of. Anyhow, here I am now, with a brief report on the Sunday that I’m not gonna forget for a long long time to come.

10th June, 2012 – The Park Hotel, Connaught Place, New Delhi
I don’t know what it is between Indiblogger and The Park. It is such a depressing little place, almost like an office building. Even the DLF commercial tower across the road looks like a real hotel in front of the Park. Anyhow, the meets are always fun, so I’m not complaining! So there were two meets scheduled within one single day – something I haven’t ever experienced before and which came as a pleasant surprise when it was first announced.


The first one by Dove was a meet only for women bloggers, and needless to say, it saw lesser number of attendees. To cut the long story short, hair care experts were invited, extensive talks were held on common hair problems, their causes and prevention and the audience’s woes were heard and addressed. A TV ad model Shivani was also called to give a short speech/lecture/talk/whatever. I still haven’t been able to figure out what it was exactly that she wanted to bring across through that half-hour long string of non-coherent short anecdotes about her single status and her mother’s giving her a piece of her mind everyday and her ugly frizzy hair etc etc. I chose to ignore after a while, concentrating more on chatting and hobnobbing with the few friends I had made out there.



Need I mention that like all the Indiblogger meets, this one too had fun stuff being handed out to random people for no rhyme or reason just to promote Dove products? Though for a change this time I was a recipient of them too. Yay! I got a Dove gift hamper just for sporting streaked hair (seriously LAME, I know :P) and a voucher for online shopping worth rupees 1000 only because I was the only person till then to have said “thank you” at the end of my introduction. See, I told you – they need no rhyme or reason to give out goodies, just pure whim! At the end of the meet each participant got to take away a customized hamper containing a shampoo and a conditioner from the Dove product line that suits their hair the best. Oh, and a white Dove-Indiblogger t-shirt too. Thereafter we had a scrumptious lunch where I actually overate. I couldn’t help myself, it was just so good!!



There was a one-hour break before the Spice Mobiles meet. And we obviously utilized it in maaroing a round of apna CP (in the scorching sun) followed by an all-girls photo session in the hotel lobby ('coz as they say - girls will be girls!) Before the meet started we had this awesome conversation with one of the popular veteran bloggers on the Indian blogsphere – Mr. Arvind Passey – a lovely man with an amazing sense of humor and also the brand ambassador for Samsung. Cool eh? But the real fun began when the meet began and the host for the evening appeared. Guess who?? Rajiv Makhni, our very own NDTV Gadget Guru-cum-hottie-cum-house of talent! Okay I am totally drooling now. But the man really is a hell lot of fun. He cracked jokes, made sarcastic comments on anything and everything without anyone at all minding and had us all in splits throughout the meet and on the edge of our chairs by the end of the evening.





He gave out pen drives and Spice mobiles to participants, sometimes on whim and sometimes on their actually achieving certain feats. But the real surprise of the evening for ME came when I actually won a phone myself. Oh yes, I DID. And not even for nothing. The guy had announced that he would hand out phones to five people who introduced themselves in the best way, or those who could reproduce at the meet something that they blog about (muffins or cookies for instance). So I went out there in full josh, introduced myself, and offered to sing. Oh yeah, you all know I write about music too. Now the audience was suddenly excited and Rajiv taken aback for a second. But then he declared that if I satisfy the audience with my song, the phone is all mine. And so I sang a few lines from the one song that came to my mind at the moment – Celine Dion’s That’s The Way It Is. Here I stopped singing and there the place resounded with applause (or at least that’s what I like to believe). And I won myself a Spice Flo mobile! :D



Well, that was the crescendo of the meet for me at least. Rest everything I cannot seem to recall even half as clearly. There was this debate on something like how safe is our private information today, given the superb hacking technology available and no dearth of identity thieves all around us on the internet. It was interesting and boring in turns, nothing really worth being reproduced here. Another highlight of the evening was an AMAZING magic/mind-reading show put up by a budding mind reader (or magician?) Karan Singh that completely had each one of us gaping in astonishment. It was great! Then there was this speech by some boring tech guy from Spice, and that was when we decided it was time for our much needed pilgrimage to the ladies room. :P Following that was another delicious meal that was supposed to be tea but got converted into dinner, God knows how. The evening ended with a nerve wrecking quiz conducted by the oh-so-adorable Rajiv and lots and lots of phones being given out. I was really amazed to see such good general knowledge in people of stuff that I hardly had any idea about. It seriously made me feel ashamed of myself. :/



Anyhow the day was a super tiring but fulfilling one for me. Back home everyone kept gushing about all the goodies I seemed to have hoarded in a single day. I got at least five people laying claim on that phone I had won. What made them think I would actually part with something I had just bagged with such elan? Bleh.

The day ended with a tired me going off to sleep with a smile on my face (and a whole lot of hair care products on the shelf). The best part of the day was that I made some fabulous new friends in the blogging world and met some of those I had only met online yet never seen before. It was enriching, exciting and needless to say, a memorable experience. Look forward to many more such meets and treats!



A whole lot of pictures there on my FB page: here!
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