Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hair Spas and Chutzpah with Pantene and Indiblogger

It really goes without saying that Delhi witnessed one of the most exciting blogger meets ever on the 14th of October (last Sunday). It was indeed one of a kind and like no other meet we'd ever attended before. Putting it in words 10 days hence would be slightly difficult for me, but like they say, he (she?) who never tried never succeeded!

Nothing that day could have been more awesome than the paradigm shift in the venue of the Indiblogger meet from the morose, sad little Hotel Park every time, to the posh and opulent ITC Sheraton in Saket this time. It surely took quite a few breaths away, for we the blogger species aren't used to such magnificence :P So it was a really pleasant start to the day. The meet was being held in the 'Ballroom' that itself was very elegantly done up with sensuous lighting and 'green' as the theme, in keeping with the color of the new Pantene Nature Fusion products, that by the way are pretty good, as we got to experience soon enough. ;)

Yummy mocktails and juices were being served around the tables. Bloggers were all decked up and clicking away furiously! The whole setting somehow felt like a big fat Punjabi wedding reception to me. Can't help such thoughts, they're ingrained in these Punjabi genes! But on a sadder note, I don't know what in the name of God made me dress up in traditional attire that day. Big faux Pas...because as it turned out, the photographer didn't even bother to click me. Not even once! And hence I don't have many pictures of mine to show off. :( Anyhow, there were a couple of canvas graffiti walls in the corner where bloggers were already busy spray painting their messages. Struggling for long to find space for my message, when I finally did find some, I didn't know what to write! 'This is amazing' is what came out on impulse. Looks pretty good to me :D

The meet started with our smartass emcee Anup whipping out his usual wisecracks and a lady from Pantene introducing the product. (Or something like that, I remember only vaguely.) Then came the fun part. We were all asked to grab a balloon each from under our chairs and a toothpick from off the table and make a dash! Toothpicks flew, balloons burst with ear-shattering booms and bangs, and excited laughter rang throughout the hall. The last three men women standing each got amazing goodies from Pantene. Wait, wasn't it that mini massager or something they got? I am so jealous. So the fun went on, goodies were given out to many lucky ones (not me this time!) and another activity came up soon. We were now supposed to pick up 'toilet paper rolls' from the repository of weird stuff (a.k.a. our table), choose a wannabe 'mummy' (the Egyptian one, you dirty minds!) from amongst us, and then roll them over in toilet roll until they looked like a real mummy. We chose our dummy and turned her into a mummy in the most organized way possible. We titled her "Indiblogger's Taj Mahal - Masterpiece in White", and who else but yours truly herself came up with that nonsensical yet sensible title (mental applause)! :P The mummies were then judged on random basis, though the one who finally won was indeed deserving, 'cos she was the youngest attendee at the meet, all of thirteen years!

What followed then was a round of questions on science and nature and I fortunately was the one to win a little goodie for correctly answering the question for our table. The goodie was quite wacky in itself - a bottle opener in the shape of a key, with the company name 'Suck UK' printed on it. LOL! We could not stop laughing for quite a while on that one. The next twist in the tale came with the traditional '60 seconds of fame' section, where this time round we were supposed to introduce ourselves and then say out loud the tongue twister or crazy movie dialogue displayed on the screen for us, BUT with the expression indicated alongside. That was a lot of fun, with the best one being when one of the awesome bloggers yelled out "Main tumhare bachche ki maa banne wali hu" while keeping an angry face. Hilarious! And with that we broke off for lunch, which was a nice spread, though it was all Indian fare this time. No continental --> disappointed --> ate less! Kyunki daal roti to har roz hi khane milti hai ghar par! :P

Post lunch, a pretty Brazilian belle from Pantene called Lais Koelle spoke to us about Pantene's history, the new Nature Fusion range and all the intricacies associated, which was quite a lengthy session in itself, only to be followed by a vigorous series of Q n A with the perpetually curious bloggers. I must say, we ladies do ask too many questions if given a chance! :P

And then *drumroll* my number came! Oh, didn't I mention before? Upon entry into the hall, each attendee was handed a piece of paper with a number written on it. As soon as the number flashed on a screen at the front, we were supposed to go into the back section of the hall where a Hair Spa had been set up for us. Super cool, isn't it? :D So when my number popped up on the screen, I moved my lazy ass into a comfortable reclining chair at the back and got a lovely hair spa treatment done while the attendant girl kept talking to me about my professional aspirations and her own (she was a DU student). :P The spa was relaxing, but the relaxation shortly turned into vexation when the girl with the hair drier did not know how to even operate it or to do my hair. Particular that I am, I politely took it from her and gave myself some nice hair drying on my own while she looked on with a funny expression. :D

While I was getting my hair spa done, the last fun activity for the day was on in full swing. The participants were apparently given some flowers, netting, bubble wrap and other weird stuff and were supposed to create a bouquet or flower arrangement out of it, as well as prepare a story or jingle to go with it, including a set of five given words somewhere in it. As fate usually has it with me, I missed out on the flower arrangement part but came just in time to completely change and turn around in a minute, the jingle that my teammates had prepared in that whole while. And then we strode to the front and recited our funny jingle in full Punjabi style :D. The winners of the contest were definitely the best of the lot in creativity (but not us) and were picked by Lais herself. Following that, a very popular fellow blogger turned author Yashodhara Lal gave us a very enlightening talk on living our long-suppressed dreams and not waiting for the quintessential "right moment", because it never comes while one day life comes to an end. She also took us through a quick presentation of how to go about being a writer and especially what NOT to do. Her words were very inspiring for a lot of bloggers there, though as for me, I have my plans of living my dream of being a writer pretty sorted out. The meet ended with Ms. Lal handing out signed copies of her book 'Just Married, Please Excuse' to the bloggers (no, not for free, in case you were wondering) and everyone hugging and getting photographed with everyone else.

My favorite photo from the day, with two of my favorite people from the blogsphere.

We left for home with hampers from Pantene and another very wacky goodie - a paper lantern that, as I've come to understand, flies away into the air once it is lit. I am keeping it saved for Diwali next month; will try my hands at it on the festive occasion and write about the proceedings here! It was a really good day in hindsight. And it ended on a very exciting note wherein I complained to Vineet Rajan (the guy in the photo above) about having been made to wait too long for a meet in Delhi, to which he said very mysteriously that Delhi is in for a lot of fun surprises in the near future. Promising words indeed...keeping my fingers crossed! :D

~Yours Truly~


Amul said...

Ah! 10 days have past and the excitement still flows in your veins! Nice,, btw, Diwali night will be your birthday celebration as well.. lucky gal :)

sathish kumar said...

Mahi, so nice.

Vineet Rajan said...

A very personal recollection of the blogger meet Mahima. Loved reading every bit of it, as much as I was part of it.

The chinese candle is really something. I tried it the other day, and it goes up to around 30 odd meters in the air; and looks like a mini UFO. Why not try it out on Dussera itself?

To the blogger in the green dress - Happy Dusserra and all the best. See you soon

Anonymous said...

Hey Mahima, u looked very pretty in the Indian attire.. and nice way of putting together the events of the great day..
Catch up mine here..

Mahima said...

@Amul - Yes it will be. Thanks :)

@Sathish - Thank you.

@Manjulika - Thank you so much :) I'll read yours shortly!

Mahima said...

@Vineet - Thank you so much! Now that Dussehra's passed and I could not try the lamp, I'll have to do it on Diwali itself. Hope to see you soon too :)

Ghata said...

Happy to hear the "two favorite people from blogosphere" part :-P ;-))
And looked ravishing in your Indian attire...don't fret about it AT ALL!

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