This is the second part of the post, the blogger meet itself.
I was probably the last entrant for the meet due to a review in office and by the time I entered the Rajendra hall the 60 secs of fame was over. Personally this is the highlight of any blog meet as you can get a brief on the diverse participants. Since I am not good at anything in particular and since my blog is not a specialist blog I try to seek out similar bloggers.
I was the last to introduce myself and my twitter handle (@vadapoche) brought a few smiles and some acknowledgements from old faces. Then the choo choo train which left me a little winded and the musical chairs which I moved aside so as to not create any damage to my fellow men or women. I shudder to think what would have happened if I tried to sit on a chair with some unfortunate in between.
Since I had no time to break ice and as I could not spot any familiar faces nearby I looked for any team that would have me when the assembly was asked to break up into teams of 10. One team in the making that seemed to like the spotlight (they were on the dias) needed a member and had Chriz wearing shorts. Chriz was motivation enough to ask to join and I joined the team. Please note it was not because Chriz was in shorts.
We were asked to name our team and true to from Chriz proposed Poonam Pandey, after much deliberation, soul searching, head scratching, searching for reference to the context we came up with Poonam Pandya in the hotel called Chola. So then to answer the question why Poonam Pandya, one young woman was titled Poonam and she would fall in love with Pandya who was the leader of the pack. Now armed with a name we had to build up a story of our tour around the Grand Chola. You may know of the “room pottu yosikkarathu” behaviour of movie makers where on the pretext of making a hotel room is used to generate creativity, at least from some English DVDs and high spirits. We had a huge room, and a high tea. The high tea was just that, lots of Indian snacks from vazhapoo vadai to gluten free desserts. Since I have enough calories to spare for some, I fought temptation and stuck to a few nibbles and went about meeting folks. Nothing bonds folks like food and over food a lot of URLs were exchanged and old acquaintances met.
We were asked to develop a story as we toured the grand chola and we had to think on our feet as we walked around as there was so much to see. Before I forget the friendly guide we chose was Vivek, with 6 women I guess it was fair.
The Poonampandyas in full form with the guide
The story started off with a typical boy meet girl plot and then it got confused in typical masala movie style. We had 6 women and 4 men (I had to look at the photo to confirm) and since it was a team effort everyone was in. We planned on an evil mother in law, some woman on woman romance (the French kiss on the stairway was not part of our plan), a villain, the other woman in our story, but by then the tour did not give us enough time to think. Despite the cumbersome hashtagging (#itcgrandchola, #tweetsfortreats, #poonampandya) I managed to send some relevant, irrelevant, photo tweets making up the story on the way and won a gift voucher (they didn’t tell me for which tweet). The story evolved, revolved, convulted itself to a point that nobody knew what was happening and then the wifi died on corridor 33, so some tweets failed. We made it back to the Rajendra for the result.
I knew that if I did not understand what I tweeted then the possibility of those reading would either result in them having some Eureka moments and make sense of nonsense or just accept it as nonsense and move on. We won the activity simply because we had fun and threw logic out of the window, (actually we couldn’t throw as all windows were sealed for security reasons, but you understand).
ITC made everyone happy by handing out dinner vouchers to all and ensured that all were happy, of course the tees were missed but since they never fit me, I guess it is acceptable. Caught up with some more folks on the way out especially Sylvian whose reviews I frequent.
Old contacts include @narayanh, @preetikag, @ramaswamyn, @vasantG, @Sylvianism, @chrony
A big thanks for Indiblogger for getting folks together like this. I have noticed that these events rekindle my blogging urge and my posts pick up. I think it may be for many others too.
Looking forward to more such meets and smaller gatherings elsewhere.
Oh and by the way since I have the dinner voucher for two in Peshawri, atleast I have one more reason to blog soon.
The team chilling after the meet