It was the first ever blogger meet attended by me and let me confess I was a tad skeptical about it. The one guy who quelled my doubts was none other than Dr. Skeptic from Scepticemia! He even offered me a lift in his car to make sure I don’t miss the event. A generous offer I could not refuse. And boy am I not glad I din’t and made it to the event yesterday!
Right after we barged in almost an hour late in the Suresh Neotia Center for Excellence in Leadership (behind City Centre), we had our 30 seconds of fame. There were about 105 of us and while most were from Kolkata, it turned out many were from as far as Allahabad, Chennai and all over India! I was fascinated to see quite a few not-so-young (if that is the word I may put) bloggers. We had wondered that this would be mostly an all-guys event but a fairly decent turnout of ladies proved us wrong! Skeptic writes on his blog,
As I was saying: the people were fantastic, and before we went to the meet, both Nipon and myself were concerned that it would be a “Guys Only” kinda thing, since girls, as we know, are mostly not the bloggy type! Surprisingly, we were proved to be wrong, since there were several representatives from the fairer sex and some of them clearly knew what they were after!
What I’d like to add to that is while most girls may not be the bloggy type, they are more often the serious bloggers. In fact, their blogs brought in a breath of fresh air in the crowd of tech blogs. (Make no mistake, I got nothing against tech blogs – I myself post a lot of tech stuff!)
After I was done introducing myself it was Skeptic’s turn and it took him 3 sentences and some 15 seconds to introduce himself! I had expected him to go on like forever and was quite surprised actually :P
A video presentation on the Akshaya Patra Foundation followed next. I came to learn that Akshaya Patra is a public-private partnership, with private donors like Infosys and Infinity, feeding midday meal to a staggering number of 1.3 million schoolchildren in 8 states! Now that’s really really commendable. What sets the Akshaya Patra programme apart from other midday meal programs is their centralised kitchens with strictest adherence to hygiene standards and the quality of food.
In the lunch that followed, the food was great as was the mood. It was more talking than eating, of course. However, someone did go berserk over his lunch!
Post lunch as we came back to the auditorium we were greeted by what in Skeptic’s words were:
The suspense soon ended as we were told about the activity. You write comments on the back of your fellow bloggers! The crowd pullers with the most comments on their backs bagged all the prizes, for sure. Skeptic won none but those he wrote were the most whackiest of all which I can’t write here for those would be strictly NSFW!
Then we separated into 3 groups for discussion viz. Tech, Indiblogger & Social. Skeptic and I felt most at home with the table for Social causes. Sukanya C called upon the socially savvy Facebook generation not to post updates on Facebook about being concerned of social problems just for the sake of it (and yet doing nothing about it). I do get her point and totally agree with it. It looks so superficial when you sound concerned about poverty or illiteracy in your status update from the comfort of your laptop! It looks almost as if you are faking it. The rest of our discussion was mainly about Akshaya Patra which also plans to come to West Bengal this year, in July probably. Vineet Arora raised the issue of our individual responsibility in keeping our city clean. The discussion session was really thought-provoking and I wish it could be longer.
I din’t know what surprise was in store for us next. Those who had seen the schedule earlier must have known. Anyway, I was mighty pleased to see Five Little Indians take stage. While they are a new and experimental band, I always had an interest in them and followed them on Myspace and badly wanted to listen them live. Skeptic was skeptical about their music though, calling it ‘too much fusion’ but I don’t complain as long as it is Allan Ao (ex-member of Fossils) and Neel Adhikary (ex-member of Krosswindz) rocking the stage!
It was a great day and I got a lot of blogging energy. I really needed this push to blog more frequently. I am looking forward to the next blogger meet. Hope to see some more people from the medical world next time!