Indiblogger : When I met friends just like my journey had started a year back




फिर से पब ?? गये काम से . घूम फिर के वापस वहीँ आ गये जहां से शुरू हुआ था यह सब ...

The exact thoughts going in my mind when I saw the location of this Indi meet at the B bar , Saket. Exactly when one year back when I started my journey with Indiblogger, my first meet was at the Bluefrog ( the pub) for the Microsoft meet. Little did I know that destiny would play somewhat a exact rewind of that. All things aside- I was a little afraid as pubs are not exactly my favourite places. The atmosphere feels a bit suffocating and also the fact that I dont drink. यानी की पब में पक्का भूखे और प्यासे मरेंगे .

Just 2 days back I had attended an awesome movie screening by Indi and knew that this kotak meet would be nowhere close to the fun aspect , just went anyways. Plus you cant keep me away from the Indi events, can you? For a change , no excuses needed as it was a Sunday. The only issue- calling up friends and asking for the nearest metro station- Malviya Nagar or Saket. The former looked much closer on the map but there was no harm in asking for it. So on Sunday boarded the metro and headed to the destination. In between called up a few to know whether they were coming or not? Simardeep, Jatin, Shilpi and Nimi were confirmed. Rest I`ll see when I arrived. Got down at Malviya nagar metro station and got lost . Simply because the I hate you relationship between google navigation and gps on my phone was still going on. The Gps was unable to lock onto the destination just as the last time. I had 25 minutes untill time and was in no mood to take an auto. My gut instinct told me that I must be close but with no aid, I was nearly blind.

All was not lost nonetheless. Simardeep had already told me that the bar was at select city walk. The challenge was to find it. Dialled up Nimi and she told me that it was damn near where I was, 15 mins. max walking. I concluded it to be 10 by my standard. So I asked a shopkeeper near the station and he told me the way- go straight. While I was walking, rain started to fall and jatin called up asking me where I was. Hearing where I was he told me to keep walking as it was near and talked –

Jatin: पैदल आ रहा है  ?

Me: हाँ, बारिश भी हो रही है 

Jatin: अब तो तेरा blog और भी बड़ा हो जायेगा 

Me: मतलब ?

Jatin: बारिश हो रही है ,अब तू इसके बारे में भी blog पर लिखेगा ही.. हो गया blog बड़ा .

Cant blame him though. All these close friends I have developed from the Indi circle know my writing and narration style and know the way I`ll communicate the happenings. After some more direction confirmations, headed for select city and made a basic mistake then.


Instead of heading into the parking for the entrance to the bar, headed to the main mall entrance and got lost. There was no 4th floor visible (pub`s location) physically but the directions pointed to it. The guards too confused me, “ यहाँ से वो left, वहाँ से left”. भेजा out कर दिया . On the 2nd floor decided to take a lift. Now pressed a button and no lift came, then my eyes went to the notice which said that lifts only stopped at 1st and 3rd floors. So in order to go to the bar, I`ll have to go one more story up. Finally at the 3rd floor when I entered the lift, I saw the location of the b bar displayed at the 4th button. Pressed it and cursed it too under my breath. बार न हुआ, nuclear arsenal हो गया, सबसे ख़ुफ़िया तौर पर छुपा कर रखा है . At the bar the man at the reception told me, “For the blogger meet sir take a left” and in my mind I was wondering, “ Are there roads and intersections in the bar?”. The bar was big but the actual area available to Indi was a कबूतरखाना ( u.p. language for a pigeon hole). Less light, virtually no light at all with chairs and sofas making it a bit cramped.

After registration moved forward to meet Nihal and Karthik. Spotted Nimi and an empty seat. Right infront of me was Simardeep and Manjulika. Further ahead spotted Aditya, Priyank, Rahul, Jatin, Shaivi and the most surprising face Priyanka Dey. Shilpi too joined in then. So a lot more people were there whom I knew. Good. After a few minutes it was time for get things rolling a bit to get people to do things other than just drink. Nihal asked to get selfies done with people “ Whom you did not walk in”. I was neutral, I had come alone. So the shooting spree just started. We friends hooked up with some new people and got the pics clicked. It was nice to break the ice this way but there was just not ENOUGH LIGHT. What looked ok to us by naked eyes was complete darkness to the camera lens. The innovation which started once carried forward to all. Now each selfie had atleast 2 camera phones- one was shooting the selfie and the other was providing light on the faces. We cramped as many friends we could at one go. The highest we got was I think 9 by Aditya bhasin`s phone. This madness just continued. People were using whatever light they could get to click the pics.






Selfies

With a fast wifi provided, things got a bit easier to tweet pics. With a bit of normalcy restored Nihal came up to us for a chit chat with some light discussion on music. Again I was in the firing line with him insisting that I dance and an announcement would be made in this regard. Told him that this surely was not my cup of tea. Was trying to get my eyes adjusted to this pub lighting and body to the environment. Things started with Nihal trying to get people to speak German and then asked for volunteers to do some head banging. I would have stayed in my seat but that was one thing I was comfortable with. This is was the 3rd time i was going to do it and was not ready to miss it. It was my comfort zone. From HP Music to Ambipur to now this meet, life surely was going into full rewind mode. So alongwith Akash, Aditya, Simar I joined them in the front.

Simar joking said that atlast he got me to dance. Banging head to the word “Ich will” displayed on the tv screens behind us, we got our acts together with me and aditya even going impromptu for the moment.

Time to go head banging to Ich Will
Intro session came later on with a few first timers getting their chance, it was another thing that Nimi snatched hers ( she`s a known face by the way). All good thing seemed to last only till then. It was time to get the main thing started and with this being a multicity event, we watched the live “broadcast” of the things happening in Mumbai with Anoop being the charge there. Nothing of Bangalore.

Mumbai streaming
Reminded me of tellytubbies where they say hi to the children from different parts of the world. ( दीवार कहाँ है ? सर मारने का मन कर रहा था . इस video streaming के लिए बुलाया था ?). Then came in Chetan bhagat (mumbai of course) and started with the sponsor part of telling about the Jifi account from Kotak which enabled super fast account opening with the usual points benefit. A new account gets in 1000 points which each referral getting extra points. It can be done by logging through the social media credentials. Currently only available to the individuals.

Already I was getting the feeling of a book launch and on top of that Chetan bhagat.uffff.. Interesting to note that there was no one here from kotak uptill then ( karthik was co-ordinating as fast he could). So basically we were no more than mere spectators who were glued to the streaming from Mumbai. The wifi went off and protests here got louder. I was having better luck with my data pack providing a steady connection in comparison to the others. Right then somebody in the audience in Mumbai asked something good regarding jifi and chetan was speechless. Just like Aamir asks Boman irani the question in 3 idiots in the first day of college. बोलती बंद . “Thats a good question” all chetan could say. Then some official from Kotak came and saved him from more direct firing questions. On a off day banking was too much for people, so much that in the start the people who were standing gradually shifted to the back of the bar counter to get more drunk. The effect of chetan bhagat on me was this-

The side effects of Chetan Bhagat
Both me and shilpi looked towards each other and the only question running in our minds was, “How the hell do we stop this?”. With wifi playing pranks we decided to hit the bar once again to refill juice. Firstly the barman excused us saying that it was coming, then told us flatly, “The management has requested that you watch this first ( the video).”. We both looked towards each other ( Me and shilpi) and shrugged. Looks like the bar was afraid that we all might run up their beverage bill much higher than what they were getting for hosting this meet. To get people more interested, it was announced that the first one to open a jifi account online and get 1000 points would get a flipkart voucher. Tweets के लिए नेट चल रहा नहीं था , online account खोलने के लिए अभी चलेगा . The first timers and the enthusiatic ones got down to business. I didnt care. This carrot and stick policy rarely worked with me. We surely had some winners. One person even on his laptop all the while. Then there was a prize for JBL bluetooth speakers for the one accumulating the maximum points at the end of the meet. Then it was time for the main activity. It didnt serve its original purpose but it really made my purpose ok. All people were divided into 6 teams with approx. 20 members each. We were then asked to contact our counterparts in Mumbai and bangalore and tweet what does social banking mean to us. Mine was team no. 2 named as #kpl2. The twitterboard was going damn slow so we couldnt get a lock on our team members.

Owing to the increasing number of members we decided to ditch the activity and instead focus on going to know each other instead. It was not sensible to forget the ones standing with you and rather be interested in people from other cities. This was our jackpot. I knew only Prachi and Shilpi from what people where there in the group. We started with our names.


I met Mr. Gurpreet Singh Tikku and his wife who has been blogging for quite long now. Then there were Rahul, Arsh, Dr. Manoj who is an extensive traveller and the awesomely sweet Heena, the girl who blogs about cricket (impressive). There are times when you meet people and click off instantly. That was probably the moment for the 6-7 of us. We moved to lunch because we had decided that due to technical problems we couldn’t have done the activity. A few of our team had already moved to other groups with their friends and we 6 bonded quite well. Due to the small walking space, the line for lunch looked similar to the one to a mandir darshan. Realising that it would take time for food we quickly filled our plates when we got our turn with the thing clearly in mind that we might not get a 2nd chance later on due to the rush. Back we chatted like long lost pals. Food over, dessert over and juice glasses in hand we wanted pics now and virtually no light where we were sitting, headed outside in the main area and got virtually crazy. Got Meraj to click 2 beautiful pics with all. With a glass of juice in hand, I got down to crazy antics in the pics. 

                            



Enough of standing looked around to sit for light. The table we selected had a reserved placard and the waiter requested us not to sit there. We were a bunch of mischevious kids then (yep kids). We got hold of another sofa, hid the reserved placard of that behind a cushion and got clicking. Another waiter came to request us but seeing no card couldn’t say anything. By the time he brought another card, our work was done. अब क्या फायदा जब हमने चिड़िया से चुगवा दिया खेत ;) . .

Hiding the Reserved placard under the cushions somewhere ;)

Headed inside and it was time to wrap up things for Nihal and Karthik. The prize for the most points collected on the jifi account was given to one having 6000 points and the team activity was taken by Priyank`s team #3. His team didn’t have even lunch for that. Bravo dost. एक बार जो तुमने commitment कर दिया तो फिर तो तुम पेट की भी नहीं सुनते . After their victory pic it was time to wrap it up with a group pic and head home. Saying goodbye to my pals, headed out while seeing some girl bloggers there getting quite drunk. (Their voices stated the obvious alongwith the few who had so much that they couldn’t even walk properly). Headed out the mall the way I came. Didn`t wanted to get lost coming out now.

This meet made my Indi journey come a full circle when it started a year back. The similarities go a long way –

First meet at a pub – Bluefrog. After a year a pub again – B bar

Nervous the first time too and this time also.

Bluefrog- Went in with zero expectations and came out with a start of a wonderful journey and awesome friends.

B bar- the journey continues and this time too met some really treasured new friends, each one crazy yet special nonetheless.

Its the people who make the memories and moments last for long. Although the sponsor part was nothing much to enjoy this time but the little moments here and there and the absolute craziness we made from those fun filled moments would be something to be treasured for the lifetime. I thank all my friends – new and old for being there and making those hours bearable and special.

Awesome friends

Things dont get better than this...
Indiblogger : When I met friends just like my journey had started a year back Indiblogger : When I met friends just like my journey had started a year back Reviewed by Shwetabh Mathur on 4:02:00 PM Rating: 5

3 comments:

  1. Such a love-filled write up!!!!

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  2. Hey I didnt steal the intro ...i genuinely thought newbees were done. Also mine was the most interesting one. ....wasnt it? ;)

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  3. Thank you for the post sweetheart! :) had a good time!

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