I started writing this post – and two lines on, my computer shut off. Automatically. I did all the things I knew to diagnose the issue, but had to call my techie in the end, who discovered that the power supply was faulty. Not an original. So I ended up replacing it. Lucky it is not an expensive part. Still, the message is clear.
Be Original. Buy Original.
And that was the theme throughout the fun Original IndiBlogger meet with HP
The day: Sunday Jan 20, 2013
The venue: FortunePark JP Celestial
The time: 1.30 to 5.30 pm
Registration – Vineet Rajan was at the entrance, warmly welcoming everyone while another team member ushered us to the registration table. As each one of us registered, the screen updated itself on stage to show who walked in. I meandered over to where Rachna, Anamika and Indrani were seated. Farida was at the adjoining table.
Anoop kicked off the meet in his inimitable and witty style, getting our adrenalin pumping with the IndiBlogger “dance”. My arms remembered this the next day!
Listening to the guitar riff of Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple, by Karun Verghese – with Nihaal stepping in with the vocals and inviting everyone to join in on the chorus and headbang with him…set the tone for the rest of the afternoon. I swear I felt like taking my hair crunchie off and letting it all fly! Kidding! Loved it, though! Note to self: Every time I hear this song, I am going to think of this Indiblogger meet!
We settled down to a great time with games, smart-alecky answers, interaction and laughter punctuated at very very regular intervals with prizes.
30 seconds of fame – My name came up – and I did a somewhat pathetic Hema-Malini pretend – we do this all the time at home, yet I was stuck for something sensible to say. In any case, I was awarded an 8 GB mini pen drive. Ahem! Surely I am better at being an original!
Matching three-part quotes by scanning QR codes – and finding the two other bloggers who had the remaining two parts. I had forgotten my smart phone at home and thanks to Rayyan’s help, deciphered my QR code’s message. Yep, Joel , Tejas and I found each other and were the third to check in with Renie Ravin with our complete quote! We got a book in appreciation.
#OriginalCopy talk by HP’s representative – one of the main items in the event’s agenda was very well delivered. He brought home all the convincing reasons why originals are worth it and why copies are a shame. He lead in to the discussion of Original vs. Fake by asking the audience a very valid question: how they would feel if someone plagiarized their work. Some bloggers shared their own experiences of having their work copycatted.
The examples he gave of spurious and original phones that look almost identical, quality branded shoes and fake replicas were very apt. He went on to explain the effort , time and resources that go into creating an original product and how spurious copycats give them a bad name by cheating the customer. One of the important questions he started the session with was “why people choose fake products”. The answer? Because they are cheap and appear affordable.
Why support Originals?
You may as well ask me why not add some cheap quality food color to that pure milk sweet I made. Go ahead. Ask me why not risk food poisoning. Why not draw it out into a long process involving a visit or two to the doctor, incur hefty doctor’s fees and goon medication while weakening the immune system as a special bonus. Not to mention the loss of income for the time off for Bloggers like me.
How would you feel if someone paid you in counterfeit money for your hard work?
So why choose an original product?
- They’re safe
- They’re good quality
- They last longer
- They deliver what they promise
Why boycott fakes and duplicates?
The opposite of the above. Humph!
Imagine buying fake medicines because the original was perceived as expensive.
Imagine scrimping on buying original branded cookware, only to find that the few rupees you saved were for naught, because the cheaper copy’s coating came off after a couple of uses!
Imagine replacing a minor part in your computer with a fake replica only to have your entire equipment crash and cost you thousands in replacement – not to mention the time lost and opportunity cost!
Why, try posting duplicate content on your blog and get one tight slap by Google!
How is HP, a global brand, encouraging the use of original HP products?
- By making their consumables as affordable as the fake copy – when the original costs the same, why would you risk buying a copy?
- By making it possible to order printer cartridges through their dial-a-cartridge facility and home-delivering them to you – hence saving commute costs and procuring costs
- By appointing teams within their organization to keep an eye on instances of counterfeit goods posing as HP originals
- By making it easy for consumers to identify an original HP product from a copy via a hologram/security seal on their product, via authentication with a mobile phone (Scanning QR code) as well as by matching the identification number on their website
I was very interested to know that HP has sliced their cartridge prices from Rs.800 to Rs.449. I am guilty of once succumbing to the temptation of refilling an HP cartridge for our office printer and almost screwing up a fantastic HP printer that produced original copies. Luckily we could chuck the cartridges almost immediately but whined about spending a hefty amount on the brand new cartridges.
Bloggers unite and create awareness
It was a terrific suggestion by IndiBlogger and HP to invite the bloggers to spread an awareness of why buy original, why not fake.
We broke for high tea – I must admit I was rather hungry by then since I had skipped lunch. The veg menu was appetizing with veg spring rolls, samosas, two types of sandwiches and gulab jamuns. We also took in a quick photo shoot which….you guessed it….had prizes.
Skits by mime by blogger teams. We made teams of 15 bloggers each and were given a slip of paper with the name of a movie on it. We had to mime as a group while the rest of the audience guessed the name of the movie. Oh, what fun it was! Nobody guessed what the ‘eck we were up to, on stage. A memorable moment for me was meeting Freya, an absolutely lively person. After the last team did their skit, Narnia’s Chronicles walked away with the first prize. Then, Anoop called all the “Project Managers” on stage to ask them why their group was the worst. Maybe the best answer would win a prize? Oh yes, our group, Kisses, did. Each of us received an 8GB USB drive and a book. Yippee or what? And? As we were busy trying to make sense, the official tweeters of our group were busy tweeting as there was a prize for that, too!
Then Siddesh Ravan Kabe asked the group for question suggestions and invited bloggers on stage to pick one and answer it – for one minute. Siddharth, Rachna’s son simply stole the show. Participants won an Indiblogger mug each! Siddharth also won a printer for the best participation and I was so thrilled with that!
As the afternoon wound down, we had a group photo session. Anoop then announced that all those who did not win anything could collect a book or USB. How generous! We also received a T-shirt each to commemorate the event.
By the end of the day, there were random prizes for all sorts of hilarious things such as blogger with the least hair, a blogger table where no one wore stripes, a blogger with a persistent cough who made it to the meet, the most original answer to the question “Why this Kolaveri, Di?”…and so on. Talk about an original event! I appreciate the enthusiasm and commitment of the IndiBlogger team in making sure that everyone had a good time. As far as the winning goes, I think just attending these meets is a win-win for all.
I love the camaraderie that exists. I love that everyone is prepared to let their hair down and have a good time. I am thrilled that my friend Rachna ‘s amazing son, Siddharth, a ten year old blogger who also attended the event clicked this photo: it currently adorns my Facebook profile page right now.
What can I say? I am proud to be an IndiBlogger!
Harper Collins was conspicuous by its presence via the books that were given out to winners and participants. I noticed that a book by Thích Nhất Hạnh was one of the books and wished I could exchange one of my books for that. Sadly, by the time I reached Vineet, there were none left. Then, Rajesh, who very kindly dropped me back home gave me his copy in exchange for my book. Was I happy? Silly question. Yes. Yes. I also collected a large print of our group photo.
It was finally time for Goodbyes – nay – au revoirs! I returned home after a memorable Sunday afternoon with friends – old and new.
Pictures of the meet – courtesy IndiBlogger Team – more here.