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Indian By Birth. Indiblogger By Choice.

by Vidya Sury November 17, 2012 42 comments
Nokia Indiblogger apptasting

Or the Indiblogger #NokiaAppTasting Meet With Namma Gang Style in Bangalore. 

Or a fabulous evening with Indiblogger, Rajiv Makhni, Vikas Khanna and friends.

I am basking in the happy memories of last Sunday evening at the Indiblogger #NokiaAppTasting meet at the ITC Gardenia here in Bangalore. I registered just three days before the meet and was trying to coordinate getting there and back. This was my very first.

Initially, I was a wee bit skeptical about going – I don’t use any apps on my smart phone. In fact, when I got my latest phone, when the guy at the store asked me what I used my phone for, so he could recommend the right phone, I blurted “missed calls”. But the fact is, I use my phone to make and receive calls and take pictures. Then again, I love gadgets and figured that now was a good time as any to get up close and personal with apps. I am a fan of Nokia and all the phones I’ve owned since I got my first mobile phone in 2003 have been Nokia phones. I know opinions are divided about this. Ha!

From online to real life

I interact with some wonderful bloggers online and was keen on meeting them. After much messaging and trying to get a group together unsuccessfully, I just went ahead and booked a cab. Then Sudhir, one of the bloggers I had been conversing with joined me and we had a pleasant trip both ways. I wasn’t keen on staying until dinner anyway though Sudhir wanted to. The good folks at Indiblogger had thoughtfully arranged transport for those who didn’t have any, to ensure they got home safe.

On the morning of the event, I got a call from Karthik to confirm my attendance – what a pleasant surprise! The excitement built up. I reached the venue with fifteen minutes to spare. We were welcomed with soft drinks and appetizers.

From the moment we registered at 5.30 pm. until some of us left at 9.30 pm, it was great fun. It was especially wonderful for me as I met these amazing people:

Rachna of Rachna Says
Farida of Chapters From My Life
Anamika of Mad Cooking Fusions
Rayyan the Animator
Archana of Archana’s Kitchen
Indrani Ghose

Anamika and Archana. Pretty ladies! I just love this photo!

As each one of us registered, our names popped up on the huge display. Bloggers were invited to suggest an idea for an app on a card and drop it in a box – there were prizes to be won for the best ideas!

Janaki had suggested we reserve a table right up front, near the stage so we could get a good view of what was in store for us. Turned out to be a great idea.

Stage set, anticipation growing!

Around 6-ish, Anoop took the stage, welcomed us and urged us to raise our arms, sway and then hug each other. Oh yes. That felt good! I could feel the “togetherness” at that moment – 300+ people in one place – happy – looking forward to a great evening! Poonam, representing Nokia spoke a few words.

Then we went through the hur-hur exercise (kind of like the fisted “yes!” where you raise your arm and pull your elbow back towards you) to. welcome. none. other. than. the. Dashing. Duo. 

Rajiv Makhni, Managing Editor, Technology, NDTV. Anchor – Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and an Expert in mega TV show Kaun Banega Crorepati and Vikas Khanna, award winning Michelin Starred Indian chef, restaurateur, food writer, filmmaker, humanitarian and the host of the TV Show MasterChef India. In 2011, People magazine named him in the list of “Sexiest Man Alive” and also referred to as “The Hottest Chef in the World”

Well – I am a big fan of the suave Rajiv – and very much looked forward to meeting Vikas. It is easy to see why he has such a massive fan following. Absolutely no airs, humble and comes across as slightly shy.

We got to experience the magic of Rajiv and Vikas together, as Rajiv wowed us with his wit, absolutely at ease with the crowd, as he teased and charmed. Oh, the energy he exudes! Vikas and he complemented each other perfectly as they kept us laughing and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. I loved how Vikas pretended not to know what “app” was! “Applications?” he asked! Or was it “appetizers?” It was definitely appetizing!

The show began with Rajiv prodding Vikas to prove his association with Bangalore – and urging him to sing a Kannada song. We were stunned to hear that Vikas had performed a carnatic vocal song at the Udupi Temple, which traditionally does not allow anyone outside the community to perform at the temple. And of course, Rajiv instantly remarked that perhaps that is why the deity at the temple turned the other way?

The excitement mounted and the festivities began!

Here are some highlights:

30 seconds of fame: where three bloggers were randomly picked and called on stage – and Rajiv asked them three questions. The best answer was chosen by Vikas and received a prize. I was up there too and won a Nokia USB charger. Yes!

Tiger rocked the 30 seconds talking about how blogging got him four girlfriends, one wife, one baby and jobs – and so did the seniors.

Cutting onions – four bloggers were called up on stage and shown a neat (French) technique to cut an onion by Vikas – and were given two minutes to do it. The winner got a Nokia Lumia. Hmm. Lucky girl! I would be lying if I said I didn’t covet a Nokia Lumia! Shucks, I have always used that technique to cut onions. (Thanks Grandma!)

Ramp walk to demo a movie clip with an app – Janaki, Vikas and another blogger walked the ramp and Rajiv instantly made it into a vintage Charlie Chaplin-style movie with an app! It was beautiful!

Contest for the crowd: Rajiv had three questions – where the bloggers had to guess the answers and take a pic – the best pictures would win a prize. Oh, that was great fun!

One too many wines? Oh yeah, there’s an app for that. After the wine flowed, Rajiv called a couple of bloggers up on stage and demonstrated how to use the breathalyzer app.

App to choose the right wine with your menu. Vikas confessed he couldn’t remember the French names – and explained how he used “seviyan” as a mnemonic to remember “Sauvignon”

App to locate places by simply pointing your phone in the direction you want – regardless of which floor you are on and where.

App to choose the right hairstyle for you

Namma gang style – Gangnam style!

I just saved this for last because it was my favorite. Two groups of bloggers – one Techie with Rajiv and the other foodie with Vikas got on stage – watched the app that showed the steps to dance the Gangnam style – and performed. Oh, how they rocked!

Both were fabulous! And when Rajiv called Poonam on stage to judge, she declared both teams winners! I loved that!

Around 9, we thought to visit the restroom – and guess what? On our way back, the aroma from the dining room literally pulled us like a magnet – and so – we simply gave in to the call of the tummy and indulged. The food was good! And we also got our just desserts!

We decided to leave at 9.30 – and informed Vineet. I met him for the first time – and was charmed. We received our event T-shirts and regretting that we couldn’t stay until 10.30 – the end of the event, left. Sigh. Next time!

You know what? This was the largest turnout at an Indiblogger meet so far! So yay! for Bangalore Indibloggers who were there in full force!

The ambience was magical. Look at the ceiling:

I was so caught up with enjoying the evening I didn’t take as many pictures as I usually do!

A beautiful venue
Fantastic hosts 
Great company
Solid entertainment
Lots of laughter
Thank you, Indiblogger. Yes, proud to be one.
“Indian by birth. Blogger by Choice.”
Waiting for the next one!

And that, my friends, was what last Sunday was like for me. 

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Keetha Broyles November 17, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Wow Vidya! This was SOME event, got to meet and greet, win prizes, AND have all that wild and raucous dancing fun besides!

Vidya Sury November 18, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Yes, Keetha, it was such a blast! I almost didn’t go and know I would have kicked myself if I hadn’t. So glad I did! Fabulous evening!

Rachna November 18, 2012 at 5:07 am

Lovely post, Vidya! So good to meet you and all the other wonderful people. Very special evening definitely :).

Vidya Sury November 18, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Yes, Rachna! I am so happy we met, too! Now we’ve got another fun afternoon to look forward to, next Sunday, right? 🙂

Galen Pearl November 18, 2012 at 5:31 am

I have never been to any sort of blogger meeting. That must have been so interesting to see people in person! I would love to get all my blog friends together in person for a day of revelry!

Vidya Sury November 18, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Galen, it is stupendous. The feeling of oneness, the readiness to be friendly – it is all so wonderful. The feeling of community is above everything else. It was great fun.

My favorite fantasy is a get together – perhaps a couple of days – (yes, my fantasies are generous) – with my favorite bloggers. That’s you, Galen! Hugs!

Galen Pearl November 20, 2012 at 5:15 am

Let’s plan a blogger fest here in Oregon! You would love it!

Vidya Sury November 20, 2012 at 5:18 am

I most definitely would! I am going to focus my mind on it to make it happen. Hugs!

Farila November 18, 2012 at 5:44 am

The higher my expectations.. the better your blog post is! Always!

Vidya Sury November 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm

🙂 I have a good example 😉 Hugs Farida! Waiting to see you again soon!

Unknown Mami November 18, 2012 at 2:34 am

I love these events, they’re like camp for bloggers. So fun. I also love apps and since you take pictures with your phone, I recommend you look into all the great photo editing apps.

Vidya Sury November 18, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Oh yes, Claudya! I’ve been to other blogger meets, but not one as large as this one. I just loved it- and yes, I am going to play with the photo editing apps!

Laurie Matherne November 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I have a Nokia but I don’t use the apps. Maybe I will now. By the way, I love your outfit in the picture of you onstage. Fabulous!

Vidya Sury November 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Thanks Laurie. Yes, I am going to check out some apps too! I am wearing a “salwar” at the bottom – a pleated lower garment with lots of gathers that narrows at the bottom into a loose grip and is tied at the waist with a draw string tie. The top is called a “kurta” The stole like accessory is called a “dupatta” and is crushed cotton. It opens into a 2.5 meter long and a meter wide fabric that can be draped just any how! 😀 Hugs!

Wendy Irving November 18, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Looks like you had a great Sunday! It was fun to see all the photos, thanks for sharing.

Vidya Sury November 18, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Thank you, Wendy! I love how you keep my spirits up throughout the week. And weekend. And I love how you keep my guilt soaring! Hugs. I hope some day that we meet!

Wendy Irving November 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Looks like you had a great Sunday! It was interesting to read what happened, plus the photos were fun to look at. Thanks for sharing : )

Vishnu November 18, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Like Galen, I’ve never been to a blog get-together but sounds like a blast! And these people know how to dance!

Vidya Sury November 18, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Yes, Vishnu – it is major fun! This one was fabulously organized by Indiblogger (one of two of the most beloved blog networks)

You know – these were randomly chosen people – and were quite stunning. For every contest during the event practically all hands went up at every call!

My Inner Chick November 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Oooooooooo, Vidya,
I wish I could have been there w/ YOU!

It looks like you had a WONDERFUL time. you are beautiful.

Love you more that 10 black panthers sunbathing in the Kisumu Moonlight. Xxx

Vidya Sury November 18, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Kim, I can just imagine what fun we would have! I love you more than thirty flamingos dancing in the rain! Hugs!

Tara R. November 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm

I’ve had a chance to attend a few blogging conferences, they are always fun, plus getting to meet online friends in person, and learning new ways to improve your blogging experience. Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

Vidya Sury November 18, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Yes, Tara! It was great! I love how it brings a lot of people suddenly much closer! Loving the connections! Hugs!

Hajra November 18, 2012 at 8:24 pm

I should be in Bangalore when this happens next!

Kimberly November 18, 2012 at 9:01 pm

i think that’s fabulous. I love that all around the globe, we celebrate the power of written…or typed word 🙂

Terri Sonoda November 18, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Wow! That looks like so much fun! Love the pictures. And the dancing video…priceless. So happy you had such a positive experience, my friend, and thanks for sharing! XOXOs

Zephyr November 18, 2012 at 11:56 pm

That was such an exuberant round-up of the meet, Vidya. Having attended some myself, I could understand the joy and fun that you experienced there. And I loved one particular mention there 😛

Betsy/Zen Mama November 19, 2012 at 12:42 am

It looks like you had so much fun! I wish I had been there but I do feel like I was! One of these days… Love you photography as usual. Fun to see you with your fellow bloggers. And I agree with My Inner Chick, you are beautiful!

magiceye November 19, 2012 at 8:34 am

The Indiblogger team rocks! And so do the meets they organise!

Jodi @ Heal Now November 19, 2012 at 10:20 am

We do smile in the same language and I am smiling at this great time you had. What a cool event they put together, I am so glad you were able to go! I wish we had something like that here!

Cathy/Treatment Talk November 19, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Hi Vidya,

Sounds like a great gathering. So glad you enjoyed it. Always love the pictures. Thanks for sharing your experience. Take care.

Angela Artemis|PoweredbyIntuition November 19, 2012 at 10:56 pm

This looks way more fun than Blogworld in NYC!

Joanna Jenkins November 20, 2012 at 12:15 am

Meeting bloggers in person is always a treat, but you hit the motherload at this event. It looks like everyone had a blast!
Happy SIMC, jj

Pattu Raj November 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm

You lucky ladies!!!

Dhruv Bhagat November 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm

WoW! IndiBlogger meets are just fabulous! 🙂

Shalu Sharma November 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm

You know I have not been to an Indiblogger meet but I am very tempted to do some. Thanks for this post.

Harleena Singh November 21, 2012 at 9:28 am

Wow – it all looks so wonderful Vidya!I remember having been called for one such event, though never really managed to find the time for attending it, which I felt I should have.Great pictures, and congratulations on your win too. Nice to see you on stage as well :)Thanks for sharing these precious moments with us. 🙂

Mayura De Silva November 21, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Hi Vidya,

That’s a wonderful event and great way to meet bloggers, especially in-person 🙂 I’d love to meet bloggers in that way too. But I’m afraid of being in front of public 😀 lol…

Well, I’m curious about what question you have been asked there too 😉


Praveen Rajarao November 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Hi Vidya…

Sounds like you had lots of fun at the event…i loved the videos and would love to be a part of the gang when i return back to namma bangalore.

have fun.

sudhir December 20, 2012 at 3:46 am

Hi Vidya! I am so happy . Congratulation. I am glad to be a part of that wonderful evening.Have great time ahead

Vinay Kumar Satyanarayan July 22, 2017 at 9:43 pm

You words create a thousand vision each of brilliant vivid.
Even though the event was held many summers ago it is as if its live!
Do u still have the USB charger? Congrats albeit belated……

Vidya Sury July 22, 2017 at 11:00 pm

It was a wonderful event and my first with Indiblogger!

Yes, I have the charger and it is great!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Wishing, Wanting, Hoping #travel


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