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:
From L to R – The pretty Janaki, lovely Rachna, amazing Farida and moi. Thank you,Anamika, for the photo.
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! Here are the videos:
And here is Vikas’ team
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! But there’s a whole album here on the Indiblogger Facebook page
A beautiful venue
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.
Let’s join Unknown Mami – who hosts this lovely linkup.
I love her, you know?
From there, let’s travel the world!
Do we not all smile in the same language?