Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Bangalore Bloggers' Meet

We came, we saw, we drank (only coffee and tea, alas!), we ate, we gabbed, we shouted over each other's voices, we exchanged our names and our blogs and the scoop on what we did in "real" life. Sometimes a spark of recognition ("yeah, I've read your stuff"), other times a few blank stares, but close to three hours later, we had to force ourselves to leave with everyone still talking and making plans at the top of their voices. I tell you, one thing the group did not lack was lung power. Remind me to take some ear plugs next time.

Mandar was the first one in, waiting patiently at a table for two with a handwritten note scribbled on a teeny-weeny napkin slung over one of those table placards at Sweet Chariot. I walked in and out a couple of times, not sure if this was the right place, so I called Mandar on his cell. He had spotted me going in and out. Of course, how could he miss me with my striking yellow kurta?

I walked back in and he pointed me to his 4"x4" banner which, unless I stared at him and his table rudely for a very long time, I would never have spotted. We got some coffee and fries, and while we waited for the others (we were expecting at least two more to turn up) Mandar enlightened me about his doctoral thesis on "web structures" and patiently answered my questions. You go Mandar!

KVK turned up next and brought with him a downpour and we resigned ourselves to the three of us making up the I-day Bloggers of Bangalore Bash. As if on cue, Vignesh called to say he was lost but on his way. Shrabonti and Arka showed up in an auto drenched from the top down. Mighty impressed with their commitment to the cause, I must say. Each time someone new came in, we would start the intros all around, convinced that no one else was going to turn up, but every 10 minutes or so, someone new would. Next came Anoop, Thenraj and Anwin, then Vignesh with Angeline and Lalit, followed by Sunayana and finally, Bhaskar.

So, there we were, thirteen (!) of us around three tables joined together on the first floor of the cake shop. It was a spacious room with a couple of comfy looking sofas in the far corner, at least 20 tables spread out across the rest of the room, and completely empty save for one pink birthday cake decorated with Barbie dressed as a princess (left outside in plain sight, but unfortunately out of our reach).

KVK was most bothered by the cake. Why was it there? Was there no one to claim it? He had even noticed the name on the cake - Katyayani. We pondered the name and the age of the birthday girl (such a classical name, for a young girl?) but our musings were cut short by the music system blasting Macarena so thoughtfully turned on for our listening pleasure by our waiter. With the decibel levels of our conversation steadily rising, we barely could hear each other speak, so we hollered over to the waiter to turn it off.

As each new person came in, the ones already around the table would scoot over and by the time everyone came, I found myself in a corner, with my back to the wall and with no means of escape!

After the introductions and a lot of cross-talk, the discussion finally came around to "What should we do, what can we do as a group? Should we use our collective blogging power for something meaningful (such as being a repository for useful information about Bangalore)?" Suggestions started flying around thick and fast. Anwin, Mandar and Arka desperately tried to monitor the decibel levels as well as the suggestions for punchlines and blog names (which included, among other things, nammooru, kothambri, menasinakaayi, oggrenne - all cooking related suggestions coming from me and greeted with incredulous looks from the rest).

Finally, we settled on http://everymanscity.blogspot.com for the name of our blog and Swalpa Adjust Maadi for our punchline. Will someone please remind me whose bright ideas these were? It would be nice to acknowledge them. I think Bhaskar, KVK and Arka came up with the good ones. Everyone was happy, except for Arka who was happy with the titles, but couldn't get over the fact that everymanscity would not have an apostrophe in the url.

Oh, and before I end this piece, all this was preceded by intense discussions about: i) what 'Shrabonti' and 'Thenraj' mean and their equivalents in other languages; ii) exactly what Sunayana's job description is (for the record, it is managing her company's intranet) and why we, the outsiders, cannot access the aforementioned intranet; iii) why Lalith named his blog sickle cell ("Whyiiii da?" was my reaction); iv) the things KVK had in common with (a) Mandar, (b) Shrabonti, and (c) Arka; v) why Vignesh had a grouse with at least three members of the group (he then had a grouse with me of course because I pointed it out to him); vi) whether Angeline's college looked like a five-star hotel; vii) why Anoop's firm had held up some important process over at Vignesh's (nodi swami, naavu irodu heegay, was Anoop's response); and viii) why Shrabonti did not show up in a tri-color mini skirt.

Thenraj, Bhaskar, Anwin, Anoop and Mandar also discussed the technicalities of banners and htmls and web hosts and bandwidth, which I am thankful to report, went clean over my head.

A motely crew if ever there was one, this Bloggers of Bangalore, but a lovely group I must say.


1. If I've misspelt anyone's name, sorry, and please tell me.

2. Pics going up as soon as I figure out my camera.

3. KVK writes on Caferati and Shakespeare & Company (as James Joyce or Speckled Band)

Crossposted on Everymanscity.

Update: Photos up at Everymanscity.


The Marauder's Map said...

Hey, you have the same blog template as mine! Don't you just love it? Such an aquatic feel to it, like rain-drenched leaves and seaweed. Lets bond over that now, since the menfolk didn't let us discuss the Globus sale to our hearts' content yesterday! It was fun, though, wasn't it? I yenjaaied like yennithing.

Anonymous said...

nice post, sujata. very hilarious and in detail.

@the marauder's map
hey, if u come across any "sale" for mens wear, plz let me know. my waist is growing like hell.... i need to buy new clothes (for less money... that's why i need u to lemme know of a "sale")! :(

anwinj said...

Yeah, it was hilarious indeed. enjoyed the post...

Vignesh said...

Globus sale they say... hmm... Lets have the next meet at the coffee place in Lifestyle... methinggs thats a great idea...


Sunil said...

the city blog is a nice idea, and I hope to follow it often.......

and, if you're looking for taglines....you can also consider "don't worry madkobedi", my all time fav line from B'lore :-)

Sue said...

nice post...
lol @ glous sale...
yeah why not... next meet in the middle of eva mall where the guys stand outside gazing at wimmen shoppin not bein' allowed in ;)

on the err serious note... my name :(
thought it wasn't that uncommon a name...

Sourin Rao said...

Nice description of the blog meeting. Looks like you guys had a great time. But no alcohol, um, theres only so much mileage you can get on lattes alone.

'Swalpa Adjust Maadi'...er from a guys viewpoint this could have a "not so flattering ramifications " :).

Angel said...

yeah, well written...
Wish I had made it...wait, I DID!!

Amit said...

City BLog -- great idea... never been to the city of gardens...hope ur collective blog can give me a virutal tour too

Some links are not working though on your post


Sujatha Bagal said...

M's map: yeah, I know, this template is soooo cooool. Heee heee heeee (high pitched twitters). I totally agree with you about the feel. And the font, what about the font??!!

Ok, this should have driven away the guys by now. :)

Sunayana has a great suggestion. There's a Coffee World there I think.:)

I too yenzaiied like yennithing. And imagine running into you just a day after!

Mandar: Thanks. And Globus has clothes for men too!

Anwin: Thanks.

Vignesh: Yeah, why not kill two birds..etc.

Sunil: Please do. That's a good suggestion. May be we'll have a series of posts under that heading! I'd forgotten that.

Sunayana: Thanks and sorry. I fixed it.

Sourin: :)))

Angel: Thanks! It was great fun wasn't it?

@mit: Next time you're in India, come to nammooru (our city). I've fixed all the links now, I think. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

hhhmm........ nice write up. Would have been quite interesting to have been there. but then.....

for expatriates, i would recommend

Thenraj said...

Hi Everyone!
That evening i enjoyed a lot after the meet i felt really good and more than that i felt i achieved some thing on that day as most of the day(Aug 15) went on a sad note.Good to see different people from different areas of interest together to achieve some other common thing.Lets have this kind of meet very often to decide Whts next?.

Ps: I told about the bloggers meet he wants to join as he is a poem and story writer soon bangalore blog will see one more addition!

Sujatha Bagal said...

Anonymous: Watch this space for info about more meets. May be you can join us then.

Thenraj: Sorry about your mostly sad Aug 15th. hope everything's ok now. Glad the meet cheered you up. Yup, we should plan more. Welcome to your friend.

Anonymous said...