Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Intro-e-Extranjero - Pune bloggers meet

In the early month of November,
With the onset of winter,
In a city brimming with bloggers,
At a place with a wonderful decor,
And food to make the mouth water,
Was set a meet to gather
Not few, but a league of bloggers.

That was just an apotheosis of the "Out of the Blue" IndiBlogger meet held in the evergreen city of Pune. With the October heat dying down making way for the November chill winds to set in, it was time for the winter session of the IndiBlogger meet. This was going to be my very first experience of a kind. Not that I have never interacted with bloggers. 

This time I was expecting a room filled with 40 like-minded creative thinkers buzzing on a common topic, “BLOGGING”. The reason for 40 was that it was the number of people who had registered for the meet on Indiblogger. Having seen a few photos on various social networking sites of the meets held at different cities around India, I had pictured myself to enter into a room with 40 people sitting on chairs lined up to hear someone speak with a mike and the mike would be passed on from one person to the next. Nevertheless, I wasn't less excited.

10th of November was the date and being a Sunday, I didn't have to fight with the traffic to reach E-Square mall. "Out of the blue" was the place that was mentioned in the registration page and I walked in at sharp 11 AM. 

Woah!! To my surprise it wasn't a hall. However, there was a beautiful passageway adorned with artistic portraits on its wall which led to an open area where tables were set surrounded by wooden chairs with a blue and white striped cushion to rest the back.


 The ice-breaker was the introductions given by the blogger. With every introduction, each blogger was supposed to adhere to the theme which was to mention “What would they love to feast themselves for breakfast every morning?” There were different foods that every blogger fantasized on. Ranging from the traditional Poori Bhaji to Idli Sambar and Upma to kachori, each of our replies made every ones stomachs crave for some.

Without further ado, we were served with a variety of starters which were indeed very sumptuous. I loved them and they were indeed very indulging. But what was even more indulging was the talk I was having with the fellow bloggers. Sitting next to me was a boy cut hair girl who was clicking pictures of everything she saw. It was Tara Nair, an interior stylist by profession. Creative profile indeed!! 

To my other end was Chirag who had traveled all the way from Mumbai to make it for the meet. There were Mayuk and Shayani too who were techies like me but very much passionate about blogging. We had a blogger who gave me some fitness tips, thanks to the love handles that I have earned because of extra love from my mother.
Animesh who had organized the meet handled it very well. I still am laughing over the post you had read about your experiences with marriage. All the best to you and Sriram on your book!!

There were other veteran bloggers who were present as well (Sriram, Hari, Sandeep and Diwakar) whom I was meeting for the very first time. Not to forget, Vikram Karve Sir who has always inspired me with the way he blogs. Age was not a bar where members sharing the same platform were present. We had Uncle Phani Babu a septuagenarian who spoke about mystery shopping and Nikhil, a youngster who spoke about

It was indeed a very fruitful meet, as various topics were chosen to speak about. From Alexa rank to niche blogging, poetry to psychology and architecture to religion, every blogger present had a story to say on how he landed up into blogging.
I will do injustice if I forget to mention about -18 degrees an icecream and exclusive desert joint that served as the host accompanied with Out of the Blue for the meet. Two lovely ladies spoke about the variety of food served at Out of the Blue and the to-die-for ice cream sundaes at -18 degrees.

After nibbling over a high calorized appetizing Mango Sundae, I headed home carrying memories about my very first blogger meet. We were those who met as strangers, shy and perplexed, but we left as friends who wished we had a lot more blogger meets to attend in the future.

I would like to end my post by quoting something that I had said at the meet,

“We writers and people of creative interests are gifted the power to make the readers think the way we do through our artistic pieces of work”

Happy Writing and Blogging!!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Crushers and Crackles - Part 2

To read the first part of this story click here.

 "Would you like to have some desert, Maam?" the waiter pitched in and asked Nina who was trying to stuff the large rumali roti that she had ordered. Jatin slurped the last spoon of the soup and stared at Nina trying to connect to her. They were sitting opposite to each other in a cozy restaurant with extravagant interiors for the fifth time and yet there was nothing romantic about the couple.

Their parents had introduced them  a month ago during a family function and Jatin had wished that time could have stood still the minute he had seen her. He knew she was the one for him. In the past one month, Jatin had tried his level best to make his way into her heart. Like every newly engaged couples, he sent her flowers and tried to make each moment special when she was around.

It wasn't the same for Nina. She barely responded to Jatin. He noticed her never-to-bother attitude and tried to break through the walls she had securely built around her. However, all he received in return was her mere, "hmmm" and "Umms" to whatever he spoke. Nina was engrossed in her thoughts even when she was surrounded by a large crowd of friends. Ever since the morning she was defeated in love and her trust  was broken, she never thought of getting back to her normal life.

The day she had met Sunaina, she couldn't hold herself from confronting Vikram about it, who on the other end replied very casually, "You never asked me if I was married or not Nina"

 "Then why did you ask me to move in with you, Vikram", Nina retorted. 

"I asked you to move in till Sunaina could come back. Don't tell me you wanted to move in forever?" Vikram chuckled. Vikram's careless attitude and nonchalant replies made it palpable that she had fallen prey to a notorious man who was never going to be bothered about her feelings. For days she pleaded with her manager to transfer her so she could be out of Vikram's sight, but all her attempts were futile. With her concentration completely lost, she began to perform poorly. Her mentor was no longer by her side to support her. With her diminishing performance, she was among the lot that was laid off by the company and given the pink slip.

Over the past two months, Nina, who had found her happiness outside the streets of Valsad was back home trying to recover from the wild heart ache. She was slapped by her father when she mentioned about Vikram, who was the reason why she did not want to get married. With no support from her family, she had to give in to the idea of getting married to Jatin. 

The snares of the past hovered her present, which she couldn't make peace with. She knew she was playing with Jatin's life but the options before her were meager. She managed to make her way back to Pune with an urge to find a new job and get married to Jatin.

That evening at dinner as Jatin sat engrossed in her beauty, Nina was unaware of her feelings. She wasn't sure if she would fall in love a second time. Her life had taken a swing and she didn't know where she was heading.

 Deciding that she should find her way out of the mess, she got up. "Jatin, please wait here till I get back", Nina stormed out of the restaurant and caught a taxi. Minutes later she was back to the restaurant with a woman accompanying her. Jatin watched Nina enter the hotel and waited for her to come towards him. Instead, she moved her footsteps in a fast pace and walked to the opposite table.

 "What a surprise, Vikram?" Nina began. Vikram sat with a woman holding her hand in a loving manner. On noticing her, he immediately let go off the woman's hand and began to introduce his counterpart, when the other lady who had followed Nina from the taxi came to light. It was Sunaina.

 "Is she the next female who is supposed to move in with you for a while, Vikram", Nina's confidence knew no end.

 She turned to the woman seated at the table, "Well, I am sure Vikram wouldn't have told you about his beautiful wife Sunaina", Nina pointed out to Sunaina which left the woman who was seated dumbfound. 

Turning to Sunaina, she spoke, "Oops, Sunaina, I will do injustice if I do not correct Vikram's introduction about me, I am Nina, Vikram's ex-girlfriend"

Having said this, she stormed outside the hotel leaving the crowd perplexed and Jatin clueless. A while ago, she had heard a familiar voice when she was seated with Jatin. On verifying if it really was Vikram, she left the hotel, deciding to teach Vikram a lesson. With her anger finally vented out, she felt relieved. Standing outside the restaurant, she wasn't scared about the world anymore. 

She wasn't scared if Jatin would accept her or not. She had finally broken through the shackles and risen above. Reminiscing every minute of the evening as she walked back home, she realized that her confidence was back and she could face the world without any guilt. The heart that was crushed and crackled had finally become strong and powerful. Nina knew that she could fall in love again.

She had found her victory in her defeat.  Silencing her qualms, she walked back home cheerful and regaining her confidence which she had built almost a year ago when she had walked out of the streets of Valsad.