ITC Grand Chola Indiblogger Meet 2012 – A rendezvous to remember!

Indiblogger meets have always been fun!

Looking back the times this and this , when I had walked into the banquet hall sheepishly uncertain, unknown of the blogger meet protocols and likes, it gives an immense feeling of tranquility to be cognizant of the fact that I am now acquainted with this indiblogger-ness and can walk-in to any meets with a sense of collegiality and connectedness and definitely find atleast ten to fifteen of your twitter mates or blog mates for sure.

This time on October 27th 2012 (Saturday), it was hosted in association with ITC Grand Chola 5 Star luxury hotels @ Guindy. When the seats were limited, I quickly logged in to indiblogger site from my mobile as I was out of home and clicked the blessed ‘Register’ button! *peace*. From that time onwards, I’ve been waiting for the Saturday to hit me soon, so that I can meet all my friends scattered around the social media. When I got a confirmation called from Nandita, I was more thrilled for the meet.

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Watte Changeover Mama – [Photography]

Time changes and so do us. There were quondam times when kids had time for some fun-and-frolic in the indoor games where…

The clinking jingles of Dayakattai,
reverberates the happiness when you get another chance to roll…

[Tamil]: Dhaya Kattai

The mind wrenching anxiety to get three in row,
in an enthralling game of tic-tac and toe!

Tic-Tac-Toe

Paramapadam pulls you up and pushes you down,
for the ultimate battle to heir the crown!

[Tamil]: Paramapatham

Pallanguzhi; The chozhis that dispense across the cavity,
in an anticipation to clear the pit full of anxiety!

[Tamil]: Pallaanguzhi

The labyrinth that leaves you lost, if the path is not found,
with the balls swirling in round and round and round!

Maze & Metal Balls

Such bliss would not appease the heart,
even when your kids swipe the screen at start,
where does the future of games shine?
When contemporary raged birds hitting on those swine! 😉

Angry Birds! :)

PS: Dayakattai: Indian Dice; Chozhi: Mini Sea Shells; Pallanguzhi: Traditional Mancala game from south India; Paramapadam: Snakes and ladders.
[CLICK ON THE IMAGES FOR MORE CLARITY]
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Why This Kolaveri Di? – A musical anecdote

Persuaded by the sudden leakage of the audio of numerically titled Tamil movie ‘3’ (Moondru) with Dhanush as lead and the singer himself, I had this quintessential urge of a typical twenty five something tamil homo sapien to plunge into the musical ocean and swim across the much hyped song bearing the title pregnant with a British English heavily doped with southern dialect madras slang ‘Why this Kolaveri di?’. I express my heartfelt gratitude to my friends, for the FB wall shares, who diligently leverage the social media to tout their avid inclination to family and kinship, proclaiming their consanguineal roots by listing them religiously under the Family category. The shortened URL shares on Twitter as well, did extend a warm hand to gratify my urge to reverberate my Tympanic membrane.

The song in itself is a celestial incarnation of the mythological hymn that echoed the golden walls of heaven, sung with music emanating from the holy harps and ethereal melody from the chimes, supplemented to lutes and gongs. This song promises to accentuate the very fact that, music is a form of tacit cognizance, which can be understood only by the individuals who can perceive the real nitty-gritty of such aural delicacy.

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Chennai Indiblogger Meet TATA GRANDE Hyatt 2011

Fun fun & fun,
Where else can you get one?
As you occupy the seat,
In the Indibloggers meet!

(Pls excuse for the bad poetry!)

Getting in

Indiblogger.in again organized a one day bloggers meet at Hyatt Regency, Chennai on October 9, 2011 (Sunday). It was yet another fun filled evening!!!!!!

As I parked my bike and walked into the Hall, I was asked to enter my email ID in the text box.

*boing*

There appeared a message in the big screen placed in the hall informing “Kalyan just walked in”. Then a blue seal was then punched in our wrist with a stamp mark of the text Indiblogger. Aahh!! I’m christened as an elite member of the cult – Indibloggers!

As I slowly walked into the hall towards the chairs, I was calmly looking for a place to park myself and enjoy the yet to begin proceedings, there was one guy sitting in the corner of a row. So I decided to start socializing with that guy first. It was just a brilliant co-incidence that both of us had many similarities. He was Pawan!

So as we were getting known to each other, I got a tap from behind, “Hey Hi”. I asked him to come over beside my chair. Now this time it was Anand. As I was talking with him, I spotted this girl who was sneaking in, doubtful to occupy a chair. After fixing a particular position, she chose a chair behind us. She seemed to be so familiar to me. I thought I had seen her somewhere in twitter. But unfortunately she wasn’t when I asked her! 😀 We all exchanged Hi-s and ‘where are you from’-s. It was so surprising to know that she was a Hygiene analyser from Rain Tree.

Then started our conversation – Me, Pawan, Anand & this girl Janani. As the discussion was steering in another blogger occupied a seat near Janani and gave us all a warm smile. “Can I also join??” pat came the question. “Of course, you are welcome!!!!!!” we all greeted her. She was Susan. Then God only knows what happened amidst us. It was a fun filled chit-chatting session among us!

You know – *Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota hai* – *Ovvoru friendum theva machaan*

49 seconds of fame & other events

After all the Hi-s & Hello-s, the proceedings started with the ‘49 seconds of fame’ which is almost ‘Tell me about yourself’ session. Everyone took little more or little less time to gobble words and deliver their intros.

Well yeah, the event was hosted and sponsored by TATA GRANDE. So folks from TATA joined us to promote the TATA GRANDE SUV with the ad video which reminded me of the placement session which used to happen in our college seminar hall with the company’s video playing in the screen.

Coming back to present, I was busy in the registration counter, submitting the photo I clicked in my cam for a photo contest which they announced. I had to take the memory card, transfer it to the laptop and then send email & stuffs. By the time I came back to my seat, I could find a big chart and a sketch pen lying in my chair and in every other chairs. The lights were then switched on. I know what it is for – The ‘activity’ time. The rules were simple. You have to suspend the chart with the thread attached to it, on your back and then meet people, introduce yourselves and get their blog address, twitter ids, email ids and so on. There were prizes for that too – highest count of people one met, funny comment in the chart and so on. After we exchanged details and the chart was full, the time was running out and finally everyone settled in their seats back!

Serious time or Fun time – It’s up to you!

After everyone settled, Anoop announced that it was the time for some serious discussion. A POC was assigned for the following groups to be formed where in one can form a group and discuss.

1. Blogging – Monetising our blog, SEO & other stuffs, Themes etc
2. Chennai – All about Chennai, roads, travels, traffic, fuel hikes etc
3. Cars & Travel – All about cars, maintenance etc etc
4. Anything – You can do anything here!! (That’s what Anoop said!!)

Clueless on what to do, our gang Me, Pawan, Anand, Janani & Susan were just glued intact in our seats confused on what to do as those topics did not interest us. We got introduced ourselves to Gitanjali, Sandhya, Prashanth, Ashwini, Ganga, Websnacker, Vidhya and few others too. As other groups have already been formed and the discussions have already been started, we decided to form a new group called “No Agenda” or “Untitled” group!

We basically had no topics to discuss or to ponder over. But we too wanted to be a part of ‘happenings’ happening over there. So we formed a small round initially. Slowly people started pitching in asking us

“Is this a no agenda group?”

We all said, “Yeah yeah, come on in, join us. We are ‘No Agenda’ group”

Hence the circle started expanding and the diameter slowly increased. It was so surprising to see many people of our kind – with no topic to discuss. It was so fun to see folks joining us with inflated enthusiasm. So we started Human Resourcing. We made noises, whistled, clapped and hooted as people joined. The crowd was building in and many others joined (Sorry ppl I don’t remember your full names!! Please leave a comment if you were the part of our group!!) and it became a large deformed circle with enthusiastic and fun loving people.

I suddenly got remind of the Badsha Dialog

Ithu naanga setha koottam ille, thaana sernda koottam” & so it was undoubtedly!

“Whats the plan? whats the plan….?” were the questions.

“No plans yet, no plans yet…Its against the rules to form agenda in the group” were the answers! 😀

After some funny discussions, we decided to play TRUTH OR DARE!

Read more below…

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She – in a stranger tide!

Silhouetted on the shores of Marina, she walked along in a revealing attire. It was a sleeveless top with small, above-the-knee skirt with patches of open stitches here and there. I looked at her as she walked holding a big plastic cover full of assorted materials. Her hair, left open dangling and swaying in the air. When she walked past me, the silhouetted image just came to light revealing her face and she let out a smile in which I became a captive.

To many, it can be an awesome experience, but to me it was a pitiful sight – the sight of a 10 year old rag picking girl, who picks up random stuffs from the shores of Marina for her livelihood. Every item that she picks up, it creates a profound value in her life. The life that needs to be sustained and survived is controlled by the litters of those, who throw things, which do not make any value to their life. She doesn’t complain. She has no regrets doing that. The only concern she has is, of the food that she gets when needed and a safe shelter. Education doesn’t mean anything to her. Neither is she aware of the sanctity of education nor does she have the financial support to uplift her economic stature.

There is an array of huts and houses built just with thatches, with no bricks or cement. Every morning, as my office bus passes by the Marina Beach Road running parallel to the beach behind the light house, it gives me a dual view of the cavernous mighty Bay of Bengal on one side, whose shore is impregnated with homeless destitute souls sleeping on the sandy shores, an assortment of painted fishing boats, in whose interiors, sleeps a lazy dog, scattered papers, plastic bags and torn pieces of clothes, tents under which the child sleeps hugging the stinky fishing net and the sands sticking all over their dark and tanned skin, random people from huts walking aimlessly on the sands.

On the other side of which consists of the untidy huts and stinky slums, with children bathing in the open, under the hand pump, an array of colorful plastic pots to be filled with the ground water – the only source of clean water for them, the construction site half built and half completed, completely revealing the red bricks and cement pastes in between them, for holding the bricks intact for eternity until demolished by a bulldozer from the government for illegal construction, a hand drawn caricature of local heroes implicit of the ‘Narpani Mandrams’. Few small children clad in maroon or blue trousers and skirts with white shirt walking uninterestingly towards the government school situated in some corner of the dilapidated roads and buildings, just for the sake of free mid-day meals scheme.

‘She’ belonged to one of those – who hates schools, who hates homework, who hates being commanded by the teacher, who doesn’t care about how a Garnier Fructis or a Elle-18 can affect her, who does not even think about entering a boutique and prefers staring at the skimpy clad mannequin bearing an apparel from the brands of Arrow Women, Levis, Sanaa, Hugo Boss, Benetton or even Elliza Donatein. She only cares about next course of good food, an untiring day of work in a nearby construction site or surprisingly good items savored to her from the roads and sandy shores of Marina and lastly a peaceful sleep at night.

It gives me an extreme twinge in mind – a spasm that conducts through every nerve endings and sparks in the cranial hollow space, filled with blood and flesh. This pain recuperates for a time period until unexposed from them and sets back again when passing through them. When speculating their lives and its progress, the intellect guides me to its very own programmed fact – the way of life – way of their own life.

It’s merely a line which divides the economic condition of every Indians. A line that demarcates the financial well being of every individual, decides the very fate and destiny. Once someone falls in the range, they continue to be in that range and their very conscience never ever accepts the idea of upgrading their economic condition. Upper-class of people continues to stay there, the upper-middle class strives to cross the boundary to attain the upper-class status and a middle-class never ever attempts to cross any line. They just sustain themselves in that scale and protect themselves from falling below the line. The poor cadres as defined by the line, curse their fate and live their life in the mud ridden roads and pavements.

Everyone in this world belong to some scale of that ‘holy’ line and also gets an opportunity to watch, stare, ogle, gaze or see such a ‘stranger’ in their life – each one of them belonging to some scale of the ‘line’. Everyone desires a position but very few are destined a position.

I’m wondering how many other strangers are desired, destined and most importantly a blessed one. She is definitely a destined poor dark-skinned financially fragile little rag picking girl.

She complains only of mosquito bites at night and torn patches of stitches in her dress and we complain of number ‘Likes’ in Facebook! *sigh*