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 Blogpourri.

Update: Photos

Our bill at the end of the three hours

Vignesh making a point. Next to him Angeline, Lalit and Bhaskar.
Across from him, Anoop.

Mandar and Anwin responding to Arka (not in pic).
Shrabonti and Sunayana trying to figure out who to listen to.

KVK flips through a novel I was reading during one of the few lulls in our conversation
as we ordered our coffees and stuff

Anwin explaining something as Anoop, Sunayana and Shrabonti listen

In the middle of all the action, the smokers took off for a smoking break
leaving us non-smokers (except Sunayana, that is) to bond. Sunayana did not go
because she did not have her special Indonesian brand with her that day.
Arka, far left, Sunayana, Bhaskar, Lalit and Angeline.

Thenraj, sorry, the one pic you were in is pretty dark.

Heh. I was actually looking for a big neon sign, pointing the way :)

Great meeting y'all.

And thanks for the grouchy description! ;)
Hey. That was an awesome introductory post. And yeah, we enjoyed the meet. And lots more coming.

One other we decided upon - we are all going to post. yeah, and comment on them. And we are gonna talk about bangalore - our city.

PS: Sujatha, you got my blog address wrong. It is http://anw.in/blog/
Hey there people.......great to read about the bloggers meet....unfortunately i missed it as i was at work, but i got some great descriptons from my close friends Anoop and Anwin.....great blog.....lets keep rocking!!
yay! that yay was for us! yay again! we are online! :)
Vignesh: All very tongue-in-cheek man.

Anwin: Thanks! Sorry about your address. I've fixed it.

Roy: Let's keep rocking is right!

Mandar: You can say yay! again! For you and Arka, Anwin and Anoop and everyone that worked on this.
And lets not forget our "official" record keeper. And for the name of the blog - lets thank Sujatha.

MAndar: yeah, lets say yai. good start for the blog.
hey folks....just kicked myself for missing out on this one. but hey good to get it started and kudos to all who came and conquered.
as to what we can do...well am not ambitious, but why cant we do something about the bloody roads
hello people! good start to our bloggers campaign this time around.

A salute to all 13 warriors who had to put up with a lot of yelling and bad coffee..he he
well atleast we all felt lost at one point of time during the meet..lol

cant forget that "lost in space" look on Sujatha's and Shrabonti's face when all that crazy tech talk about the website was going on..
he he

All in all a great day!
hey! Good start.. Way to go!!
Just correct my link please..
its sbhaskar.blogspot.com
Maaaan! It looks like I missed a great meet...but hey, I guess there is always next time (There BETTER be a next time!).

Till then, Swalpa adjust maadi swami :o)
In the everyman's city i am lost man.:-(

my blog id is honeyking.blogspot.com
That must ahve been great!
I'm going to gatecrash next time!
Anwin: Ayooyyoo! "Official" record keeperaa! Sounds scary man.

Spiralarchitecht: sounds like a good idea. May be we should, as a group, pick a cause and actually do something for/about it. Even once a month will be great.

Zombie: :))

Bhaskar: Have corrected it.

Taz snow: it'll be great to see you.

Thenraj: no one is lost in everymanscity, man.

Anamika: will be great to see you.
And Danke' for the snaps. Cool ones.

(Except that I am trying to figure out who is who. May be its good that you did not answer the call to be a photographer)

Ok, was just kidding. Great photographs. And lets get this blog kickstarted for real as soon as Mandar finishes off his current academic work.
Had been wondering why Arka's not written anything on the meet, after so kindly inviting me to attend it. Finally saw this. Sounds like a pretty good start. Hope to catch you guys next time. (PS:Is a 2 yr old dynamite welcome too?)
hey Sujatha, no pic of you!
that is a good post.. Think the blogers meet was a very good gathering.
I missed this... But there wasn't anyway I could have made it! I was in office... One small request... Can this next meet be announced at least a week in advance. Because I get my weekly off day on a weekday (not necessarily on Sunday or Saturday.) So, I can fix my weekly off on the day of the get together or even take leave... And to make matters worse, I work from 4 pm to 11 pm..
Hi Guys,
I blog at http://govenkar.blogspot.com
Also for my pictures you can check out

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