Note: If you are interested in reading a Hindi version of this, then please click here.
I’ve been waiting for the evening of January 2nd, 2006, with great anticipation, for the 5th Delhi Bloggers’ Meet was scheduled for half past six in the evening at the N-Block Connaught Place outlet of Barista. 😕 But the skies were not sharing my eagerness to meet the fellow bloggers and were looking menacing all day & started spitting their venom in slow motion by the time I was getting ready to leave for the meet. I waited & waited and when finally the skies stoppped for a breather, I seized my opportunity & rode my bike like hell, so as to get out of the area hoping against the hopes that they would leave me alone when I’m considerable distance away. That was not to happen as the conspiracy against me continued resulting a slight drizzle 2-3 times when I was on road. Unfazed, I continued to plough on. But determined to be not outdone by a mere mortal like me, the skies unleashed their fury when I took the turn for Laxmi Narayan Temple. Being stubborn as I’m(afterall I was nearly there), I increased my speed and continued on to Gole Market, Bangla Sahib and then Connaught Place. Since I hadn’t been to Barista(at Connaught Place) before, and as pointed out by codey earlier, I started to circumnavigate around the outer circle when finally after Ruby Tuesday & Federal Bank, I spotted the target!! 😀 I was already late by an hour and quite a lot soaked thanks to the fury of skies(which have given up by then & had gone for a break). So after parking, I dried up my bag & helmet, unsuccessfully tried to dry up my self & then went in.
As already mentioned, this was my first attendence at Delhi Bloggers’ Meet(or any bloggers’ meet), so I wasn’t quite sure of what to expect. I saw a bunch of people sitting around two tables which were joined together & hesitantly approached them. I asked the guy near me whether they were there for the meet & when he smiled & nodded, I introduced myself & it turned out that it was the host Shivam Vij himself whom I’d approached!! 🙂 After hearing my name, he excitedly asked that I was the one from diGit Blog & I nodded my head in affirmation. Then as customary when you meet new people, I started with introducing myself with the people around, starting with a cool looking dude with almost shoulder-length hair, who turned out to be the celebrity guest of the evening, Amit Varma of the IndiaUncut fame!! 😀 Then I met Tarun aka TTG, and other people(I don’t remember all names) which included Aishwarya, & Saket joined us later.
I got my favourite mint flavoured hot chocolate & sat down with Shivam and Amit as the latter was saying something which due to the loud background music, I wasn’t able to catch. Then Shivam told me that he thought that I was from Digit Magazine since I blog at diGit Blog. I told him that I wasn’t & he said that the diGit Blog does give an impression the two are interconnected. I told him that its very well explained in the About & Disclaimer sections of the blog that we are in no way related to the Digit Magazine or Jasubhai group or any of their concerns. The argument moved to the trademark violation and I again explained that we are in no way violating their trademark since “digit” is a common word of english language, you can’t trademark it and on the other hand there’s a Digit Magazine in UK as well. The thing was that the blog initially started as one by fans of Digit Magazine who thought that to improve on the magazine by providing more latest info than the latter since it comes out once a month, but gradually the blog graduated to a tech blog, an entity in itself which doesn’t favour any magazine or publication & is for one and all, covering issues which the magazine didn’t.
The talk went on & the topics kept changing, from Tarun’s upcoming Melbourne trip to Amit’s scheduled Pakistan tour as he’ll be covering the upcoming India-Pakistan test series for the UK newspaper Guardian!! Saket is also shifting to Mumbai as he quit his Naukri.com job & took one up with some company in Mumbai, so he’ll be another one besides Tarun who’ll be missed from the Delhi Blogger Meets. As for Amit, well, he came across a cool guy with a dash of modesty which doesn’t betray the fact that he’s probably India’s most popular blogger, a man who can be referred to as India’s Instapundit.
The time passed by unnoticed as we kept on talking on different topics, issues etc. We were later joined in our discussion by Dhiraj of bodhi-shop, who looked quite similar to Richard Gere, and codey. Soon Tarun bid adieu to all along with 2 of the girls. I asked Tarun for a photo but he politely refused to pose, fair enough with me. 🙂 The chat went on from Instapundit to Desipundit and shifted to hindi blogosphere. Someone(I think Dhiraj) asked if any of the present attendees blog in Hindi and I shamelessly admitted that I do. The talk progressed to Indibloggies 2005 and the larger than life jury that’s there this time(Amit Varma is one of them jurors) and Amit asked me if I knew Debashish. I had just told him that I’m one of the sponsors, that he concluded that I knew Debashish & I should get in touch with him as he was thinking of starting something with Hindi blogs, what was that I can’t remember since that slipped out of my mind. But before I could explain to Amit that I barely knew Debashish & we’d just exchanged an email or two, the talks changed to something else I the words never left my mouth!! 😉 Everyone was calling for a speech from Amit as he was the chief guest, but he somehow talked his way out it since no one dared press the matter firmly. 😉 The meet was dominated by media persons as atleast half of the 15 or so attendees were connected with press.
The time flew on its wings and soon it was half past nine, it was getting late and everyone decided to leave it there for the evening. Once outside Barista, I asked Amit for a photo as a memoir, and he agreed on the condition that I won’t put the photo online. After giving my assurance, I had someone snap me with Amit & Saket. Then I urged Shivam for a photo who relented only on the condition that I won’t put his photo online as well. Amit took the camera from me & snapped me standing between Shivam & Saket with Dhiraj & Arun standing on Shivam’s right. Now it was Amit who said goodbyes. Shivam, Saket & some others were going for dinner at a nearby restaurant but I politely declined their invitation as it was indeed getting late & I had to return home. I headed towards the parking and got back home in 40 minutes, glad for the fact that the roads on my way back were almost deserted and it didn’t rain(I was somewhat shivering).
The evening was one of the cool ones that I’d spent in quite a while with people sharing same passion(almost) as me, and now I’m looking forward for next month’s meet where Tarun & Saket will surely be missed, but it’ll be fun nevertheless, that I expect(& hope for). 😀