Here’s what happened. The last time Indiblogger had a meeting in Hyderabad was in 2010. With exciting and educational meetings being held in other cities, one would frequently see threads on the forum wishing there was an Indi meeting held in the city again. Halfway through summer 2012, a meet was finally announced on Indiblogger. Though it was conceived as a small gathering (in numbers, not spirit), the last minute saw some of the attendees dropping out due to personal emergencies, some due perhaps to the torrential rain that began just around when people would have been leaving for the meeting.
This was the first official bloggers meet that I went for, and it was fun putting names and faces to blogs that I admired. The first to arrive (and the only ones to be at the venue at the announced start time) were Gardener At 60 and Tilling The Earthwoman. Crack The Sky and Subho’s Jejune Diet landed up next, followed by Restless Fingers. By this time, the rain had worsened, so Campus To Life (a.k.a Cool PC Tips) and The Gaming Garage walked in, looking like large fluffy creatures with spiky hair and wet clothes. The organizer, Gautam (originally from the other city of Nawabs), was next, and by this time, the others had already familiarized themselves with each other. Later, Oh, I Juggle! and some of what Oh I juggle juggles joined us.
Once the whole group was in and introductions rendered unnecessary, the bloggers got down to looking at what they needed to do going forward. The one common thread that held all the attendees together was concern for the way we were headed as a society and how social media and writing on the internet could be used to counter the harmful trends and strengthen positive thinking among people.
The organizer quietly and gently helped the group evolve an agenda and plan of action. It was decided that a larger and more focused gathering of bloggers and social activists be planned to be held in about two months’ time. Ideas were thrown up and the discussion was lively and animated. The coming together of creative writers like Restless Fingers and Oh I Juggle with environmentalists like Gardener at 60 and Tilling the Earthwoman and technology authorities like Cool PC Tips and Gaming Garage resulted in an engaging and practical agenda being drawn up for the future.
While it was a pity that many of those who dot the vibrant blogging horizons of Hyderabad were not able to be present for the meeting, the small gathering made it really special with everyone being able to bond on a personal level. Everyone expressed their thankfulness to the organizer and the Indiblogger network for making such a meeting possible. Even after “business” had been concluded, several of the attendees hung around, sharing ideas and comparing notes about what works and what doesn’t work in the marriage of technology and creativity that blogging is all about.
For those who were unable to make it, don’t feel bad; there were no freebies or T-shirt giveaways, contests or glitzy prizes, there were no live-tweets or TV cameras, and there were no great presentations that would make you a sexier or wiser blogger. What you did miss however, was the warmth and the caring, the love and the laughter, and the genuine spirit of kinship, empathy and determination that the meeting left us all with. The good news – keep your eyes and ears open as things shape up - there is more of it where it came from, and we hope you will all join us as we tap into the richness of our common well.
It was late, dark and still pouring when we finally (and almost reluctantly ) said our goodbyes and headed out. As I sped through the flowing rivers that the streets of Banjara Hills had turned into, squinting into the rain and bracing against the cold breeze on my already drenched body, I wondered about how all of us with our differing journeys had been pulled together, and how everything was ultimately connected to one great purpose. It made me see how it didn’t really matter what you called that purpose. Like everyone else who was part of the wonderful evening, I too was headed home in a much deeper sense.
*****You may also want to read posts on this event by others who were there. And in case you come across a post on this event that is not listed here, please leave a link in the comments.
1. Gardener at 60's post over at Pattu's Terrace Garden.
2. Sandeep's post over at Crack The Sky, Serendipity in a Coffeehouse.
3. Divenita's post over at Restless Fingers.
4. Bhavanas post over at Tilling The Earthwoman.
5. OIJuggle's post over at Oh, I Juggle!
6. Sampath's post over at Gaming Garage.