23
Jan 13

The Original Indiblogger Meet in Bangalore, hosted by HP

Date: 20th January, 2013

After having lots of fun at the first one hosted by Nokia, I attended my second Indiblogger meet held this past Sunday at the Fortune JP Celestial Hotel on Race Course Road — this time sponsored by HP and Harper Collins. With a name synonymous with printers and associated with one of the world’s largest book publishers, it was no surprise they tagged this event #OriginalCopy.

The hotel didn’t seem to be buzzing when I entered the lobby, and there was a bit of a wait before we could enter the hall.

HP Indiblogger Bangalore meet

The event began around 2pm after registrations — and as usual, we could Tweet our way on to the screens :)

Fortune JP Celestial conference room

The venue wasn’t as big as the last meet, but a good 200 bloggers still showed up!

Guitarist HP Indiblogger meet Bangalore

The “show” began with the familiar notes of a rock classic performed by Karun Verghese

Nihal singing Indiblogger meet Bangalore

It was a rocking performance of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” by Team Indiblogger

Anoop Indiblogger meet Bangalore

Host @AnoopZombie had everyone stand up, clap along and sing the chorus

Bloggers HP Indiblogger meet

But just as we all settled into our seats, Anoop told us we now had to get up and shift tables. From white tables to black… and some other conditions too, but I forget.

Indiblogger meet Bangalore Harper Collins

NOW that we were finally seated, a lot of us were randomly asked to give an introduction

As usual, we were asked us why we blog and at the end, mention our favourite character. Bonus points went to whoever could imitate their said character!

Of course, there were loads of prizes to give away and HP USB thumb drives, head phones and books published by Harper Collins were all on offer.

Bangalore Indiblogger meet activity

As the introductions wound up, it was now time for an activity

We were all given chart paper which came with an unique QR code stuck on it. Using QR code scanners on our smartphones, we were asked to note down the hidden messages on our charts. The phrases were all part of a much longer sentence and our challenge was to find the two other bloggers who had the matching phrases to complete the whole sentence. If you couldn’t find right pairing, you could still win if you got creative with your sentence creation.

I couldn’t manage to do either.

Activity during Indiblogger meet Bangalore

Because the setting soon turned into a marketplace with lots of bloggers shouting and milling about seeking the right chart partner. It was a funny sight to behold.

HP country sales manager Indiblogger meet

With the madness of that activity over, HP’s Country Sales Manager took to the stage to talk to us about why his company was part of this ‘original’ initiative

Given its advertising right now (and has been for a long time), it was quite obvious what an HP-sponsored event was going to focus on. The exec briefed us on being original versus “counterfeit/fake” and why people shouldn’t be deterred by the cost of buying original HP printer ink versus opting for a cheaper alternative. In fact, he informed us the starting price for HP original cartridges have now come down from an earlier Rs. 800 to just Rs. 449 — which was welcome news to me!

Also, HP’s range of cartridges use a lot of recyclable parts, therefore doing their bit for the environment. The company has also made it easier for you to buy original HP ink right from the source, with a toll free number (1800-425-4999) and even a home delivery service. “Dial-A-Cartridge,” who would have thought! :)

HP printer original Indiblogger meet

He even asked us bloggers if we have ever had our content plagiarized. I spoke of how some of my photos have appeared on other websites without even as little as a credit or link back to my site.

HP photobooth Indiblogger meet

After the talk, we were invited to have our photos taken and printed at this photobooth HP had set up

Bloggers eating Indiblogger meet

I was hungry, so I grabbed some food first

Race course road view from Fortune hotel

You get a great view of the Bangalore Turf Club from Fortune JP Celestial hotel

Food buffet Fortune JP Celestial hotel

As for the food, it was: chicken rolls, samosa, sandwiches, spring rolls and gulab jamuns for dessert.

Indiblogger meet stage activity

Back inside after the tea break, there were more activities and prizes to give away

We all had a blast during the activity in which we were divided into teams and given popular movies to re-enact, which the audience would have to guess. We had to figure out how to re-enact the movie on stage without even uttering a word. My group was given an easy one: ‘Lord of the Rings’. Believe it or not, there were a few guys on our table who hadn’t seen the film(!) and worried too much about whether they would be able to pull it off on stage or not. I told them to relax, because give how popular the LOTR characters were, there surely would have been at least one guy in the room who would guess it instantly.

And one guy did. In less than 5 seconds! All he needed as a clue was our guy playing Gollum. We barely even made it on to the stage, and the guy guessed the film right! :) If they were awarding teams for performing a skit with the easiest guess, we would have won. But no prizes for us.

Still, as the evening wound up, pretty much every blogger walked away with a USB thumb drive, a few books and a lucky few taking home some nice HP printers! It was yet another great IndiBlogger meet hosted by a great sponsor and well put-together by the core IndiBlogger team, who so well deserved to be felicitated.

As always, I can’t wait for the next one!

Also read: 2012 IndiBlogger Meet in Bangalore, hosted by Nokia


14
Nov 12

Diwali in Bangalore – A pictorial

Just a few shots I took on the night of Diwali outside the apartment complex I stay at. All the residents had gathered at the public park in front to burst firecrackers.

Public park Diwali celebrations Bangalore

Quite a few families had already begun with the noise

Mickey Mouse firework Diwali

Mickey doing his magic

Arkere Mico layout Diwali celebrations

Nithin Anand lighting firework

My brother (in the back) and his friend lighting a firework

Shadow firecracker on ground Diwali India

Sparkler stick closeup Diwali celebrations

Sparklers are of course, a perennial favourite. I hate the bombs – mostly because I can’t stand the noise. Sadly, with fireworks costing as much as they do come festive season, I can see why Diwali gets louder and louder each year.

Kid holding sparkler stick Diwali Bangalore

TV Tower firework Bangalore India

The names they come up with for fireworks these days. This one’s called ‘TV Tower’.

Red firework Bengaluru India

Surprisingly this one isn’t called ‘S.O.S’

Fountain fireworks Diwali in Bangalore India

Foreigners playing with fireworks Diwali Bangalore

Even visitors couldn’t resist joining in on the festivities

Fountain firework Diwali BangaloreMan walking fireworks Diwali Bengaluru IndiaSparkler fireworks spinning Deepawali India

Colourful fireworks bursting in the sky

Whereas up in the sky…

Fireworks bursting Diwali Bangalore IndiaFireworks Diwali night Bangalore IndiaFireworks night sky Diwali Bangalore

Yellow firework Diwali Bangalore

I got tired of the noise and returned home

L & T South City apartments Diwali lightsHope everyone celebrating had a prosperous, and more importantly, a safe Diwali this year!


13
Nov 12

IndiBlogger Meet in Bangalore, hosted by Nokia

Date: November 11th, 2012

Considering I have been a member of IndiBlogger since 2010, I had yet to attend one of the many blogger meetups the popular forum hosts in cities across India (and occasionally abroad). This being an event sponsored by Nokia and hosted by one of my favourite NDTV anchors Rajiv Makhni and a Michelin-starred chef by the name of Vikas Khanna, I just couldn’t make excuses this time around.

A ‘gadget guru’ and a celebrity chef thrown together summed up what Nokia India’s Apptasting theme was all about. Given Nokia and Microsoft’s combined efforts to popularize the Windows Phone OS, I had a hunch what was in store. But I’ll be honest, part of the reason I immediately signed up for the event was in the hopes Nokia would have their Lumia phones on display – especially the much anticipated Lumia 920.

You see, I’m at the stage where I have to upgrade from my Nokia E72 – a 2009 smartphone, but has since been ‘outsmarted’ by the many touch-based devices that have now become the norm for mobile phones these days. I’m no fanboy but important to me were a stable ecosystem with a healthy dose of good quality apps, a good screen and an excellent in-built camera. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is tempting but Android is way too open a platform for me, Nokia’s Lumia 920 blew me away with its camera features, and seeing what the complete package of what the iPhone 5 offers… I’m tempted to go for it. Sadly, I need both my kidneys, which is why I’m open to learning more about the alternatives.

Anyway… after an epic (and tiring) Saturday night, I made my way to ITC Gardenia hotel which was to be the venue for tonight’s IndiBlogger meet.

ITC Gardenia hotel Bangalore

The 5-star ITC Gardenia on Vittal Mallya Road

ITC Gardenia hotel lobby

Quite a posh setting for a bunch of bloggers! :)

ITC Gardenia Mysore hall

We were directed upstairs to the Mysore Hall

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