IndiMeet #FlipkartOutdoors – Bangalore 2016

I still firmly believe am the newbie in the Blogging World and there is a lot more opportunities the Blogging community provides to all its bloggers which comes as a surprise to me every single day.  Indiblogger was one such thing. Well to the non Indian friends of mine, it’s the biggest Indian blogging community where all the Indian Bloggers from different domains (Tumblr, Blogspot, WordPress) meet and share their views, posts and blogs. It helps you with writing challenges and contests, introduce you to other  bloggers from same kinda concept or a totally different one. You want to get inspired you should join Indiblogger is what i would religiously suggest to every Indian blogger out there.

As a new comer to the blogosphere, I registered my blog on this site and i can proudly say i have met some really cool bunch of people who are now friends and not just “follower” of my blog. And for this I am really thankful to the Indiblogger community. And as its logo correctly says – “Indians by birth, bloggers by choice” it is this big umbrella where we all feel at home.

So talking about Indiblogger what most excited me about this community was it organizes bloggers meet in different places in India where in all the people who are registered on the community site get a chance to meet and interact with fellow bloggers – NOW ISN’T THAT COOL??? HUH!! And yesterday was my FIRST EVER INDIBLOGGER MEET and it was AWESOMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

#FlipkartOutdoors IndiBlogger Meet – Bangalore 2016

Having read about the previous meets i had a vague idea as to what its gonna be like  for example – A giant Sponsor like (Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, Tata Indica , Dabur etc), the Indiblogger Team, some 50 odd bloggers, a conference room kinda thing, few speeches, games, contests, food , networking yeah pretty much this was what i had in mind. And then the #FlipkartOutdoors IndiBlogger Meet was announced where 140 people could register themselves and the event would be organized in Bangalore. I was super excited and the first thing i did was to register myself for the event. I was super excited to meet bloggers in person beyond the monitor screens and blogs. 

Date: 20th Feb 2016, Saturday Venue: Mango Mist Resorts Theme: This event promises to give you an adrenaline rush and a window into the world of some of the coolest gadgets around to help you make the most of your outdoor experiences. If you love nature and adventure, you wouldn’t want to miss this one! (from the event details) Prerequisites : You need to be a registered blogger on the Indiblogger website community to be a part of the event. 

I can’t stop telling this again and again but the Indiblogger team did a great job in organizing the whole event. Everything was scheduled and planned so properly that am sure nobody has anything to complain about.  All we had to do was register ourselves and be available at the pick up points mentioned in the mails sent my the team. Proper communication, double confirmation calls were made by this cool team.

** Disclaimer – am not that great at clicking pics, so am gonna post pics from the ones tweeted on Twitter by the different bloggers. So all the credits go to these bloggers for the clicks and amazing snaps . You could use the twitter handle  to check for the posts and updates from different bloggers present at the event**

On the day : My pick up was from Ulsoor where the bus start time was 7.15 am, waking up that early on a Saturday morning for an IT guy is a pain in the a**, i admit it we are lazy. I actually had last-minute thoughts of backing out just to get that good long sleep. But “stop procrastinating things” being one of my 2016 New Year Resolution i was at the stop on time. The buses were already waiting for us, nice well conditioned AC buses a relief in the approaching Bangalore summer now. There were few of the Indiblogger crew members in their black t-shirts with #BNLF written on the back and then the bloggers. We exchanged the hi’s and hello’s and then the core team , scanned the QR code we had received a day earlier in our mails to confirm the registration (yeah they do cool things unlike putting a tick on the attendance sheets 😛 )

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the auto message we received when we checked in using the QR Code
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Our ride to the venue

We reached the venue in the expected time and there were folks who came from the other stop in another bus. I had one blogger friend whom i had known well but not spoken i was excited to meet him and we were like “finally we meet” also i had made a friend in the bus i had come. Ohh i missed the core team were so sweet, they actually got water bottles and biscuits for everyone in the bus knowing that for sure we must have not had anything in the morning. Goodday biscuits to start with on a good day… hihhihi . We were given the wrist bands from mango mist so that it would be easy to use the different facilities provided there. Anoop gave us a walk through of the different things that was gonna happen for the day. And he clearly said it was not like how the other meets had taken place(the one i had in mind and written in the beginning) it’s going to be all in all an outdoor event totally. After a quick warm up fun exercise we headed straight for the breakfast buffet and once we were done we gathered back at the centre point. Anoop was there again with his whistle so that we all paid attention to him 😉 Then the Flipkart head , am sorry i missed his name told us about the different products that was put for display and the happy news that we get to use them as part of the days events unfold.

Briefing up
Briefing up

Team: We were then divided into seven teams of ten member each and that when i made my Blogger Friends 🙂 – Team 07

Team 07
Twitter tweets was part of the mini contests as part of the event 🙂

Then we had one captain for each team our’s being Rajiv , i instantly connected with him cause he visited the Andaman Nicobar Islands – my hometown (I can be biased at times) and then there were others in my group Vinay (my blog friend)Rekha (first new friend in the meet)ReemaFarooqDarpanAjay , Reeyan, Ankit,and Deepesh.

The products: Rajiv was handed over a sheet which had the mini competitions lined up for the day. There were six tables which had seven different products that would enhance any persons outdoor experience like the Samsung S2 gear watches (super cool stuff, its your mobile on your watch dial, health at hand you name it and they have it), RedChief Shoes (these were for the men), Altec Lansing Bluetooth Speakers (will post a video at the bottom of the page do check it out without fail), Polaroid Cube (this was my fav), Sony Action Cams (another hit in the crowd), Coleman Tents (they had a variety of things like tents, portable chairs and lavatory, water cans etc). polaroidsamsung

Activities: After the briefing was done, each team got one each of these products which we need to use for the different competitions set for the bloggers, below is the list.

Different gadgets to be used
Different gadgets to be used

Then we were given the coupons of all the activities present in the resorts which we could enjoy. It was super fun. Everyone trying to experience the outdoor activities some who were damn good at it and some for whom it was the first time. People were having fun the whole day. Everyone was networking trying to know other bloggers, it was a brainstorming session going all around along with the fun games.activities

After lunch everyone gathered back at the central point at the whistle of Anoop and there were prize distributions for the mini events like setting up the Coleman tent fastest, rock climbing finishers, creative tweets etc. The last day of the event was the Paintball yeah !! We were again divided into team of eight and then we headed to the paintball ground. Paintball as always was fun. Our match was against the other half of our initial team so it was pretty funny that we were fighting it out among ourselves. But on the battle ground your team is your team and we had a good match. It was surprisingly a draw in our case cause we both defended our posts amazingly well.

As the day ended, people who were friends virtually were now shaking hands and exchanging goodbyes in person, people giving each other stay in touch messages, taking note of the bloggers mail id and blog details, hoping to meet next time in another meet everyone boarded the bus and were off to their homes with hearts filled with an experience of a lifetime(that specially for the first timers like me). Reiterating again, it was a well-organized event. A loud round of applause to the Indiblogger IndiCrew for putting up an awesome day out for us bloggers

It was an amazing experience, blogging to me has changed me as a person in so many ways. And meeting the folks from this community has even more encouraged and motivated me to continue this blogging journey of mine. Looking forward to another amazing IndiMeet to know another set of crazy bloggers!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

P.S: Nothing is complete without a perfect selfie 😉

Team Selfie by Captain Rajiv

More pics from the event – Photos

The Altec Lansing bluetooth speakersWatch video here

Twitter handle for more info: #FlipkartOutdoors

Current feeling: 

#MusicBringsLife – One hour of Awesomeness

This Post is in response to the Indispire series hosted by Indiblogger (if you are an Indian blogger you got to be on this, if not head straight to the site like right now), Edition 104 : No one can hate music as it uplifts your mood accordingly. Which genre or one is your favourite? You can dedicate the post to a form or an artist too.

I listen to a lot of music ranging from Indian Carnatic music to Rock depending on my mood.  Knowing a handful of Indian languages makes my options of listening to Indian music even more. And having a bunch of friends who are into Rock and EDM and House is another plus.The best part about music is you got one for every mood you are going through. You have music for every occasion, you have music for every kind of human being its a totally different world.

Some of my favorite quotes on music are below:

> Play the moments, Pause the memories,Stop the pain,Rewind the happiness

> Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand.

>Your heart ❤ is just a beat box for the song of your life

 I had a tough time when i started going for walks. I used to play all these high energy beat music while i walk but ended up shaking a leg or two or simply grooving while walking.. and getting stares from people. 😛 😛 😛 Don’t even try imagining the scene its awkward.

Keeping the post short and straight to the point, the music which lifts my mood no matter where i am or what mood I am is David Guetta’s Ultra Music Festival 2015,Miami show. Its one hour of absolute awesomeness specially for people who love loud music, people who can’t stop dancing. In fact even while working at office when i need to focus on some particular task i am doing this is what i listen to and all the other sounds just vanish in the background.

So let me know did you enjoy this one hour of absolute awesomeness.?? Share your votes, hardly takes seconds 🙂 Let me know your fav music in the others options

Be high on music , be high on life!!! 🙂 ❤

#‎ThisThingCalledLove‬ – Yes it exists

When you see people falling apart in relationships, getting divorced from just within weeks to years being in a married life, hearts breaking in college canteens, in office parking lots, people moving out of each others lives just by dropping a text message which reads “its over” or sometimes people just chose to walk out of someones life even without saying a word, you begin to imagine there is no such thing called love. There is no such thing called “happily ever after”. Love stories seem to be all different kinds of lies portrayed in a beautifully packaged manner on big screens. You kind of give up on love. 

And then you see few stories which are just beyond words, which makes you realize that there is called true love. Happily ever after do exist. Eternal love stories do exist. And one such story that makes me believe in love every single time is the story of my parents. Their love for one another is so magnetic and so strong that even after five years since my mother left us forever on her way upto heaven, their love story is as new as it was in 1980.

My mother, the heroine of the love story- Late Mrs. Hawaumma (which means first lady in someones life) was from a Muslim religion and was working as a teacher. The hero of the movie my dad Mr. Sasi Kumar, a Nair Hindu fellow was working with the Timber Co operation. Both these people in a beautiful place my hometown – Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Dad was this young 28 yr old brat who had just started working and was enjoying life to its fullest. Mom, 27 yr old focused towards her job, an achievement for her cause she had been through enough struggles back in those days to even get proper education one being a gal and second her religion always were her shackles while growing up. Well theirs was not love at first sight but definitely a proper Bollywood movie – romance, action, drama,conspiracy you name it and all of these was in their love story. Both mom and dad had one best friend each who were the love birds of the town and back in late 70’s to roam around in public was not as easy or close to as it is today. So both these love birds were accompanied by their best friends to all the lovey dovey spots they went by my parents. While the love birds spent quality time together, my parents would spend time talking about life, dreams and aspirations eventually making them best friends. 

And just like always “A guy and a girl can never become best friends” people started talking about them. Their friendship was being questioned, people would talk behind their back. Well this didn’t stop them from making their friendship stronger. But when things went out of hands and my moms family got to know about the rumours in town, she was questioned, her job was at stake and all those typical movie scenes you could remember just visualize those (well that’s what i did when she told me their love story when i was a kid).

My dad being this dignified gentleman asked my mom to marry her – so this was like a Hindu guy and a Muslim girl getting married. Even in 2016 honor killing stories surfaces up this was back in 1970’s so you can imagine the amplitude of shock people had including my mother. My mother definitely had true feelings for dad as a friend he was her best friend and she didn’t want to ruin it and said no to his proposal. My dad being this even more true friend to her didn’t want her to be in trouble in anyway. He couldn’t take people talking about her character in even the slightest of disrespectful manner. So he convinced her and against all family and society they got married on 10th Feb, 1980. Yeah the valentine week!!! :) There was lot of melodrama, moms parents being against it, threatening calls to my dad. But with a bunch of close friends who still are by our side helped these two friends tie up in a beautiful bond called marriage. 

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Technically speaking it was arrange marriage cause my dad fell in love with my mom after they got married, before that they were best friends!So yeah these two people got married against all odds. With no support from anyone they stood strong for one another and built a beautiful world of their own and that got completed when my brother and me were born to them. 

Ours was a middle class, happy family- dad,mom, bhaiya and me. Life was good. My parents always told us how strong family values should be, how no matter what family is where love begins and ends. My dad would make all the decisions in the house but it always was discussed and approved by mom. They remained like friends even after the wedding. That’s how i kept seeing them while my growing years.

He never asked my mother to change her name or religion after their wedding. When one day when she was newly married and had been to school the Hindu teachers asked he to put sindoor bindi etc like how hindu brides are supposed to be. And when she came back from school my dad saw her and told her that he liked her for how she was, what she was. He asked her to be the same Hawaumma, his best friend and not change for society or for him. He respected her religion, her values, her invidiuality,her existence. That to me is #ThisThingCalledLove

But our world fell apart when my mom fell crashing on the ground one morning in the year 2000. She was rushed to the hospital and then the tests the reports came she was suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis – a chronic progressive disease causing inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformity and immobility, especially in the fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles. This was very new to people back home. And since then till 17th July 2011 when she left us all here alone i have seen her go through immense pain and suffering. Many reasons for that lack of knowledge about the whole disease, trying all possible kinds of healing Allopathy, Ayurveda, Homeopathy even doing all the non scientific stuff cause of the only hope that she would be better one day. 

Well this story is not about the sufferings of my mom, or about the disease. This story is about Love these two people had. This story is more about my dad. This story is how my dad loved my mom. I have learnt from him what it is to love unconditionally beyond physical appearance and looks, to take care of the loved ones first and think about yourself later. My mom’s story is complete if its not my dad who had been with her all those years of pain and suffering and instead just showered her with love,care, trust, faith and hope and the will to be a better person the next day. 

He kept her before himself and loved her with all that he had. He would cook for her, feed her, stay awake all night when mom would be in pain, help her do every single thing. And on top of all this tolerate all her crankiness cause of her medicines she was taking. Times when he would lose his temper but come back and say sorry only to make her feel good. He loved her like her baby. Only thing in his mind 24×7 was her and her health. He would go beyond his comfort zone to do anything to see that little smile on her face in all that pain. Sometimes we don’t realize but more than the person who is ill its the pain the loved ones around kinda bear every day.

When her cremation rituals was going on people asked how do you want to do it – the hindu style or the muslim style and my dad only said whatever she wanted. Well my mom had told her best friends and me that whenever she dies she wanted her body to be buried and not burnt she was too scared of fire. So we did do the cremation as she wanted. My dad chose to do what she wanted not what his religion demanded. That for me was #ThisThingCalledLove.

And what holds this love story so important for me and beautiful to me is not because its about my parents but its because its a love story which continues even after one person in the story has left this world. My dad would keep a portion of all the food items every meal separate first and then have his own from the last five years. And when we asked him the first time why he did it, he said “am so used to feeding her first since the last 11 years that i can’t take a bite without giving her first even though she is not here anymore”. My brother and me were speechless. We didn’t know what to tell him. That for me was #ThisThingCalledLove

He still buys birthday and anniversary greeting cards for mom, would write a small message for her and keep it near mom’s pic in the living room. He would visit her grave almost every other day, every ocassion – every 17th of every month(that’s the date when she passed away),her  birthday, their anniversary, our birthdays, festivals both Hindu and Muslim ones, even on teachers day and whenever anything important. The latest being when my dad bought an Activa for himself (kinda trend among men in the 60’s to buy Activa) and took it to show mom. :)

He lives every day loving her even more and more. He lives every day waiting to meet her in another world. He lives every day for her children- bhaiya and me. He lives every day knowing that the only woman he loved ever was her. 

That love is the love which makes me grow every single day knowing that Love is Pure. Love is not just in this world love is when the partner is in another world. Love is to appreciate those smallest of things that would make the partner smile. Love for me are my Parents Love Story.

May all of us find love in our lives. Love which is unconditional. Love which doesn’t demand. Love which only knows to give. Love which only knows the happiness of the other.

This post is a part of ‪#‎ThisThingCalledLove‬  activity hosted on Women’s Web calling out for  #InvitingLoveStories

Ending it with one of my favorite love song – 

Happy Valentines Day!! Live. Love.Laugh.

Happen to see this image on a talented illustrators fb page that i follow religiously and couldn’t stop from sharing it here. It totally summarizes my post. Thanks a ton friend. 

Please do check out his fb page Inkology, some really good stuff on the wall. 

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Yin Yang Zentangled – Post 04

Unless you see the bad you would never realize what good is, unless you know how to cross darkness you wouldn’t enjoy what it is to be in light and unless you know what  it is to be feel being chained you would never enjoy what it is to be free.

Today i am one step closer to something that i have been going through since quite sometime and would tell you all one day the story behind it. For now to celebrate it and to make that journey more stronger for me this is what i drew last night.

THE DARKEST NIGHTS PRODUCE THE BRIGHTEST STARS !!!

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Yin Yang Zentangled

I have a small should I be posting these drawing like a blog post under the drawing category or make a separate page for all my drawings. I am always confused with pages and posts in WordPress 😦 Please let me know your suggestions, would really appreciate it.