Super-excited, we three girls headed towards The Venue. Yes, The Lalit, it was. Mesmerized that we were, we began clicking pictures, posing ridiculously each and every time just for the sake of it. I was dying to meet a dear friend of mine, because of whom I had signed up for the meet, wrote a post for Stayzilla and yeah, pretty much decided to travel and stay alone in this unknown city. I remember squealing like little girls when
we I found that the meet was at The Lalit. Yeah, only after a week did I read where the meet is to be held at when it was always right in front of my eye, staring in Big Capital Bold letters.
Having known her for over an year and a half, you can imagine the moment we met- Nibha and I. An amazing writer, she blogs at Expressions. Yes, we did squeal and embarrass the crowd that was standing next to us. We met another friend Jaibala, a true inspiration and an amazing story-teller. We know her through our cozy little writing community- BAR!
Spectacular! Obviously, it was at The Lalit. What else can you expect? Set up like an airplane, the stage and seating was great enough to host the 600+ bloggers who traveled from all over India (should I say, world? Because there were a few who could make it from Seattle!).
Being a first timer at the Indiblogger meet, I didn’t know such a thing existed. Jaibala had to drag me to the front to “experience” it. And the result? I found myself singing to Sweet Child O’ Mine. I later did my research to find out that the IndiBand was in fact the bloggers from IndiBlogger. Whoa! The Masked Man is still a mystery to many! I intend to find who he is. Hmmph!
Purba Ray gave a great start to the meet with her signature humour and spunky attitude. The sessions of Arnab Ray and Anshul Tiwari was good enough as well. #authenticstories by Christopher Trappe got me hooked right from the start. Unlike others who ask you to write even when you are going through a writer’s block, he doesn’t! The best SEO strategy is sharing original #authenticstories. His idea of maintaining a blogging calendar was cool. (only if you want your blogging to take it to the next level). It was awe-inspiring to hear Jeff Bullas say ‘Many go to their grave with their song unsung. Your focus is to discover your passion’. While Kannan Gill got the audience laughing till their stomachs hurt, Preeti Shenoy gave an insight on her journey from being a blogger to an author. The crowd went crazy when Bruce Dickinson from the Iron Maiden stepped foot on the stage.
Clear Trip activities and the Lalit Food Truck:
Indiblogger had also arranged few fun activities with Clear trip. I could see girls going gaga over Harley Davidson. I mean, seriously??? Well, I was wearing a dress and couldn’t even sit on it! And now you know why the envy!
Once the meet was over, we peeped in to the backstage party and headed straight to our hotel room. Nibha was surprised to find a little token of love from me. I love to bring smiles! 🙂 We talked till wee hours in the morning.
Many of us feel that Day Two was much more fruitful and fun than Day One. The two sessions by Christopher and Jeff made us all ponder over the various aspects of blogging. I scribbled the notes to glory!
And the food? Extraordinary. I even went up to the Chef to say a good word about the Chicken in White Wine Sauce.
What did BNLF give me?
A newbie to blogging, I thought I would be sitting in one corner of the room, unnoticed by any. I was surprised to see many walking up to me asking if I was the Tomato Girl! Oh yes, they did! I was shocked to be asked about my food blog, about the Mardaani post I had written a year back and just being asked whether I am Shalini. Wow! I still have goosebumps.
I do not believe I am an introvert, but yes sometimes, it takes time. But here, it didn’t. Maybe I was so eager to attach a face to the blogs I read. I went up to many. I made quite a good number of friends and discovered many new blogs as well. I was so looking forward to meet Ananya and Sharu – two bloggers who I have read from the beginning. And guess what, we were exhausted from all the selfie sessions! Girls are girls, I say!
BNLF- the most disruptive conference on blogging- true to its very word!
Thanks, Indi Team for making this happen!