I stood outside the conference hall waiting to be let in for the mega event BNLF (Blong Now, Live Forever), conference organized by Indiblogger. Looking at the happy, eager faces of bloggers, young and old alike, I preened at the fact that this was my grandchild, so to speak. Don’t get it? Well, you will as you read along.
Disclaimer: If this post reads soppy and mushy, it was intended to read that way!
Did I say waiting outside the hall? Oh yes. No special privileges for the mother of one of the founder members. Of course, the kids – Vineet, Swati, Karthik, Renie, Nandita, Nihal…came out to greet me as soon as they spotted me – asking if I had reached comfortably, if I had had breakfast and…..if I had the hard copy of the pass for entry, the last question posed by Vineet.
In his typical understated style, Renie remarked, ‘It is so good to see you at an Indiblogger event, aunty!’ By the time I finished replying him, and the question of the pass sank in, I realised that the kids had all vanished – to take care of things more important! When Vineet told me to keep my I-card and a hard copy of the pass as I don’t use a smartphone, I had innocently asked, ‘But you will be there, won’t you?’
‘I don’t know where I will be,’ he had hedged. Now I knew! I stared after their backs with my jaw hanging open at being left behind with the hoi polloi. The Cybernag, no less! Oh well!
But that is the beauty of the Inditeam, as they call themselves. Everyone is equal in their eyes – even Vineet’s mother! I was a blogger first and his mother later, so no privileges and it made me feel proud of their integrity, not upset at being treated as another blogger. As for the team itself, there is no leader – they are a TEAM in the true sense of the word. I bet even the cute little Adina, Anoop and Diana’s four-year-old daughter has her say!
I looked around and thought that I might as well make the best of the time I had before we would be allowed in. We introduced ourselves. Not surprising that hardly anyone I met had heard of the Cybernag! It affirmed the fact in no uncertain terms that social media drives everything today – including blogs. But it was so nice to see young girls and boys brimming with their ideas, their blogs and their cheerfulness. It is energizing to just look at and listen to them.
The atmosphere was one of a family wedding. Excited voices, people hailing each other as familiar faces and friends were spotted and a lot of talk about the events about to unfold, and the guest speakers. And they were all so happy to be part of Indiblogger.
One thing was consistent: the immense goodwill among the blogging community for the the Inditeam. The members were here, there, everywhere along with their ‘crew’, and the best thing was that they were having fun, loads of it, despite being so wound up and dog-tired. We had not seen our son and the daughter for many months save fleetingly, so busy they had been with BNLF, but here they were as fresh as daisies and happy as larks. It was a sight to warm any heart and a mother’s most of all.
I harked back to the time Vineet had talked incessantly about the very first blogger meet he had helped organize in Pune when he was still doing his MBA. And when he was placed at the end of his course in a corporate job, I remember his father telling him, ‘You are not a seller of boxes. It would be a misfit of a job for you. You should market ideas.’ But children need to find out for themselves what they are good at and what they are not cut out to do. It wasn’t long before he realised the truth behind his father’s words and began chafing at the straitjacket he was being fit into.
Suffice to say that he was the blogger who sold his Wagon R if not his Ferrari to chase his dream! I won’t say that we didn’t worry about his career, but we let him find his wings. I am sure he wouldn’t have, had it not been for the team he became part of officially, after two years of ‘freelancing’. If there was one thing he was and is absolutely sure about, it is his friends who are part of his dream. They are a wonderful bunch of boys and girls each different from the other in everything except one: their passion for that wonderful entity that everyone is talking about today – Indiblogger. They talk, eat, sleep and dream Indiblogger. That is a great way to be and it has not changed in all the years I have known them.
One of the best things about the team is their sense of humour which makes them take things in their stride, even criticism without missing a step. And their band! Even its name is illustrative of this spirit: Blunder in the code! Then there was this picture in the entrance hall which was apparently a surprise even for the two ‘shady characters’, featured there and who had a hearty laugh over it.
Their passion is infectious as scores of Indicrew happily volunteered to work to make a massive event like BNLF a success. They might complain, crib and fight with the Inditeam, but they love them no less for it. It is this love that makes them forgive glitches during the events; like the time Anoop forgot to let Purba take questions after her presentation and she had gamely come back on stage later; like the hundreds of bloggers who had come from across the country at their own expense, much like one would to attend a family celebration; like participants laughing about the Indiband disturbing their sleep at 4.30 in the morning as they tested their sound equipment (living up to the tagline: The most disruptive blogging conference ever??); like bloggers worrying about Indiblogger spending such a huge amount to host a global event without a sponsor; like everyone lauding the kids for doing a fantastic job and telling them how much fun they were having…As I said earlier, it was no less elaborate, no less joyful and exuberant than a wedding minus the intrigues and attendant tensions for the participants.
This was one meet I had attended not as a blogger but as a mother just to bask in the glory of my children – including the daughter I have gained through Indiblogger. Meeting my old friend Purba was high on my agenda too. It is so good to see her still the same girl I had got to know over five years ago. Deepak and I sat together and just let things wash over us. It is immensely satisfying to take a back seat and let others take the lead and I am sure he will agree with me.
This is a very personal piece about the boys and girls of Indiblogger. So if you had not been there at the BNLF, you can catch all the action and backstage info from Anoop’s post here.