Monthly Archives: December 2006

Global voices summit

Following the BBC meet, a lot of us bloggers had wondered and brainstormed about organising a large scale workshop where bloggers could discuss myriad topics. We were very sure that we didnt want to set any expectations by calling it a “blogcamp” or a “barcamp” or an “unconference meet” but still wanted a large scale formal “event”. We were also more or less sure of the topics that we didn’t want to hash out anymore like MSM vs blogosphere, how to earn money thru blogs etc. We had brainstormed over a couple of topics and come up with new insights. Interestingly some of the topics of discussion that we shortlisted mapped exactly – as we learnt later – onto the topics that Global voices had selected for its discussions. Moreover it was all that we wanted to organise and more. It was a large scale event spanning the entire world, not even just a city or a country. It also talked about reaching out to more and more people and enabling people to communicate through blogging which was exactly what we wanted to address. So it was with much merriment that I wanted to be a part of Global voices online summit 2006 when I learnt that not only was it happening in Delhi but also that it was addressing two of the things we had discussed – Blogging outreach and multilingual blogging.

The other thing that drew me to the GV summit 2006 was the fact that it was a chance to get to meet many bloggers, not virtually but in realtime. This includes other Indian bloggers as well. Though this meet couldn’t have been called a “global bloggers meet”, for all practical purposes it was that. I also wanted to be a part of something constructive to do with blogging, something that could constitute a “movement”, something that wanted to make a positive change, something where people were actually keen on thinking out of the box and “evolving”.

16th of Dec saw me wrapping up a couple of chores first before finally reaching the venue – India Habitat Centre. One just needed to enter the room to realise that it was blogging at its best. Most people were carrying laptops and were furiously typing away, either writing accounts or uploading pictures. Though I was carrying my laptop, I soon realised that it was practically futile since the wireless connection wasn’t too strong for some reason. The conference discussed the blogging outreach that had been referred to and a presentation was given by some people who had tried implementing outreach somehow. The discussion then proceeded to tools/technology for remaining anonymous on the net. There was a discussion on multilingual blogging and a means to translate things in a common language to things in an uncommon language and vice versa. There were some good ideas in all cases. After the conference everyone got a lovely Global Voices tee. There was some random brain storming on some topics which made interesting food for thought. In the end we all got a group snap taken. Some pics.

Apart from the wonderful lunch, a dinner by the pool side had also been organised for those interested. I got to meet a lot of other Indian bloggers like Neha, Aparna, Peter, Sakshi, Jace, Preetam (though he considers himself chinese), Dina, Parmesh (the “fresh lime soda” guy), Shyam and of course the usual delhi bloggers gang. After the conference I had the pleasure of witnessing a practice session going on for some performance which was being done to highlight the fast dying art of playing the snake charmer been in India (minus the snakes). The beautiful sound with a number of instruments, was very much like hearing bagpipes with a poignant and soulful tinge to them. All in all a day very well spent indeed. It was a pleasure to meet all you guys and a zillion thanks to the wonderful organisers!

Atithi devo bhav

This is the first time I am doing a guest post. And then who else but Aashish to do it with. Old readers of this blog may remember to some extent how he was somehow a catalyst for my ‘entry’ into the blogworld. It’s been a while since Aashish has stopped blogging. To put it more in his style, (in bollywood terms i.e.), he gave up all the glory and fame when he was at his peak, typically like bollywood nymphets (for the sake of parenthood). I suspect his reason was pretty much centered around the same. Anyhow here’s hoping that this morsel of that lovely, exquisite dish, he so loved at some point of time, may revive in him, the will enough for a proper ‘re-entry’ instead of a ‘No-entry’ that he obsesses about below. Over to Aashish. Verbatim.


Opportunity knocks once…

But for me Boney Kapoor knocked twice. Thanks to that and Twilight Fairy’s constant reminders about getting back to blog world – I used to write Ashification once upon a blue moon – I have finally been convinced into doing this one “guest post”, which aptly goes on TF’s blog.

Before I narrate the story, I must admit that I am a reasonable fan of Boney Kapoor’s masala work. Most of his movies fall under the classic Bollywood genre of nothingness – movies with no story, no objective, no takeaways and certainly no intelligence – but still watchable and entertaining – in short, ideally what Bollywood stuff should be. However, after he produced ‘No Entry’, I have elevated him to a different league altogether. ‘No Entry’ to me remains one of best movies ever (so if you are a prude, you can stop reading further).

Ok, so back to Boney Kapoor.

Earlier this year in April, I was flying from Chennai to Mumbai. My Jet flight was delayed at Chennai and we were packed to the airport lounge. There I spotted Boney Kapoor, who was on the same flight. I went to him and said hi and congratulated him on the fantastic effort on ‘No Entry’ and its well deserved success (apparently grossed over 70 crs worldwide). He looked hassled – as if his attempts to genuinely buy rights of few latest Tamil / Telugu hits had failed and he would have had to truly remake them – but he still acknowledged me and my lovely thoughts.

Since airport lounge food is bland and may be because both our bellies needed some rest anyway, we had nothing much to do except for waiting for the departure announcement. So then he asked what I was into and so on. One thing led to another and we talked about things like movie likings of IT folks, why comedies work and how hit movies are produced (in all honesty, I am not an authority on that bit, but then neither is Boney Kapoor!).

That was one day I rued that fact, that I had stopped blogging. Anyway – everyone who should have known, and more – was narrated that story. Most people who know me probably realized I am capable of feeling excited about such a meeting, as if it was a date with Aishwarya Rai, and probably didn’t give it too much of a thought.

Cut to last weekend. I am in Amsterdam, on a short assignment. Sunday was free and I decided to explore the gorgeous Dutch countryside. I was on a bus that takes you around the small country in a few hours. The bus came to its last stop Madurodam. It’s a toy city, a miniature world, which has a replica of all important Dutch landmarks. As the bus was coming to a halt, I saw a familiar figure outside – Boney Kapoor!

I promptly scampered out, hoping he doesn’t leave – went to him, and said hi a second time. This time he was more relaxed. He asked me where I am coming from and the likes. I told him about my trip, Amsterdam base and so on, hoping (and you would have realized by now, I am capable of nurturing such a hope) that he would recognize me from that April evening. It’s also not difficult to guess he didn’t. I asked him if he was shooting a movie (hoping again, that I get to meet more stars), but he told me he was on a family holiday. I was about to ask him, which family – but then – and I should take a deep breath here – I spotted the 1980s Queen of Bollywood herself walking to where we stood.

Since the Kapoors didn’t look in a hurry, I chatted with them for a few minutes about – well obviously – how I loved ‘No Entry’ and their movies and how I was a big fan of Sridevi in her heydays. Between April and now, I have graduated from an obsolete Nokia 3310 to a sleek N91. Intending to make the best use of the new gizmo, I requested for a photograph (I could have clandestinely shot a video but then I am generally conscientious). They refused and refused and refused, saying it was a personal holiday, they didn’t want people to know and be talked about.

While I was genuinely disappointed, it was probably worth honoring the wish, just in case “people who should not know” stood for “creditors who have not been paid since ‘Roop Ki Rani Choro Ka Raja’ bombed big time” (had a 15 cr budget in 1990 or so!). The BIG 1980ish antique looking Mercedes, standing nonchalantly next to them, led credence to that theory. In any case my idea was to click a pic and get it published on Rediffs “Have you spotted a star” section, which the experienced duo might have guessed. I finally bade them farewell before getting lost in the awesome world of Madurodam.

So here I am. Despite having had the distinction (that’s what I consider it) of having spent more than 45 minutes of my otherwise bland life with none other than Boney Kapoor, I don’t have his autograph or a photograph with me. I don’t even have an offer of any roles in the countless new slapstick comedies, tragedies and romances that either BSK Productions or Marwah Studios are currently in the process of churning out. I would have even settled for an Assistant Director – may be third Assistant would also have done – but that would I suppose need a third meeting with Boney Kapoor.

Until then, I would sincerely keep feeling excited about my closest brushes with one of my biggest passions – Bollywood.