Delhi Bloggers blaze a trend 6

This article of mine got published in HT. I am posting it here as well.. That piece also carried Rajesh Lalwani’s post on microblogging.

Internet and blogging have both come a long way. In the days of yore, we used to have Web pages on Angelfire or Geocities. There was a trend of putting freely available javascript code on the “homepages” to add the bells and whistles. An occasional addition to the “guest count” was a luxury. Interaction with the “guests” was out of the question.
Cut to now. The homepage has been replaced by the blog. Unlike traditional writing, blogging is not just meant for reading or consuming, it also initiates interaction and creates conversation. Bloggers build upon the thoughts and ideas of other bloggers and they all engage in the conversation. The blog has gone from being just an ‘online diary’ to a tool of professional and personal growth. If you are a blogger, anything, including but not limited to, book deals, job offers, celeb status, help in remote corners of the planet, TV interviews, regular income and career changes can come your way. But blogging is not only about reclusive online expression or anonymity. With online interaction comes the need to meaningfully interact offline as well, which in turn enriches online interaction. Blog communities and meetings address that need – and do much more. Not only are such communities, a great way to network socially and professionally, they also introduce bloggers to like-minded people who share the same tastes and a diverse variety of interesting opinions. A bloggers meeting fits the bill for social networking and may also align itself to activities in line with a group’s interests. Meeting offline is now the most natural thing to do once you have interacted online. That could get you a venture partner, a job offer, new contacts – or love!

Delhi’s bloggers happen to have a strong community. The group called the Delhi Bloggers Bloc ( also happens to be possibly the oldest such community in India. It provides bloggers a common platform to interact online as well as offline apart from giving them a chance to share and promote their blogs. Frequent activities like photography/heritage walks, fun gatherings in pubs/cafes and serious meetings with agendas and outreach exercises, make sure that there is something in it for everyone. In fact so inspired was Sanjukta Basu, a veteran member of DBB, that she initiated another community on the same lines when she shifted to Bangalore. The Delhi bloggers community (DBB) was formed after some bloggers met at their first ever Delhi Blogger’s Meet on 13th January, 2004. The members recently celebrated the group’s 4th anniversary as well with a successful meeting. The group aspires to seek new and worthwhile ways to interact, learn, share, discuss and evolve both online and offline. The best part of this group is having so many people from diverse backgrounds, who one may not come across in the “normal” social circles one has. The group consists of an eclectic mix of people ranging from 14 to about 50 years of age with IT professionals, architects, chartered accountants, lawyers, doctors, journalists, social activists, housewives, army officers, media professionals, students, photographers, professional bloggers and others as members.

To be a member of the group, you can be a blogger who is or has been in Delhi or you can be a blog reader or someone who is keen on blogging and needs assistance in starting one. There is no age limit for joining. However if you are still studying, make sure your parents do not have a problem in your indulging in online activities. The group has had 23 officially chronicled meetings, a couple of unofficial meets, lots of history walks, sharing of photography tips, book reading sessions—and even kite flying days! The group, while being in the process of educatinonal exercises on blogging, has undertaken initiatives with voluntary groups and schools to help them harness the power of blogging. With so many forms of online interactions available, the group has its presence on social networking sites like Facebook and Orkut as well.

To encourage professional networking amongst the DBB members, the group has a presence in business networking sites like LinkedIn. It also has a presence on, the photo sharing site where they can share pictures from their blogger meetings as well as individual pictures.

There is a strong presence of photographers and photo bloggers in the group. With the advent of new media, the group has already had Delhi’s first Twitter meetup, for those who do mini-diaries on the go through It exists on Twitter as delhitweetup. The nerve centre of its interaction is however, a mailing list on Yahoogroups ( All that is not easy for those who have other things to do. Many active members have taken time off their workaday lives to make a community and sub-culture out of blogging.

(The author is a software professional, photographer and founder of Delhi Bloggers Bloc.)

DBM XXII – the first ever Delhi tweetup 16

Time for the next meet – DBM XXII – which is also the first ever Delhi tweetup.

Before we go ahead – let see what this confusing jargon is 🙂 (for those who are unaware of it).
A tweetup is a “twitter meetup”. Twitter is a tool used for microblogging. Microblogging is blogging micro updates.

That was twitter in short. One can update these microblogging updates through IM, sms or web. There are also several desktop clients to do the same. Through twitter one can choose to “follow” people and get to read their twitter updates. Similarly ppl who “follow” you would get to read your updates. Twitter is quick and easy, very good for bloggers who dont have much time to update their blogs 😛 :).

Some of us are on twitter already. Some ppl like Hillary and Obama are also there :D. It doesnt matter whether it is really them or their proxies but they are very regular there. Those who aren’t yet on twitter, but would like to be, can quickly join in. Once that is done, you can follow “delhitweetup” – the id created for delhi twitter meets. This id is currently following some of you already. So the twitter updates of Delhi twitter users would also be in one place.

Now for the real thing:

When : 16th March’08 (sunday)
What time : sometime in the evening – 4-ish.
What : get acquainted with each other. Demystify twitter for those who dont know it yet.
Where : you decide .. This would depend on the number of ppl willing to attend the same.
Please give your ayes and nayes here (or you could tweet them keeping @delhitweetup in your confirmation tweet).

Those who wish to follow me on twitter, my id is twilightfairy.

Happy tweeting!

सुस्वागतम 32

Welcome to my new abode online. All my material from the old blog is here as well. Some minor tweaking etc. would continue happening here for sometime. If you find anything amiss please let me know. In the meanwhile, taking a brief look at what all I plan to write about :

1. Hair today, gone tomorrow – hair raising tails.. long pending since eternity.
2. Photography of course. How can I not.
3. Pending tags and pending guest posts. Sorry Sakshi, the tag would be up soon. Amit, the guest post would follow soon.
4. Couple of movie reviews and photo essays.
5. My friends through the blog world.
6. Long defunct Finn times – I would surely try to revive it with travelogues and at least pictures.
7. A guest post on my new blog by my dear friend Aashish where.. err.. he talks about some rather controversial stuff about me, but for once I would let him.
8. And last but not the least – an interview I gave to NDTV’s Delhi channel.

For the real rose water spray and the real tinkling glasses of wine, one shall have to visit me in the real world in apna Gurgaon.

The mystery 2

The mystery of where I am, unfolds dramatically. I am very much here. This has been the longest ever gap in my posts … and an unplanned one at that. Lots has been happening even in blogging terms, but the action has been on flickr since quite some time now. I am a self confessed flickr addict. Here is a glimpse from 20 of my pictures that made it to flickr explore at some time. Flickr explore is a way devised by good old flickr ppl to showcase 500 of the best pictures in a day. The algorithm to do that is a bit skewed up though, but it’s fun anyway.

Hit a score!
The individual links of the pictures are here as well. 1. Rubies are red, 2. Reflections, 3. Mooning over the sun, 4. Where’s the party, tonight?, 5. Hold on, 6. Bala Quila, 7. The Ceiling, 8. Don’t let the sun go down on me,

9. The first step, 10. Venus approaching the moon at twilight, 11. Safdarjung tomb, 12. Clouding over, 13. Sway with the sunset, 14. Tootsie!, 15. Flames, 16. The Delhi bloggers meet – XI,

17. Heavens throwing light, 18. Symmetry in the petals, 19. More lighting, 20. And then God said, let there be light.

Created with fd’s Flickr Toys.

Apart from this there have been umpteen blog meets with Delhi bloggers happening. Lots of collaboration being done for lots of things. Sigh, so much to do, such little time. Thanks to all those who have been regularly visiting and reading through the archives. Yes, there’s a whole lot out there to keep you busy for quite some time :P. And here’s another first – anyone who wants to write directly can write to me at twilightfairy at gmail dot com. I am quite curious to know who has been reading this bloggie regularly from HSBC, Singapore 😛 🙂

Shedding light

When one has too many things to write about, one lands up in the kind of situ I am in. Not a writer’s block. Not a lack of time (I have written earlier even with scarcity of time). A mental state where ideas are aplenty but putting them down seems too arduous a task. Especially because of the mental backlog that has already accumulated. Going by past experience, it is best to post some and best to purge some. It has been a whole year today to the day I got back from Finland. I always intended to update Finntimes with travelogues about Paris, Switzerland, Copenhagen, the Arctic circle and best of all – the rest of my experiences in Finland which are definitely worth sharing. I still intend to do it, even though there’s been a substantial time gap. A chronicle is a chronicle is a chronicle. It gives one immense pleasure when read at a later date.

For starters, to break the discontinuity, I’ll finally oblige Atul Sabnis for he had tagged me, more than a month back. His tag says, “It has to be about your blogging experience, link us to what you believe are some of your best posts – tell us (at least now) why they are important to you – what you like about them. Keep it as free form as a possible – tell us a story. Tell us what blogging has meant to you, notwithstanding the opinion of the media (or anyone else).”

So here we go. Straight from the heart. I started blogging 3.5 years back mainly because it was a great way to share one’s creative writing endeavours. It’s a different thing, that today most bloggers would not even know what creative writing means. Though I had always maintained a physical personal diary for most of my formative years, I knew that the internet is definitely not a place for it, but creative writing and constructive feedback – yes. Blogging has been a very interesting journey so far. I never thought I would actually end up not only meeting a lot of people through this medium but also befriending some of them much more than friends met through the real world. I now know a lot of people outside what was my usual social circle – either engineers/ IT people or people from Army background. I have had the chance of seeing how blogging has evolved from a word which had to be spelt out and explained to everyone when I started, to the common word which has almost become a fashion statement now. Blogging has shown its power in terms of a lot of episodes which have rocked the blogworld or which have made the power of blogging have almost as much as an impact as main stream media. Being a part of the blogathon for the blank noise project was a big eye opener for many. The formation of a delhi bloggers group and continuous delhi blogger meets since 2.5 years ago has been a great outcome of this journey too. We have had fun meets and some serious meets like when BBC people have wanted to tap the capital for a feel of the blogger’s pulse here. We have had photography meets and book readings too. There are talks on to get into more serious business like spreading the word of blogging to those who dont know of it yet.

Personally, I have gone from the usual beginner’s point where every comment, every hit on my page seemed like an achievement TO not caring about it all anymore. I have seen ppl come to and go from the blogworld as often as the next bus, and I would be glad to say that so far so good – I am here to stay. I have consciously tried to never let blogging become an obsession. Priority has been over being rooted to the real world, having a life where blogging is not the only thing. It is yet another interesting hobby but not the only one. When I started I had grand plans – a personal (opinionated) blog, a travelogue, a blog only for music (had a beautiful instrumental piece on my main blog for a long time), a blog which would actually have audio/video (at that time podcasting was not even a concept), a blog for pictures (again things like flickr were not even a concept), an everchanging interesting template etc. But obviously doing so many things would need me to be only blogging fulltime. And consciously I had decided that I would never eat, drink, sleep – blogging. So all those ideas phased out in the germination stage. Having a readership, a faithful one at that, definitely gives a high. But then if one is that good, having one would not be an issue ever, whether in the blogworld or the real writers world. I tend to be very low on blog hopping. I barely visit some selected blogs of ppl who have now become my pals in the blogworld. Or people who come and comment here :). Blogging has been of a lot of help to me in the real world too. Though I have not been one of those to find love here (and haven’t even got my first cheque from google adsense), I have landed myself a place to stay in, during my stint in Finland when there was absolutely no other option left but to shift out of company paid accomodation. [Thanks Ankur]. I have also had the pleasure of having the option to show this ENT specialist whenever I have a problem :). [Thanks JW]. I have had a blogger’s kids coming up to me and saying “Oh! you are Twilight Fairy!!!!” :p. Never knew it was a family thing to visit certain blogs. :p.

In terms of selecting some of the best posts, that’s a toughie! Every time I go through archives, I go through yet another journey down memory lane. Reading a lot of posts, makes me feel astounded that *I* could have ever written those, they seem impeccable. Reading some of them also makes me wonder what I was thinking while writing them and how someone could have even appreciated them! When I do write, I try to make every piece worth the labour of reading it. A lot of thought goes into it. At times some research too. So I am not playing favourites here or let’s say I can’t afford to go through the “parental” task of choosing ones favourite child! The archives are all here. I have never deleted a single post till date. Never bothered to count how many they are, but am sure it can keep one occupied for days if one would like to bury one’s nose into this attic. Don’t we all just love going through those books with dogeared pages and dusty smells. :p. Here’s to many more such endeavours.