The second edition of meeting bloggers took longer to publish than I would have liked. Anyway, I was glad to have met many blogger friends, although I wish I had more time to meet the ones I couldn’t. Yazad, Ravikiran, Anand, Charu, Gautam, Neel, and Sonia, I wish our schedules could have matched but then there is always a next time. Now that I think of it, I actually met less people that I missed meeting. It would have been too presumptuous of me to call for a Mumbai Bloggers meet.
I was glad to have met the big daddy of the desi blogosphere — Amit
Varma. Ever since he published his
tsunami and cricket posts in form of pithy messages from the field, I
was hooked on India Uncut. Of course, his PJs and snarky comments on
mundane daily news make his blog worth reading especially on a dull
dreary day; not that you wait for such a day. We nearly missed each
other as he was in Bombay for a short while before flying off to
Pakistan and I squeezed in a quick visit to JW Marriot before leaving
for Panvel. Unfortunately, I couldn’t meet up with IIPM-killer, Gaurav
Sabnis but I spoke with him briefly
on phone. I had envisioned spending an hour but soon Amit and I were
engrossed in conversation that covered practically everything under the
sun, right from libertarian politics (that had to come up, right?) to
cricket gossip. He comes across as an intelligent person who has an
opinion on all things political, social, economic, and cultural and his
excellent blog, India Uncut deservedly won the Indiblog of the Year
award recently. Also, he has promised to visit Houston so that I can
treat him to at least two cups of cappuccino.
Dilip D’Souza (Death Ends Fun) contacted me after I landed in India. After playing phone tag and couple of text
messages later, Ash and I dropped in at his home in Bandra.
Unfortunately we missed meeting his wife and kids but the first thing
that caught my eye was his immense collection of books on a groaning
rack. But that was only expected. For the next hour, we learnt a lot
about each other and we were pleasantly surprised to learn that he had
spent much of his time in the US at Austin, barely couple of hours from
my current home. He drastically changed our Spring break plans by
fiercely promoting Big Bend State Park in south Texas and even
graciously lent us a tour book, asking us to return it after we had
been down there.
In between errands during preparation for my engagement, I managed to
squeeze in a visit to Vashi and was lucky to have caught Peter Griffin in town. If you are wondering who he
is, it is actually a compliment to a blogger who was behind one of the
biggest blog stories of last year. He along with Rohit Gupta and Dina
Mehta had headed up the SEA EAT blog and lent a new meaning to managing
information regards disaster relief. He readily agreed to meet me at
Center One. He turned out to be exactly as he described himself over
the phone; long hair and profusely bearded. We chatted up on a host of
topics relating to the blogosphere in general and the future of blogs.
Few thoughts regards DesiPundit were exchanged, which I gladly
acknowledged but frankly had no quick answers to his queries. He
partially disagrees with the concept of DesiPundit though; specifically
regards any blog that functions on physical boundaries. But then again,
in my defense, we have seen DesiPundit grow beyond mere physical
boundaries and restrict itself simply to make sense in the
ever-increasing chaos of the blogosphere. Poor mom after sitting with
us for a while wandered around and treated herself to some yummy
rasgulla at the nearby food stall.
The last blogger I met before I left India was our very own DesiPundit
contributor, Saket aka Vulturo, the Prince of Darkness. Unfortunately we could talk
only for a brief time at Phoenix Mills compound in between shuttling
from Khar to Napean Sea Road. We really appreciated him coming down all
the way to meet us especially after having a tiring day at work and
being caught up in mad Mumbai traffic. He found me to be younger than
he thought and I thought him to be older than he is. But in the little
time we had, we managed a whole lot of gossip regarding the Indian
blogosphere especially with our DesiPundit experience. Oh yeah! we link
you but that doesn’t stop us from gossiping about you. Saket seemed
pleased with the DesiPundit sticker and button that I gave him.
Hopefully when our coffers are full, I can fly down the entire
DesiPundit team for a gala get-together.
Again, I wish I had more time on my hands to meet more of you. But as
you might agree too, family comes first and no excuses can be offered
especially if you stay away from them for a long time.