Monday, June 27, 2005

Nice people, Decent Coffee, and Some Excellent Food: The June Blogmeet

A very good time was had yesterday at the Mumbai Bloggers Blogmeet. 12 bloggers turned up at the Regal Barista. Coffee flowed like . . .umm. . . coffee, conversation sparkled, there was much laughter, and an excellent time was had.

Here's all who attended in alphabetical order (blame it on my last project - the client insisted that all lists be in alpha order):

Amit Varma - India Uncut
Chandrahas Choudhury - Middlestage
Mandar Talvekar - Ink Scrawl
Nandan Pandit - Nandan, blogged!
Rahul Bhatia - Green Channel
Ravikiran Rao - The Examined Life
Saket Vaidya - Psychotic Ramblings of a Mad Man
Sameer Gharat - The Opti Mystic
Seema Ramachandra - Maverick Musings
Sonia Faleiro - Colour of Water
Yazad Jal - AnarCapLib
Zainab Bawa - CityBytes

Rahul turned out to be fellow Harry Potter fan and we both hoped that the sixth book in the series turns out to be good. Self promised to send him a "spoof" of the Half Blood Prince that's doing the email rounds and another Harry Potter fan fiction novel that has the characters as adults in hmm... "adult situations." Sonia uncorked her "collective wisdom" (as she put it) about freelancing and had tips right from which publications to write for to collecting dues from recalcitrant accountants. Yazad called Amit to say that he's reaching the meet in 7 to 9 minutes, walked in, and promptly got into an argument (nay, friendly discussion) with Chandrahas by remarking that he found Arundhati Roy's prose "enchanting." Ravikiran, Nandan, Zainab, and Sameer were at the other end of the (3) tables that we had occupied -- so I couldn't make out what was being said there. Noticed that Ravikiran was holding forth on some topic and the others were rapt in attention.

Much leg pulling also happened. Rahul seemed to be the most favored target though each of the (ex and presently working) Wisden members (Amit and Chandrahas were the others) had their moments too as did Yazad and Saket. Ravikiran dogged Yazad with his camera and I think he managed to click a few pics of the great gourmet (and not gourmand as Yazad clarified) was mixing his coffee (and that's a sight to see). Goats, specifically one huge goat "the size of a pony" were also brought up in conversation, delectable kababs of Noor Mohamedi were extolled and recommended by those few who had sampled them.

The junta finally moved out of Barista after about two and half hours (and after one minor tiff with a waiter over the number of tables we had occupied) and made their way to the Gateway of India. Some serious discussion happened on the agenda for the rest of the evening. Sonia dropped out at this point of time (saying that she had to get to her laptop and blog about this wonderful meet) and the rest moved to the terrace of hotel Strand. There, looking out at the sea, some alcoholic beverages were consumed by some as were Banjara and Harabara kababs. Ravikiran and Yazad held forth on how they got into Libertarianism. Saket and Nandan got into an animated discussion about the role of HR professionals in organizations. Yazad and Rahul said their goodbyes here. Yazad managed to charm the ladies present, Seema and Zainab, away from Amit and they too left with him. Amit consoled himself - "I still have Saket." More animated discussion happened. Dinner, specifically the venue was discussed. Ravikiran and Sameer decided to drop out. The remaining five made their way to Cafe Bagdadi where a notice board admonished among other things:
  • Please do not argue with employees of the restaurant.
  • Any person misbehaving with the customer or staff shall be handed over to police.
and informed us:
  • Food may not be served to drunken persons.
(more here)

Since we all appeared sober, food was promptly brought to us (Admonishment 9: Please do not sit for a long time). Excellent chicken fry masala and chicken fry stew were had with huge, soft, tandoor rotis --- some of the best restaurant fare I have had in ages (just writing about it is making my mouth water again) and very VFM. Finally 5 satiated bloggers footed the bill (Admonishment: Please tender the exact change.), walked out, and at an adjacent shop glugged some soft drinks (Nandan and Self shared the new 7up Ice -- ok drink) and then finally split. It was around 2100 hrs.

Marvelous way to spend a Sunday. If you blog (or plan to) do come for the next blogmeet. We are really nice people to know.

Amit's account of the blogmeet: Sunday Bloggy Sunday
Sonia's story: Bloggers Eets Are Neat
Rahul's account: The Others at the Blog Meet
Sameer's post: Mumbai Loggers Eet
Saket's report: Mumbai Bloggers’ Meet, June Edition (Read it -- he calls me a "Good natured, jaunty individual.":) )


Rahul said...

"Yazad and Rahul said goodbye", not Rohit! :) Thanks for the spoof. I'll get to it later today. I put up an account of the meeting as well. It's slightly different.

mandar talvekar said...

hi Rahul,
Am I embarrassed? Extremely sorry.How could I commit such a mistake (and after reading the post twice -- that's why publications refused to take me on as a proofreader in my early days)! It has been rectified.