Saturday, November 16, 2013

PUNE BLOGGER MEET

We had a Pune Bloggers Meet on 10 November 2013.

Two Bloggers, Bhakti Sharma and Cynthia Vincent have written excellent posts about this meet:

Pune Bloggers Meet - Bhakti Sharma

Cynthia Vincent on Pune Bloggers Meet 10 Nov 2013

There is nothing much I can add to these eloquent posts.

So, let me dig into my blog archives and repost what I had written about the Pune Bloggers Meet we had at 11 AM on Saturday the 5th of May 2012 at RajLaxmi Sabhagruha, Kothrud, Pune.

PUNE BLOGGERS MEET
A Report
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Part 1 - BLOGGER MEETS IN PUNE

When you “retire” you have two choices.

You can hang out with your fellow retiree “oldie-goldies” and make your life miserable in the company of pessimistic, gloomy, cynical old-fogies who keep living in the past, carping and complaining about the present, and speculating and worrying about the future.

In short you can succumb to what I call the “Auld Lang Syne” complex. This is guaranteed to make you feel older than your chronological age.

The other choice is to spend your time in the company of lively enthusiastic youngsters who have a zest for life. This is what I prefer to do, for it makes me feel young and cheerful.

That’s why I decided to attend and actively participate in the Pune Bloggers Meet the moment I came to know about it on the IndiBlogger IndiVine.

Chronologically I may have been the oldest participant, but those present will agree with me, that I am quite young at heart, and in enthusiasm and passion, I am as young as, or maybe, even “younger” than many who are half my age.

Though I have been blogging for around 9 years, this was my second Bloggers Meet.

MY FIRST BLOG CAMP

Around six and a half years ago (on 16 June 2007) I participated in BlogCampPune at SCIT in the Rajiv Gandhi InfoTech Park in Hinjewadi. 

It was a huge sponsored affair and the focus was more on the business opportunities from Blogging, rather than the creative aspects.

Though they called it an “unconference”, the proceedings were quite structured and the event was dominated by the marketing guys and the IT Nerds – the Bloggers hardly had any say. 

However, Blogging was still in its nascent stage in India, and as a budding blogger, this BLOG CAMP was quite an informative and instructive experience.

I wrote a blog post about the Blog Camp the next day:


(Click the link above to open and read in a new window later)

Though we got plenty to eat and lots of freebies, it was like attending a trade show or a seminar. 

I hardly got to personally interact with fellow bloggers and though I was educated about various aspects of blogging, especially from the technical and commercial points of view, there was nothing much for a simple blogger like me who blogged to showcase my creative writing and who wasn’t much interested in the business opportunities from blogging.

In contrast, the Pune Bloggers Meet (on 05 May 2012) which was more of a social get-together of the IndiBlogger Members of Pune, where the focus was on social interaction, fellowship and kinship, and the friendly informal atmosphere facilitated the formation of creative personal relationships between fellow Bloggers from Pune’s Blogging Community.

I am sure you have heard the famous Zen Story EMPTY YOUR CUP

A university Professor went to visit a famous Zen Master. The Professor wanted to learn about Zen.

The Zen Master served Tea.

While the Zen Master quietly served tea, the Professor talked about Zen.

The Master poured the visitor's cup full to the brim, and then kept on pouring.

The Professor watched the overflowing cup and soon he could no longer restrain himself and so the Professor blurted out to the Zen Master, “Please stop pouring the tea. The cup is overfull. No more tea will go in.”

“You are like this cup, full of your own opinions and beliefs,” the Zen Master said, “How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup.”

The moral of the story is that even if you are an experienced veteran, you must get rid the “Been There, Done That” mindset, you must avoid a patronizing mentality and keep your mind open to receiving new ideas from bright youngsters. 

That is why I always “empty my cup” whenever I want to learn something. 

Though I am quite an experienced blogger I made sure that I emptied my “cup” before I went to the Bloggers Meet and this strategy paid me handsome dividends as it seamlessly enabled me to learn so many new things about blogging.

The Pune Bloggers Meet was scheduled to start at 11 AM on Saturday the 5th of May 2012 at RajLaxmi Sabhagruha, Kothrud, Pune. 

As per my habit, ingrained during my Navy days, I reached the venue well before time, at 10:45 AM, and was probably the first to reach, but soon Bloggers started trickling in, and in due course soon there was enough quorum start the meet.

In today’s parlance, it was an “awesome” event and the credit for this successful meet must go to the organizer Animesh Mishra and his volunteer colleagues, to IndiBlogger whose IndiBiker Vineet Rajan came all the way from Mumbai to attend, and, of course, to all the Bloggers from Pune who participated.

Part 2 - BLOGGING IN PUNE

If you ask me: “What is the most important invention in your lifetime?” I would answer: “The Internet.”

And if you ask me which is that aspect of internet that has affected my life the most, I would answer: “Blogging.”

Yes, Blogging has changed my way of life – for the better. Blogging has given me something to look forward to and like I say “A Blog a Day keeps the Doctor Away”.

What is the meaning of the word BLOG?

BLOG is the short form of the word WEBLOG derived from the combination of the two words: WEB and LOG. 

A Blog is a virtual diary or an online journal created by an individual in cyberspace on the Internet. 

A Blog comprises writings and pictures, anything the blogger wants to share, ranging from creative writing to travelogues to food recipes to personal thoughts and experiences, academic papers, news, views and reviews, politics, business and social information, well almost anything and everything.

A blog is a vehicle for expression and interactive communication. 

Over the years the Blogosphere has become a tremendous repository of information and literature and the importance of Blogging will continue to increase in times to come not only as an information bank but also as an influencer of opinion. 

As a Trainer and Teacher I have used Blogs very effectively to disseminate knowledge and information. 

Blogs and Blogging are here to stay.

The day is not far when blogs will replace magazines and maybe, soon, blogs will be in and books will be out.

“Why do people Blog?”

Let’s see what some Pune Bloggers had to say.

Whenever Sai Kulkarni was eager to say something to someone, sometimes there was no one willing to listen to what she had to say. 

So she started writing a Blog – sharing her thoughts and reflections and imparting wisdom and soon she realized that there were so many fellow Bloggers with whom she could share her thoughts.

Yes, if the need to converse is unfulfilled in the real world, Blogging satisfies that need to communicate, albeit in the virtual world, since Blogging is an interactive activity unlike mere writing. 

And I feel this is the main reason most of us started blogging; because we wanted to say something, and blogging was the medium to express ourselves.

Stephen, a Techie from Mumbai who works in TechMahindra Pune, started writing a blog as an outlet for his creative expression.

Let me tell about my writing experiences before the birth of blogging.

Before the advent of the internet and blogging, creative writers were at the mercy of editors and publishers who determined whether your creative work would ever see the light of day. 

Even technical papers were subjected to a long and arduous process of peer review, which lead to subjectivity and delays and consequent frustration for the authors. 

A Creative Writer was treated to rejection slips or, worse still, indifference with submissions not even being acknowledged by the powers that be in the editorial offices and the publishing world. 

It was very exasperating to see your creative efforts being ignored, rejected, and even if your work was finally published the inordinate delay made you lose interest. 

Ismita Tandon Dhanker, a celebrated fiction author who has a bestseller “Love on the Rocks” a romantic thriller already under her belt and a mystery novel “Love Kills” slated for release, writes a wonderful Blog called The Lesser Known Poet – maybe she feels that though fiction is her calling, her true metier lies in poetry and gives vent to her poetic expression via her blog. 

Her companion, the smart young designer Pavitra told us that, at present, she writes in her brain. 

We await the day she starts blogging – after all, all of us too wrote in our minds all these years and all this “writing” is now flowing into our blogs.

Animesh K Mishra aka Captain Awesome who was the brain and brawn behind this meetup is a passionate blogger who blogs about everything under the sun, creative and non-creative writing, news and views, and is quite a versatile blogger who believes that bloggers must take a stand on issues rather than just report events (views versus news) and also contribute towards social causes. He tells his stories in pieces and enunciates his views in a very multifaceted blog called Towers and Shadows.

Vineet Rajan, the IndiBiker from IndiBlogger, has a very attractively designed blog and he blogs about a variety of topics, especially travelogues embellished with awesome pictures.

Hari blogs about the heritage on India and we listened with apt attention as he told us how an NRI decided to relocate back to India on reading his blog. His photo-travelogues on his blog Musafir Rendezvous with India are breathtaking

Prasant K rambles in search of truth while Prasant Naidu is a professional blogger – his blog Lighthouse and Insights is a must see.

Diwakar Narayan the ghazal aficionado has a blog called The Infected Mind and a exclusive Ghazal Blog too in which he writes short stories, poems, ghazals and on current affairs. There was a lady blogger who blogs in Hindi. She told us how blogging gave her an identity and recognition.

Interior Designer Pooja Ahuja has an informative blog Why Hire an Interior Designerand we look forward to some innovative interior designs and interesting tips from her.

If you want to see an awesome photoblog have a look at Ketan Pandit’s Blog and if you want to read a lively blog have a look at Hemant Arora’s Blog called Pearls from the Ocean not to forget Amit Singh’s poetry blog and sadly I could not open Saurabh Mukhekar’s and Annirudha’s Blogs.

Trupti has one of the most appealing blogs called Blawghh IT!! – this is a very interesting blog quite unique in its content and design and the picture posts about their travels around Pune and the one on paragliding and gliding are superb.

Sriram seems to be a very serious and profound blogger though his blog is called Coffee and Chess whereas in complete contrast is a simple fun blog by Archana – a  “Slice of Life” Blog called Spice of Life

Sandeep Gautam’s Psychology Blog The Mouse Trap is truly a fantastic well-researched blog whicg affords some serious reading on this intriguing subject.

I am sure you are getting bored reading this “Laundry List” of Pune Blogs (maybe I will continue my humdrum elucidation of the Pune Bloggers Meet in Part 3) but before I end I must mention a Technical Blog I liked very much called Technary which has useful content for Techies as well as Bloggers. I wonder who the authors of  Technary are – I think they were sitting near me and will they please introduce themselves.

I wondered why many blog under pseudonyms (handles) or anonymously and the reasons for this were elucidated by some of the enlightened bloggers.

PS:
Remember we filled in all our information in a book. Will the Captain of the Blogship be so good as to put details of all Pune Blogs and Bloggers on a Blog Post or on the Pune Bloggers Facebook Page – maybe a directory of Pune Bloggers so that the Pune Blogging Community can cement its relationship. To start with let us connect up on IndiBlogger and Twitter.

Till we the next Pune Bloggers Meet - Happy Blogging.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this book review. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
NB:
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Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
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