September 25, 2015

BergerXP Indiblogger Meet, Kolkata 2015

I've had this post drafted and ready for uhhh almost 2 weeks now. You must believe me when I say, I haven't had time to actually hit "publish". *sistah swear*

So I suppose I should jump right into the post.

I attended a Blogger Meet on September 12 (told you, it's been 2 weeks) and I finally told my parents about my blog. Say whaaat?
For those who don't know, I've been blogging "secretly" for almost 4 years now. That, and I've always wanted to attend blogger meetup. So obviously, two of my "101 Things in 1001 Days" goals was to complete them.

The event was taking place at The Oberoi Grand Hotel, which is almost an hour and half from where I stay. So ofcourse, Maa tagged along with me because err... I didn't know the way.

I was SO excited about the event because-

1. It would be my first blogger meet.

2. Oberoi Grand is one of the oldest and poshest hotels of Kolkata.

3. It hardly knew any bloggers from Kolkata. So. *awkward laugh*

We reached the venue around 4:15PM.

My first reaction was, "OHMYGOD this place is HUGE! And so beautiful." #literally

My second reaction was, "OHMYGOD I don't know a single person. Why am I even here?!"

So after registration, I was given my badge and WiFi password. YASS TO FREE WIFI!

Then, more awkward minutes followed of me standing in a corner and watching everyone "socialising" with everyone.

Anyway, long story short, I plucked up the courage and got talking. And that's how I met Debjani di and Aditi di at the pre-event (oh, hello).

We were eventually ushered into the Oberoi Grand ball-room for the main event.

The event started off with a little warm-up activity. Everyone sang "Ich Will" by Rammstein and it was the most hilarious ice-breaker ever!

It was followed by a slideshow of shortlisted photographs taken by us bloggers for a photography contest, which was ofcourse hosted by Indibloggers and Bergers Express Paints.

We were asked to tweet to photos representing "the vibrant and colourful culture of Kolkata". In case you're curious, I tweeted almost all the photos of Durga Puja 2014 and also, this photo (which I took years ago) LOL.

Okay, so here's the thing: I have SERIOUS public speaking fear. Nothing scares me more than having to speak to a group of people. So imagine my horror when one of my photos popped up on the large screens, and I was being handed a mic to talk about my photo, my blog and well... me.

I was 300% positive I was going to make a fun out of myself. So obviously I kept rambling the whole time! *cue awkward laughs and funny hand movements*

[Oh hey, do you see Maa seated to my left in orange? This is not awkward at all - having her beside me while I blab about my blog. Nope, not awkward.]

Soon after, the winners of the photography contest were announced. There were such AMAZING photos. And then some more blogger introductions followed.

Next, the Berger Express Painting representative took the stage and talked about some really cool painting machines. Huge scary-looking machines, but cool. Much shizz? Also, please don't tell anyone but I almost dozed off during the Berger presentation (yikes!). Shhh....

I mustn't say this, but thankfully it was over pretty soon a.k.a it was time for high-tea.

I hadn't noticed before, but there was an (almost) instant photo-booth set up. Well, not a booth actually. More like a stage.

I got myself some tea (should've taken more sugar with it) and met some more wonderful bloggers. Oh, and clicked photos.

I absolutely adore how beautiful the photos came out. YAY YAY! Also, that's my Berger badge I wore at the event (like all the other bloggers).

[From L-R: Preeti di; Debjani di and Aditi di]

After the tea-break, we started prepping for team activities. Everyone was divided in 10 groups having 6 or more members.

My team members for the evening were Arnaba, Milind, Murari, Debopam and Ritesh. All the teams were asked to pick a name, and after some serious failed brainstorming, we went with Team Scribbler (thank you, Arnaba).

The first task was "sanding" aka "smoothen the rough surface of tiles". The team which would complete the task in shortest time and have the smoothest surface would be judged the winner.

[Do we look like doctors yet? Do we? Do we? Do we?]

We finished scrubbing the tiles in 34 seconds. YAY! Also, we got totally covered in white chalk-ish dust after we finished. Hence, the masks and gloves and caps. SO MUCH DUST, PHEW!

The second team activity was to paint and explain a social cause of our choice. We decided to portray divorce because, let's face it - it's a pretty serious issue (thank you again, Arnaba).

It had been years since I had painted. So imagine my joy when I got myself smeared in paints. I knew I shouldn't have worn white jeans (nope I didn't get paint on them, thankyouverymuch).

I'm so proud of team even though we didn't win. Go, Scribbler!

Also, on a scale of 1 to infinity, how ridiculous does my hair look? *cringe*

All the teams took turns to explain their art. Since I'm 100% partial to ours, I'll say we slayed it when our time came. YAAS!

Seriously though, how beautiful does all the paintings look together? Seeee... our painting made it to the Top 5! *happy jiggle*

A while later, the winner of the team-activity was announced, along with other contest winners.

And then we took a group-photo.

Here's a random fact about the dinner served: there was more food than my photo frame could include. And more food than I could actually eat (hello, stupid braces). And more desserts than I expected. In short, it was fantastic!

[From L-R: Somorita, Kashish]

Oh, and we were given goodie bags!

It was such a wonderful evening. I suppose it's the most fun I have had in a while. The ambiance and the hosts and the bloggers and basically, everyone were so friendly and nice.

I loved it. I really loved it. Like really really reaaaally loved it.

It was amazing meeting so many bloggers from different walks of life. I was so anxious because everyone was much much much older than me. Also, because I suck at starting conversations with strangers. But everyone was so welcoming that I soon fit in.

I honestly hope more blogger meets are arranged in Kolkata because I absolutely adored this experience. Apparently, now I can't seem to shut up about it! #HangoverContinues

P.S Not all photos were taken by me. The shitty ones belong to me. The DSLR-like ones belong to IndiBlogger.

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