DEHRADUN DIARIES – BNLF – RUSKIN BOND WALK – BOOK LAUNCHES
‘Blog Now, Live Forever’ event was announced by Indiblogger and I registered without a second thought. I have been an indiblogger since 2010 and had attended my first meet in Mumbai as I happened to be there, visiting my parents at the time. Thereafter I attended quite a few meets in Delhi, but this was to be my first BNLF event and I was super excited. Indiblogger had organized ‘Blog Now Live Forever’ (BNLF) in association with the Valley of Words (VOW); the International Literature & Arts festival on 17-19 November 2017, at Dehradun, India.
I met a few of my blogger friends at Dehradun station and we hit it off from there. Nibha Gupta, Shalini Nair and Saumy Nagayach were my first point of contact in Dehradun and I travelled back to Delhi with two of them, Shalini had to travel a long way to reach her fauji hubby :). We had been following each others’ blogs for the past couple of years, reading and commenting on the posts but hadn’t met offline. Our online interactions had given us an idea about our personalities and it felt like we were meeting old friends. Words tell tales. Our writing reveals a lot about us and regular readers of our blogs are privy to our innermost thoughts.
The ONGC lawns of Madhuban hotel was where we headed to listen to the versatile singer, Bobby Cash. He played the guitar and sang melodious numbers, both in English and Hindi. The Hindi number, Chura liya hai tumne jo dil ko, was my favorite. Next there was a Tibetan song and dance by a talented troupe.
Next on the agenda were the Indiblogger introductions and interaction. Anoop, Renie, karthik, Nihal, Diana, Nandita, Sai Nath, and the gang managed the event like professionals, they are 🙂 The team seamlessly handled the registration formalities, distribution of badges and lanyards. Anoop kicked off the event with his usual style and kept everybody in the room in splits with his witty comments and one liners. Attending these meets is always a pleasure. There is a healthy debate between bloggers and we learn from each other and grow as readers and writers. Interacting with like minded people makes the meets interesting and informative.
We listened to some prolific bloggers and writers talk about what blogging is and why we should all blog. Author and blogger, Sinjini Sengupta, in her keynote address spoke about how blogging helped her become a published author. Sinjini Sengupta’s first book, Elixir, was launched by Anita Agnihotri at the #BNLF. I was thrilled to meet her and get my copy of Elixir, signed by the charming author at the venue.
Another author I was introduced to by a blogger friend, Natasha, was Bharat Joshi. He has written, Navigating India (A complete guide to running an ethical and profitable business in India. Must read for every entrepreneur!)I promptly got a copy signed by him and am looking forward to reading these two books.
There was an interesting talk on blogging by Swami Narasimhananda. Swami Narasimhananda is a monk of the Ramakrishna Mission and currently the editor of Prabuddha Bharata, an English monthly journal started in 1896.
He says, one thing you can do is to ask people who are interested in your blog to come there without your even soliciting anybody This is a wonderful thing we can do through a blog and that reflects the first mantra of Rig Veda- ‘Aano bhadra krtavo yantu vishwatah’ ( Let good thoughts come from all sides)
Swami Narasimhananda said, Blogging is the modern equivalent of meditation. We should write about whatever we believe is true. If you are a history student then write something related to history. If you love films, write about films. Blogging is interlinking of thoughts and helps us in a lightening pace. It enables us to connect as people first and in the form of ideas of people.
He ended his talk with a beautiful message – We should not get carried away that the internet gives us the power to reach out. We should also sometimes reach inwards and produce that gem of an idea which can change the course of human history. – Swami Narasimhananda
This was my fourth visit to the city of love, Dehradun, and still no interaction with Ruskin Bond. I was convinced I was jinxed, but then a ray of light appeared out of the blue. It led me to the BEEN THERE, DOON THAT group. Indiblogger had organized a walk for bloggers with the BTDT group. They took us on a ‘Ruskin Bond walk’ and introduced us to the young Ruskin Bond through their stories and took us to his favorite haunts in Dehradun, showed us places he used to visit, paths he used to walk on and the famous THE ROOM ON THE ROOF. (Will share more about our walk in my next blog-post)
Indiblogger, thank you for the wonderful memories I brought back from the meet in the hills, along with the IB t-shirt :). I am happy to have met my online friends, offline 🙂 The new blogs and faces behind those blogs are now part of my rapidly expanding blogging circle. I look forward to interacting with them online, until the next meet 🙂 Happy writing, reading and sharing posts…