India Uncut

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Sociopaths, onions and the February bloggers' meet

If Leo Tolstoy was alive today, would he have have written: "Journalists are all alike; every blogger is unique in his own way." Well, perhaps not, but in all the blogger meets I have been fortunate to attend so far, it strikes me how different all of us are from each other. Non-bloggers – a category of unfortunate people that grows smaller by the day – often use the term "bloggers" as they would "sociopaths" or "onions", as if we are one homogenous group, while actually we are quite a diverse bunch.

I went to my third bloggers' meet on Sunday, and enjoyed myself thoroughly. (I wrote about the first two here and here.) Our venue was Cafe Coffee Day in In Orbit Mall in Malad, and, it being a Sunday, the place went from fairly crowded to very crowded as afternoon turned to evening. The bloggers I was priviliged to spend some time with (in order of appearance): Anand of Locana, Veer Chand Bothra, Yazad Jal, Gaurav Sabnis, Sarika Chuni and, for a brief while, Rahul Bhatia. We had some coffee, and soon found that we were all shouting at each other, not because we were fighting, or because of the caffeine, but simply because the place had suddenly become so noisy.

So we duly went upstairs and sat in a far corner of the food court. Many things were discussed: libertarianism, chicken frankies, big government, frappes, the Times of India, Amartya Sen, cricket and the 35 licenses which Gaurav would have needed to start a school. (He did an MBA instead, and is a corporate fat cat.) Then, tired of being physically so still as our minds wandered feverishly, we went for a walk.

The mall was as crowded as a local railway station, so we crawled along, stopping every few minutes to form a semi-circle around Yazad as he gave us a series of mini-lectures. Education, healthcare and retail were some of the subjects covered, the last of those while standing besides a barrel of fine Basmati rice at the Giant Hypermart, with Yazad's hands dipping into the barrel a couple of times, drawing out grains of rice, and letting them drift sensuously through his fingers.

We fought our way out, and Yazad rewarded us with a strawberry each. Then we had a final coffee at Cafe Coffee Day, screaming at each other over the din, like bloggers at a monthly meet. Then we left. As at all group meets like this, even though it lasted four hours, it seemed like nowhere near enough. We really must go on meeting like this.

Yazad's story of the meet is here.
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