Ok, so #NotetoSelf: where have I been all these years? I mean, I’ve been online and enjoyed every moment of it…but when that translates into an amazing on-ground event – that is where the REAL FUN lies!
So, twitter introduced me to Rutavi Mehta, who recognized me as a blogger and introduced me to Indiblogeshwaris, a group on FB which led me to the Indibloggers website, which informed me about the #NokiaAppTasting! *Phew!*
And now that I’d covered every social media platform in my life, there was only one thing left to do. Head to Taj Lands End and check out the awesomeness of my very first bloggers meet!
Considering that everything in my life has to be dramatic, my heels gave way at Bandra Station (what are the odds?!) and I’m reduced to wearing my flats, designed to weather any condition. Still managed to reach on time though, checked in within seconds and I was amazed already. The air was infectious, the place was buzzing with activity ~ conversations coupled with clinking of wine glasses! Within a matter of minutes, the event began and HOW!
The Indiblogger Team comes charging in, and suddenly everyone is up on their feet, exchanging Hi 5s (somehow, I thought of that ancient networking site) and hugs, celebrating 5 years of their existence! Here I am, among a dozen faces I’ve seen only on Twitter and a few others whose blogs I’ve read – complete strangers, yet I feel so connected. I knew already that this was gonna be A.W.E.S.O.M.E!
Good food, fine wine and the future of technology ~ toss these three ingredients together, sprinkle them with a MasterChef and a MasterTech and voila, you have the perfect APPetizer! The evening started with a round of introductions, which consisted of randomly selected (and some, not so random) participants walking nervously onto the stage and declaring their love for food or technology, thereby choosing to be on Vikas or Rajiv’s team! Sigh, such a tough choice, since both are such sinful delights :) *In case you don’t know who they are, you should die of shame.*
Imagine my surprise when I see my name pop on the screen! Gosh, I thought the sound of my heartbeats would deafen not just me. *blush blush*. I classify myself as an ‘original foodie’, but ‘converted techie’! How? For the love of food, I declared that I had even tried Hyderabadi biryani at Nanavati Hospital (yuck!) and for all that tinkering I did with my dad’s countless Casio calculators, walkmans etc., I finally walked over to Rajiv Makhni’s Techie Team! Witty answers win prizes, they said. But it was the prize that won me over! *this one’s for you Vanessa, a true techie and a big time Rajiv Makhni fan. Oh and BTW, later that night my mom told me she hearts Rajiv too, and watched every episode of Croma Tech Grandmasters. Go mommy! :) *
A portable charger ~ sigh, Nokia! You make us remember why we loved you in the first place! :*
Nokia ~ from the first ever memory I had of a cell phone to an array of applications that would give the Android market a tough run for its money, has certainly come a long way! And as the evening went by, I had a serious urge to chuck my BB into the sea at Bandstand and invest in a ‘smart’ phone.
As the wine and appetizers kept pouring in, we were introduced to the first app of the evening: one that allows you to create silent videos – a la Charlie Chaplin! The entire room was introduced in a matter of 30 seconds and the adorable Vikas Khanna along with 2 participants, walked the ramp ‘silently’! Great app, especially when I’m planning my Mom’s 65th birthday. Down memory lane, eh? :)
The wine had to find its way in the next app: which would tell you the best dishes that would suit your favourite wine! So the next time you savour a vintage Merlot with caramelised roasted veggies, you can thank Nokia!
And after all that wine sipping, if you are wondering how much alcohol you have fed into your veins, there’s an app for that too! Move over Mumbai Police, aata mazhi satakli! Don’t mess with the Zohan *doing the victory dance*
Yes yes, food too found its way into the apps menu, with Food Spotting. It allows you to read real-time reviews of a dish you are about to order, in a restaurant you have just stepped into! While most chefs would find that disconcerting, Vikas Khanna believed that everyone is entitled to an opinion and feedback is always welcome! (Yay, to food bloggers!)
Oh, and if you don’t know where the best dishes are served, or you want to get away from the burnt food you’ve just been served ~ dining table pe baithe baithe, Nokia City Lens will break through the walls and bring you the score! Sachi. No maps taking forever to load, no GPS, no ‘undoing the Do-Not-Disturb’ so that Just Dial can send you the SMSes. One circle right around, and you get a panoramic view of the area around you, hotspots marked along with the distance. Let’s head to Goa, my directionally-challenged friends! :)
And while girls know how to have their fun, all those self-indulgent group pics that we click deserve this app! It allows you to take a series of 5 shots, and pick the best shots of your face for the final group pic! No more retarded, eyes-shut, mouth-open pics! Hello Happiness!
*Wish we had it here though, IndiBlogeshwaris*
Girls. Fun. That also connects me to the next app-Morfo! Bechara Simran was subjected to some pretty psyched out ‘headbanging’ once his (yes His, not Hers) Angelina Jolie lips were curved to perfection. #NotetoSelf: Must make crazy videos for best friend’s birthday next month. Can we add some dialogues too, please? ;)
Verdict? The promise and trust of Nokia, long battery life *for phone addicts like me*, easy functionality, great output and evolving apps – you would soon have me saying yes to the Nokia LumiAaah, or better still – NokiaPureView which is pure genius! 41 freakin’ megapixels, Carl Zeiss lens, HDMI output and mindboggling apps – this one’s definitely gonna be a game changer! *drool*
Between all that tech buzz, apne Punjab da munda – Vikas managed to slip in a foodwala contest which seriously tested the foodies in each of us! Kanda bhajiya would be redefined forever. An unique method of cutting onions was introduced – wherein you can save yourself some band-aids (I need that :P) and a few tears too! Demo done. Testing time. Man, the bachelors gave me a new lease of life that day. Not only did they provide some laughter therapy, I also felt better about myself after looking at the onions they massacred. *Nah, who am I kidding. I cut onions like a boss!* ;)
Amidst much fanfare, and a few drops of blood, winners were declared. Happy Ending, you may ask? No! We were about to witness the toughest quiz EVER! But before that, we indulged in a virtual treasure hunt (which I kept my shady phone camera away from) and some daydreaming!
Nokia was the dream-merchant for the evening, asking us what we would want if we could conjure up our dream apps! (They will seriously consider some ideas at a later stage!). The suggestions ranged from realistic to seriously delusional – but a must-have for every Mumbaikar, every Indian!
Ideas included: ‘slap the rick guy’ app, real-time traffic/parking spots app, mind reader app, real-time voting app, food aroma/ food tasting app, even the youngest in the room suggested an anti-corruption app, an alcohol-detection app (which existed thankfully)!
‘Yours truly’ threw in a dream man app – which would allow you to key in the best traits you would want in your dream guy, and Nokia would locate him for you! *Sigh* if only wishes were horses! Fortunately, my dream man proved to be lucky for me, before I even met him! *wink* Me, and the Real-time voting guy won prizes (another portable charger. More power to locate my man! ;)
Ok, now time for some serious quizzing: teams of foodies+techies were asked some bad ass questions on food/ technology. At the end of which, most of them forgot who the foodie or techie was. Or did they know that in the first place?! #SeriouslyConfused!
Foodtech, Techfood, BannokiSaheli & Lunatech: they danced, they guessed, they tasted, they charmed. They really really tried. Questions like full forms of CDMA/ IBM, Halwa City of India, first Indian dish Vikas served Obama threw up some really interesting trivia & observations. The participants tanked up on their score in the final round, but in the end – the audience was the real winner! (Lady whose husband works for Reliance – aap mahaan ho! )
Surprises were in store for the winners BannokiSaheli – Nokia Lumias! And I swear, at that moment the temperature in the room went up a few notches! With all those awesome women bloggers around, thoda toh ‘neighbours envy, owner’s pride’ hoga hi! ;)
A huge cake cut, photos clicked, memorabilia T-shirts handed out, AWESOME cards dished out *thank you 21fools*
A fabulous Taj Dinner was served, Belgian Chocolate Mousse was thoroughly enjoyed. Indulging in engaging conversations, instant follow-backs were inevitable.
My best moment? A picture speaks a thousand words!
*shoot, I hope I haven’t already crossed a million in this post!*
Thank you Nokia. Thank you Rajiv Makhni. Thank you Vikas Khanna. Thank you awesome bloggers. Thank you ‘photo take-outers’ (yes, I made that up :). Thank you Indiblogger. Some brilliant memories will be cherished, only cos you made it happen! As our tees rightly said, “Indian by birth, Blogger by choice”.
Glad I made the right choice baby, aha!