When I started blogging two years ago, I never thought that it would become a passion for me, so much that I wouldn’t mind travelling almost 2000 km to attend a bloggers meet! Yes, I’m talking about #BNLF (Blog Now Live Forever), the two-day-long biggest congregation of bloggers that happened at The Lalit hotel in Mumbai last week.
The #BNLF has been solely conceptualized and organized by the biggest platform of bloggers in India, Indiblogger. The event was managed with great panache; after all, an event where more than 600 bloggers from different parts of the country (and some from outside India) have turned up is not an easy thing to get with. But, they did it and, they did it successfully.
Well, I am a bit disoriented as where or what to start with. The event begins with the cheerful and energetic in-house band performance of Indiblogger. The chic Nadisha Thomas did jazz up the show and vitalized it with her voice. All the bloggers participated with much enthusiasm and lent their voice occasionally to the band making it louder.
One of the main objectives on the part of the organizers was to make people learn seriously about blogging. To make them aware of the various aspects of blogging so that they can channelize their efforts through the right ducts. Keeping this in mind, they have invited some of the most interesting personalities and entrepreneurs who spoke about blogging. Yes, there was no sponsors who made us nod our heads while preaching vehemently about a myriad of products! It was purely about blogging.
Purba Ray, a blogger who always makes me smile with her sharp satirical blows and caustic humour, was the first speaker. And, she delivered a delightfully ravishing speech. Another Bengali blogger-turned-author, Arnab Roy, rightfully pointed out the risk-averse standpoint of Bengalis even when it comes to blogging! ( Being a Bengali, I could relate and that is obvious). Christoph Trappe, a great name in the field of content marketing enriched us on writing great content and making authentic stories to which the readers can relate.
Kanan Gill, the known face in stand-up comedy started his journey as a video blogger or vlogging as we call it. He, in his usual jovial tone, gave us the tidbits of his journey. I immensely enjoyed his session. Anshul Tewari stated the stories behind his site Youth Ki Awaaz, where public speaks the last. Her endeavour and journey were inspiring enough to make us rethink the way we look at blogging. The story of Preeti Shenoy was almost unbelievable as she told that she faced rejection 39 times before her first book saw the light of the earth. It made me a bit nostalgic because my first book review on this blog was that first book of hers, Life Is What You Make It.
Jeff Bullas provided us with some great insights on how to make the site more interesting by reaching a larger number of readers. After all, ‘traffic’ is a much-coveted word in the blogosphere. It is like, traffic? Terrific! No traffic? Horrific!
Bruce Dickinson, the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Iron Maiden gave a mesmerizing speech. His impeccable sense of humour made it all the more happening.
I attended an interactive cooking session on Day 2 with some other fellow bloggers. It felt heavenly when I tasted Ricotta Spinach filled Tortellini on the bed of mushrooms made just in front of us by Chef Rajeev. The gastronomical extravaganza though perhaps did little to improve my culinary skill, but it immensely satisfied my taste buds. Anyway, I definitely gathered a considerable amount of knowledge on Italian cuisines.
It was not the end. There were sumptuous lunch and endless chatting with friends, meeting some old friends and making some new. It was discovering some blogger and greeting him like a long-lost friend. It was making new connections and conduits. It was a session of listening and learning and sharing the thoughts, it was admitting the sanctitude of blogging as a religion. It was the feeling of blissfulness of being a blogger.