Nokia Apptasting IndiBlogger Meet: A Punny Evening

Many nights ago, I received an email regarding the Nokia Apptasting IndiBlogger Meet. Not being the type who'd miss out on free food a bloggers' meet, I instantly registered for it. Also, it being the first Mumbai meet where "drinks" would be served, you really can't say no, right? If I didn't know better, I'd think that was trying to create anarchy; a drunk person with a blog at his disposal - can you possibly get a more potent combination? Turns out, Indiblogger & Nokia were just being gracious hosts, and were serving drinks so that everyone can have a good time. Also, there are unconfirmed reports that one Mr. Wild Phoenix who trolled the Indiblogger team for organizing the Mumbai meet on 15th August, issued a "Fatwa" against Indiblogger team, warning them not to organize any more meets on dry days. Finally the meetup was scheduled on 19th August, and to make sure the hungry people coming from as far as Thane, Ethopia & Sierra Leone (It's a country, you idiot; not Sunny Leone's sister) can get a ride back home early, the timing was adjusted such that the event would end by 10.30pm.

The day before the meet, I got a call from Vineet who wanted to confirm my attendance. Being a good friend that I am, I volunteered to reach early and help them empty the bottles with the event. When I reached the venue - Taj Lands End, it was familiar sight. Nostalgia, I was welcomed with the same "freeloader" look from the guards, that I received at the Hotel Sea Princess on 15th August, 2010. That's because, the only person who is less looked down upon than a guy who gets down from an autorickshaw and makes his way to the entrance of a 5 star is a guy who's sitting at home on a Tuesday afternoon writing a blog about an event he attended on Sunday. Erm... nevermind. You see, when you WALK in to 5-star hotel wearing jeans & tee with a backpack, and tell them you're there for a bloggers' event; the doorman doesn't let you inside the hotel fearing you'd steal flower vase from the lobby. Instead, he'll direct towards the banquet through an outside entrance. As a social experiment, go to the same hotel in a car, wearing a blazer; a gorgeous lady with the sweetest smile will welcome you, and you'll be given a seat next to a 1700 year old vase from the Ching Dynasty. Bloody clothists.

After the wardrobe discrimination, I reached the Ballroom entrance and found myself in company of Indiblogger staff. After exchanging pleasantries, we made our way in the Ballroom which was lit up in Nokia Blue. As more and more people started coming in, the conversation more-or-less revolved around one topic - "Apptasting." While the foodies thought they're in for a treat with hoards of appetizers, the tech+grammar nazis were frowning at what they thought was a typo. Some people just don't get the f(p)un part. (You saw what I did there? Did you? No? Okay.)

Soon the evening kickstarted with chants of "Hurr Hurr Hurr", which sounded more like the mating call of ring-tailed Lemur found in Madagascar. Indiblogger's Anoop (who was a bit tipsy) took the center-stage along with the Indiblogger team and gave a brilliant tribute to the city of Mumbai. After hi5's and warm hugs, everyone got seated and embraced for an evening of fun & frolic. Masterchef & Gadget Guru are two adjectives that have been used a zillion times for these learned men but there's really no better way to describe the 'Masterchef' Vikas Khanna & the 'Gadget Guru' Rajiv Makhni. One makes makhni, while the other one is himself Makhni (okay, I stole that line from Vikas). Guys who couldn't get a seat next to a girl were regretting, but once Vikas & Rajiv took the stage, those who actually managed seats next to a girl(s), were regretting even more since all the ladies couldn't get enough of giggling and drooling at the hosts. Can't blame them given the fact that one was voted the hottest chef in New York and the other, hottest anchor on Indian television.

It being a Nokia event, the duo showcased the new apps and technology developed by Nokia in recent times. Being a Nokia (Windows Phone) user, I've always been interested in the new apps being developed in Nokia's labs. Must say, with the technical expertise of Microsoft and Nokia, some the new apps that are being developed are simply spectacular.

This event was attended by 3 types of people - 1. Tech freaks 2. Foodies 3. Free-booze lovers. Knowing this, Nokia had developed apps that would interested all three cults.

One of the apps showcased was Nokia City Lens. I'm familiar with this app ever since Rajiv featured it in his show few weeks back. Since then I've been waiting for it, and from the Nokia sources I've learnt that it'll be available from 28th of this month. Finally. Using this app, you can simply point the phone in any direction and can get a list of places nearby in that direction. You can even get the address and phone number of the place. Sounds great. Now I can get the phone number of that hot chick living down the lane by simply pointing my phone towards her apartment. Heck, why stop at her, I can even get Katrina & Deepika's phone number. In which case, I'll give this app 5 stars.

As far as foodies are concerned, there's a Food and Wine Pairing app which will help them pair their food with wine. IMO this app will be particularly useful for people like me who swear by their beer & whiskey but doesn't know a thing about wine except for their color. It's apps like these that lets you sit next to a 1700 year old Chinese vase. 


When Vikas & Rajiv asked the audience about their dream apps, people went berserk with their thought process and came up with apps ranging from a politically correct app that can enable one to vote to an app that can find the perfect man; and everything in between. Yours truly suggested an app that can determine how drunk you are. Thankfully, Nokia already has an app for it called Alcohol in Blood

Obviously, I was the lab rat to test the app and since Rajiv thought I was too drunk to drive home, I was given a consolation gift - a Portable USB Charger by Nokia. 

And when you get a prize, you always have that one friend who will ask you something totally dumb and irrelevant. Looking at this charger, an Indiblogger friend (name withheld on request) asked that if he connected that USB at the top with micro-USB at the bottom, will it charge itself? No points for guessing that he's single and desperate to mingle.

I hope others who won prizes didn't went through such torturous questions. Oh yes, I said prizes. There were many, many prizes. '30 seconds of fame' - one of the quintessential sessions of every indiblogger meet was given a new twist this time around. Randomly, bloggers were called up on the stage and were required to choose a side - foodie (Vikas) or techie (Rajiv), and tell everyone why they're foodie or techie. Wittiest ones won prizes. This session was allotted 45 mins and when Indiblogger team learnt that when you give 30 seconds to 250 people, in some cultures, that takes more than 2 hours, they decided that only a handful of lucky people (randomly selected by computer, or so we think) will get a chance to showcase their witty side. One question that Vikas & Rajiv asked every blogger who came to the stage was, "What do you think connects Food & Technology?" I'm surprised no one could come up with the right answer. It's simple.
What connects Food & Technology? - Instagram.

Another contest included chopping onions in a particular fashion as displayed by Vikas. While a female won it hands down, few guy participants made the onion look like Hiroshima. As they say, 'the hand that chops the onion, wins the prize.' It's difficult not having a quiz competition when you have the quiz masters in house. Rajiv & Vikas hosted a hilarious quiz consisting of 4 teams. This was the first quiz witnessed by me (and probably, everyone) where you'd get extra points for dancing and where a True or False question, if answered incorrectly, can be passed on to the other team. At the end of tons of falling-off-the-chair laughter and a blind fold guess-the-ingredients test, an all-girls team won this tech+food quiz. They won Nokia Lumia handsets. Not bad for guesswork.

This meet also marked 5th year Anniversary (I wonder why it's not called 5th Birthday?) of Indiblogger. Everyone celebrated this occasion with a huge cake (Indibaby thought this was a football pitch made of chocolate) and a group photo.

After the cake, it was time for a stampede to get photographed with Rajiv & Vikas. And then dinner, which was delicious. Had a fun post-event interaction with both - Vikas & Rajiv; it was great to see how down-to-earth and humble both these guys are, despite their stature. 

In short, it was an evening well spent courtesy Indiblogger, Nokia, Rajiv Makhni & Vikas Khanna; despite the fact that I wasn't allowed to go near the 1700 year old vase.