10 Most Awe-Inspiring and WTF Moments at BNLF

Hello everyone! I am writing this blog post to recap IndiBlogger’s very own BNLF for those who couldn’t make it, and to reminisce on some of the key moments, both seen and unseen.

Thank you to everyone who turned up over the weekend. We know you had a choice of events happening around the country that weekend, and yet you chose to spend it with the IndiBlogger community and BNLF.

We present the 10 most awe-inspiring, crazy, WTF moments at BNLF.

I’m going to take a page out of Jeff Bullas’ book and write a post with a list in it :-). This is in no particular order of importance.


BNLF Stage

When we conceptualized the idea of BNLF, we envisioned an environment like no other. We wanted a setup that would be worthy of hosting IndiBlogger members from across the world. When we first saw the finished setup, we were thrilled and we hope you were too. We had members flying down from different countries, and from every corner of India. I felt like I was struck by lighting when over 60% of the crowd raised their hands when I asked if there were bloggers who came from outside Mumbai. Just the amount of money people would have spent to make it here made our eyes water a bit. IndiBlogger meets have always been free for everyone registered on IndiBlogger. Even though the entry to BNLF was also free, bloggers still had to spend to get there. For a second, I was speechless on stage. We hope it was worth it…


Purba Ray at BNLF

Christoph Trappe’s candor throughout the event was refreshing! For instance, when I was looking for him at the backstage party and couldn’t find him, I sent him a message asking him why he wasn’t there. He replied saying, “I didn’t know about the backstage party! I am in my PJ’s!” :-). Purba Ray was a bundle of energy. At the start she seemed a bit nervous to get up there, but after her talk she came up to me all bright and sunshiney saying something along the lines of “Hey I didn’t do my FAQs, put me back up there” :-). We were not able to speak to Kanan Gill at length because of his hectic travel schedule, so what I thought was to be a talk on video blogging, turned out to be his journey as a video blogger. He mentioned his approach of talking about his journal at some point, and I missed the details. My bad, but hey, I still enjoyed the hell out of that one. Preeti Shenoy and Arnab Ray were also quite excited. Preeti was a keynote speaker at one of our first IndiBlogger events back in 2008, which made it all the more special to have her with us at BNLF. I loved it when Arnab came to us on the second day and said that he could offer constructive advice on character creation. Creating great characters is the cornerstone of every great story, and without a moment’s hesitation, we said yes! In the green room, Anshul Tewari blew my mind when he said investors had bought into Youth Ki Awaaz knowing fully well that he had no plans of advertising on his site, a site that was purely based on public opinion. There are very few investors with heart, and we are so glad that he found them.

We didn’t send out bulk emails to ask people if they would consider speaking at BNLF. We sent personal emails to people whom we thought were just right to convey the agenda that we had in mind, and everyone said yes, except one who had to drop out because of personal commitments.



When we were planning the idea of an IndiCrew, I remember we had sent out an email to bloggers saying that “they would not be there to fill the labour gap, but to be a part of organizing the event and to have fun”. Oh boy, were we wrong. We needed every able bodied person at all action stations that day! I was working closely with the IndiStage crew behind the scenes, and they were just brilliant. They were like pros, mic-ing up every speaker, cuing in the audio visuals, keeping the green room tidy, etc. I outlined a limited set of processes during the briefing, and these guys managed to figure out the rest. Towards the end though, fatigue set in and the suppressed selfie addiction in some of them popped back up. It was nonetheless a tiny blemish in an otherwise perfect day for the IndiStage crew. The IndiWelcome, IndiPolice and IndiHospitality crews also worked their butts off and missed quite a few of the sessions. We will have a special screening of the talks just for you guys once the videos are processed!


Blunder in the Code at BNLF

Nadisha Thomas at BNLF

The sound and stage setup took longer than we expected, and the sound check for the band (Blunder in the Code) did not transpire at 9:00 PM the previous day as expected. We had to do it at 6:00 AM (with due permission of course). However, the blaring guitars and screaming vocals sent the hotel staff running around helter-skelter with complaints streaming in from all around. Heh..a true rock band moment. Blunder in the Code is comprised of in-house musicians from our very own team IndiBlogger. This time around, we decided to get our good friend, special guest Nadisha Thomas to lend us her voice so that we could play some songs we wouldn’t usually attempt. We felt like a youthful Axl Rose was on stage during Sweet Child O’ Mine. Goosebumps. Did you feel that too? I was so excited, that I almost forgot my chords during Jesuwin’s hell raising drum solo, and Nihal’s guitar theatrics as well.


Jeff Bullas at BNLF

When we were saying our goodbyes to Jeff Bullas, we asked him what his thoughts were on BNLF. One line that he said made my heart skip a few beats… He said “This is digital marketing with a soul”. Just the way he articulated it made me tear up again (just a bit). At this point, I looked around at the IndiBlogger team, and saw them having the same epiphany.


Bruce Dickinson at BNLF

I remember the moment a few months ago, when the final confirmation from Bruce Dickinson’s office came in confirming his participation at BNLF. I remember my hands getting cold as I was trying to type a befitting reply. A few hundred tries later, I just said “Thank you, we will get back to you soon”. Everything else was a blur, as I walked into the office to tell everyone that the deed was done.

I encountered my most awkward moments in life, when I was around Bruce Dickinson. For the months leading up to the event, like a true fan boy, I thought I had everything nailed down on what I was going to tell Bruce when I met him. At the backstage party, after walking around a bit and psyching myself up, Renie told me that I had to at least say hello. So I walked up to him, only to say “Bleeh, blef, bluben, blah, bluey, boo, blah BLECH!”. Then my blood sugar dropped and I heard the “clinking” of our glasses and Bruce saying “Cheers”. I still remember that distinct sound. When we were leaving, and the team was there to say goodbye, I thought I should give it another shot. This time, it was a lot better. Absolutely no words came out of my mouth. It was like all the words were stuck in my throat like some alphabet soup. All this is after I was preaching to some folk, who came to me asking to help them get a selfie with Bruce and I told them to have a conversation with him first. The only person who seemed at ease was Renie, and the conversations that he later recounted were more than enough for me. Many celebs have come and shared the IndiBlogger stage in the past, but I have never seen the team and I so starstruck as we were when we met Bruce. I don’t think we will ever be again. That’s how much he meant to all of us. What did you guys think?

Although, if Eminem comes down, The Captain (Saurabh) would be on his knees, slobbering like a disoriented gremlin.


The IndiBlogger Team

I don’t get to introduce the IndiTeam at most of our events. These guys are mostly shy, except for “The Captain” and I who like the limelight :-). This time I made it a point to grab all those buggers, and make them forget all their duties for some time. This time, I had everyone in the hall at the end of day-2, waiting so that I could call them on stage. The energy that they brought, running up onto the stage after a week of no sleep was just what we needed to end BNLF with hoots, howls and hurr-hurrs! I am going to name them all here, because I don’t know if I can ever round them up again to do another intro. So here goes, and in no particular order – Renie, Karthik, Vineet, Nitin, Nihal, Swati, Diana, Nandita, Naveen, Vijay, Rashmi, Kavya, Shady, Saurabh, Sainath, Adina, Jesuwin and I (Anoop). BNLF has roughly taken 8 months for financial and agenda planning. These guys helped cut a lot of corners so that we could make this happen. I am speechless at the prolonged commitment from the team towards our ultimate goal.


Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 6.13.18 PM


It was great to hear advice from people on myriad subjects regrading BNLF. I was ecstatic – after the execution of BNLF, people still wanted more! That hunger and fire for knowledge and perfection was making my brain bounce around, enabling new pathways to form in a sort of synaptic explosion. Many bloggers were asking us how this event made financial sense,  considering the sheer amount of money we dropped into it without any sponsors. To be frank, sponsors were asking too much of us. They were offering money, but they wanted their CEO to speak and such. We, however, did not want to compromise on the editorial content surrounding blogging. The theme was “The Pioneers of Blogging”, and we decided to stick to that no matter what. We took a leap of faith. We gave sponsors a chance to creatively do something on stage, but none of those who approached us showed any inclination towards leveraging their creative IQ. Imagine how stupid it would have been, if before Purba’s talk, some marketing guy decided to tell us how awesome his product was. So yes, a ton of money was spent, but BNLF was as pure as ever and stayed true to Blogging. A small price to pay for the greater good. StayZilla and Cleartrip were brilliant though. Cleartrip as part of Cleartrip activities, managed to keep people from getting bored during the breaks by having Harley Davidson motorcycles, Segways and a rock-climbing wall, amongst other things. StayZilla provided free accommodation for out-of-station bloggers traveling to Mumbai for BNLF, and even went above and beyond, organizing a hotel room on the day of BNLF, so that a blogger would not have to travel alone at night. A very noble gesture indeed!

Update – Heineken and Fratelli Wines! How did I miss this one? They added the flavor to the backstage party with their unlimited supply of beverages for BNLF!! The backstage party will be in my mind for ages to come. I took home some very touching conversations with people and stood there with awe as legends walked the halls of BNLF.

The moral of the story is, please continue coming for our regular IndiBlogger meets and try out some creams and the latest gadgets, so that we can have another unadulterated version of BNLF soon! :-)



In one of my BNLF posts, I said that we had wanted to create a set-up for BNLF that was unique and memorable. As Arnab rightly said on day 2, a good fantasy needs a world with it’s own rules. Our BNLF world was the experience of flying – which we tried to emulate via the blog badges, boarding passes, a QR code check-in system, airport signage and security, and finally – the actual airplane itself where we were flown around the world in 12 hours.

The stage setup I thought was quite different and I liked it a lot. Our event management team led by Rajan Godfrey of EvantsPro, worked with us more like a friend than someone out to do business. This helped us relax through the days leading up to the event, and on the event days as well. There were no surprises, they stayed true to what they could deliver and did everything they could to help. We hope you liked the final creation.


Indian Blogger Community at BNLF

We set out to achieve the following:

  • To make this a truly global conference, and have some of the most loved personalities from across the world be a part of it.
  • To try and inspire everyone to take blogging seriously, and write in detail about everything concerning their lives and beyond.
  • To somehow convey to IndiBlogger members about our passion, our belief in blogging and our genuineness to keep the sanctity of blogging intact.
  • To host the most disruptive conference on blogging…ever!

From where we stand, we think we did. What are your thoughts and take-aways from BNLF?

Don’t forget to tag yourself and your friends on Facebook!

ARE YOU READY???? BNLF Is Now Live: Part 2


Ok! So first things first, IndiBlogger has now acquired a four letter domain, BNLF.com! This website has blogging carved upon its soul and we hope it serves you well.

Registered IndiBlogger members have been writing in from across India to get their passes sorted so that they can book tickets, rooms, etc. Thank you guys for traveling all the way to Mumbai for the love of blogging! The bloggers in Mumbai have been really sweet as well, with many opening their doors, mattresses, couches and fridges to bloggers from other cities. We are doing everything possible to make sure your “expedition” is hassle-free and hopefully we will have more things sorted for you in this regard soon.

To kick things off, the first event from BNLF.com is going to be action-packed and this blog post will discuss its agenda and a few other recent developments.

The attendee List

BNLF Attendees

We now have an attendee list to feature blogger passes issued to all the approved applications. This is a huge list and this event seems to have woken up a lot of great bloggers who don’t usually come to our other events. I guess when blogging is the starter, main course and dessert on the menu, its not really hard to fathom why a lot of people want to BNLF.

In any case, we are doing our best to get everyone interested. This event will be attended by bloggers from India for the most part. Although a few bloggers from abroad have applied, the general feedback is that they need more time to plan such a trip. Understandable, but meeting bloggers from all across India is no small matter either! We haven’t seen it happen (on this large a scale) at any of our other meets and we are POSITIVE that everyone here will have the time of their lives.

IndiBlogger Meet virgin?

OK! So here’s what you need to know if you’re attending your first IndiBlogger meet:

  • You will not be disappointed
  • You will find many friendly faces and you will never feel alone
  • If you do want to be left alone, there are plenty of places to hide

Time is of the essence!

Day 1 is set to start at 9:15 AM SHARP. We have to keep time during this meet and we are opening registrations at 8:00 AM. We suggest that you get there as early as possible because we will be closing doors at 9:00 AM for the start of the first session. Getting to the venue later than that would mean that you will be able to attend only once a break in the session is announced.

Day 1 agenda:

Take Off:

Blunder In The Code

We’re hoping the IndiBlogger house band “Blunder In The Code” can make an appearance. We have a few things to iron out, but the fact is that our dead bassist had the runs and on top of that the lead singer has herpes… sigh!

In all seriousness though, we’re working things out and if everything goes as planned, Blunder in the Code intends to bring down the roof!

Session 1: Ray Attack!

The Rays

IndiBlogger will be starting off proceedings at 9:15 AM before both the Rays, Purba Ray and Arnab Ray (no, they’re not related), take over for the first session. We wanted to start the first session with a couple of passionate bloggers, and Purba Ray is as real as one can get. I have no idea what she is going to talk to us about and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t either :-). One thing is for certain though, if she just goes up there and reads a few of her blog posts, we will be rolling about with laughter. Arnab Ray is probably equally crazy. Maybe that’s got something to do with the name ‘Ray’….?!?

Session 2: Is there anybody out there?

Session 2

The second session will be with Christoph Trappe and Anshul Tewari. These sessions will have some key points that you can arm yourself with. Both of these bloggers share the same core beliefs – authentic stories and the open sharing of information. Anshul is riding the waves of success at the moment after recently taking Youthkiawaaz.com to the next level. We expect him to be his charming self come event day! Christoph is running a very interesting workshop on BNLF Day 2, titled “Six steps to stop traditional marketing and start authentic blogging”. This session is crucial to a lot of us as it also gives perspective on how to pick and choose stories and keep the blog posts flowing, among other things.

After lunch at The Lalit, we start off with the ever so awesome Kanan Gill. Many of us have heard his stand up and many have watched his videos but have you heard about his journey ‘behind the scenes’? I love material that touches upon social commentary. There are tonnes of things to address and sometimes the audience gets upset when something about their nativity (amongst other things) is said in jest. In a way, using comedy for social commentary is the best way to get people comfortable when talking about controversial subjects. Shoot not the messenger, is what I say!

Session 3: Star Power


We needed a session that would talk about how blogs get their global fame. The question of how Indian bloggers can get on the global map of digital information is a crucial piece of the complex content puzzle. One thing was certain after talking to bloggers on the subject – having global visitors and participants boosts confidence and drives inspiration to write more and take things more seriously. Potentially, there are a loads of people around the world reading content that you dabble in and its always good to know how to bring them to your blog. Well, enter the one-and-frickin-only, Jeff Bullas! Jeff is also doing a workshop on Day 2! Titled “7 Key Steps to blogging mastery with Jeff Bullas”, this is definitely a session you’ll regret missing… if you really want to understand a whole new world of blogging. Day 2 is a much more relaxed day for us in terms of organizing and I plan to take notes!

The penultimate session of the day will start with Preeti Shenoy. If you interact with the attendees amongst the audience at BNLF, you will find many with success stories on blogging and Preeti is one of those very very interesting stories. We wanted someone who could detail such a journey. Preeti is pretty excited too and you can read her blog post here :-)

Session 4: The Trooper

Bruce Dickinson comes to India

The final charge – The one and only Bruce Dickinson. I have run out of adjectives to describe him and believe you me, just the silhouette of this man on the stage is guaranteed to give you goosebumps! I don’t think India will ever again get a chance to witness the worlds most enterprising individual in this avatar. Granted, you may hear him sing in a concert in Mumbai or Bangalore, but up close and personal?

Blogging is a state of mind

A few have asked us why we wanted Bruce Dickinson to come down for BNLF, which is primarily a blogging event. To us, Blogging is a state of mind. It is an attitude. It is an intangible feeling in your gut to do the right thing no matter what and that is what inspires us and others around us.We felt Bruce Dickinson was definitely of this mould. The other truth is that most of the IndiBlogger team members have, at some point or the other in their lives, been influenced by Bruce. It’s somewhat uncanny that we have a lot of people on the team that feel that way. For me it all started with IndiBlogger Co-Founder, Renie Ravin, handing me a tape of Bruce’s solo album “Tattooed Millionaire” sometime in the 90’s. I like to believe that that’s when we became real friends. Karthik has been to every one of his concerts in India and can be seen tripping to “Hallowed be thy name” quite often. Iron Maiden has stayed together for decades and so has a lot of the IndiBlogger team. We believe that we may have subconsciously borrowed a bit of their passion, their loyalty and their penchant for being unique. Vineet, a big fan of his music, when planning for BNLF realized that there was more to what made him who he was, which I suppose, is going to be a lot of people’s reaction. He went on to add “It is kind of exciting now because he is probably more of a blogger than anyone of us and he doesn’t even need a website for it...” So there you have it, Bruce isn’t here to sing, he is here to give us something more powerful – his life’s work! If you aren’t here, you are nowhere.

The Crew!


The  crew is a fabulous addition to this IndiBlogger event and we are really excited about it! A lot of people are offering great suggestions and some are going ahead and doing their own thing! Take Shashi, for example, he just decided to write a curtain raiser series to help people understand a bit more about the speakers and what to expect. We feel blessed!

You can find all his posts for the curtain raiser with interviews with the speakers and more here!

By now, most of you may have received your passes. There is still some time to register but at this point we cant add many more seats as we are filled to capacity and there will be very few seats available henceforth. If you haven’t already registered then this would probably be your final chance.

Start screaming in the comments! We’ll be throwing in some limited edition BNLF merchandise as well!


BNLF is Now Live – Part One


An expansive, ambitious, over the top and one of the craziest ideas ever thought of in IndiBlogger has begun its first day of execution! Join us as we take a first look at our thoughts behind this event in this post.

“Blog Now, Live Forever” will henceforth be called BNLF.

The first event from the BNLF series will be held in Mumbai on October 31st at the hotel Lalit. We chose a specific area in this venue because we didn’t want this event to be in a square hall with pretentious chandeliers and a couple of projector screens. We wanted something rugged that we could take and create an experience that would be in peoples minds for ages to come.

The event is all about blogging. When creating the agenda, we took a deep look into some of the critical, tangible and intangible components that made up blogging. We wanted some of the best to shed light on the passion, the skill, the commitment, the various avenues, technologies and those little qualities that added up to the cornerstone of success that bloggers claim to have achieved. This will indeed be the sacred congregation of the Pioneers Of Blogging.

Any blogger living anywhere in the world, can apply for passes that are free. Unfortunately we cant get everyone down so there is going to be a screening process. For this first event, we feel that people who have great editorial content will be able to really make use of the event. In light of this we are looking at people who love writing and write consistently on their blogs and have created a niche of their own. If you feel that your blog has these elements we would love to have you on board as the agenda really helps the more experienced and focused bloggers.

For IndiBlogger members, we are pretty sure that we have spoilt most of you in some cities at least, by conducting events in your back yard and you could probably roll out of bed, take an auto and attend a meet. For the BNLF series, we would encourage you to travel from whichever part of India you are living in. Every part of this meet is carefully constructed with key ideas that we cannot recreate in every city. So get off your backsides and we’ll see you there.

For this BNLF event, we have delegates who can purchase tickets to attend. The reception that we received from our very generous clientele has led to over 150 passes being sold even before the site went live! There is without doubt, a shift in the thought process as most who run campaigns with us have started to understand the value of gaining a real following as opposed to current trends of just propagating information that people may or may not need. I believe that advertisements are for TV and the news. The internet is meant for something far greater.

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 10.53.54 PM


Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 10.57.29 PM

The next couple of years with BNLF is going to be action packed and fun! We welcome everyone to come on over , take a look at the site, give us feedback, shout out a resounding  “Hell Yeah” and basically have some fun just as we did creating this program.

We will be back for the next post “BNLF is Now Live – Part 2” soon as we take a deeper look at the agenda, the thought behind it, the infamous IndiBlogger backstage party and more about how you guys can be a part of it.

Until next time  \m/ \m/

Getting The Traditional Twist Back Into The Kitchen

To blog about something you love or are passionate about is nothing out of the ordinary. What else would motivate you to write religiously, day after day, right? But by choosing to write about food cooked in their mothers’ and grandmothers’ kitchens for ages, or about recipes that are typically cooked by a particular community, what some food bloggers are doing is stepping beyond their love for the art—they are also helping revive traditional food which is fast disappearing from our dining tables and our lives.

Sitting in her home in San Francisco, Srividhya Mainkanda, for instance, is helping her readers know more about traditional vegetarian recipes from her home state of Tamil Nadu through her blog www.vidhyashomecooking.com

The journey however did not begin with the aim of introducing, or re-introducing the traditional food of her region. “When my mom visited us after my pregnancy I wanted to note down all the traditional recipes. When I was writing down I thought of saving them online too and that marked the beginning of my blog,” Srividhya recalls.

In keeping with its origin, her blog now features post partum food recipes traditionally offered to a lactating mother apart from vegetarian recipes from around the world as well as eggless baking and quick recipes that can be cooked under 30 minutes.

Unlike Srividhya, Aparna Balasubramanian started out with her blog, www.mydiversekitchen.com, with the aim of documenting authentic Palakkad Iyer cuisine. As time passed, her blog grew to cover her other areas of interest—baking bread and food photography.

MyDiverse Kitchen

Another feature about food blogging is that it’s one of those subjects which welcome a heavy two-way traffic. In the sense, readers have as much to say, probably more, as the writer. And bloggers are aware of that. There is instant gratification, but not all feedback may be heaped with praise, so comments are taken ‘with a pinch of salt’.

Aparna reinstates that. “Most of my readers give me encouraging feedback, telling me know they tried my recipes and it worked out well. For the occasional recipe that would not work, we try and figure out the reason. Some readers have also given me advice and ideas that have been very good,” she says.

Janani, who blogs at www.redchillycurry.com, says that she has a lot of newly wed women among her readers who are enthusiastic to try out new recipes. “They say whatever they try from my site turns out perfect, which makes me very happy. Boosts my morale.”



Srividhya goes on to say that her next step would be to add video recipes, something her readers have been asking her to do.

One of the biggest pluses of traditional food—apart from the heavenly taste, of course—is the health factor. Considering the rising risk of hypertension, diabetes, even cardiac related ailments, to not just elders but youngsters too—much of which is attributed to junk food—traditional food has a lot to score in our fast paced lives.

Cooking, as an art, is very accepting of innovations, be it in technique (with the modern gadgets the process is much quicker) or even ingredients.  We have all probably heard our mothers lament how the curry tasted so much better with that particular spice or shoot of a plant, but with the right trick, the taste factor can be compensated. So say our expert food bloggers.

“You can always work around things when an ingredient cannot be found,” Aparna says. She agrees that getting all the Indian food ingredients, especially if you are living abroad, can be tricky, but “given the popularity of Indian food around the world, most ingredients can be found in US and Europe in Indian or Asian grocery stores, or online.”

California-based Janani agrees and Marudhu (www.marudhuskitchen.com) says, “Nowadays you get all the ingredients in the stores. Even abroad, you get the things in the Indian grocery stores.”



With information available at the click of a button and ingredients at a nearby store, or online, recreating the magic and aroma of delicacies that were once cooked in ancestral homes is becoming a welcome reality, no matter what your geographical location.

So what’s cooking tonight?

The People’s President is no more, yet he lives on

As I write this, I am at a loss for words. Not just because it is an attempt to encapsulate a man who was so many things wrapped in one—a former head of state, a scientist, an author, a poet and, above all, a teacher—but also because I cannot seem to find an adjective to define a person who has inspired so many people, cutting across all barriers of age, class and caste. This was a man who lived by his words till his very last moment—to be doing what he loved most, teaching young people, and keeping the final goodbye very short.

I just keyed in more than a 100 words and have not yet mentioned a name. Still, I am confident that we could probably go through this entire article knowing fully well that it’s Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam that we are talking about.


It would be an understatement to say that there has been an outpouring of emotion from every corner of the nation, and the world, since news of Dr. Kalam’s death in Shillong, Meghalaya, on July 27 started trickling in. People have taken different paths to express their grief—some have lit candles, while others, like our bloggers, whose vent are their words, have taken to their space in the virtual world to pay rich tribute to the ‘People’s President’.

Blogger Cifar Shayar  (www.blogthepoint.blogspot.in), for instance, confers the title ‘Chacha’, otherwise known to address India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, on him. “He was the only one after him (Nehru) who loved and cared for children. Mr. Kalam was as inspirational in life as in death,” reads one of the several lines penned with obvious emotion.

“Few called him Vivekananda of the present times,” reads another blog post on www.creofire.com whose title is ‘A Man, A Magnet, A Mission: APJ Abdul Kalam’. “He made us dream about making the nation a super power. He worked on the field…He lived, is living and will live in our thoughts”.

Saying Dr. Kalam was an inspirational figure would be a repetition. His books have pushed many to dream higher, to have a vision of a better future for the country as a whole and then work towards it. He was, after all, a doer and maintained a grueling schedule until his last moment at the age of 83.

Blogger V. Srinivasa Rao (www.knoweb-india.blogspot.in) says, “Though I have not interacted with him directly, I have been inspired by his words, both verbal and written. I have read five of his books, and three are lying on my desk to be read.”

A number of bloggers have also channeled their feelings of loss towards poetry, penning beautiful lines for the man who has been called many things, ‘Bharat Ratna’ and ‘Missile Man’ to name just two titles conferred upon him.

‘We would always in lifetime need such a special hand/to enlighten us with his magic wand/A teary goodbye to a humble soul/pledge to meet your set goals,’ read some lines on www.auraofthoughts.com

But some of the most beautiful lines that are encouraging, inspiring and yet simple have been Dr. Kalam’s himself—in the form of quotes which have been compiled and circulated everywhere including the social media and blogs.

One such quote (and a personal favourite) is, ‘Dream is not that which you see while sleeping, it is something that does not let you sleep’.

An entire nation has been awakened by your words and although your mortal self has moved on, that disarming smile, the warm persona and those inspiring quotes will always keep you alive in the hearts of a billion Indians, Sir. The People’s President will, after all, live on.

The People’s President is no more, yet he lives on Jul30


Related Posts

Share This

Itching for a vacation? Listen to what the travel bloggers have to say!

You are exhausted from the back-breaking schedule of daily life and desperately need a ‘break’. A touristy place which attracts a lot of crowd is a big no-no. How about a few days in the lap of nature, in a forest rest house in Karnataka? Or some other quaint little place in the hills, away from the crowd? The internet with its barrage of information could give you clues, but not all of it may be reliable. So how do you plan your trip? Coming to the rescue are travel bloggers whose honest, first-hand feedback you can count on to plan just the kind of vacation you need, and probably more.

The biggest USP of a travel blogger’s post is that it’s written by someone who has a passion for travelling. So a tiny cafe that serves some great food or authentic cuisine but is not advertised on travel brochures nor has a web presence, will make it to the blogger’s post. Or a scenic and interesting place that is known to locals but not to tourists will probably have been mentioned in the blog. The result? You could have travelled to a well known destination and come back experiencing much more than others. Or explored a destination that many would have not even heard of.

Blogger N. Prasad of www.desitraveler.com for instance says that he likes to write on lesser known aspects of a place, along with other useful information like how to reach a place, where to stay, and the likes. “I like to list unique experiences that a tourist would otherwise miss. Also, since my focus is travel with family, I write about places that can be enjoyed by everyone,” Prasad says.



With 440 blog posts till date, some of Prasad’s popular posts have been on forest rest houses in Karnataka and one on Hyderabad to Nagarjuna Sagar dam. “For very remote places I try to put as much information as possible, like where to eat and where to stay. Sometimes I even suggest locations to take photographs from, like that of the evening aarti in Varanasi which can get crowded”.

Readers, on their part, lap up all the ‘reliable’ information they can get, knowing fully well it has been based on first-hand experience. Some even seek help in planning their itinerary!

“Recently, blogger Saru Singhal approached me to help her plan a Melbourne trip and told me that my posts on the Melbourne series (http://www.myyatradiary.com/2015/06/planning-melbourne-itinerary-72-hours.html) had helped her a lot,” says Arti Shah of www.myyatradiary.com.



“Over the years, many people have kept contacting me via email with queries about planning their trip. Just a few days back I got one enquiring about a place to stay while visiting ISKCON, Varanasi”.

Sherwin Robello of www.TheLandOutThere.com has similar experience of happy readers. “One of our long term travellers had planned a solo backpacking trip to the temple town of Gokarna in Karnataka for five days. He called back to tell us that our information about Gokarna and the neighbouring beaches was spot on,” Sherwin said.



Some like Paramvir Singh of www.theuntourists.com say that they take the effort to even share phone numbers of places to stay or visit over private email exchanges as and when a reader requests for it. “We had someone write to us about Todgarh (near Ajmer, Rajasthan), a little known place, after we blogged about it. So in a separate email we gave more information about the place and phone numbers—something we cannot share in a public forum without permission—and helped them plan their trip,” Paramvir says.



Improvising based on readers’ feedback is crucial to a successful blog. It keeps the platform interactive, like it should be, as well as throws up interesting ideas to make the blog more informative and popular. “We improvise based on our readers’ feedback. In fact we will soon be adding videos to our articles so that travellers get a preview of the place,” Sherwin says.

So next time you feel the itch of the travel bug, let the travel bloggers help take care of it. They have, after all, ‘been there, done that’.