"This one time at Band camp"... BlogCamp Mumbai, Mumbai College Eats

Band of boys?

I attended BlogCamp Mumbai on Saturday. I didn't know what to expect. Hadn't been to one before. Would it be like Michelle's dorky 'Band Camp' from American Pie? Would it be full of techies discussing widgets? Pursuit of Happiness evangelists talking of how to make money out of blogging? Would I be the only eighteen year plus over there?

Most had got their laptops. I had got coffee stains. My takeaway coffee from Candies spilled over me on the my way. Which was fine as this was far from a Geek Fest.

I saw quite a mixed crowd across ages and couture preferences when I reached. Some friendly faces at the organiser's stage including Ideasmithy's who had sent me an invite for this on F B. Met famous bloggers such as 'Moksh Juneja'. Who, I figured out, is not related to another famous blogger, Sakshi Juneja!

The sessions which I attended reflected an interesting mix of topics. A daughter talking about writing centred around blogging. Her mom (yes I was not the eldest person there) talking of blogging as a housewife. Often on food. Do check out her endearing blog, Hobbit Then there was a young man, Monik, in ninth standard in school navigating us through the blue ocean of blogging. There were some who spoke about how blogging could be used to further social causes such as fund drives, sapling plants, fight against domestic abuse and so on. There was a session on monetising blogs too before I left. I believe that there were quite a few interesting talks that followed including that one from a nine year old on food blogging and blogging on gaming.

Quite a refreshing afternoon. A great job by the organisers. I'll probably leave a few names out if I try to name them. Instead, in the spirit of social media, I'll point you to the Twitter Page of BlogCamp Mumbai.

Straight from the guts

I was overwhelmed by the occasion and signed myself on to give a talk on food blogging before I realised what I was doing. I hadn't prepared anything and didn't know what I was going to talk about. And, unlike Gussie Fink Nottle, I didn't have any vodka spike O J to fire me. So I did what I do on the blog. I told folks about my previous evening's dinner with the Finely Chopper's gang at Mosate. About my pet philosophy, "Food is more than than just food". And when I was running out of things to say I gave the example of Simon Majumdar as a blog born food writer. I am still not too sure of what I said but I did finish well before the allotted twenty minutes.

Photo Credit: This picture is from Ranjit Walulnj's Flicker Album where you can see more pics of the Camp. Ranjit is part of the Plant a Sapling team.

Mumbai College Food Memories

The organisers were kind enough not to snatch away my food coupon despite my obvious ad libbing. There was quite a sumptuous looking pav bahaji counter for all of us at lunch. I believe that the sponsors included Microsoft, Indiblogger and http://www.moutshut.com/. I think that there were some others too.

I got speaking to some folks who wanted to go out and eat at the stalls near Mithibai College. This is a popular student hot spot in the Western Suburbs of Mumbai. I joined them. I thought that it would be an interesting feature for Finely Chopped.

I had visions of the episode in F.R.I.E.N.D.S where Chandler was an ad agency intern and where the other interns called him Sir. Thankfully nothing like that happened as I had a great time chatting and eating with Ideasmithy, Harish, Kumar, Pragni, Hardik and Poonam.

Our first stop was the vada pao guy. Piping hot. A tad salty for my taste. I almost reacted like K's granny when I heard that each V P cost nine Rupees. I used to buy them at Rs 1.50 from the guy outside the LIC Building, Churchgate, in the early 2000s.

Next stop was a dosa joint. We ordered something called a 'Jinny Dosa'. This was the ultimate Technicolour Mollywood experience. Schezwan sauce, chilly sauce, beetroot, cheese, coriander leaves, green chillies. A riot of colours which was piping hot and burnt your tongue before you could say 'Quickgun Murugun'.

I looked to see if anyone I knew was around before I yelled out 'Jain Paneer Chilly dosa'. In my defence the 'Jain' bit was for Poonam, our guest from Pune. A Phuchka fan too. This was a dosa with a paneer curry on the side.

We washed off the afternoon's excesses with lassi from Energy. I left soon after that. Eager to to come back for the next round. With a promise to myself to prepare properly next time.

How did the I find the Mumbai college food hits? Er, don't lynch me but my college memories centre around
Pramod da' s canteen at Presidency College.
Note: I have lifted this from Ideasmithy's post but I am sure that she won't mind my sharing a bit of 'link love' as she calls it. This is the list of some others who blogged on the Blog Camp

Others who have written about this event:

Ideasmithy: Food and Fiction, Housewives and health, Causes and gripes, all at BlogCamp Mumbai 2010

Jaya: Blogcamp Mumbai-Mukesh Patel School of Tech.Mgmt & Eng

Satish: @BlogCamp Mumbai

Priya Kanwar: My First Blog Camp Experience in Mumbai

Anu: BlogCamp Mumbai – Experience

Moksh: BlogCamp Mumbai – January 2010