"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


spice and more said…
mmm...those dosas look good!
moksh juneja said…
If you love the Dosas so much, you should come to Ghatkopar in Khao Galli and have the Schzwen Paneer Chiilly Cheese Dosa, it is Mouthful to say and eat too!!

And yeah the sponsors are Microsoft as well as Indibloggers for the BlogCamp Mumbai.
Scarlett said…
LOL...Moksh had taken me & my ex-roommate (the friend thru' whom I got to know Mr Celebrity Blogger Molsh Juneja :) to Ghatkopar's Khao Galli to have Schezwan Paneer Chilly Cheese Dosa. It's tacky but fun to eat! We also had kala khattas there...I've lost count of how many we had!!

P.S.: I also remember asking Moksh once if Sakshi Juneja was his sister...LOL :P
sharadharjai said…
Wrong timing to read ur blog !!!
M damn hungry right now !!
N after all those tempting vadas n dosas, i ll kill myself if i wont get smthing nw!!

Well.. before i run to kitchen.. #blcm was an awesome experience!! didnt get to know abt foodcamp after blogcamp :D !!

n nw u have 1 more reader in ur list !!! :)
Moonshine said…
Quite an experience to meet so many bloggers.. its difficult for me to envisage so many bloggers coming together under one roof and discussing blogs!!!! As an idea i find it difficult to discuss my blogs, outside the blog world .. if i meet someone who says i read xyz on your blog.. i usually dither...and dont know how to react..

But quite an interesting concept.. to meet so many like minded people. Would you know if it happens in toher cities as well?
IdeaSmith said…
Great post, Kalyan! I'll reiterate how much I enjoyed your talk. You certainly must attend future blogging events and if this one was anything to go by, please come UNPREPARED!
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Hey Spice and More ...they were quite colourful

Moksh...thanks for telling me. Updated Indiblgger. Don't want to slip ranks :) Thanks for writing about me on your blog. Congrats on a wonderful event. After much though I have realised that I prefer my dosas to be subtle. So what say to Rama Nayak?

Scarlett: can't stomach such overpowering dosas

Hey Sharadharjai...wonder if i should tell you that I just had some wonderful dosas at Rama Nayak before i read your comment. Thanks for writing in and hope your kitchen had something good. My life is one Food Camp

Hey Moonshine, i think one just happened at Blr. Details are up on www.indiblogger.in Had a great time personally

Idea Smith...thanks :) That's me. too lazy to prepare ;)
Miri said…
I laughed at the Friends reference - :)

The meet looks like it was great place to connect with other bloggers and share was makes us tick!

That dosa looks absolutely amazing !!! But nothing to beat the wada pav I had last week in Kolhapur ;)
I missed your talk since I arrived in time for lunch..and was too embarassed to head directly to the food counter, so headed out to Juhu Beach instead... which didnt give me time to mix with all of you...

But I really enjoyed reading your blog, and am sure will keep coming back here.. looking forward to meeting you some other time...

Kalyan Karmakar said…
Hey Miri, must catch up on your kolhapur post on your blog.

Relived another FRIENDS episode yesterday. Went to a meeting where I was very sure that I had gone to that office before but couldn't remember anything more. A bit like Joey when he went to a girl's place. Could remember the flat but not the girl.

Dear Anu,

I enjoyed reading the account of blog camp on your blog too.

I am sure you didn't miss much on my account. I am still not too sure what I spoke about.

Turning up at lunch time sounds like something I would do :)

satish said…
nice post kalyan,
Loved the food pics :)
hobbitt said…
Jinny Dosa ! - Colourfully descriptive & coloufully captured shot I must say !
Mmm...literally food for thought ! Must try something like that at home.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Satish, thanks :0

Jaya Aunty, my heart is in the more conventional dosas of King's Circle though