About Kolkata Bloggers, achievements.
Kolkata Bloggers had by then already done its first event with the Tollywood film “Bari Tar Bangla” (hand held by Kamanasish Roy), did a brain storming with Derek O’Brien (invited by Agnivo Niyogi), had organised a couple of interesting bloggers meet and one bloggers workshop.
The concept of Kolkata Bloggers is not new. One of the major bloggers meet was organised by Webreps being led by Kamanasish Roy in 2009. I was one of the youngest there and I joined Webreps becoming its fifth member. That time Kolkata was active with Tweetups, Twestival, bloggers and social media meets. Both Kamanasish and Agnivo were friends made during that time in 2009. The idea of this new “Kolkata Bloggers” was to impart education, solve problems, organise blogger engagement programmes if required.
Kolkata Bloggers was gaining prominence and priority in my life. I was able to add knowledge to people around. I had a co-founder whose priority was setting up Kolkata Bloggers. The people coming to the meet were encouraging. While one person offered us his home for the next meet, I met people of my age who wanted to volunteer to build this forum. Sanchari, Aniesha, Deeptiman were three of them. Diptee di who was a part of the July bloggers meet, decided to take it forward.
By September end, I realised that the remaining members in the meetup group, although very good human beings, had no proper intentions of adding value to the ecosystem. They chose to chase personal glory. I wasn’t really supportive of it. I decided to get in more people and that eventually was a wrong decision. MUG remained for me as a family and a Whatsapp group.
Things were slowing down and I was concentrating on my office work, when I got a call from a person called Jit. He is the brand manager of The Times of India and my number was suggested by Diptee di. Kolkata Bloggers initiative got a new beginning. Today marks the anniversary of the day. Cheers.
Ramasish (co-founder, Kolkata Bloggers) had by then taken admissions for his MBA course and although he wanted to, he was not able to add any value to the initiative. He knew it. I knew it. But we both wanted to continue with it. The Times of India work was divided into three parts: the thinking part was done by Jit and me. The execution was done by Arjyak and Ramasish. The finale was orchestrated by Esha, Jit and me.
Rewind a couple of months before the TOI work: Kolkata Bloggers index different blogs and share their blog posts. One of the indexed blogs was of a school, St Pauls Boarding and Day School. They had invited me to their school’s young author workshop. The other invited young guest was Esha. We interacted there and I introduced myself as a blogger. I was almost forced to speak there and I spoke all gibberish. I knew Esha owns a publication house and she called me to take my advice. I told her everything I knew. She did not believe me and asked for a second opinion because she believed another person would not give the correct solution in the first telephone call and without asking for any money. Precisely how the friendship started.
After the first work with The Times of India, we started working seriously on “Tales to Tell” and soon discovered that Esha’s father is the General Secretary of the Publishers and Booksellers guild which organises the International Kolkata Book fair. Soon we found ourselves working for the Kolkata Literature Festival.
In between three slight incidents happened:
- Saimantick was one of the winners of CamEra competition, which was prestigious. He was the youngest of the winners. When he was asked to speak about himself during the event, he acknowledged my contribution mentioning me as his own “dada” (elder brother). I had never felt more special. I did not expect it from him.
- Surya had always been very proactive in his support. Although seven years younger to me, he is more of my elder brother to whom I’ve promised a lot of things including to not touch alcohol (except beer). He called me to the event in his school where he was being awarded a shield for his debating skills. It was a very small move from his part, almost insignificant. For me, it was significant. A boy has 2 slots, one for his mother and the other for any other family member. To have asked me to be with him definitely felt better.
- February fifth, Flurys in Park Street after Derek O’Brien had left. Subba Chen (di) had come with her friends and I thought of getting her and her friend introduced to Arjyak, Asmita and others who were a part of the bloggers representatives when the chief minister inaugurated the WiFi in Kolkata. I do not know why but I called Arjyak the “co-owner” of Kolkata Bloggers. Ramasish had not left Kolkata Bloggers then. I just said what was in my heart. This guy had by then, earned his position through perseverance, dedication and hard work. It was neither discussed nor decided before.
By then I had already taken a couple of wrong decisions in TCS. A person Siladitya whom I worked with during Kolkata Literature Festival referred my name to Amarthya Sikdaar who was planning his start up in Bangkok. During the first meeting we decided that I’ll go to Bangkok to set it up. I was not of much help, the time wasn’t ripe as well. I had spent the time teaching the co-owner of Konrad Legal about digital marketing and blogging. Fixed the website which now is being reworked upon by another company.
Remember Subba Chen (di) and her friend, I mentioned slightly above? Her friend works in the US Consulate. She went through our previous work, might have gathered our reviews from Subba Chen (di) and Iftekhar Ehsan (Calcutta Walks). We got an invite to have tea with Helen LaFave, the then US Consulate General Kolkata.
In the last one year of Kolkata Bloggers’ active existence, we’ve worked with many business corporate and education forums like The Times of India, Government of West Bengal, NASSCOM, IIT Kgp, US Consulate Kolkata, Kolkata Bookfair, ITC to name a few.
We were also invited to speak in The Edutainment show. The leads came through Mr. Chamaria who knows Kolkata Bloggers and Paromita di, who knew me since last year. She owns Candid Communications and I had approached them for help to organise “Social Media in Photography”.