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When Strangers become friends

Blogadda’s latest initiative to get bloggers to collaborate over a story to #celebrateblogging was a unique idea. All bloggers who registered for this online contest were divided into teams of ten each who I presume were chosen at random (or was there an algorithm at work here?). Each team was given a set of five characters with which we had to spin a story. This collaborative effort meant that each one of us had to write a blog taking the story forward – rather like the game of “I went to market and bought a……” a popular birthday party game when I was growing up. And there was a deadline to be met which made it all the more thrilling.

The Spellbinders

When the news of our teams were announced to us, it was only a matter of minutes before some of us became active and immediately formed a group, a group name, identity and logo and began brainstorming. It was apparent that these were the younger lot with boundless enthusiasm and energy. They also had better computer skills and were very tech savvy. My team members consisted of Ankita, Ankit, Bushra, Bhavya, Deepa, Farida, Kunal,Ryan, Ritu and myself. I think I was the eldest of the team( at any rate the only grandma) and Kunal the youngest. Before the end of the second round Ryan who is a surgeon in Mangalore became a first time father. Farida is a professional counsellor and Ritu a published author. So these two became the anchors for our team and Ritu particularly did a stellar performance in steering our ship. Bhavya volunteered to be our Team Leader and Kunal was the particularly vociferous one. Bushra brought in some extra bling to our story with her observation that our team needed more soul and emotion. Deepa who was really tied up with her own personal work caused a few moments of worry with her silence but then pulled her weight with her blog posts which ensured that our team wasn’t eliminated.

The story

The moment our Whatsapp team was formed, ideas were exchanged and before we knew it our story became a thriller. Ankit wanted to add some supernatural/paranormal stuff and this was shot down, but mysteriously surfaced in the second round when it became key to our story. The first twenty four hours were spent in a lot of whatsapping and we almost missed the first entry deadline but we then managed to work out an outline for our story and each of us worked separately on our blogs so that we were ready to hit “publish” the moment we were tagged. This was a new experience for all of us and since it was a collaborative effort we wanted a consensus before publishing a blog post. So there were lots of messages going on late into the night and I even had to beg off a social engagement to make sure that I was on track with the rest of the team.

The experience

It was a unique experience all right – one that brought me into contact with nine people I’d never have met in my every day life – two bloggers from Bangalore, one blogger from Assam, two computer scientists, a surgeon, a fashionista, a psychotherapist and a professional author cum business executive. 

For those two weeks we were strangers who suddenly became friends, for whom barriers of age and profession didn’t exist. We were so caught up in our story that for those two weeks all that we thought of was Shekhar and Tara and Cyrus and Jenny and not to mention Roohi the little moppet who for some strange reason became central to most stories. What was also funny was how so many teams automatically veered towards the thriller/mystery/supernatural genre. What was it that drove them so – the presence of Ashwin Sanghi and Ravi Subramaniam on the Jury?

I’ll never really know but thanks Blogadda for this wonderful opportunity to meet such wonderful bloggers and experience a truly unique online event!

This is my post recounting my experience of Celebrate the Game of Blogs with CelebrateBlogging

Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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