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The Vaishnodevi Experience 2023

My first trip to Vaishnodevi was unimpressive. Climbing was hard, and it only served to highlight how badly out of shape I was, while my in-laws managed to cope so much better. Further, I hadn’t quite realized that the cave experience wouldn’t be the same as I had imagined, since the original cave was only opened at certain times a year, and that we only entered a newly created tunnel, one far easier to access, and hence more manageable with the crowds that thronged the mountain shrine. The resulting experience at the shrine, for barely a fraction of a second, hardly compared to what I had expected / imagined / heard about. So, for me, Vaishnodevi was like any other temple, nothing to write home about, something that was reflected (though not explicitly mentioned) in the blog post I wrote then.

Blog Camp Mumbai - Experience

Getting to the Blog Camp wasn't as easy as I had thought! To begin with, I had to convince Samhith to let me go alone - he would have been bored there, anyway, and wouldn't have let me hear anything the other bloggers had to say! And then, getting out of the house took quite a while, and I ended up leaving home only after lunch. Imagine my predicament when I reached the event just in time for their lunch break!!!! 

One hour to go, everyone busy with lunch, and me with nothing to do and all alone - so I did what I usually do - left the place and spent an hour wandering around - walked to Juhu Beach and spent some time watching a group of swifts flying overhead.......

Now to the camp itself. When I first reached the venue, I felt older than ever, for all the attendees seemed so young! Most of them collegians, some in their early twenties..... I have never felt so old....

Thankfully, by the time I returned after my walk, there seemed to be more people around - more nearer my age... and even older! Thank God! I arrived just in time for the session to start at 2:30, and I was able to attend just a few talks before it was time for me to leave :( What a pity - I spent almost 3 hours travelling to and fro, and could barely attend the camp just for an hour, thanks to the lunch break......

But once the sessions started, I really enjoyed myself. The fist speaker was a blogger just out of school, and he is a corporate blogger! Wow! The next one was also a young chap, who spoke confidently about his blog making it to the front page of Digg! I couldn't help but admire these guys! At their age, I hadn't even seen a computer!

I had missed a talk by a housewife blogger, which had apparently ended just before I reached, so I missed something I would have enjoyed, and maybe added my two bits too....... But I really loved it when people started talking about social causes. I hadn't a clue that so many people were into it! 

The most interesting talk I attended was by Akshay Surve, who spoke about one of his ventures - Ads4Good, where he provides widgets linked to ads. Just by adding these widgets to our blogs, we can help NGOs without actually paying money out of our own pockets.... It was an entirely new idea, which I enjoyed, and am soon going to try out. 

The highlight of the day was a 11 year old boy, who blogs about games and cooking!!! WOW! Can you imagine that?????  

All this was within an hour. Can you even imagine how much would have been there from 10AM to 6PM? Now I can't wait for the next camp, hopefully one where I shall be able to take Samhith along, and spend the better part of the day among other bloggers........


To read a more detailed report of the BlogCamp, Check out Idea-Smithy's Blog. Thanks to her, I at least now have an idea about who was who at the camp... at least some of them!!!

Also thanks to her, here are some more reports of the Camp...

Satish - Bombay Lives

Priya - Reading Cafe


  1. In spite of some hiccups it sounds like a good experience.

  2. Ms. Anu,
    Thank you so much for sharing.I wish I could be there.

  3. Thanks Anu, that 11 year old boy was my son, Raj and he is thrilled that you remembered his small talk.

  4. @Mridula: Oh yes! it was great!!!

    @Naina: Hey, maybe there'll be one near where u live.......

    @Taps: great to hear that! I did see u, but I really didnt have time to talk to many people.....

    @ssstoryteller: absolutely none, for a change... actually i did take some, but of the beach, not of the camp! shall post them later...

    @Lakshmi: yes, u should...and i am sure people would love to hear about u and esp travelwise.....

  5. Even if it was for a little time your post says you enjoyed it. I am sure such camps would be helpful for lot of people.

  6. wow a blogger out of school, 11 year old blogger! thats really something ! and I loved the idea of putting NGO adverts in the blog even I am gonna give it a try.

  7. Thanks for the write up..My son Raj was thrilled to see his name in the post and the fact that you remembered him...

  8. @chitra: Oh yes, its really great! u learn so much from everyone... and sort of get to know people better too...... see people in person whom u know online...

    Sri: It was really great to see those kids out there.... and yes, try it out... i thought of u at once, actually, when he said that...remembered ur republic day post abt the NGO

    @Priya: glad to have met u all.....

  9. Hey! The widget thing is cool! And so r the topics of the 11 year old boy! Cooking! I'm impressed!

  10. Hi Anu,

    Thank you for writing up this post. It was good to hear that you largely enjoyed most of your first experience with BlogCamps.

    I was personally quite delighted to hear the nice things you said about the housewife blogger (she's my mum :-)). Also, the apprehensions you expressed right at the start of the post were exactly what my own mum was thinking before she came to the camp. At the end of the day she felt good about not being the only one in a bunch of youngsters as you put it.

    I think it is fantastic how the internet is dissolving all these boundaries of age and geography. Both my parents were there, my mother and I both took sessions, my dad contributed an opinion and several of the other speakers are known to me.

    Once again, thank you for participating. I do hope you will come to future blogging events as well.

    One suggestion - you obviously enjoy a good readership at your blog. It would be nice to link to the URLs of the people you particularly liked so that you readers can also share your experience.

  11. @Usha: Thanks... u would have loved it....

  12. @Ideasmith - thanks so much for writing in.... glad to know u and your mum... i would love to attend any blogging event in mumbai.... it really was fun, and i wished i had stayed longer.....

    about the links, i hadnt added them since i wasnt sure about the people.. their identity and their blog...was on the lookout... now thanks to ur blog, have an idea and am updating the blog....

    have already linked to yours and the other blogs about the event....

  13. OK.. i demand a blogcamp in Chennai or Blore!! i want to attend one...

    :) sounds like u had fun inspite of the intial hiccups.. and wow,u managed to sneak to the beach as well...!!btw, where was it held? and that commute sounds so like BBY....Sigh...

  14. @AArti: I am sure there will be one....hopefully soon..... and u wont have the commute was at JVPD...juhu...
    and yes, it really was fun, and i am looking forward to the next one, whenever it is...

  15. Hi Anu, Blogcamp was an interesting experience for me too. Like you I was also apprehensive about attending it , thinking I would feel out of place among a whole lot of tech.savvy yougsters it was my family's encouragement that made me come & I was glad I did .
    Saw some of the photos you have posted, they look good. Will go through your posts leisurely. I am interested in reading about places (and this includes temples too ) which are relatively unknown & I am sure I am going to enjoy reading your posts. By the way is that your son, Samhith, in the photo ? Looks cute !

  16. I would like to exchange links with your site
    Is this possible?

  17. Wow! I can't believe there is a blog camp nowadays. As usual, I am the last to know. I guess I should find one near me!


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