|Image Source: Indiblogger|
On a random day, as usual I was late for work and my phone kept ringing as I was rushing to get ready. I decided to ignore it first, but then the ringing did not stop. I hastily picked it up in a hurry deciding to scream out if was a promotion for some bank. It turned out to be Vineet from Indiblogger, asking me to come and attend the #DovePlay Indiblogger meet. You see, I have wanted to attend an Indiblogger meet since the day I joined them. But very few meets happen in Bangalore and I had signed up to assign the Milaap meet held here. But unfortunately, I had a working weekend that week and had to cancel it at the last minute. But this time I knew that there was no way I could attend the meet, as it was to be held in Mumbai. I sadly told Vineet the same thing, but he laughed and told me to still attend it. Before I could voice out my concern, he told me that my flight tickets, meal and stay would be taken care of by the Dove team! I wasn't sure I had heard him right, then he re-confirmed. I screamed out an yes!! And then three days later, I was on a flight to Mumbai to attend my first ever Indiblogger meet!
I got to the airport and was informed by the Indiblogger team that one more blogger would accompany me in the cab to the hotel from the airport. Since I did not know who were the actual attendees for the event, I wasn't sure who was the first blogger I'd meet there. And that is how I met Pooja! She spoke a lot, much more than I did, and it did not take me more than two minutes to like her. In the fifteen minute drive from the airport to the hotel, we became almost best friends and decided to even share a room together! Wow, my quickest relationship ever. Now that the start was this beautiful, I knew I would have an awesome time at Mumbai. We spoke a lot and after a quick change, we went out to meet the other bloggers who were staying with us. Swarnali, Sayoni and Pankti were few of the bloggers out there and we bonded really well! Soon, we were on our way to the J W Marriot Hotel in Juhu to attend my first ever Indiblogger meet. I was thrilled to the bone. The Indiblogger team was constantly in touch in me to make sure that I was being taken care of really well. And I was!
It was past three pm when we got there. Since it was 'A play date with Dove', it was an all woman blogger meet. As we entered the venue, we were first asked to go to a registration desk and get our names registered. They gave us super cute Dove badges, with our names on them. They also gave us a bag tag with our name on them, so that we could leave our bags with them to be taken care of, while we enjoyed the evening without any baggage. The theme for the play date was white and I saw a swarm of beautiful women, dressed in white all set to make a mark on this day. There were bloggers from all over the country, from the age of sixteen to sixty. Oh what a celebration it was! After registration we entered the ballroom where all the women were seated. Our host for the evening was Freishia, the beautiful lady from the NDTV Goodtimes' show, 'Hangout Amreeka'. Dressed in beige, she was one gorgeous host. Her vivacious nature and bubbly spirit rubbed off on all of us and soon we were all gyrating to her rhythm.
All the ladies were divided into teams of ten each and I was a part of team number three. We were asked to name our team, based on a hair style. I had recently got my hair cut and styled in waterfall layers and some others had the same hairstyle too. So, it was an unanimous decision to name our team 'Waterfall'. Since most of us were meeting each other for the first time, we did not know who the others were. Of course all had their respective badges pinned to their white dresses, but still that is not enough of an ice breaker is it? So, music was played and each team had to make two concentric circles and go round in opposite directions. Once the music was stopped, we had to face the blogger in front of us and introduce ourselves. Next, we were given an empty Dove badge and asked to write a word describing the person in front of us! What an ice breaker that was. I had the super pretty Janaki in front of me and she called me beautiful!
What happened next was totally unexpected. We were asked to get out of our heels and two amazingly fit ladies walked up the stage. They were here to teach us.. wait for it... Zumba! I almost screamed out in joy. So peppy music was played and we were soon twerking and moving our hips to Gangnam style. This was one of my most favorite activities as I saw women of various shapes and sizes happily giving in to the music and dancing away to joy. It was a true celebration of womanhood, as no one bothered about how they looked or what others would say. Wow, I was thrilled to the bone. My respect for all the women out there automatically multiplied ten fold, even though I did not know all of them! Such was the beauty of this activity.
Just when we were all refreshed and charged, the games began. The first game was 'Hips don't lie' with hoola hoops. No I am not kidding. Three teams would play each game together. We were given bright colorful hoops and were asked to twist it around us. The one who kept it going for the longest time, would win along with her entire team. The max I could keep it on was two seconds! Sheesh! There was this girl from team two who kept going for two minutes and more! Obviously, they won. Although, it was not about winning or losing anymore. All the women enjoyed themselves to the fullest and were seen squealing and giggling with joy forgetting all their troubles and enjoying the present!
The next game was 'Ball Pool'! There was this huge pool filled with multicolored balls and three members from a team were asked to get in there and collect the white dove balls, and throw it out to two other members who were outside with a tub to catch the balls. This was a splendid exercise and our team managed to get quite a lot of white balls into the basket. The next game was 'Hair Play' where we were asked to replicate some hairstyles provided by the dove team on our team members. This was in a room full of mirrors and bright lights and it was the perfect room for a selfie! Over a spread of white stocking flowers, beads and other hair accessories, the styling began and each woman ended up looking more gorgeous than she already was!
The next game was the 'Jigsaw Puzzle' which took up an entire wall of the room. Talk about larger than life celebration! A huge dove poster was split into pieces of puzzles and each team were given a section of the wall to reassemble it. Soon all our minds were put to work and strategies was made. There was a lot of screaming, laughing and suggestions given as we finished the entire puzzle and the wall looked beautiful! Even though our team did not win this one, we enjoyed it to the maximum! The final game turned out to be a session of pampering. We were taken to a room filled with mirrors, which is every woman's dream, and to top it we were given hair stylists who would style your hair any way you want to! No no no, it was not a dream! Even though, I had to pinch myself hard to believe it. Since I have natural straight hair, my immediate instinct was to get curls and so I did. I felt like a queen as I let my hair into the safe hands of the stylists there.
Also, in between these games I was interviewed by the Indiblogger team regarding my experience at the event. With the mike firmly perched on my shirt, I spoke my heart out expressing only joy! I was super excited and I could see the camera man smiling every time I answered his questions. I was already feeling like a celebrity from the minute I had entered the venue, and this only added to the feeling. I jumped and danced in joy in front of the camera! I so wish I could get to see those videos.
After the wonderful and luxury treatment, we were asked to head towards the outside pool area for a drink making competition. A bartender from J W Marriot even gave us a small crash course on making the perfect drink. One member from each team had to step forward and make a drink. There was an endless flow of alcohol and other syrups, for that perfect blend. The tingling smell of alcohol along with the cold breeze gave me the perfect high, even before I could take a sip of the drink. Next with a glass of white wine in my hand, my new found friends and I headed towards the dining area which was a vast spread of tasty delectable food. From live pasta counters, to succulent chicken curry, it was a dream place for a foodie like me! Without thinking twice, I loaded my place, forgetting all about my diet! And no regrets what so ever. The perfect day deserved to have the perfect end. With juicy rasmalai and chocolate overload for dessert, it was the perfect end in more ways than one.
Just when I thought that the day was over and it was time to head back to the hotel, all the ladies were given Dove goodie bags to make the event more memorable. I thanked my stars for this day and I have never felt this happy about being a woman before. I was ecstatic! I had had a wonderful evening, made gorgeous friends for life and made enough memories to last me a life time. I did not want this day to end. 11th May 2014, would remain etched in my heart and mind forever. The next day, I was on a flight back to Bangalore, with a big content smile on my face. I felt proud of being a blogger and a part of Indiblogger!
Thank you Indiblogger and Dove, for making me feel special and wonderful about being a woman. The 'Play date with Dove' was definitely a celebration of womanhood and I look forward to attending more events like this.