I went to Vienna for the Pan-European International Bollywood Blogger Meeting and all I got was a bunch of superwow friends
...although to be honset I am excited about the t-shirt. Seriously, they're making t-shirts.*
So I'm back home, and while it offers comforts like my dog, a coffee maker I know how to use, and my very own bed, it is sadly lacking in crazed German-speaking Bollywood fans. I know, I know, that's no way to live. These people are fantastic - and completely out of their minds (I know they will take this in the complimentary and awe-struck spirit in which it is meant).
Maybe it's because I haven't seen any of my Chambana friends yet, but I'm a little down in the dumps today, missing all these new friends and feeling very disconnected from everything. This happens most of the times I travel, and on the plane from London to Chicago yesterday I found myself wondering what nationality has to do with one's sense of where one belongs - and then quickly decided that it must vary from person to person and that it is perfectly okay to feel that you belong in many different places but with a certain special type of people, and people can of course be located wherever. Home is where the heart is, and one's heart can be in many places - with many people, that is - at one time. At least, mine can. And is. Anyway, I think the google translation of Paint It Pink's post about going home says it best: "Why does one have to say good-bye to dear humans always so soon? Menno. The world is unfair and bad."**
To give you some idea of how much fun we had (and why I'm sad not to be there anymore) - and believe me, I had a blast even when I wasn't able to understand what was going on - here are some pictures, just a few out of the over 400 currently in the Bollywood Blogger Meeting Flickr pool.
Koi, who knows Hindi and is a professor and a mad, mad dancer; Maria; Babasko; the edge of Michael; Marco; and me
Koi, Maria, Michael, Marco, and me - I think we're dancing to Kaike Paan Banaraswala
Maini, Kaddele, and me
Michael, me, and Babasko - whatever it is we're doing, clearly the sentiment is "Vah! Vah!"
Many of you know that I have had a long-standing plan to get all of my favorite people to move to Champaign-Urbana. It's becoming increasingly obvious that that isn't going to work, so I'm formulating a new plan, which is that all my favorite people who do not want to move to Chambana should move to Mumbai. Babasko and some others and I have even dreamed up a way to make it work: we're going to try to sell an Indian tv channel on our reality show idea, in which a gaggle of foreigners live in the beachfront house from Om Jai Jagadish and work at making a Bollywood movie. Cameras follow us around as we pitch the idea to directors and stars, learn about how to make costumes, work out the choreography, fight over who gets one-on-one coaching time with Saif, etc.
I should also mention that in addition to loony dancing, the meetup evening contained the results of the 4th Annual Central European Bollywood Awards, as determined by votes from the forum's readers. The results were...let's say "intriguing," and they solicited a lot of boos from our group. I am really curious if the results would be the same here, because I think the readership of BLB is quite different, and if I can figure out how to do it (I'd rather have a widget people can use than solicit emails that I then have to tally) I will post the nominees here and we can all vote, just for fun.
Anyway. Thank you so much to everyone - particularly Babasko and Marco, who did a lot of work for this weekend - for being your fine, funny, loveable selves and for putting up with my scaredy-cat-ness that prevented me from trying out my German. I am a lucky girl indeed to know people like you and to be a part of a community that enjoys each other so much.
* Stay tuned for an important announcement about t-shirts.
** After the last week, wanting to stay close to these fine folks, I'm newly resolved to get my German working again, so as a means of and impetus to practice I joined Molodezhnaja's Bollywood Forum, where most of the Deutsch-walllahs congregate (when they're not at Vienna's Cafe Coffee Day, anyway). Until then, I'm putting sites through online translators - with great comic effect, as seen above.