Having spent time with both Kuldeep and Gurmeet previously, when they asked Akanksha and me to think of a collaboration around Serendipity Delhi’s annual Colour Me Autumn Festival, we both jumped at it. And not only because Gurmeet proposed we participate in their #StoryTeller series and give a talk about our respective Digital Journeys. That was a huge incentive – it’s always wonderful to be invited to speak about my journey in general – and you know I can talk about blogging till cows come home!
We love spending time at the blue-door haveli next to the lake in Jaunapur Village, Chattarpur, Delhi. There is peace and quiet and a sense of family and happiness. The lovely white walls add to the serenity and Kuldeep will regale you with enough serendipitous stories too! It is uncanny how many people talk about the things that have happened to them while they were at the Serendipity Delhi store – I’m not sure if the store gets its name from these incidents or if the incidents are subconsciously inspired by the store. It is wonderful by all accounts.
The Color Me Autumn festival took place at the Serendipity Delhi store this year on the 8th and the 9th of October. Guests, shoppers, curious followers from both Akanksha’s and my blog audiences started dropping in at the store at 11 am and stayed till about 9 pm. The day’s activities ( apart from the variety of products one could shop from ) included food and beverages ( including wine ad beer ) at the Rooftop Cafe, live music in the evenings – one night they had the band Advaita too! And the #Storyteller series where they invite people from different industries each year to come and talk to interested audience members. ( Entry to the festival and to these talks is free. )
The Rooftop Cafe is also open year round – you can go chill out whenever you please. It’s going to be wonderful during the upcoming Indian Winter season and I still have to go explore that lake I’ve heard so much about, which is in the Haveli’s backyard.
We explored the ground floor first and I discovered two of my favorite #MadeInIndia brands were showcasing at the festival! I’ve been a huge fan of Nitika Bose’s work at Flying Fish Accessories and I fell in LOVE with this pair of blue enameled silver ear rings – I couldn’t get my eyes off them and have featured them in this blog story as well – with not one but TWO photos. Major lust. The other brand that I love so much that I found on the ground floor is Harshita’s Diaries Of Nomad. Her garments and the Naniki Jewellery are beautiful and just hanging around Harshita is like being drenched in happy peaceful vibes. She exudes calm.
There were other brands showcasing their copper, linen, paper and lighting products on the ground floor. On the first floor, I found another #MadeInIndia favourite, Har.Yarn.V by Kanishk! His work is simple, elegant and flies off the shelves at breakneck speed! I’ve worked with the three of them previously and featured them on the Naina.co blog too. ( Links to their websites and social media channels and my previous features are at the end of this blog post. )
After hanging around on the first floor, we headed to the Rooftop Cafe to grab lunch and drink some beer and relax before the scheduled time for our talk.
At about 4pm, people started gathering at the Rooftop Cafe, and we got in position to start our interactive session. Both Akanksha and I prefer to improvise as we go and welcome audience interaction. At the end of the day, while it is about us sharing our experiences and how we got to where we are, the most important part of any speaking engagement is the audience and the questions they might have. And boy did we have some questions here! I’d go as far as to say that the audience steered the conversation once we had given our respective introductions. It was a learning experience for us to understand the point of view of audience members – the audience included prospective clients, newbie bloggers and others who were only there out of curiosity and yet wanted to understand what “bloggers” are all about.
How one hour flew by is anybody’s guess! After the talk, we spent another hour answering questions from people who stayed back to talk to us. This is one of the best parts of a speaking engagement because it allows us to meet with the audience personally. We met mostly with younger bloggers who wanted to know answers to some very specific questions.
After that, the Sun had set and the sounds of lovely, upbeat Chilean music permeated the air. Kebabs were added to the menu and the chilled beer cans were everywhere.
One thing I wanted to mention was that I had been apprehensive about parking space at the Haveli. Getting there, at least the first time, can feel like going round and round in the narrow village streets. But I shouldn’t have worried. The Serendipity Delhi team had arranged a Valet service in a massive parking lot right across the street from the Haveli! While getting a cab ( I used Uber ) to reach the venue is not a problem, having the flexibility of your own vehicle is something else altogether.
If you missed the festival this year, make sure you follow Serendipity Delhi on any of their social media channels so that you can keep track of their announcements and don’t miss it in 2017! We can’t wait to go back and hang out and chill out for two days in October 2017 at the Haveli with the blue-door!
Details of the outfit I wore.
Photos of Me by Bharat Joshi ( email firstname.lastname@example.org )
( I will be uploading the video of the entire talk on my YouTube Channel within the next 10-15 days. )
The talk is now live on the blog here.