[Signing in from Aldershot UK where I'm stationed from October 8 to November 13, 2015.]
|A Relaxed Moi in Aldershot UK|
I started to blog in 2006 but this year has by far been the best. I posted 84 long entries on my blog, which is nearly three times the number of entries posted last year.
In this blog post, I'll recap my top 10 blogging accomplishments in 2014-15.
1. Got interviewed by NDTV Prime[Program Name: Heads Up]
When NDTV Prime turned to India's top bloggers for some insights on "How to transform your hobby of writing into a full-fledged career", guess who got to steal the maximum on-screen time? No prizes for guessing!
2. Became a Panelist at #TechMinter50
#TechMinter50 is a perfect platform for both bloggers and brands to connect with each other. Thanks to Blogmint for organizing this bloggers meet and more specifically for considering me as one of their panelists. I enjoyed talking about my journey as a blogger in front of a packed house, which included reps from brands like GroupM, Casio, ZenithOptimedia, and ThoughtBuzz.
For more details, see http://blog.blogmint.com/2015/05/techminter50_26.html.
|Panelists at #TechMinter50|
3. Styled a Model
Earlier this year, Myntra* invited me to cover the launch of its 'Disney by Anouk' collection.
[For the uninitiated, Myntra is a leading ecommerce company in India that sells clothing line and accessories from leading fashion labels, among other items. The company is India's largest online fashion store.]
It was here that I got to style a model (named Minakshi) in ethnic wear. Now this doesn't happen often!
Not only that, I showcased my creation in front of Aki Narula, a renowned fashion designer and stylist in Bollywood.
Never the one to shy away from any adventure, I paired up with another blogger, Reema, to style our model in playful Mickey prints and trendy Indian silhouettes. The proud moment for us arrived when our model walked the talk and conveyed the brand image superbly.
|Thanks Minakshi for being such a sport!|
Winning the first prize for my creation, and in turn, a cool gift hamper from none other than Aki Narula was indeed the highlight of the day for me. Aki liked my contemporary twist to traditional styling and felt that it infused fun and excitement.
|Groupie with Aki Narula & the Winning Team|
4. Became a Zomato Verified Food Blogger
Talking of hidden talents, for the first time ever since I took up blogging, I started reviewing food at several restaurants and hotels in India. I visited over 20 fine dining properties in Delhi alone this year, and my reviews are posted on both my blog and Zomato.
Becoming a Zomato verified food blogger felt great and speaks volume of the quality and credibility of my reviews.
Another good thing that happened as a result of food blogging this year was a familiarization (FAM) tour to Fairmont Jaipur. My first FAM tour in India; and you can imagine my level of excitement.
|FAM Tour to Fairmont Jaipur|
I was also invited to a signature customer engagement program by InnerChef, a fast-growing data driven food technology company. At the event, I got a sneak peek into 'what's new and next' at InnerChef, which I think is the way forward for new startups to engage with customers in a more meaningful way.
|Making New Friends (Courtesy InnerChef)|
|With two gorgeous ladies at the InnerChef event|
5. Received invites to Premium Designer Stores
When a multi-brand luxury footwear label like Heel & Buckle launched their first ever line of men's footwear called 'Heel & Buckle London' in Delhi, I was there to catch all the action firsthand.
|Heel & Buckle Launch in Delhi|
|Moi at the Heel & Buckle London Launch|
That's not all!
I was invited at the launch of Steinway Lyngdorf's first flagship showroom in Delhi. Coincidentally, one of their biggest competitors, Bang & Olufsen, had also extended a similar invitation to yours truly a few months ago.
|Bang & Olufsen Showroom in Delhi|
6. Attended Unique Gaming Events
All work and no play make Rahul a dull boy!
Earlier this year Little Black Book (LBB) hosted a unique game night for bloggers only at Raasta, Cyber Hub. An evening filled with games, drinks, goofiness, and a whole lot fun. Such a super cool way to shake off those mid-week blues. The fabulous folks from NCR Board & Card Gamers organized some crazy-intense rounds of games - from Pictionary to Taboo and Cards Against Humanity to Heads Up.
|With the Bloggers at LBB Game Night|
7. Figured Among the Top 200 Bloggers at So Delhi Confluence
So Delhi Confluence provided yet another platform for bloggers and homegrown brands to collaborate. The event was covered by NDTV Goodtimes channel and received sponsorship from companies like PepperTap, Roposo, and One Touch Response.
I was ecstatic to figure among the top 200 bloggers and social media influencers who got an opportunity to network with 100 leading business brands in the country, including H&M, Swatch, ITC, Taj Hotels, Sony, The Body Shop, Fitness First, and many more.
8. Participated in Romedy Now Trail
I joined the Romedy Now Trail on July 18 this year, the tastiest social media race in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. As part of the race, I visited the most happening restaurants in Delhi, ate gob-smacking dishes, and pursued my love for food with friends.
9. Met Bollywood Celebs throughout the Year
Here's a touchdown on the Bollywood celebrities I met in 2014-15.
|Moi with Ayushmann Khurrana|
|Moi with Anil Kapoor|
|Saif Ali Khan|
- Mahesh Bhatt (at the screening of a play 'The Last Salute' in Delhi)
|Moi with Mahesh Bhatt|
|Aditi Rao Hydari|
|Groupie with Aditi|
- Gauri Khan (at the launch of Steinway Lyngdorf's first flagship showroom in Delhi)
|Groupie with Yudi|
|Groupie with Chetan Bhagat|
|Groupie with Rani Mukerji|
|Groupie with Victor|
- Virender Sehwag (at the DLF CyberHub in Gurgaon)
|Groupie with RJ Nitin|
10. Drove Honda Jazz CVT on F1 Track
The year couldn't have ended better. I finally got to drive a brand new Honda car on my favorite Formula 1 track in Noida.
|At the Honda Jazz Prelaunch Event|
|Posing After the Ride|
In 2015, blogging opened up a plethora of opportunities for me. Suffice to say, I look at my blog now to actively engage with both my readers and clients.