Back in India, jampacked schedule

My last few days in Germany were packed with excitement, and I will write about those in another entry.

After successfully avoiding a 180 euros excess baggage penalty (by offloading clothes in favour of bitter chocolate and salami), I returned to Bangalore on Tuesday night (well, actually Wednesday morning).

Once here, I immediately got thrown into FOSS.IN/2006 related stuff. The talks are piling up as people are responding to the Call for Participation and are registering as speakers and submitting talk/workshop/tutorial proposals (note – last date is October 8th). I am also happy to note that our FOSS.IN ambassadors outside India have been successfully recruiting well known FOSS developers, hackers and contributors for the event. We are going to have fun! :)

Thursday, I was at InfoVision 2006, where I had the honour of being invited to share the stage with Jimmy “Jimbo” Wales, the man behind Wikipedia, as co-panelist in a discussion about “New Cyber Genres: Wikis, Blogs, Collaborative Tools and Models”. I doubt that the organisers knew what to expect when you let two “Information wants to be free” evangelists loose on a corporate audience, but we had a tremendous response, and we were quite thrilled with ourselves.

Friday, Jimbo had called for a wikipedians meet at Coconut Grove on Church Street. I didn’t quite know what to expect, but it was a riot, and we had a ball. Jimbo was very involving, focussing on Indian Language wikipedias, and brainstorming on how we could extend these. Recognising that awareness is half the problem, I invited the Indian Wikipedia community to participate at FOSS.IN/2006, and have offered them free expo space, with connectivity, computers, etc. that they may require to highlight their work. I have also invited them to submit talks on the subject.

After the meet, I had a birthday party to attend for two very good friends – one of whom is gorgeous (the other one is also gorgeous – well, at least my dogs think so :) .

It turns out that I was the host of the party – which suited me fine, given that it’s been a while since the last one at my place. Jimbo came along as well, and a good time was had by all. It’s amazing what a judicious mix of friends, good food, ample spirit(s), good music and bandwidth can achieve. :)

BTW – Wikipedians in Mumbai: Jimbo is in Mumbai this evening and a small get-together with him is being arranged. If you are an active Wikipedia editor living in Mumbai, get in touch with Dr.Nagarjuna pronto. Didn’t happen – Jimbo was forced to go through immigration here in Bangalore, and wasn’t allowed to leave the Mumbai airport. That so sucks!

There have been more happenings at home, but I am afraid that calls for another entry as well. Stay tuned! :)