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Pune | WordCamp

WordCamp Pune 2015, The Experience Part 2

Sunday morning came bright and early.  Once again I completely forgot about breakfast and headed down to the lobby where Rahul and Aditya were going to pick me up to head to WordCamp. I mentioned that I forgot breakfast, so when we got to the venue (really quite early) Rahul’s business partner Vivek asked if I’d like to go out for breakfast. I dearly wanted pancakes, but what a waste of opportunity, so I told him I’d love to go someplace he loved.

We went to a place called Vaishali.  It’s extremely popular, so we had to wait a bit, even though it was quite a large place.  The concierge indicated that a table was open for us, and took us to an outdoor seating area and left.  Vivek explained that it was customary to take people to stand near a table that was ALMOST done, and wait for them to leave and then grab the table.  No-one seemed to mind, but if I were sitting there it seems like it would be awkward.  But maybe that’s the point.

Here’s a view from the seat we eventually got:

There were some little boys who hung around, fascinated by my beard.

Here are some pictures of breakfast:

After breakfast we headed back to the venue, which was a college.  Thus began a long day of shaking hands and taking pictures.  It seemed everyone knew who I was, and those that didn’t got an elbow in the ribs from their companion who said “HeroPress!” and then they said “OH! Right!”.  It was incredibly flattering and humbling.

The following is a collection of small experiences I had throughout the day.

The picture taking was really pretty fun because it got so crazy.  Someone asked for a selfie with me.  Then their friend joined the picture.  Then two more people, and soon we had 15 or 20 people in a tight group with someone with long arms desperately trying to hold a camera in such a way that the whole group was in the shot.  Everyone was laughing and jostling.

Saurabh said that the school had put as much effort into organizing WordCamp as the organizers themselves, they were really committed. That’s pretty great in my opinion.  They wanted to honor every speaker and organizer during the opening ceremonies, but that would have taken too long, so Saurabh picked four people.  Each were called up on stage and presented with a gift.

Harish Iyer because of his activism, Mahangu Weerasinghe because he’s an educator and that resonated well with the college, Raghavendra Peri because of his work enabling people online, and me “because of the sheer awesomeness involved in making it to meet the community!”

I felt honored of course, but the real honor goes to the HeroPress contributors.  They put in FAR more work than I do, and have much more emotional investment in the experience.

I noticed color sand at various places on campus.  Small piles of it on stairs at first, and then this in a hall between classrooms:

Swirls in pink sand on the floor

I asked someone what the significance was and he said “huh, looks like someone just put sand on the floor and drew in it”.  No significance, just pretty.

At the end of the WordCamp day we all headed over to the after-party venue.  I’ll write more about the after-party in another post, but I had a really good time.  At the end of the evening I made the rounds and said goodbye to everyone and headed back to the hotel to write a blog post.

My plane would be leaving in just a few hours.  Or so I thought.  More on that in my next post.



  1. Nice post Topher! It was great meeting you over the weekend and seeing you interact with so many countless people with a smile and hearty laugh.

    The decorative sand is called Rangoli – its a traditional way to welcome guests into houses or just used as decorations during a festival. Here is a like to Wikipedia on it

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