10 people. 10 different locations. Unknown to each other. 2 Dropouts. 8 different minds collaborate to write 1 powerful story.
When I first got informed by BlogAdda about this competition, I was not so sure. It’s too difficult to collaborate with 9 other people whom you don’t even know. Well, it’s too difficult to even focus in one direction let alone write a book. But then, I thought this was one of a kind opportunity which I may not get later. With no expectations, I plunged into the pool whose depth could not be measured.
When they announced the teams, I was so disappointed. There was a single reason for my disappointment. So many bloggers I knew were participating in this activity and yet there was nobody in my team whom I knew. I wanted to be in a team with Soumya, Reema, Shashank, Knitha etc. These were the people I knew or was acquainted with. Straight from the heart, I was disappointed. A great blogger friend was not participating in this activity - Anita. I just tweeted her that I was clueless. I only had read Tina and even then, I had never talked with her. She encouraged me a lot and told me to take the initiative of contacting everybody and begin with things with full enthusiasm.
Thank you Anita for the encouragement. This is how I became a leader of our team (a term I don’t like because all of us contributed equally). The contest began with 10 people and soon we got to know that two bloggers will not be continuing. So, we were left with just eight people. I have written so much and I haven’t even mentioned the names of the team members. So here they are - Preethi, Tina, Soumyaa, Paresh, Ashutosh, Prerna and Ramanathan.
The first fight we had was for the name. The name - ‘By Lines’ was suggested by me only and since not all people had replied, four of us decided to go forward with the name. However some complications arose. I won’t name anybody here as we are a team now and things sorted out pretty soon. I was even surprised with the change. But thank you for being so supportive afterwards and helping us out by writing your portions.
Like I said we were eight minds, there were dozens of concepts we could choose from. I suggested how to begin. Wait, I’m not taking the credit of our story as Preethi completely changed it and gave it a new direction, a direction that was much more interesting and much more captivating. Am I taking names now? Well yes because certain things should be credited rightfully to the person who was responsible for it. We all liked Preethi’s idea and gave our inputs to refine that.
I will not include myself in the list as Tina has already written few good things about me in her post.
Preethi - ‘The Great Master’ as we have named her was the brain behind the concept. She did most of the research required and gave us the direction where to move onto. She was also the editor in chief and worked really hard. Working late nights, working on her anniversary, working even when she was not well. These are the signs of a passionate writer who she is by all means.
Truly a great person and so friendly that within days I forgot we never knew each other. Possesses every skill required to be an author/editor. She is a die-hard fan of Hrithik. Oh and she is an amazing sketching artist too. These days I’m making her a fan of so many English singers.
Tina - Tara? Soumyaa, you always got confused between Tara and Tina right? She’s a sweet person who simply started cooperating from the day 1. She had no problem with anything and yet she was always ready to contribute. She’s working and since I have worked too (once!), I know how tiring it is and how much of your energy has already been drained out of your system by the time you reach your home. Still, she sat late at nights, she worked in her office, she wrote while travelling, she read while driving, she researched so much. You certainly require a lot of energy to do that right?
I had read her but never talked with her in person. It was really good to know her and she was as friendly as it can get. A hard working girl with a lot of potential, much of which is already proved in our story. She too is a die-hard fan of Hrithik.
Soumyaa - The Official Alien. Soumyaa with a double ‘A’ at the end. She is pursuing law and she has been out of range often. Her story relates so much with our characters that we have started calling her the alien of our squad. Well, she’s the only person who was an owl like me and thus woke up late nights to work up the story. She helped in editing as well. The best part was when she used to come home later from the Garba Nights and then write for the next day. Well probably that was not the best part on her but that glorifies her hard work. She was always up for writing and giving in inputs. I don’t know how anyone can write a whole chapter or edit anything using a phone. She did that.
Every time you open your whatsapp, you will find a new display pic of hers. She’s cool and every team member envied her looking at her vacation pictures. Congrats for your win in the other competition. Way to go! Well, she too is a die-hard fan of Hrithik. Gosh! These girls and Hrithik.
Ashutosh - Ashu. This guy literally saved us when he agreed to post on the second day when one of the team member backed out at night. I won’t tell you the name as I have already told you we are a team now. This guy gave me his login ID and password since he was unable at nights to edit or post in blogger as he uses his phone to access everything and that can be really tedious when you want to format anything. I don’t know if he have even changed his password now. Well do it if you haven’t or I will hack it brother.
Chilled out guy and fond of cricket. Oh yes, he is a die-hard fan of Emma Watson and we often tease him saying that she is just a kiddo. He was always worried if we had posted in time or not and showed his dedication right from the beginning.
Paresh - PG. I did not have enough opportunities to interact with him and thus I would not be able to write much. He wrote whenever we asked him to even though he was quite busy. Reportedly, he gave admin rights to Tina for minor last minute edits which was really generous of him.
He’s the busy guy who hates iphone so much that he don’t even participates in the free giveaways. I basically advised him to go for it and he can sell to buy a phone of his choice if he wins.
Ramanathan - We were expecting a lot from him. He did write for the first round but unfortunately due to some family problems, he was not able to contribute further. I just hope everything is fine now.
Prerna - I saved her for the last. Well this is because the name I had been hiding since the beginning is hers. Oops! I lie sometimes. Sorry Prerna but I need to mention the clashes we had. The reason is because those fights will probably be there as memorable moments forever in everybody’s minds I guess. Well, she is the youngest in our team and gave us a lot of trouble initially. But, here is the best part. She transformed into such a supportive and sporty girl soon. I haven’t seen such a transformation ever. She contributed in every round and in her words “learnt a lot” from this activity.
Seriously, I have no grudges against you except I envy you for how close you are to Deepika Padukone, the love of my life. I mentioned your name because I really liked your spirit and if you read complete, I am actually complementing you. She own an entertainment company and offered us some good laughs in this beautiful journey. Lastly she’s a kiddo. I said because she gets irritated when someone calls her a kiddo.
Myself - I told you I lie sometimes. How can I refrain myself from adding something about myself? I am a blogger like everybody. No, I am not a great writer, not terrible as well. So, I had so much to learn from my team members. They call me a leader but we lived these three weeks like a family and there was no leader; just eight family members. They have also termed me as the ‘Axe-Man’ (not the serial killer types). I just tried to add some continuity to the chapters and had to chop off some content while editing. But apologies from my side if that made you feel like I was acting superior.
Preethi had to correct so many of my ‘he/she’ mistakes. I often jumble them up while writing and she had to correct that every time. I think she will always remember me for that.
The whole team worked hard and helped us reach the finals. This entire journey was so beautiful that I yearn to keep writing with them. For three weeks, there was nothing more important in my life than them and our story. We progressed from third position to the second position after the end of the second round. I was so happy that I started jumping and hooting myself. Hopefully no one heard my mad cheers or they would have reported me to an asylum. It was such a great achievement for us as we finally knew that our story was being liked. I hope we jump one step ahead after the final results are announced.
I have become so close to Preethi, Tina and Soumyaa. It’s like we were friends since forever. We are all crazy and we still show off our craziness in the silly things we talk about. These three girls are so obsessed with Hrithik Roshan that most of the times, when I open our group, it is flooded with what he was doing when or how hot he was looking in a show or how crazy they are for him. It’s like there is no place for my Deepika. So mean of them.
Overall, this activity came as a blessing in my life. So thank you BlogAdda. I could have never thought of collaborating with so different minds but I did and so did others. I found so many new people with whom I would like to be in contact. And yes, Preethi, Tina, Soumyaa and I are already buddies now. I get to learn a lot from them and we have a lot of fun in our group chats. No, I can’t post anything about those chats here. You will probably think we are a mad bunch of people otherwise.
PS, I love you
PPS, I’m glad and proud to be a part of ‘By Lines’.
Well, there is no PPPS kind of thing so on the last note, I would want to leave the link for the first chapter where you can start reading our sci-fi fiction - 'The Awakening'.
Also, my blog post was completely informal where I did not talk anything about how our story shaped up and what research we did. The reason: Preethi will be posting that soon. Do visit her blog to know everything.
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