DISCLAIMER: This post is a special dedication to my teammates of BPL. Together we are called "The Tiger Trails". It has happened in the past that my personal post was quoted as a rubbish post by a blogger. This is my space and my blog. I am sure most of you will agree with me that I can write whatever I want to write here. Those who like the post, thank you in advance and those who do not like it, well at least do not blog about how rubbish I am. I already know that :)
Can a team that’s supposed to have 8 members to write 8 posts in each round survive when two members leave the team even before the tournament starts? Can a team of 6 people who have never ever interacted with one another survive the first round? Forget the first round, we were doubtful whether we will even be able to write the skit that was assigned to us as a warm up post so that the team members could bond with one another.
With the Solitary Writer and Mubashir quitting the team even before the knock out rounds started, we were left with no choice but to play the very first round with six members on our side. Then came the first jatka – Debosmita was leaving for the Himalayas – the trip she had planned well in advance. And she was leaving on the day of announcement of topics! The theme for the first round was love. Now it’s so very difficult to write about love for an unromantic person like me. And I didn’t know any other team member so well except for Saurabh, who was a new member on our side. The topics were assigned as per the preferences and convenience of the members. Sudhakar (King sir) and I wrote two posts each, Arpita the poetry queen took up poetry, while Rashmi wrote a love letter. Somehow we managed to get 8 posts on board with six players playing. Pal and I were chatting about our chances of survival. Yours truly predicted that we would survive, but would be second last. Results were out and we had made it to the next round. King Sir had topped in both the categories he wrote for and tigers were in the race.
Time for the second round and Debosmita entered with a roar as soon as the topics were announced. She was all determined to compensate for her absence in the first one. Especially when Saurabh sent across a mail asking people about their availability for the second round and urging not to do “Debosmita” and leave for a vacation at the end moment ;) With Debosmita’s presence and Kanagu’s entry, we were a team of eight members – still one member short, a standby member. This time around, Debs doubled up. Posts were sent across to all the members for suggestions and we looked like a stronger team than how we were in the first round. Again, Pal and I discussed after the submission of the posts that we would survive this round for sure. Another prediction by yours truly that pal would win the individual category and I wouldn’t (I never win in a contest. Have I ever mentioned that?). And so happened. Not only Pal won, but we topped in five individual categories with Debs topping in two, Saurabh and Kanagu in one each, and the team was second overall. Not bad huh?
Third round was much more comfortable than the first two since beginning as the team was bonding well. We were interacting more, discussing more and suggesting more. E-mails were increasing by day, rapport was building by minute, Pal and I were as usual sure that the third round would be our last round. Ah, our discussion always started with this topic (now teammies, don’t run behind our lives! We were wrong always!). Now that I have spilled the beans of our discussion, second thing we discussed was quitting. One day I would say that I wanted to quit, next day she would mention that. We kept convincing each other that this round would be our last round in the tournament, but that never happened :P Magazine as a theme and serious topics, fantabulous posts by almost all the members and we topped the third round. Tigers who had been almost eliminated were toppers now. For us, this was the real victory. We didn’t care about anything anymore – whether we survived or eliminated – nothing mattered anymore. Yes nothing mattered as we had got a standby player for this round, who took up the challenge to write the crime fiction, and ditched us last moment. King Sir wrote a post in an hour. The standby member was made standby till the end without any communication. No there was no anger, there was a pure and simple understanding between us and her!
Fourth round – the boring most one for me at least. It was all about writing reviews. Only three teams were left now. Tigers – last round toppers, still very unpredictable. You never know when we perform and when we do not. I hated each and every topic to be honest and expressed my wish of not participating in that round. Our King Sir woke up suddenly. He asked us to take the round lightly and write whatever we felt like. That worked for all of us. This time around, we didn’t play to survive, we never did that, but this round, we made sure we wrote what we were comfortable writing. Another discussion between Pal and me. This time we somehow knew we had a fair chance of making to the finals. So we did. Another survival. Another miracle. Another round conquered and a big one.
The tigers were in the finals now, competing with one of the strongest teams of the tournament. They have topped twice so far. But tigers are still roaring. As I mentioned, for us, conquering the third round and topping it was the real victory. Not a single round for us was without struggle. We were either one member short or somebody backed out at the end moment, but we had survived so far like true tigers. Last round, five players. Final round and three players short. Our hurdles were far from getting over. GC people became even crueler this time around. We were supposed to choose the topics for ourselves this time. Four topics each team. Again the same process – mails, ideas, discussions, agreements and disagreements, pros and cons and every possible thing that could create confusion was done by us. At the end, topics were assigned to both the teams. Yours truly was writing on two topics and King Sir on two. We did not have any other option, with less number of players playing. Rashmi fell sick and could not write on her topic. At 7 pm on Saturday, I realised that today was the submission day. With Rashmi’s post missing, we had very less time to write another fresh post. Still, we are Tigers, remember? Never say never. The post was written by none other than me. :P One of the most boring write ups I have ever written, but still we managed to post the links on the GC wall at 11:55 pm, before midnight.
Finally, BPL is over. The submissions and the discussions will no longer take place. But the Tigers will survive. They have gained friendship, understanding and bond. We are used to those 50 odd mails each day on trivial things. We are used to the discussions that took place over the period of two months. The silence kills us now. If there is not a single mail from any of us, we feel restless. We will simply send a hello, but we have to exchange that in the group mail. In short, we are now quite used to one another.
We win or we don’t, we have made friends for life in this whole process of BPL. People say that they have found good bloggers thanks to BPL, but I believe most of the people blog or write because they are good at it. You will come across very few bad bloggers. Some become popular and some don’t; but almost all of them are good. But good friends – you will find very few. And I have found them in Pal, Sudhakar, Debs, Rashmi, Arpita, Kanagu and Saurabh. Together we Rock and Roar.