Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Team Tiger Trails – our journey so far

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.


  1. I loved each and every word written by Neha, my fellow tiger... :) :) In spite of all the tough work you do, you managed to keep our team organized and write 2 posts for finals :)

    to be honest I expected us to top by second round itself.. we had real good posts that time :) third time.. thats unexpected for me :)

    And surely I love this team and I am lucky enough to meet all you good people and gain friendship... Thanks to BPL :) :)

    Hugs to you!!!

  2. thats lovely...what u won is friendship n thats most imp. These are the best way to share ideas with eachother.
    So many round...its just like a grand slam :)

    Take care n all the best...Insha Allah u guys will win :)

  3. Awwwwwwwww.......... you actually spilled the beans... naughty Neha :-) Btw, why didn't you tell everyone what I used to call you? Hitler Neha :-)))

    Btw, people, Neha keeps saying she never wins any round.. blah blah.. but she is the sort of binding factor in our team.

    And yes, like she has so clearly said, I too, have found beautiful friends in my dear teammates. Never thought we'd make it so far :-)

    Might as well take this chance to tell you guys what I think of each of you:

    1. Neha: The glue that binds us all together :-) Chatterbox, Enthusiast, Blogger, Friend.. all rolled into one :-) Without you, I would have never come this far!! MY FAV POST OF YOURS: ULTIMATE PAINTING.

    2. Debs: Intelligent, strong woman and a fantastic writer, absolutely versatile, and a force to watch out for in the years to come :-) Also someone who is going to give us free passes for the movie someone will make out of her BPL post :-)

    3. Sudhakar: Why we call you King? Because your email id had the word King in it. But you truly are the King of blogging. Versatile, fluent, intelligent, witty... the list goes on...

    4. Kanagu: The only guy to courageously take on any post that comes his way, esp. those boring posts that most of us run miles from. He's sincere and enthusiastic, and I'm so happy he is part of our team!

    5. Arpita: Writes deep stuff, bordering on profound, though some might find it vague.. would love to see more work from her! Always has a nice word for us teammies :-)

    6. Rashmi: Sweet little girl, humility is her name :-) A fairly new blogger, but I really hope she devotes more time to blogging, and comes up with more Alien Report posts :-)

    7. Saurabh: The fun-guy, who trashes us every time we say 'feel free to trash my idea' :-) Scared of this hip hop guy! But thrilled he is part of our team!

    Roarrrrr Tigers :-))))))))))))))

  4. Totally, totally, loved this one Neha. That was pretty much what I would have written if I wanted to write on our journey so far, and I'm sure, so would have all of us Tigers.

    This was one exhaustive competition. I usually refrain from taking part in competitions except for an odd one or two. But this was one I will always be glad I was part of. 4 rounds of relentless blogging, night outs writing and reviewing posts, googling images and making headers, banners, images for our posts, it was one exhaustive competition. Of course, my posts did win a couple of top post awards, but more importantly, I won awesome friends. I've never have seen so much color in my gmail inbox, before the Tiger Trails conversation chain. :)
    Personally, I honestly don't care if we win or lose anymore. But knowing how much the team has gone through, and how much the team wants to top again, I want us to win, and win in style.
    Thanks Jasoos Neha for this. ;) I'll try and pass this link to GC.

    @Pal - I loved your take on each of us. So very true. But how could we forget you.

    8. Pal: Witty, funny and to the point. Pal is always there to read our posts and give her honest comments. She wants each of us to do our best and therefore is always there to tune up our posts if required.

  5. Neha,

    I didnt participate in BPL directly, but somehow I feel I was part of it. The constant review, the lines written when you were not in sync and editions....

    :-P That was a nice dedication to your fellow tigers and tigresses :-)

  6. We win or we don’t, we have made friends for life in this whole process of BPL. People say that we have known 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.
    Just great! Made a fantastic reading!Keep it up!

  7. Neha - you said all that I wanted to say :-) and yes, here I spill rest of the beans ;-)

    1. Neha's nickname in team is Jasoos Neha, for reasons best known to us only ;-) She is someone who predicted everything simply by observing the trends in BPL! Me thinks, you have some super power...

    2. Our fav signing off sentence in each mail used to be "Feel free to trash my idea", something as Pal has mentioned used to make Surabh murderous ;-)

    3. Saurabh had acquired a smart phone and used to send random group mails, just to show off ;-) ;-) and yes, he became a graduate with distinction during BPL, something we celebrated with "yaay", "congrats", "yohooo" flying in the mails :-)

    4. Sudhakar designed the Sunday Roar poster and also the team blog for the grand finale; apart from churning out winning posts every time.

    5. Gtalk conversations between Neha and me had generated at least 3 posts in BPL for TT :-)

    6. Pal was my biggest critic, except that she always used to praise me profusely :-) She had also said stuff like "I will give up blogging if this post of yours doesn't win..." to me! I can't tell you how much that meant...

    7. I always used to set the deadline for post submission to the team on friday/saturday for everybody; but myself used to submit late saturday/sunday ;-P

    8. Neha was the default team leader - the one who was always inspiring, encouraging, scolding, keeping people together...

    9. I always used to crib how taxing BPL is turning out to be, but loved each and every moment of it. My friends, colleagues everybody knew about BPL and enquired periodically about out progress. Now I owe them a treat if we win!!!!

    Winning doesn't matter any more - the strong bond that we developed means more to us now :-)

    Together, we Roar (btw, I created this tag line, which no one uses except me :-()

    @ Pal - Do you know that you made my day? Some day, if we meet, I am surely going to treat you to chocolates (as promised after I won for my Mahabharata post) and also a movie (any one, in case the movie based on my BPL post is not yet made) :-) :-) Each time when I used to be low, you cheered me up :-) Thanks Pal..

  8. acknowledging an effort is what everybody needs..thats the best u can give some one who deserves it..ive read a few posts here and there.Hope i get to be a part of this soon..:)

  9. You can say that again! :)
    Ditto for our team!! :)
    Courtesy BPL, discovered new blogs, made new friends, learnt loads of things...
    Glad you and your team had a great wonderful time together!!
    Cheers :)

  10. All the best for the round .. and yeah BPL has earned a few new friends One good thing that came out of the BPL

  11. @ Debs: ROFL @ you announcing 'Jasoos Neha' :-) and at Saurabh and his Smart Fone :-)

    Btw, Saurabh also topped his college, and Rashmi got a distinction!

    You're a terrific writer, Debs, and I hope to see both you and Sudhakar in print some day :-)

    @ And the Magazine by Sudhakar was outstanding!! So awesome, that a blogger actually wrote to Saurabh, asking when the next edition was, and if he could contribute!!

    @ Sudhi - Awww, thank u for those very kind words :-) and again, I knew you would like my 'Chasing Rainbows' post given the Chennai connection :-)))

  12. Hey! It is nice to read so much of andar ki khabar from the enemy camp. our (WL) camp was equally fun. But I loved reading about TT.

    And now that the competition is over, I can participate in your discussions too. From an opponent's point of view (not representing WL but myself), here are some of my observations:

    -Writerzblock (Pal) & Debo: They are the two of my most feared opponents (from TT). I really loved your posts guys. In fact there was a point when I took it for given that one of the two of you will bag a category for sure. I wasnt wrong; was I? At the same time, I was confident I would never have to face you... because I was always doing humor and you were doing some serious stuff. Btw.. Pal - you write really long posts. please... thoda rehem karo.. If there was an IPL kind if auction, I would have tried to get one of you into WL :)

    -Neha: I think she was the official spokersperson for you... she was very much visible on the forum.. and am sure she was totally into this thing of winning it for the TT. Neha, there was a particular round I rated your post higher than a wining post... thought you were unlucky there. But consider this as your award if you could. :)

    -Sudhakar: My man! Where do I start now. You are one of my most-hated opponent here. And am sure you know why. God.. I cant even begin to tell you how much I hated those rounds. For those of you who dont know the reason - Sudhakar and I had the same topic for 3 rounds.. and he is 3-0 up on me. Do I need to give any other reason? Every single round (probably except the first one) I was expecting to win... only to be beaten by the king later. But... of course there is a reason why Sudhi won! I think Sudhi is a smart writer... with very good use of images in the post... and very good language. No offense to you Sudh... but great job!

    -Saurabh: I love you work Saurabh. you have this Desi streak in your content.. which I love. With a simple vocab and excellent expressions, your posts are easy to understand and have good humor.

    -Kanagu, Rashmi, Arpita: I dont have a take on you. Which means you are probably the efficient and silent ones. But I know you were equally effective in producing the results enjoyed by TT. I have a feeling I missed someone... not sure.. apologise.

    That is that! And with that, I praise your efforts and congratulate you guys for being the top notch.

  13. i agree with you.
    on ground or or on net team work will be always difficult.

  14. wonderful to know what was going on in the minds of players :) and team.

  15. @ Kanagu, awww, that's a wonderful compliment..thank you..I wrote three posts not two :P to be honest, I was/is never behind numbers..our gains are much greater than the numbers on paper..:)

    @ NR, a grand slam indeed..thanks for the wishes buddy.. :)

    @ Pal, Hitler Neha, Jasoos Neha, Neha with super power, glue of the team, leader and what not - how many names I have got from you guys! phew!! awww, thank you for those wonderful lines..you very well know I am a part of TT 'cos of you :) loads of love and hugs girl..thank you :)

    @ Sudhakar, oh yeah, all of us would have written a similar post..King Sir, 5 rounds we have played and one skit - so total six times we have written for TT ;) winning in style - well I hope that happens, but for me we are already conquerors - don't you think so? :) thank you for writing about Pal..she deserves much more than this..an entire post maybe? :)

    @ Insignia, oh yeah..you know I cannot write for competitions..you have been an important part and a great critic for me..thanks girl :)

    @ Shama, thank you very much..glad you liked it :)

    @ Debs, itne saare raaz khol diye? :P super power - no idea..just a strong gut feel maybe? :) Saurabh and his E63..you guys extended my post - each one of you..gtalk convos - oh yes..saara frustration waha nikalta tha na :P your tag line nobody used actually :D

    @ Madhu, for sure take part..you will make friends for life here.. :)

    @ Shilpa, I know..even we had so much to talk about na during BPL :P yes, we found friends here..:)

    @ Bik, agreed :)

    @ Kshitij, you guys are no enemy camp for me at least..Shilpa is a great friend so are tavish and parth..Rahul and LP I have read many times..yes, finalists I agree..but whoever wins, who cares :) oh I loved your take on each one of us..Debs and Pal are great bloggers so are rest of the people..I was the default spokesperson for TT :)
    it was great reading all your posts..and will continue reading too..let me add you on facebook :)

    @ sm, I agree with you, but we still managed to reach this far :)

    @ LR, oh we have not mentioned our strategies here..you you are yet to know what's going on in our minds ;)

  16. Lovely post Neha..enjoyed reading abt ur journey through 6 rounds..what is important is the bond and understanding among the co-players and I see u have made a great bond here and made good friends...I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the post...So very glad that you have excelled in every round...all the very best Hugz :))

  17. well i am really happy that tiger trails made this far and i was quite sure about this coz of the presence of really talented bloggers like neha,pallavi,deb and team.I am happy that i was once a part of this team although i could not participate due to personal problems and time contraints...Neha ,I am really happy that you guys have made it and we are the best and we all know it....Love you all and yeah lets keep roaring... and I will be back in the next season of BPL for sure if I am not busy..... :) :)


  18. The comments on this post are really making me very senti now... never knew you guys (both my dear teammies and opponents as well) thought so well of me... cannot thank you enough.. seriously...

    Kshtij: You cannot imagine how much that means to me.. what you said about bidding for me to join your team :-) Thank you, boss!! You made my day..month..year infact :-)

  19. Btw, Sudhi and Debs- I loved all your posts.. esp the Mahabharatha post by Debs (OUTSTANDING) and every post by Sudhi was classic in its own right!! I just mentioned your 55-ers as that was the first round, and to me, it was an absolutely give-away of how fantastic both of you are :-)

  20. WOW !!! I sat spell-bound at that journey of yours, The Tigers !! You really ROCK !!! :)

    I know how difficult it is to write on a given topic and that too a review or a boring research oriented one - I was actually amazed at the posts that kept coming...superb team effort and great participating spirit have all made you come this far...I think this already proves that you're all WINNERS !!! :)

  21. I know the beginning part of the Journey(till round of 4) very much ....
    I hope you remember what I had said when we crashed out....
    TT was the ones whom I had pinned my hopes right from the beginning....
    This was a team which constantly ran the race with members down ....
    Rightly said u win or don't ...TT roars have been loud and clear and n number of cheers to that !!!

  22. Wow! That was one heck of a journey! It's just a wonderful feeling when you pull it off well, despite issues like lack of members etc. Isn't it? Hats off to you, tigers and tigresses! :)

  23. @Kshitij

    Bidding? Do we need a BPL gate like IPL gate ? :D


    ;) may be you could send me a mail about the strategies :P I will keep it buried under seven seas :P :D

  24. The first thing after I noticed after TT had barely managed to scrape through in the first round (and I know how hard it was for your team, that too in the very beginning...) was the name of your group. "Tiger 'Trails'", not the noun but the verb and I knew you will win the BPL.
    And so you should, not offence to anyone else, but if not by anything lese but sheer fierceness, TT will win the BPL.
    We, incribe Tribes, had two rounds together and I have known terrific friends, I believe the scenario would be the same if we had survived farther too!

    By the way, Neha, you do know I am super J about not being on TT and etc etc ;) :D

  25. I was not a part of BPL but have read each and every post of yours, Kanagu's and few other posts. I think you guys should win. Next time i wanna participate :P.

  26. Hey Neha.. yours was one team that I always feared from the beginning, apart from G's. Because you have a great team and have been churning out good posts ever since BPL started. I hope you guys win the finals!! :) Good luck for the finals!!!

  27. hey buddies..u do seem to be having a gala time..as a fellow blogger me happy n proud abt that..cheers and best wishes always:)

  28. woa you guys really stuggled in the first rounds ... but like real tigers you guys roared your way back... kudos...
    I enjoyed BPL as an audience... lots of talent we have got here...

  29. @ Pushpee, we have survived in each round..we are yet to excel ;) glad you liked the posts :)

    @ Ste, yeah, we made it to the final..wish you were there with us too re..but anyway..there is always a next time :)

    @ Uma, welcome here..those research posts I run away from..i dunno how Kanagu manages :) we are winner for us..on paper result does not matter :)

    @ D-man, kaash tu and G bhi TT main hote :P I remember your words..you and Sree both said the same thing :) thanks buddy for being there :)

    @ DC, I agree..thanks girl :))

    @ LR, errr, can you mail me the result tomorrow please? I will keep it buried under seven seas :P :D

    @ G, you think that we wil win is enough..I know you have always been saying that..I had almost left the team whn i gotta know we were not in the same team..:P

    @ Harini, thanks buddy :) do participate next time :)

    @ Avada, thanks buddy..you feared us? :O G's team understood, but your team was pretty strong too re..:)

    @ Ramesh, thank you..

    @ Rajlakshmi, we did roar, didn't we? :) thank you girl :))

  30. Awesome journey that must've been.
    And to have persevered inspite of ppl dropping out...making so many friends...and coming up till the final round
    Congrats!And good luck! :)

  31. Wow, that's a lot of work. I am really impressed. And to make so man people agree is a feat itself. 50 mails per day?? Phew!! That's some hard work and team spirit. I hope you guys win!

  32. I was feeling so damn nostalgic about BPL that I searched up this post of yours and re-read it and the comments :-)

    BPL 2.0 will never be the same without the same people in the team, I am sure..