MVP Open Day South Asia was held in Hyderabad from Jan 20, 2010 to Jan 23, 2010. This event was a fun-filled event as well as an educational one. The event was held at Microsoft IDC at Hyderabad, the largest Microsoft Development location after Redmond. I had great time meeting my friends and some of the renowned experts from all over the South Asia. The whole event started with networking with other MVPs as well as Product Group members.
Besides lots of learning and meeting experts, this event was filled with fun too. The best thing for me was that I went there with my family. I attended the event with my wife – Nupur and my four-month-old daughter Shaivi. Though I was busy meeting my fellow MVPs and Microsoft Experts, I still had quality time to spend with my family. This event was held at Ista Hotel, Hyderabad. Nupur really liked the Spa there. While we were at sessions, she had a great time herself. She even met a couple of film stars at the hotel.
Shaivi, my little one, had great time as well. It was her first tour out of my state. She had never traveled outside our city since she was born; it was also her first air journey. She was such a nice baby and never cried during her whole journey in flight. She was one of the most popular persons at the event and also the most photographed one. Needless to say, I was the one who took most of her photographs!
There were plenty of fun programs scheduled at the event. Every evening at dinner, we had networking and gathering of the MVPs. I think this was the best time of the day as after whole day of technical sessions and techno-talk, all the MVPs and Experts are in a very light mood to have fun. Not to mention that during the same time, we could share the best with them. There was an excellent theme party arranged on one of the nights. The theme was “Qawwali.” During this party, there were loads of singing and dancing – all the MVPs and experts had loads of fun. Allen, my friend from Nepal, helped me join the dancing party.
I must say that every time I meet Windows expert Vijay Raj, I just feel that I met my lost brother. He was the first one to remind me this year that I must visit the MVP Open Day event; and he was the first one to call me on the first day of MVP Open Day asking why I have yet not reached to the Hyderabad. Shaivi indeed had great time at the event as well as she got to see many new things and new people. Abhishek Kant gave her the first piano lessons of her life! I have wonderful photographs of Abhishek teaching her piano. Jacob is quite known for teaching me SQL, but I had learned few tips on how to handle young kid as well. Sanjay Shetty, one of the Regional Directors of MS India, was one of the guys who should not be missed. We had a great time together talking about the community. He even introduced us to few other community leaders.
Suprotim Agrawal and Minal Agrawal are the very first MVP couple of India. Suprotim is great a great person; he is not only an expert in Dotnet, but also very fluent with regard to the SQL Server. We talked about community, blogs and even making money! Minal and Nupur got along very well, and as far as I know, they were busy talking about recipes. I had great pleasure to meet one of the very senior DotNet MVPs. Hima Bindu Vejella, during the event. Hima is the community leader of the Hyderabad User Group; she impressed my family with her efficiency and very polite nature. She was kind enough to share some tips with us on how one can manage home and work efficiently.
Every night, we had late night sessions, where all the “geeks” talked about technology in an extremely light mood; we, in fact, had one of the best arguments on different search engines. On one night, we had a great time learning different SEO tricks from Amit Agrawal. Amit is a great guy and a very down-to-earth person. He openly participated and shared all the knowledge with us. He did not hesitate to answer any questions which we asked. He even gave us tips on how we can improve our blogging skills; Amit took personal interest in SQLAutohrity.com too. I must confess that after meeting him, my respect for him has increased.
I cannot end the review of my event if I forget to mention the video of the Vic. Vic, as usual, is very innovative and to the point. Geetesh Bajaj, who is hails from Hyderabad but the internationally known author of Powerpoint books was as usual very helpful. All the MVPs visited Golkunda Fort and had great fun at the Sound and Light Show. I must mention that I won a portable hard drive using my Karma Points. I enjoyed my interaction with the MVPs of Sri Lanka as well; I even managed to learn a few words from their local language.
I honestly would like to express my huge thanks to all the MVPs whom I met as well as Microsoft for organizing such a great event, where all the leaders of the community came together to meet the simple goal of helping the community.
Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)