I started this entry last thursday, before leaving for HYD to attend mukt.in from Aug1-3 but as is wont, had things to update the draft with. Last week at this time, I was travelling with Hemanth to talk about "women in Libre software communities" at mukt.in, an (un)conference which had talks, demos and sessions on Libre software.

Pavi picked us up and I met another main organiser of mukt.in, Srikrishna Das ; then it was off to OU for the event where I met all the Chennai LUG members. For some reason a lot of people thought i was coming from Chennai. I wonder if it has anything to do with the whois <evil grin>.  Attended a talk on Sahana by Ajay a gsoc student, met sudharshan - gsoc for openmoko (yeah I still owe you a chocolate), Shakthi, Narendra and so many folks.

In the evening we visited Hussain Sagar lake, got caught in a heavy rain shower. I was more worried about the laptop getting soaked than myself. Instead of T-shirts a nice laptop raincoat would be more useful in India. Ofcourse, getting drenched in the rain was the perfect aggravator for my sinus and i was sniffling through out. Walking on Hyderabad streets at midnight felt safe because I had 10 guys to protect me and we returned with difficulty. I still had to prepare change the slides for my talk on Saturday....doh!!

Not having slept all night didnt make me drowsy and my presentation went well. After seeing Randy's Last lecture I was inspired to follow that style. However speaking to some girls on friday made me realise why it would not work... most people expect slides with information, resource, links, etc... and may not feel like googling for every thing you spoke about.

After my talk, we had a BOF on entrepreneurship and post lunch I took off for the SalarJung museum with Cyberorg (Jigish Gohil). I had hardly finished seeing a few artifacts when they kicked us all out at 5pm sharp. Gee, I wish we Indians followed punctuality elsewhere too. For me a whole day in the museum would not have been enough. The ivory carvings, belgian cut glass, silks, swords and 11th century artifacts were soooo beautiful, with a lots more that I missed when I could not stand and stare, admire and dream about. Next time maybe!! Later Ajay, Hemanth, Warren and me had some chow and returned to base with my nemesis "rain" to keep us company and aggravate my sinus.

On Aug03, the last day, I awoke with a splitting headache with the sinus problem aggravating it. Eating the Chole Krish's mom made (with due credit to A :)), which was just YUMMY and tasted exactly like D makes it, alleviated the headache somewhat. I managed to walk in (albeit late) to a talk on "how to lead an open source project" by Sebastiaan Deckers and also heard Antano Solar talking about getting involved in the libre software community. He had interesting snippets on how to start contributing, following the learning methods with curiosity, isolating concepts and keeping it simple. I love the example of the child he used to illustrate his point and the best part about his presentation was he allowed people from the audience to come on stage and share the limelight with him. That is something few speakers do and definitely worth emulating imho.

A special word of thanks to all the OU volunteers and the mukt.in team. They did a fantastic job of pulling it together. Minus the rains, things would have been perfect. I had tons of masti with people who were absolute strangers till then, just loved the rapport and spirit each person brought, not to mention all the laughs we shared. FUNtastic, will-do-it-again !!

For those who like visuals, here are some pictures :

http://www.shakthimaan.com/Mambo/gallery/album49

http://picasaweb.google.com/sudhasiva2006/MuktIn2008?authkey=4IrfOLkuDMs

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/hhemanth/MuktIn02