"YOU are who WE are." A sentence that talks about the core feeling of the fan base and their connect with the Royal Challengers Bangalore team. Initially designed to be played at the fan summit, now my entry for the Royal Send off... A feeling that came straight into the heart when I thought chanted RCB in my heart...

It's hard for me to put off the feelings that I have when writing about my relationship with RCB. Please bear with me in reading this huge post! If not, do skip to parts where there are links or directly go to the last three paragraphs...

Agree that I have to only post about stuff I've done between March an September of 2010, but my connect with RCB and the fan club goes back to
when RCB started.. I hope you don't mind glancing just a little back..

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Like every other fan when the IPL was announced I had my own loyalty problems, being in Chennai for over 15 years, my love for Chennai had grown. Chennai got itself an IPL team in the Chennai Super Kings, but my heart was always with Bangalore, more for the love of Rahul Dravid and his perfection, the team had a legend in Anil Kumble who till date has proven to be one of the best spinners of the Indian team, and a South African legend called Jaques Kallis. I loved the team more for the players than it's belongingness to either UB group or the city of Bangalore...

Season one, with a team that sported experience in a T20 line up, RCB were regarded as the underdogs, the only team that was ridiculed of being the IPL champions ever. RCB really wasn't doing well. Though I had to smile with everyone in Chennai for CSK's super performance, deep down I was only supporting Royal Challengers of Bangalore... My idol, Rahul Dravid was failing as a captain… We finished 7th!

IPL 2008, and RCB’s picture changed. Most non performers were warm the bench and suddenly there was a lot of infusion of young talent! RCB suddenly had turned its pale yellow to glittering gold... The team performed way beyond expectations and now Cricket discussions at work were in my favor with RCB at its glittering best!

The connect was now getting stronger, I started feeling more for the team than it's players... RCB now seemed like family, to see it go down was like drowning myself!

The real connect the strongest bond that remains till date comes thanks to Royal Challengers Fanatic Fans Challenge, an opportunity for a fan to realize the dream of being closest to the team, and more importantly to their idols who they have been dreaming off till date... It came as this opportunity to connect with a million other fans that supported the team you liked. It was this opportunity that found me my first friend from Bangalore, Shashank Kishore and from then is what started my liking for the city of Bangalore..

My first ever Fanatic Fan Challenge application speaks a lot about my passion for Team RCB: http://www.royalchallengers.com/application/Kunjan/
[Thank you RCB for preserving this till now]

They needed samples of stuff that I can do when being elected as an RCB fan, which is when I found the photo editing skills in me and created this post:
http://www.royalchallengers.com/ee/index.php/userblog/user-blog-comment/a_dedication_to_team_rcb_from_team_rcb_rum-champagne-booze

What was interesting was that I never took photo editing too seriously before this happened... and now over a year I've created a number of photos that continue to be liked by fans on the official facebook page..

My first ever post: http://www.royalchallengers.com/ee/index.php/userblog/user-blog-comment/zeroing_in_on_the_unsung_hero/

The post however never really attracted any attention, but is what proves my passion and Love for Rahul Dravid.

The community Managers (Nidhi) saw the passion, and I was selected ne of the Finalists for the post of Chief Fan. Oh it was fun! I didn't win, but I made found friends who I could connect to easily with the passion for RCB.

I started becoming more active. Though the majority of discussion still remained on Twitter and Facebook, I noted that rarely was there a conversation on the website, which is when I thought: "We need Forum" A place where all RCB fans without the blogging access can create threads and discuss a lot of stuff they'd want to talk about with other fans..

I wrote to Nidhi, bored her on Twitter, Spammed her on facebook and I guess she finally gave in. We discussed on why we need it, decided on the number of sections, the number of moderators, the willingness to test, forum rules and regulations and finally started what is the most content generating section of the website, The "RCB Discussion Forum"..

Oh and in-between all that: I was invited to a tweet up with Lalit Modi, Live at the Uppal Stadium in Hyderabad, in a hospitality box, with 30 other fans to watch the finals of Champions league T20. I chose to represent RCB at the event, and then this happened:
http://www.royalchallengers.com/blog/rcb_fan_kunjan_rocks_the_rcb_jersey_at_clt20_finals/

A special mention on the RCB website, Guess she picked it up from the updates about the event on twitter.

Forum was in place and I suggested some active fans to be moderators. We had a few discussion threads in place, and then started promoting it on the facebook page. When Nidhi had to travel to some place in Delhi for work, she chose some of the active fans to update status on facebook and twitter. I was one of them. It felt nice; I was really feeling like a fanatic fan..!

Disha and I started a few discussions on Rahul Dravid [Common Favorite] and publicized it on the official page. The comments started coming in slowly. We gave it another shot, and people started discussing…

Meetups formed an integral part of RCB’s activities to connect with fans outside of the internet, sadly that's the only thing that I haven't been able to do in Chennai, some for personal reasons and some for impossible-to-conduct-meetup reasons like RAIN! Days passed; month’s infact.

RCB Forum was a hit, and then came Fanatic Fans Challenge 2...

Again I was one of the few fans who knew about it long before it was announced. How? I was asked to create a review of Fanatic fans Challenge 1 as a video to help RC fans understand what FFC was all about. 3 days to launch, I was on a strict deadline, with really no scripts and no video footage I had to start from scratch. I couldn’t shoot because I had no experience of handling video. I had few ideas in mind, but really hard to execute.

The work was tough, but it was something that I didn't mind. Natasha and I exchanged a number of emails on what the script should be and within a day we had a basic script ready and a simple video to show to our boss, Nidhi =P

She suggested I inserted more pictures... We thought so too, Natasha chipped in with a few and gave me access to Siva's album! Hundreds of pictures to choose from and a script in mind, the video started taking shape. Nidhi chipped in with a few comments here and there, and finally we had what you saw as the "Flashback to Fanatic Fans Challenge 2009"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qGUzgSGV4U&p=DE9CB6A5ED63E6DC&playnext=1&index=1
[416 views outside of RCB, I'm impressed!]

I learnt windows movie maker for fun, but never did realize that I had the minutest skills to edit audio and video. It was the first video that I was really proud off, everyone including the community managers liked it, and it was published! With it came the announcement of Fanatic Fans challenge 2.

For good or bad, the Chief Fan category was tossed out... I was left with nothing but to choose from existing categories...
Videographer was the best option, and I applied using the same video that I had handmade to review Fanatic Fans Challenge 2009.

In-between all this there was a time when I was also making stuff to promote "RCB" on the social networks and blogs... The ideas of Fan Badges occurred, and I published a simple yet effective design of how a fan could show his love for RCB, and also promote FFC 2.

http://www.royalchallengers.com/blog/want-to-be-a-royal-challengers-ambassador
[A special mention thanks to Community manager Natasha who says: "Want to be a Royal Challenger’s Ambassador? Fanatic Fan KunJan tells us how."]

Finalist at FFC again! More than being happy to be along side Anil Kumble, I was happy that here was another chance to meet fans I turned into friends from FFC 1 and to meet fans who I had never seen faces of from the website..! Shashank Kishore, Disha Shetty, Niyati Doshi, Pradeep Sanyal, Nidhi, Jayshree, Pradeep Bhat, a few new ones in Sandeep Satnarayan, Community Manager Natasha and a plenty others.

Anil and Ray Jennings recognized me from the last challenge, but found my video too amateurish. Yes, the video for the audition was bad, because I never really shot the videos with a script in mind, and I lost again! Ray Jennings thankfully saw me as a persistent trier and suggested I explored more tools to video editing. I returned to Chennai having had the best FFC experience once again...

Before I could calm down, and talk to friends about the experience on social networks, there was another announcement of Mighty 14, 14 fans from each city.. All that was required was for them to show the passion for RCB. And?

You know I applied, but I forced my mom, dad, and sister who are major Rahul Dravid fans like me to also apply. Translated my moms feelings in English on the website, and expressed each word that sister had to say! Dad never needed to be asked of what he felt of Rahul Dravid and RCB because he was one of the first people to induce the passion for cricket in me. The passion translated into another win, and here I was at the Park Sheraton hotel in Chennai coordinating with the fans and sharing experiences of being an RCB loyalist!

Sandeep and I, already friends were having a good time only when we found out that the mystery player was non other than RAHUL DRAVID! A dream was realized, I was face to face with a man who I dreamt of daily. A man who I've learned most of the cricket from, a man who continues to inspire me in leading a life of a champion. I wish the moment froze. Those 2 minutes registered as one of the biggest and the most amazing moments of my life.

More in Sandeep’s Podcast: http://www.royalchallengers.com/ee/index.php/userblog/user-blog-comment/mighty-14-at-chennai1/
After a ball of time at the stadium, and giving Nidhi the taste of good tamil food we all went home in a cheerful mood, still dreaming about Rahul Dravid!

It didn't end there. I was still actively in conversation with Nidhi on forum moderation, generating pictures that transformed into content for facebook. Soon after the IPL 3 ended, where RCB did fairly well in terms of Cricket, we at the website were adding fans with the speed of light.
RCB decided to have a fan summit, and I was assigned the responsibility of presenting a video. Yes, another Video. No content, No topic, and really no time to execute everything that you have wanted to do.

Having been busy at work most of the time, I was only left with was 3 hours and in all that I created this beautiful piece that turned out not only inspirational to me but to the other fans. “YOU are who WE are”. A perfect line, which expressed true feeling of a fan for their connection with the team.

The inspiration came from the latest music piece I had downloaded off the internet... More about the video and the video itself here:

http://www.royalchallengers.com/ee/index.php/userblog/user-blog-comment/rcb-fan-summit-2010-my-contribution/

Every word that is in the video expresses the feelings that occurred to me when I thought of RCB more importantly the captain Anil Kumble. Sadly, the fan summit was time bound, and Natasha couldn't slot in the video for presentation.

This kick started a few ideas that I wanted translated as videos, but most never really came through because of the lack of time... Presented ideas at the fan summit that has helped the club go forward.

I continued editing pictures, added words that inspired and posted them on facebook to keep the passion alive. I still sport the iSupport Fan badge on my blog, and it will continue to be there as long as RCB exists...

FFC3, My contribution this time was as a podcaster, because for some reason RCB thought that the role of a videographer was non existent and meaningless with a Photographer carrying the camera. Audio editing wasn't a discovery that I had made, I was already editing pieces for friends and for fun.

I applied, and hours later came this from the community managers.
http://www.royalchallengers.com/blog/kunjans-chuppa-rustam-podcaster-app-to-ffc3

For the first time ever in FFC competitions, I didn’t really have to ask friends to vote. People who knew me automatically started voting and the recommendations spoke for themselves. I was being supported without even being asked for it.

Something that only your family does for you. I was now being fed the reward for being a good friend and an active Royal Challenger fan!

For the first time, I walked into the competition confident, confident of not screwing up in the interview. But as Luck has it, I screwed up the final podcast. Good introduction, but with a meaningless, baseless and a stupid story ended up as a piece that nobody would care to listen.

I didn't expect to be selected as a chief and so it happened! The discovery of Podcasting talent has happened, and will continue, and so I was happy!

Oh yea, and I made merchandise that never really got to the online store.. I'm still working on how RCB can help me execute that!

Thanks to a number of fan friends from Bangalore, a city that I never had a reason to visit has now turned into a place I wouldn't mind settling down in. It now feels like I want to be there every weekend, Thanks to RCB and the friends I could make through RCB.

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Here we are, today, the 30th of August when I write this blog, giving you reasons of why I should be one of the three fanatic fans who should be chosen to travel to Durban to cheer for the team.

When I look back all I can see is being part of every event, every sad and joyous moment on the website, on the social page. There really hasn't been an event that I have missed. Sometimes invited, sometimes as a finalist.

A lot of work and sweat, a lot of passion and a lot of red and gold bring me this status of a fanatic fan! I really do not have much work on RCB site to show off, as you can see, after reading this entry; I'm not much of a writer either.

I write, but it's not popular. I wish to write on the site, but the content and style isn’t close to what is considered “Good”. I wish I had put all the videos and photos as a blog post, but I didn't.

With really nothing else to show except my face, the name “KunJan”, and the title of a Fanatic fan to show you. Here I am, talking to you about the passion for the team, passion for the fan club, but nothing more than 2 videos, a few pictures, in the period of March and September 2010...

I stand here paralyzed. Paralyzed by the fact that there really isn't content that could explain the work I have put in over the last few years towards the community, towards the fan club. Here I stand, In front of you, trying to find reasons for you to vote, and I'm still standing here, thinking!

I lay my trust on the RC fans who I've met, who I've made strong friendship's with, the community managers, the people at EC who I meet over and over again, to give everyone in the fan club a reason or two to vote for me, and elect me as a RC fan who should win this opportunity to travel to South Africa, not on a job like the chiefs, but as a reward for carrying the spirit of Royal Challengers Bangalore all around me..

Kunal
PS: I wish somebody could see the stats on my twitter account, and find that 80 pc of it is about RCB... If you think I have done enough work to prove my fanaticism for the club, and you think that the content posted by somebody else on me is worthy of me being considered as a true fan, vote for me!