BumblersSeema looked into the mirror for one last time “Well that’s as much corporate as I ever will be!” Just as she picked up her cell to call Amrita, she walked into the room and yelled, “Oh my gosh! Are we supposed to dress all prim and proper? I look like I am going for casual tea in front of you! I will have to go and change again,” wailed Amrita. “You mean we are not supposed to dress corporate? What will the reporter think? She might think I am a snob!” Seema declared almost at the same time as Amrita wailed. They both stood still for a second before bursting into laughter.  “Oh! God, I am already feeling sorry for the reporter. She is going to go crazy. I hope she is fun or this will be the worst interview ever”, said Seema between her giggles.

They both looked in the mirror for one last time before heading to the coffee shop where they planned to meet the reporter. They were going to be featured in one of the most popular creative magazines in India. It was a big day for them. Just as they entered the coffee shop, a girl in her early twenties waved back at them. They smiled at her and made way towards her. As they sat down, the girl said “Hi! I am Sheena and I will be covering the interview today. My photographer is running late but he will join us before we finish the interview and that’s when we will click some pictures for the article and cover page.” Both Seema and Amrita looked at each other and burst out laughing again. Looking at the amused looks of Sheena they quickly composed themselves and said, “We just remembered something.” “What was it, let’s start from there. I don’t want this to be a formal interview, let’s talk and we will see where we head.”

“Well, we first met at a gym. The Vogue Gym! Our plump and petite figures need constant attention you see! ” said Amrita sheepishly “Yeah! It was funny, we were cycling next to each other and we had the same trainer. He was pretty hard on us and I was like ‘Dude! It’s not like I need to come on a Vogue cover! You can relax,’ said Seema. That’s when Amrita quipped ‘Yeah! We are just trying to avoid The Medical Post when they run a cover story on Obesity.’ “Both of us started laughing hysterically while the trainer looked dumbfounded and amused at the same time.” “After the gym session, we bitched about exercising and this whole hype about being slim and fit while polishing off some ice-cream. We bonded over food and non- exercising” said a smiling Amrita.

They remembered how they became inseparable in the coming months. “The funny part was we were never interested in exercising, but we always managed to find humor or end up in hilarious situations at the gym!” said Seema. “Actually it was not just the gym if we were together, we either ended up in funny situations or we did sight something funny!” quipped Amrita.

Sheena asked, “Was that the inspiration for your venture?” She was enjoying the conversation with the duo.   “Kind of… trailed off Amrita’s voice.” She wasn’t sure where to start when Seema took over. “We met up for coffee one day and had managed to confuse the waiter with our order. While we were having a hearty laugh at ourselves, somewhere in between those exasperated looks of the waiter and the confused looks of other café goers I sketched it on my sketchpad.  I doodled a bit as a hobby.” “I showed the sketch to Amrita and we laughed some more. None of us thought anything about it then. Later, once Amrita came visiting and we were cribbing about our current jobs at my place. She chanced upon my sketchbook. Most of the sketches were of the hilarious situations that we had been. She burst out laughing and said “Yeh toh Seema aur Amrita ke 101 kisse hai” Just for kicks we added one sketch on Facebook and soon enough it got good likes. But it was missing something, that’s when I added a few more sketches with witty one –liner’s from Amrita and lo and behold, it became viral instantly!” “This whole thing was very exciting for us and we started doing it seriously.  We created a page and started adding these sketches. We even asked people if they had been in some funny situations and we started creating sketches and one-liners based on that. Slowly and steadily we had a dedicated fan following for our page. By now we were totally bored of our current jobs and decided to see if we could make something of this viral publicity. That’s when we both quit the job and started thinking seriously about taking this forward.

How was everyone’s reaction to this decision? Enquired Sheena, fully engrossed in their story. “Our parents went bonkers! They just couldn’t understand what could be boring about a well-paying software job. But we knew we just had to do this. We decided to take a year’s break to concentrate on this.” Seema added, “Next step came about naming this project. We just had a page named sketches from Seema and Amrita. It was never officially named. One evening we were sitting in my room and listening to music while pouring over the sketches and thinking of what this can be when ‘We are the Champions ‘started playing on the laptop. Amrita instantly replied ‘I know what we should name our project – We are the Bumblers!” Amrita added excitedly “It was true that we always ended up in funny situations. We were bumblers and I wanted it to be considered with some amount of respect. I mean, isn’t it because of people like us that your life gets its daily dose of humor?”

We were a bit apprehensive when we changed the name and started identifying our sketches and page as a brand. We weren’t sure how people will take it. It was a gamble that we decided to take. Sheena just added, “And what a rewarding gamble it has been!” The photographer came up to Sheena and she decided to take a break and click some pictures.

The magazine came out the next week with the headline – The Genius who made Bumblers Cool! Seema’s father picked up a copy and read the article. It said… The phenomenal success of the Facebook page ‘We are the Bumblers’ translated into various designer accessories and other knick-knacks. Custom made gifts with these sketches and one-liners became a rage and the brand “We are the Bumblers” is now popular all over India.  They will soon be coming out with an illustrated edition of ‘We are the Bumblers’ book which is believed to break some records. Her father’s eyes glistened with tears. His little blundering girl was a respected businesswoman.  He could not contain his happiness and pride.

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