All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Oh, that was becoming so true until last weekend. With the Indian summer peaking too early this year, it was time to look forward to sunnier skies and a perfect outing to refresh. And what better than an occasional team outing for employees, sponsored by the company? For a while now, we wanted to go for a trip, but with a major upgrade release around the corner, the last few months were taxing, racing against time to deliver the biggest innovation that has happened in BizTalk Server area in the last decade. Most of our days passed like discussing, planning product features, writing codes, testing this, debugging that, short coffee breaks, longer office times and make sure everything is perfect.
Finally after the release of BizTalk360 v8.0, life turned routine for us and this idea of outdoor trip started creeping slowly in our minds. We planned this trip in no time and we also had three of the core members from UK team (Saravana Kumar, Gowri Ramkumar, and Ricardo Torre) in India for a short visit. So it was no brainer for us to club this outing with their stay in India.
Choosing the Venue
Well, how did we choose our venue? The weather dictated this heavily. Coimbatore, usually having pleasant weather is peaking too hot too early this summer. So we decided to choose a venue with lots of shades and trees where we can churn up relief on a hot day. So finally when we decided the venue for our day-long outing as Vision Nature Resorts – a resort with tropical ambiance at Attapadi Hills in Kerala. Attapadi is a nature centric getaway and a base point to access Silent Valley National Park; it is a very nice place to relax and enjoy with family and friends.
The Joy Day
The day was 1st of April, popularly termed as Fools’ day. We chose the day before the weekend, so the weekend is more for burning the tiredness. On the day of our outing, everyone was hyped and excited to get started to the resort which was roughly about 30 miles from our office. It took us almost 2 hours of drive to reach the resort. As soon as the bus crossed the office gates there was music blasting off the speakers and the inevitable dance just followed in minutes. The beat of the loud music vibrated deep inside, even some of our usually shy and quiet friends were up on their feet dancing and moving along the beats with loud cheers throughout the travel time.
We reached the resort after a bumpy road ride up the hills and many of us wanted to waste no time and dive right-in the swimming pool! But we were disappointed to know that the pool was under maintenance. Even the sun god was not kind enough on us. It was scorching hot and mercury meters touched close to 40 C, so we had to settle down for some indoor fun games and photo sessions in the shades of trees.
All of us were extremely hungry after a couple of hours of fun games, pranks and laughter’s which surely worked up our appetite. We then headed straight to the restaurant for lunch. We had a delicious lunch on offer including spicy biriyanis’ and chilly stuffed hot gravies. After the sumptuous lunch, we were quickly back on our feet taking a walk to the open ground for a game of cricket. India being a cricket crazy country, blistering weather doesn’t stop us from running and diving in the dust-bowls to stop the ball to save a run reminding us of our childhood days. We were thoroughly enjoying our game with Ricardo learning the art of bowling, Saravana diving full stretch to save his wicket, Senthil being bowled by his son, Subbu doing some wonderful umpiring duties — few highlights of the game.
Even the kids were not spared, they enjoyed the entire day playing and dancing for tunes!
It was almost time for us to leave, and we didn’t know how time flew over the past few hours. We all gathered over a round of coffee + snacks and it was time for some awards and honours! When many start-ups are struggling to retain the best talent at work, our management decided to honour the employees who are with the company from the early days of India operations. To wind up the day’s fun, we had Swetha, the ever soft spoken lady, to sing a beautiful song and Vishnu doing the final honours with his stylish moves.
All the photos here speaks volumes of joy, Vel and Sriram steal the credit for these photographs.
Before long, it was time for us to leave. Oh, the outing was over. Last photographs taken in haste, and we were on our way back home- with memories of the fantastic day spent at Vision Nature Resorts. Probably it wasn’t the best of trips from sightseeing point of view. Yet, it is definitely one we will always remember and cherish in our memories because of the sheer energy of the group.