Sunday, May 06, 2007

Fun at Garud Machi High Places

After ANOTHER long, and I mean REALLY LONG, gap, we at Nevis, had another outing. Albeit, purpose was a little different, but not for me ;-) All the employees, in batches of 15 each were sent to High Places' Garud Machi, a place near Thamini Ghats. 2 Days-2 nights, the outing had a theme of Team Building! Damn! Who cares! All I cared for was an outing, that too during working days :-P , for I already am a good team player!

(Amazing mist-clad mountain behind our dorm)

Caution: This post is really LONG, just in case you missed to notice that! For it deserves to be! So don't read unless you have enough leisure time! Don't tell me later it was SOOOOO long and I didn't warn!

We started at about 1701 hrs from office. We were only 8, instead of 15 :-( Smaller numbers, to me, implies lesser fun. Glad I was wrong on this :-D Two of the colleagues were expected to join us early morning, the coming day, that made us 10! WOW!

The journey was BAD! Road's sooooo @!$#ing bad that it will make even the most tolerant feel nauseating!!! The BIG bus we were commuting by, made us slow making the journey only more painful in the steamy hot weather. To add to it, the driver played a movie (I don't call it a movie though) by the name of Big Brother! It only added to the agony. But I'm thankful to GOD, the 2nd CD was badly scratched and so couldn't be played! I even tossed the idea of chucking this whole outing and steering our bus to Goa, and have a blast for 3 days plus 2 days of the weekend!!! Phew!!! 3 hrs since the onset, we all were relieved to see journey come to an end, AT Garud Machi.

After having tea & snacks, freshening up a little bit, we all gathered to understand what was the aim of this whole outing! DAMN! Do we have to do that? I mean, can't we just stay here, away from the regular din of coding, bugs, debugging, network outages, deadlines, meetings, etc. do NOTHING, for a change! Of course not, Nevis has paid a handsome amount for this programme, I recalled ;-)
I personally had only 2 aims...
1. Break away from daily mundane grinding routine
2. Know my colleagues better. Outings are THE ONLY time when you actually come to know them, of course only if you are ready to set aside your pre-conceived notions and prejudices.

Now, contrary to what the theme was (Team-Building, just in case you have forgotten it by now!), there was NOT going to be a single activity geared towards evoking that cliched desire to build teams per-se! There's going to be not a word on, the much cliched word, synergy!!! Now that's getting interesting! I was as restless to find out as you are right now!

So what's the idea! Well, it's a little unconventional, and will be difficult to digest, initially. I'll see if I can make it any easier... The whole idea of this 72hrs outing was to make oneself AWARE! Aware of the possibilities, perspective, consequences, etc. which we usually ignore as mundane, meaningless or plainly don't come to think of it. All the activities will help trigger some thought process and post-activity we discussed our views, stance, perspective, reasoning, etc. Idea is to make one aware to see beyond our traditional cognizance. See it from someone else's eyes! Think! How many times do you do it! This broadens your horizon... you tend to see things differently, and make a better call! Your actions are better thought of.

(Time to flex some muscles, after rock-climbing. L-R: self, Amit & Sudesh.)

I wouldn't disclose the nature of activities, for you might lose the zest to participate in it. Besides, they weren't out of the world. But I'll definitely share the photos. And of course, I'll talk about 1 activity in particular... Rappelling! This is the first time I ever did it! I always wanted to do it, it's sooooo adventurous! But never got an opportunity! We climbed the 33ft. artificial wall and then climbed down, from the other side. I wouldn't say I was NOT scared, with scores of safety measures, so many measures that even if you wanted to kill yourself deliberately, you CAN'T! Up at 33ft. with back to ground, and body inclined at 70 degrees to the wall, a hundred instructions from the mountaineers, you, for sure, are not in the most comfortable of positions. But at the end I was ecstatic!

(Our dorm, a better view!)

Now something about the place... Garud Machi:
It's surrounded by mountains from almost all the sides, you have a feeling you are staying at the foot of hills, in a valley! All the time I kept wondering what this place might be like in monsoon.... a paradise full of waterfalls... a zillion of them, at the least! And did I forget the night trek!!! WOW! We drove to the foot of Thamini Ghat, 16kms from our base. We started in the sunlight, reached the top a little later after sunset. But we waited there, sweating, sipping amazing lemon juice and eating cherry-red apples, previous camp talks, and fun only multiplied when all the residual golden tinge in the sky was completely overshadowed by the creepiness of the deadly darkness! When it was pitch dark, we started our descend... with spot torches! I was really scared of only one thing... rolling myself on sooooo many of the loose round pebbles and have a nasty fall on my tush, esp. with a pointed stone waiting for me :-D But nothing of that sorts happened, to no one! It was exhaustingly exhilarating to trek down a mountain in the night! This was followed by camp-fire, of course without the fire. Some really good singers we had, I realized! But the gem of the times were when we talked of personal stories at lunch and dinner tables!

I didn't want to come back, and neither did other 9 people! But this trip had to end :-( Most of the colleagues I went with, were the ones with whom I don't have to interact much often. Thanks to this outing, as someone put it, we all went as colleagues but returned as friends! More cognizant of each other's likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses!!! I sure made some good new friends.

Back to Pune, I spent most of my weekend with my Guruji, more on his sermons later. But I had to miss my Sunday football session. Now I'm itching all over for this week to pass away quickly to next Sunday-game! Also, I manged to see 12 Angry Men, a beautifully made movie (b&w) about our prejudices and pre-conceived notions, again, more on this at some later time. It's worth watching!

The Gang, sitting L-R: Husainee, Rahul, Sachin, self.
standing L-R: Seyed, Milind(facilitator), Jitu, Sudesh, AmitJ, Vishal, AmitS, Chandra

And here are some videos:


Aboli said...

Boy You sure had a great time there .... !!!!
just had a short trip to garud machi via ur post ... a sure visit in my list now ! :-D
And hey cool snaps.... though u could have done better in the biceps flaunting snap ;-)

Sagar Bhanagay said...

Man... seems like u'll had a helluva time! And I was planning to skip it all this while! :). BTW... does Jaya (who's been emphasizing the no-disclosure pact) know about this post? :D

anand said...

hi! this is anand.would you mind giving me d contact for high places garud machi- would like to email-