Thursday, June 05, 2003

A Team Building Trip to Munnar

A Team Building Trip to Munnar

This is a fond travelog of our Munnar Team Building Trip. We (Members of the MPS Project of CS Software Solutions) were planning to go stay out together on a team building spirit. After talks to our CEO (Srinivas Thirunagari), COO (Paul Kuttikadan) and CFO (Gangadharan Manari), the proposal was accepted. On 28th May, we started from Chennai Egmore by Pearl City Express. We reached Madurai junction sometime about 0500 on 29th. Since the agreed Parveen Travels was expected only by 7 AM, we were just roaming around in the Madurai Railway Station premises itself for sometime.

About 8 PM, our Parveen Travels bus came and we boarded the bus. After about two to three hours through Theni and the hill ghat roads, we reached Munnar. Our place of booking was HillView restaurant at Munnar. After some group photo near the Entrance, we got our rooms alloted. I got my room along with Balaji Pitchumani as roommate. Balaji had brought his kid (Ananya) too. So it was all around fun with the tiny tot. Even Lakshmi Rajagopal was enjoying her time with Ananya a lot. Our HR Manager (Francis Jeyaraj) has taken yeoman efforts in getting together the team in this memorable trip.

After a brief rest and relaxation, we started to a nearby waterfall. The package accomodation did carry provision for transport for local sight seeing. There were about three jeeps that were given for our team for local sight seeing. We were enjoying the evening near the waterfall and briefly at Munnar Market.

The next day was to a hillock and we were playing some cricket and other sports games over there. Almost towards three PM we returned to the hotel. We took some rest and again started over to Munnar Market. Cherries, Strawberries and Tea are famous in Munnar (since this is a hill station and these products are cheap and fresh over here). We also had some quick bite snacks in Munnar Hotel and then came to the restaurant for dinner.

There were some programmes conducted as part of GetTogether like Songs, Antakshari and contests. We were taking part in the same and enjoying it. I even won a small sports watch as a prize for enacting an event of Santosh making the gesture in Office like Hanuman carrying the mobile of Jayanthi Varadarajan to her, while she was in Pantry. From then on, he got a nick name 'Bajrangbali'. And interestingly, this event enacted by me won me a sports watch.

We returned back to the room and Francis called for an urgent meeting. There seemed to be some local problem and strike and hence the return travel that scheduled next day afternoon, should get preponed to early morning. Since the hartal is going to be full Idukki district, our bus might not be able to cross the Munnar border of Pooppara. Well! We just were touring through all the rooms meeting each other and having fun. The next day early morning at 3 AM, the hotel welcome room called each of us in thier 'Wake Up Schedule'. We collected our belongings and jumped into the bus.

The return journey was still more fun. Sreedhar Katikireddy and Santosh Kumar Sinha were room mates. It seemed that Sreedhar and Santosh had ventured first time into the mini bar in the room. While Sreedhar could manage the doses, Santosh over very excited in the bus and he was almost dancing amuck. After a while, when Santosh was tired, Arulvendan put some paint too on his face. Even today, when I fondly recall this to Santosh, he laughs. But what was mixed in the cool drink the previous night by Sreedhar was a big suspense. In the melee, we reached a small place before Theni where we had some quick breakfasts. After that the bus started to Madurai and reached sometime around 12. Since we had the train only at about 9 PM, the team planned a trip to Adhisayam Water Team Park near Madurai. But three of us were reluctant and we went to some nearby temples. Those were myself, Lakshmi Rajagopal and her sister. I went to Madurai Meenakshi and Thirupparankundram Madurai temple. We then had some quick bite before we started off to Madurai Railway station to travel back to Chennai. We got the Pandian Express and returned to Chennai sometime about 6 AM.