2022 was the year when most companies started getting back to the routine of working from their office with the pandemic subsiding significantly. However, social media was filled with debates about WFH or WFO and which of the two is better suited to the corporate world.
The year was also quite momentous for us at SmartQ. We expanded our businesses exponentially, organized our first-ever Hackathon with the Compass Group, celebrated our 7th anniversary, RISHTAA, and moved to our new state-of-the-art office.
But we felt it was time that the team took a break from work to spend time with each other and strengthen our bonds. That is when we decided to go on a trip to Sakleshpur. When we realized that a few other teams like tech ops, and international ops were planning to take a trip around the same time, we all decided to go together.
Our excitement was soaring as it was our first trip together in over two years.
On the day of our trip, we reached the office with much excitement. I noticed happy faces and a buzzing atmosphere in the office.
At 8 in the evening, we all boarded our bus and headed off to Sakleshpur for the much-awaited jaunt.
After an hour or so, we arrived at a spot just outside Bangalore.
“How many of you are hungry? Because reaching Empire will take some time.” Keshav asked us all.
We were not starving at that time, but most of us wanted to munch on something.
We all decided to have a pitstop.
“I know a place nearby. We will stop there in a bit.” He reverted.
We stopped at a small dosa joint called ‘Mylari Dosa’. The place looked like any other traditional dosa place.
We ordered dosa with chicken curry, a famous combination in Bangalore.
The dosa was thin, crispy, and with just the right degree of softness. I have lived in Bangalore for over 5 years and tried most dosa joints, but I had never tasted something like it before. It was indeed a perfect dosa. We gobbled up a few dosas without even realizing that we overate.
What I love about working at SmartQ is we recommend great food joints to each other in the team. Each one of us is a foodie and no matter what we are discussing, we somehow connect the dots with food.
We continued the trip after our delicious break.
Since we all were energized post our snack break, we amused ourselves by singing, dancing, and playing games. Our bus turned into a little discotheque.
We reached the resort the next morning at 6. It was a beautiful resort located amid lush greenery and surrounded by hills of the Western Ghats. It looked like a perfect place to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
I had a rough week with a fever and cold, but I was immediately rejuvenated when I arrived at the resort.
We checked into our rooms and freshened up. Soon after, we all gathered at the dining lounge to fill our tummies.
The breakfast was quite lavish with a wide spread of idli, vada, savige bath, puri saagu, and sweets. The food was delicious, and we all enjoyed it as we soaked in the gorgeous view.
The resort had several activity and sports areas including a swimming pool, high rope, swings, badminton court, and an open ground for cricket.
Many of us jumped into the swimming pool and played an improvised version of water polo. It was a fun and relaxing activity that charged all of us for the day.
We followed it up with cricket, badminton, and volleyball. A few of us went on a short trek as well. Subsequently, we explored other places in the resort and discovered a natural pond with a rope bridge and some of us with an adventurous streak even managed to cross it without falling in the water.
The resort was beautiful with lush green surroundings and the perfect place to relax, unwind, listen to good music, and dance away from our stressful lives. The whole setting gave that vibe, and we had a wonderful time.
Later that evening, we were all excited about the party night. We poured ourselves some drinks, danced, gossiped, and had great fun.
It was the first time our entire Marketing team came together under one roof and spent quality time with each other. We shared our interests, likes and dislikes, and understood each other better.
The next morning, we took a final dip in the pool as an adieu to the resort. We clicked pictures and headed towards our bus.
This was the culmination of our weekend trip to Sakleskpur.
The whole outing was invigorating and mesmerizing. We truly enjoyed the time we spent with each other. The recreational activity was a great way of breaking the ice with cross-team members and interacting with each other.
The time spent with the team brought all of us closer, helped us share a better understanding, and harmonize our thoughts.
We went back with great zeal, fond memories, and a stronger bond.
It is indeed true when they say, SmartQ is one big family.