My alarm clock can even turn a graveyard into a deranged discotheque. Probably a step closer to a medieval fire siren. That’s what one exactly needs when he wishes to be woken up in the middle of a deep slumber that started just three hours back. 25th April: a day before the outbound was scheduled; the entire batch of Champions (That’s what our batch has been named by our very own Uncle Bala.) had some long sessions of interactions with visiting professors and lonely CEOs. So by the time we hit the bed it was close to 3 A.M and we had to catch one of the morning busses which were assigned to transport us from the school premises to the resort – Green Coconut.
The clock did it’s job (arghhh!) and by 7 in the morning of 26th April, I was tying my shoelaces .After a ultra-light breakfast at the college canteen where a good chunk of the junta had already assembled , we headed towards the busses . Three of them were lined and by around 8 we were on our way towards the resort. It is located by the ECR Highway, the road which connects Chennai with Pondicherry and runs parallel to the beach. It took us around three-quarters of an hour; thanks to the morning traffic. The place was spacious spread over a few picturesque acres; lawns, a spa, a swimming pool, play courts; in short a well laid out leisure spot.
We assembled on one of the lawns where the team from Mantra was waiting. Mantra an organization which is probably the pioneer in attitude consulting. The team comprises a bunch of smart professionals from many walks of life. They keep taking such courses for many organizations and top B Schools across the country. After a warm welcome we were asked to split ourselves into three teams which was pre-decided on one of our earlier get together. Each team would follow a set of two Coordinators from Mantra and spend a good lot of time with them before making it to the other set of coordinators. There were four separate sessions spread over the two days.
1- Games , skits , introductions( indoors)
2- Learn salsa in 3 hours, 7 minutes.
3- Out door challenges
4- Yoga, Fashion show, scavenger hunt.
On Day 1 , our team had the first two sessions . One in the morning was interesting indeed. Innovative ways of remembering names .Apart from that we had a skit challenge. Our team was split into four for having a contest . It was a pleasure seeing everyone come up with twenty thousand ideas for each shot. After the skits and the results , we were again split into two to play the “man gun down the bear” game. The session was wrapped up just before lunch and after a relatively heavy lunch we headed towards Part 2: Salsa.
A crash course was the least one could say to describe the scheme of things that happened on the dance floor. It was a dream come true for many of us who never had a chance to learn the dance. The instructor was a hyper-smart ex- Indian Air Force squadron leader. One thing about these guys at the Air Force – When it comes to versatility and attitude, it’s hard to beat them. What happened in those three flash-hours punched deep into the memories of many of us. There were guys who hated dancing from the core of their hearts to the tip of their finger nails. But the three hours turned them into hard core Salsa fans. The session ended at about 5:30 in the evening.
Rooms were assigned to each one of us and we were asked to assemble at the new hall before dinner. The next two hours were open. Everyone could do what they felt was fine.
Some hit the swimming pool, some went for hitting the volleyball, some went for a beach walk and some decided to take a dreamless (!) sleep in their respective rooms.
All of us met at 7:30 in the new hall.
It started with a Glen Campbell country classic “Rhinestone Cowboy” sung by the DJ aka Salsa Specialist aka x-IAF aka talented forty-something .The numbers that followed soon turned the entire hall into a dance floor .We had an excellent time and after a good dinner we were left to ourselves with a reminder for us to report at 9 in the morning for the sessions of Day 2.
Next day each team reported to their respective coordinators sharp at 9. We went for what turned out to be a remote mix of fashion show, scavenger hunt and yoga. The ramp walk was more of a resource management display. Newspapers at their minimalist sartorial best. The slot lasted for around 4 hours and after lunch we moved in for the last session which was conducted by someone mega-enthusiastic. We had about three outdoor activities and an indoor one. The one which stole the session was where each sub-team was asked to build a stable and robust weapon using the given resources which in turn were hidden in clues. It was a well balanced test of intellect, team-spirit , time crunching, engineering and running around without sunscreen.
That was not the end . The whole batch recollected in the new hall where after a bit of light ‘networking’ the red signal to the programme was shown. The busses were waiting outside and a few group photographs were the last remaining to be done before another grueling day at the classrooms and library waiting for us the next morning.
“In United State”
‘The RockED band”
– (Suryya Sarkar, Class of 2009)