It’s June already??

Three weeks since my last post. Woah! Procrastination sure has its repercussions. So much to recall and type! The last weekend of May was awesome. On Saturday we went for a family lunch with Dodamma and Ramesh Mama’s fam. We should do this more often. Sunday was even better. Rosh, Gaja, Sumanth, Shirley, Oormeela and I went to the Sadashivnagar Cycle Day. We met Murali sir from Namma Cycle after quite a long time. The event began with a brief Zumba session. This was followed by Falun Dafa. Unlike the Malleshwaram track, the laps at Sadashivnagar were relatively less tough and since most of them were downhill routes I was able to complete the entire round with ease. In addition to food trucks, there was clay modelling and pottery. Sumanth kept foiling our attempts at making a pot. We had our revenge when his lamp turned out distorted (it looked more like a plate to be honest). Kavya, Chethan and Sheekha joined us later at IISc. Prakruthi really has turned into our go-to food destination of late. We had the finger-lickin’ yummy idli, vada, masala dosa and vada for brunch. As if this was not enough, in the evening the girls and I went to Sheekha’s house and hogged some more at a nearby restaurant. Gobi manchuri, mushroom fried rice, chicken manchuri and chicken fried rice. We were so famished that we din’t utter a single word throughout the meal except for ‘pass me that bowl’. I sometimes wish weekends lasted four days – Saturday, post-Saturday, Sunday and pre-Monday.

We had our office outing to Fever Pitch Basecamp on the first Friday of June. Three quarters of our team was in another bus so I had expected the bus journey to be no fun. But it went from oh-so-drab to oh-so-fab! All credit goes to Sonia. She got the otherwise quiet crowd to play dumb charades and antakshari. In no time the bus was bursting with energy and sidesplitting banter. We had decided on Bollywood movie names for dumb charades, but Koteshwar broke protocol and kept giving our opponents names of Telugu movies remade into Hindi TV soaps . It didn’t take long for the other team to realize this (damn!) and to get even they gave us incredibly tough movie names that were beyond impossible to enact. It resulted in horribly wrong guesses that had us laughing non-stop. We reached the resort around 11ish. By the time we washed our hands and came back, the queue for food had grown awfully long. Some of our teammates had already started eating so those of us who came late ate unabashedly from their plates. After breakfast we headed for the teambuilding activities. Since we were nearly 80 of us, the organizer split us into two teams of 40 each and one group was sent for paintball while the other was sent for the ATV ride. Paintball was fun! Some got hurt pretty bad. Bernard had got his telephoto lens, he was keen on going for a photowalk and I accompanied him on his mission. We captured some really colorful butterflies and insects. Who knew shooting bees and cobwebs could be so interesting? I came back just in time for a teambuilding activity – passing a hula hoop around a human chain without actually breaking the chain. All of us gathered again for lunch around 2:30PM. We were already drained of energy since we were out in the sweltering heat for far too long. After lunch we went kayaking. Shruthi and I paired up. Turns out both of us were super phobic of venturing into deeper parts of the lake. We figured this after getting into the kayak. To add to our misery, some of the other kayaks were being upturned by our office folks! Spooked out by this turn of events, we both decided it was safe to take a quick trip on the isolated side and head back ASAP. It was a good experience though. Shruti, Arpita, Sowmya, Sujana and I were dropped by Bernard. If not for him, we would have reached home on Saturday morning. Screw Bangalore traffic!

Speaking of traffic, Tin Factory and KR Puram Railway Station ought to rot in hell! Aaaaarrrgh. If you want to truly test someone’s patience, leave them at either of these places. If they return with their sanity still intact… they seriously need therapy. No kidding.

On Wednesday last week, we went to Kerala mess again. Man, those prawns were toooo good! Slurp slurp!

Saturday held a major shock for us. Gaja had called us for a quick emergency meetup. Just when we were all wondering if everything was okay, she dropped the bomb:

‘I quit my job.’

We were stumped. Now what?!

‘I’m leaving for Pune on Monday.’

What we heard next filled our hearts with such inexplicable joy, we went straight to the other side of the table and hugged her tight. She had applied for Teach For India (previously she could not go as she hadn’t got permission from her parents) and she’d got through, yet again! She accepted the offer this time, with full consent from her parents. WOWIE DOWIE!!!! She totally exemplifies the statement ‘What’s worth the price is always worth the fight.’ Period. Last year, she was a one man army convincing her parents to allow her to go for TFI. She always had a thing for kids and community service. Looks like she just won herself a double jackpot!

Since she was leaving on such short notice, we went to see her off on Sunday with a box of her most favorite sweet, rasmalai (cakes are too mainstream you see). Although we are extremely happy that she made it through, she will be missed. On the upside, she’s doing something amazing and the world needs more of that. May her tribe increase!

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