|Title||Deerwalk PM Team Outing to Sauraha|
|Route||Kathmandu >> Sauraha >> Kathmandu|
|Date||Dec 15, 2012 – Dec 16, 2012|
|Participants||Bhoj Raj Ghimire, Leeja Shrestha, Manish Man Singh, Pramod Kumar Rai, Rachana Shrestha, Rajesh Chaudhary, Rakshya Baral, Sachin Karanjit, Sanket Shrestha.|
|Photos By||Manish Man Singh, Pramod Kumar Rai, Sachin Karanjit|
|Report By||Leeja Shrestha, Rajesh Chaudhary, Sachin Karanjit, Sanket Shrestha|
|Creative Support||Kanchan Raj Pandey, Rinesh N Bajracharya|
|Edited By||Rinesh N Bajracharya|
Here at Deerwalk we live by the motto, GET THE SHIT DONE on time, with efficiency and of high quality; but that’s just one half of the story. The other half (the more interesting one) is that we make it our duty to take some time off for ourselves and go on team outings, which in return refuels us to get the “shit done”. On that note, on Dec 15, 2012 the Project Management (PM) Team was off to Sauraha. Sauraha is a village in Chitwan district, Nepal situated close to the Rapti River and the Chitwan National Park. Leeza, who has been with Deerwalk for more than 2 years, was leaving the company for her future endeavors; and what better way to sign off than a trip to such a beautiful place.
The other half (the more interesting one) is that we make it our duty to take some time off for ourselves and go on team outings, which in return refuels us to get the “shit done”.
Rachana, our coordinator for the outing, had made reservation at Sauraha Resort. She instructed us to be at the office premises by 6.30 am and everyone obliged. We gathered the amenities for the trip, that Rachana had bought the day before, and left the company premises at around 7 am in the office van. We stopped at Sweet Cave, a local sweets shop at Kalimati, for our breakfast. Pramod recommended us the curd, and sure enough it was as good as told. We ate heartily then continued on our journey to Sauraha.
Pramod, Rajesh and Manish; all had prepared their own collection of songs for the journey and took turns playing them. It was like the clash of flash drives to decide whose collection was the better. For Rajesh it was the peppy Hindi numbers, for Manish it was the classic Nepali songs and for Pramod it was the soundtrack from the movie Taal. Drive to Sauraha could have been tedious, if it was not for the breaks consisting of vodka shots that the gang took in regular intervals. I remember Pramod’s line “let’s start from 9”, by which he meant vodka. Rachana had made sure that the lemons and salt were not in short supply; and Pramod, Manish and Sanket were always looking forward to the “vodka breaks”. By the end, with all the vodka breaks done, and not to mention the heavy breakfast; it was only Manish and I that were awake in the van.
Drive to Sauraha could have been tedious, if it was not for the breaks consisting of vodka shots that the gang took in regular intervals.
We reached Sauraha at around 12:30 pm. Everyone woke to the beats of Gangnam Style, and started dancing inside the van itself. The slow dance steps of Bhoj and Pramod made the ambience even more pulsating. From then, in 15 minutes we reached Sauraha Resort and were in our rooms. We were all very hungry, and after a quick shower were ready for lunch. Our package included a tour of Tharu Community Village along with some site seeing and a Tharu Cultural Dance in the evening; but it would start only after 3.30 pm. In the mean time we all decided to play cards while basking in the sun.
Soon it was time for the tour but the gang was so tired from the drive that instead of walking, riding bicycles for the tour seemed like the better idea. The bicycle ride was a lot of fun and every one enjoyed it to the fullest. We took a tour of Elephant stables, and found out that the government financed them. We rode through some shallow terrains in the jungle before we reach the mustard field. The mustard field looked so serene that we all decided to take some snaps there. The scenery reminded the gang of a particular Sharukh Khan- Kajol song, and enactments could not be held back. We then headed towards the bank of Rapti River to view the sunset. As soon as we reached there, we parked our bicycles and laid down on the bench with beer in hand. The view of sunset right before our eyes calmed our body and mind. It was getting dark so we decided to return to our hotel. We got Leeza a typical Tharu hat and a sculpture of Ganesha on the way, as a farewell gift for her.
The scenery reminded the gang of a particular Sharukh Khan- Kajol song, and enactments could not be held back.
When we reached the hotel, we were really excited to see the camp fire and chairs set up for us. We were informed that the chicken barbecue would start after our return from the Tharu Cultural Dance show. We sat around the fire for some time and handed over the gifts to Leeza. She told us how happy she was to have worked at Deerwalk and thankful for the friends she had made during her time at the company. After some snacks we headed towards a small hall at the corner of the street to see the cultural show. The performers started showcasing the Tharu culture and dance. The steps were pretty intriguing and the crowds were cheering the dancers up. The way they incorporated sticks in their dance was especially interesting. Soon the members from the audience started joining the dancers on stage; and Rajesh, Bhoj and Pramod did pretty well holding their own against the pros.
We then made a beeline to the hotel to have the barbecue dinner. The grill was perfect and we all danced to the beats of “Fevicol Se” and other numbers along the camp fire. Each one of us took turns dancing atop a chair as our solo performances. We were accompanied by a couple staying at the same hotel, and I think we managed to make their stay even more memorable. Manish insisted that we hadn’t had enough team building games yet and suggested the game of “truth and dare” before we called it a night. The truth started coming out and the dare devils started daring the tasks given to them. Sorry I can’t give more details on what followed as “what happens in Sauraha, stays in Sauraha”.
I can’t give more details on what followed as “what happens in Sauraha, stays in Sauraha”.
On sunday we were supposed to get ready by 8 am to go for the elephant tour of Sauraha; but we got up late, and by the time we moved out, it was already 8.45 am. There was a Maruti Gypsy, with the hood removed, waiting to take us to our destination. Since all of us could not fit in that vehicle, Pramod and Manish took a motor bike. We reached an open field where we could see many elephants lined up to take us for the jungle safari. We made groups of four; and since we were nine altogether, Pramod volunteered to ride with an outside group.
The names of the three elephants that we rode were equally fascinating; Pawan Kali, Chanchal Kali and Laxmi. As the elephants started moving towards the jungle, the fun started. We went through the big trees, bushes and open fields. We were a bit disappointed to hear that the number of animals in the jungle had decreased in the last couple of decades. The only wild animals that we saw were spotted deer, wild boar, one horned rhinoceros and another species of the deer family. The elephants were pretty well trained, and the Mahouts were equally well behaved and informed on the routes inside the jungle. After about an hour and half of safari we were back in the open fields, and gotten off the elephants. We fed the elephants bananas and took pictures standing next to them. Some of them even saluted us using their trunks.
We got back to our hotel for lunch and decided to play the last round of cards before departure. We then had a nice lunch and started packing our belongings. Soon, we were heading back to Kathmandu; still wishing we had few more days to stay and explore Sauraha.
“Luck in cards” and “Deerwalk outings” are mutually exclusive for some people.
The way back was equally fun and thrilling. This time we were in a hurry to get back to Kathmandu before dark, but on the way we saw a beautiful river bank at Dasdhunga and decided to take some timeout. We played with sand and water while enjoying the splendid scenery the place held. The river bank was awesome and the water icy cold.
We stopped at Naubise for a light afternoon snack consisting of “Masu Chiura”, before continuing on the drive back home. We got stuck for some time near Thankot because of a traffic jam, but to cheer up the spirit of the team we played Antakshari, and it was really hilarious how Manish came up with some self composition and remixes. Some of the team member got off on the way and by the time we got to Deerwalk premises, which was at around 8pm, it was only Bhoj, Leeza, Rajesh and I in the van.
All in all, it was a successful outing where we had a lot of fun enjoying each other’s company in as naturally gifted a place as Sauraha. In Leeza’s context, whose outing shall be her last as a member of the Deerwalk family, I cannot think of any better way of bidding farewell than with an amazing outing as we just had.
Don’t stay under the false assumption that whatever happens during an outing, stays in the outing. Believe me, it won’t.
Some tips for other teams having outings in the coming weeks:
1. Make sure that you check the zippers of your bags. You never know when it’s going to snap.
2. Prepare list of songs for Antakshari. If needed make your own versions even if the lyric turns out to be “Rara Taal ko aagan ma lai lai machhapuchhre chhaaya”.
3. Play Truth and Dare but be prepared to follow up with why, where, what, how, when and which explaining yourself. Be careful when you choose DARE, you never know what’s coming. And if you are giving a daring task to someone, then be extra careful. Remember your turn will come too.
4. Play cards, but if you have won on the previous day then don’t play on the day after. Even if you have lost on the previous day don’t play on the day after. “Luck in cards” and “Deerwalk outings” are mutually exclusive for some people.
5. Finally, don’t stay under the false assumption that whatever happens during an outing, stays in the outing. Believe me, it won’t; especially in a Deerwalk outing.
Early morning, cold and dark
Nine of us… we started off the trip
Joyful, excited, musical all the way
Five hours ride didn’t seem so long
Sauraha we reached, the destination
nice lunch for the starved
Cards under the sun, no luck on us
No worries.. was still fun
Cycling round.. some of us struggling
That for me was the best part
Jungle, “Tori Bari” and finally the sunset point
With refreshments.. all nine relished
Followed by “Tharu” dance.. amazing talent
Super excited Rajesh and his unique moves
Wonderful BBQ…then and a nice surprise for me
A farewell gift.. I loved it.. Thank you all
Singing, dancing and Truth or dare..
The team building fun.. That ended day 1
Morning call for elephant safari
“Chanchal Kali” – she was our ride
With her amazing “Namaste”, we entered the jungle
Rhino, deers and a few others..
All enjoyed watching animal planet live
Deerwalkers actually saw deer walking!
The fun continued.. And then it was time to say goodbye to Sauraha.
Stop over at trishuli.. besides the beautiful river bank
Non stop photo shoots and much crazy stuff we did
“Say, Hear, See no evil” – nice idea Rach
Tired yet singing, and finally home.
All in all this was a fun filled trip. Was glad being a part of this outing..
Happy for my last trip with Deerwalk, was special & memorable!
The team was amazing and lively. Thank you all !
By nature I used to be an introvert before joining Deerwalk, but lately I have been able to open up more with new people and express myself. This change in me is all because of working culture and environment that Deerwalk provides. Hiking, parties and team building activities have helped me a lot to become more expressive, and the recent team building outing to Sauraha was the best. Although I was a little bit late reaching the office before departure, the fun started as soon as we left office premises and continued till we returned back.
The outing was super fun and the best part was when we strolled around Tharu village, mustard fields and jungles while riding bicycles. As I am very fond of dancing, sharing stage with Tharu Cultural Dance performers along with Pramod and Bhoj was amazing. Bidding farewell to Leeza was a nice moment because I have had really good time working with her. The barbecue and dance by fireside was the highlight of the night, and I even took a vodka shot thinking that it was tequila. The Truth and Dare game that we played at night made us all laugh our hearts out, and proved a perfect game to know each other better. As I am a non-smoker, I even dared to smoke few puffs of cigarette. In summary, it was an awesome trip and a memorable one for me in many ways.
The worst part of this quarter’s team building was that I needed to wake up on 5 am, and the best part was that we were going to Sauraha. After five hours and few vodka shots, we reached our destination. On the first day we played cards, did cycling, enjoyed Tharu Cultural show and had barbeque. I did not feel well and I missed the “truth or dare” game. I heard about the antics of Bhoj during the game. Next day, we rode elephants which was a lot of fun. Later, after having lunch and losing money in the game of cards, we headed back to Kathmandu.