The Indix Chennai team went on its annual retreat from March 9 through March 12, 2017. The last two outings, we chose a seaside destination. This time around, we wanted to do something different and the ideal way to beat the fury of the scorching onset of summer is to have some fun at a hill station. So we chose Ooty, the queen of hills, as the venue for our retreat.
We started for Ooty by train on the night of March 9 from Chennai, and reached Mettupalayam the next morning. Mettupalayam is a small town at the foot of the hills where Ooty is located. We spent some time at the Black Thunder theme park refreshing ourselves after an all-night train journey from Chennai. While we were on the train, we had good fun playing card games, dumb charades, and more.
Black Thunder is a scenic place at the foothills with lush greenery around it. We took a two-hour break for our morning coffee and breakfast after freshening up. Everyone enjoyed the sumptuous breakfast and we started for Ooty by bus from Black thunder. It’s a 50 km uphill drive – one of the steepest roads with a lot of hairpin bends.
With the whole team spread out across three buses, the ride was super fun. The sharp curves and hairpin bends provided some thrilling heart-in-your-mouth moments. After the adventurous and picturesque ride, we reached our hotel, the Sterling Resorts, Fern Hill, Ooty.
After checking in and grabbing some lunch, everyone assembled in the lawn for a fun evening of team games.
There were a bunch of team building games where folks put in their collective best to win. After the games, we used the open lawn to play some cricket and football (soccer).
The teams wrapped up outdoor games, had high tea, and then the evening gala started. It was getting colder with every passing minute. We had a special tribal dance by a tribe called “Badugas” of the Nilgiris. Dressed in white shirts and dhotis, around 10 Baduga men came to meet and spend the evening with us. Badugas are known for their special dance called the “Baduga dance.” They performed and even taught us their dance.
It was a good two-hour session learning their dance moves and dancing along with them. The best part is that the Badugas also played their own music. The dance session was a big hit and everyone shook a leg and danced their hearts out.
The Baduga dance was followed by karaoke and DJ night along with delicious food. People enjoyed the karaoke session and foot-thumping music. The energy was high despite the two-hour Baduga dance session. Post-dinner, people were playing card games and mafia in their rooms, strolling in the cold weather outside, and chatting with friends.
The next day, we planned a tour so the team could check out some places in Ooty. We visited the tallest point in South India – the Dodabetta peak point – to take in the scenic beauty from the top. Later, we headed to a tea factory to get a firsthand view of tea production, and also appeased our taste buds with a refreshing cup of freshly-brewed tea.
After lunch, some folks went back to the resort to rest, while others explored the areas around the resort. Some went out for boating and much to our surprise, there was a heavy downpour and the weather got extremely cold. The boating was put on hold, but we took this opportunity to enjoy some indoor games like dashing cars, horror house, and other amusement activities.
We called it a day around 7.00 pm and returned to the resort. The second evening was loosely scheduled with a few indoor games at the banquet hall with mild music. We ended the day with an absolute gastronomical delight and everyone retired to their rooms.
On the final day of the trip, we had an early breakfast and started by road to Coimbatore, where we boarded our train and reached Chennai at night.
Office trips are very special to all of us in more ways than one. It gave us a much-needed break and get-away from the confines of the workplace to have fun together as a group. As much as we were able to unwind and rejuvenate, we also got the opportunity to spend quality time with our fellow teammates. It helped us bond and get to know each other better.
As a human resources professional, I feel like such outings help us get together as “one team” and understand the importance of working cohesively with a unified vision toward our goals. At Indix, we work as one family and these trips only help further strengthen the bond we already share. Additionally, they provide memories to cherish forever.