Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Journey Through GICS part-1

"Woah...!!! I'm a Google Student Ambassador" I received a mail on 1st July; something that I had lost hopes about. What a moment it was! The air around me smelled fresh, there was such a soothing feeling in the room. It was 15 days after I was interviewed by one of the Googlers and I had lost hopes thinking that I wasn't contacted during the fortnight for they had rejected my application. Well, Google surprised me !!

 Then started all the things. Every single day I started receiving tons of mails, tons of friend requests, tons of wishes; celebration was in the air. I was asked to attend a summit from 1st to 4th of August in The Leela, Goa before I could resume my charge as a GSA (Google Student Ambassador) in the campus. Meanwhile, we were assigned various activities to be performed as a pre-summit exercise so that we could utilize summit efficiently.

So much of networking was going on behind the scene. Days were never the same; Late night chats with GSAs became such a common thing and we bound with each other so well without having met in person. As the day came close, heart beat started increasing for I was going to witness most amazing days of my life.  

I happened to move to the college on 30th of July to complete my course registration. It took me one entire day to complete the college formalities. Nevertheless, I was patient for my heart was wandering already in Goa. Packing for the summit started as soon as I came back. One thing that I would never make a mistake of forgetting was to take my camera. I would bring back loads and loads of memories.

I left to Bangalore at 2:30 p.m extremely excited to meet other GSAs. It took me three hours before I got down into Majestic; walked towards Anand Rao circle and finally reached the sea bird office at 6:00 p.m. I was a little annoyed for I was the first one to come to the office. Nevertheless I waited with all my patience. As the time passed by, they did and thus started the exciting journey. As the time time passed by, more and more GSAs gathered. I started meeting people in person, whom I had just seen on facebook. Well, this was exciting!!

We then boarded the bus at 9:30 and started moving towards Goa. There were two stops in between for dinner and for breakfast. The bus stopped at the outskirts of south Goa waiting for the Chennai bus to arrive. We had to wait for half an hour and finally the bus did arrive. There was one vehicle from the hotel which arrived even before we did to direct us to the hotel. We started heading towards The Leela. The most annoying part was, it din't seem to arrive even as we moved in the interiors for over 15 minutes!! Hehe, may be because we just wanted to screech as soon as we saw it. And so we did!! It finally arrived!!

There were these ladies dressed traditionally and waiting to welcome us to the hotel. We were applied kumkum on our forehead and were garlanded. What a hospitality! We were then asked to move towards Hampi hall so that we register for the summit. Meanwhile, we were offered tender coconuts as welcome drink.

The rooms were allotted on random basis. Fortunately or unfortunately +Kunal Sutradhar became my room mate apart from being full time travel partner (Cheers +Kunal). Haha, well we were then taken to our rooms spread over lush 280 acre hotel. Wow! what a beautiful place to live in! Truly, it was heaven on earth.

Rooms were just amazing and we were excited for four day stay in that place :)

Well, the usual thing in a place like this, we started clicking pictures in and out. Finally tired of doing so, we came back to the room and thought of getting fresh. Wow! what a bathroom!! I wouldn't feel like coming out of ( Had bath for more than an hour; hehe). So did my room mates. Free wifi was another awesome feature (Who would not love that :) )

We were finally ready at 4:00 p.m when we were asked to assemble in Aparantha hall for the introductory session. Music was up in the hall even before we had entered. We settled down on the corner chairs of the left row. Then came this strange person, who introduced himself to be our host for the next four days ( Kenneth Sebastian )  He seemed awesome..!! Energy of all the GSAs was at its peak even as the session began. There was much of awesomeness in the air.

Then came Mr. Sunil Rao, country outreach head who gave an introductory session on what is it about being a GSA. This was followed by Ice Breaking session by Kenny. This was interesting; unlike traditional method, in this event we were asked to play a game. It was about random movement of people around the hall with varied speed between 1 to 10 (Speed 1 can be assumed close to a tortoise and speed 10 can be assumed to be twice the normal walking speed). This indeed did test the concentration of people. We were asked to pause in random positions, clap and jump around. It was quite a bit of fun.

This was followed by a session by Deepak Sridhar, Program manager at Google India and the superhero who played a major role in organizing and running the summit. He was indeed the apple of all the eyes since he had taken care of every GSA individually on their travel and experience prior to summit. Loud claps and cheers were up in the air as soon as he arrived. He spoke about our role and responsibilities being a GSA and also briefed about the summit for the next three days. This was then followed by a session on Events planning, requisition and debriefing by Noah Salem.

There was then a session on photography by Mr. Kshitij (Cant recall the last name). He spoke amazingly and displayed his talent extensively over one and half hour. Then came the Deepak again who wrapped up everything for the day.

Woah!! dinner time!! had heard about buffet in Leela but now was the time to experience it. Super excited about it, we proceeded towards Leela Gardens where it was arranged. Hogged everything (not Non-veg though), filled stomach the way I had never done before (could see my belly bulging out about to explode). Those deserts!! my mouth still waters. Then for some fun in the beach with my best pals I had known prior to summit on facebook. Finally retired late night after long hours on wifi, hehe :)