Sunday, 11 August 2013

Journey through GICS part-2

Though the beds were so cozy, Google never let us sleep beyond 6:30. To make sure we were awake, Google had arranged for wake up phone calls every morning (I loved the way we were taken care of like small kids). I had missed this care and concern for long and somehow Google was filling it for me. However there was this room mate of mine who would toss around all night since he had never experienced a bed that soft and so it was in turn making him uncomfortable (wink).

Well, some of the people including Kunal asked me to wake them up early for they did not want to miss Leela Breakfast. However here I was lying in the bed and I was woken up in turn by the people who asked me to wake them up, hehe. Well, I woke up and this time I got ready a little quickly so that we could make it up for breakfast. There was this awesome breakfast waiting for us. The buffet was in the restaurant and so we happened to move straight towards it.

We opened the door of the restaurant to be surprised and excited !! There was a range of food available both veg and non-veg (seems obvious). However it was more of a festival for non-vegetarians than vegetarians. They had extremely wide range of choice [many did pity my situation :( ] I had to look around for some proper vegetarian food. I did find the noodles, baby corn curry, orange juice, spaghetti, donuts, dry fruits and lots more ( It increased my hatred for Mysore food). We did not want to spare anything. We hogged in three rounds barely being able to eat any more, hehe.

Now was the time for some seriousness. We had to assemble in Aparantha hall for the sessions to begin at 8:00 a.m. However, it was delayed almost by half an hour for everyone was busy behind donuts. It resumed slowly with loud cheers and claps as soon as Kenny came to the stage. We were played the opening video.. what an amount of energy was filled in the hall!! phew I still get goosebumps when I remember that.

Charged to the brim, we were then ready to be addressed by Mr. Rajan Anandan, MD Google India. He was fantastic !! I cannot find words to tell how impressive he was. Meanwhile, he also played various videos depicting innovation that goes on in Google. Videos on Google glass, talking shoe, project loon and many others. One of the quotations by Larry stuck me hard "If you are not doing some things that are crazy, then you are doing the wrong things"; that seemed Awesome!! Every now and then people burst out loud with applause and cheers.

Then came Ravi Gururaj, serial entrepreneur and angel investor who spoke mostly about investment and finance (Most of which was relevant for GBGs and which seemed to bounce off my head, hehe). There was a tea break at 11:15 a.m. I had such a degree of breakfast that even tea would have proved fatal. So I decided to refrain from drinking it. However, it was the time when most of the networking went on. I could meet quite a lot of GSAs, who at a later stage became extremely close and we got to know each other well. It was as well the time when I met a number of Googlers who spoke to us about Google's working culture. Quite frankly, Google has entirely different environment which is the root cause of innovation that goes on in the company.

The sessions resumed again. Madan Padaki was an entrepreneur who happened to inspire all with his work. He seemed to define what dedication is. He is co-founder of the company Head Held High which trains the rural people so that they can stand up in this competitive society. He happened to narrate the tale of a village boy named Ramesh to train whom he happened to resign his earlier job and started out to build this company.

It was then followed by success stories of earlier GSAs, GDGs and GBGs. Though they seemed a bit boring, it gave all a fair idea about their success factor. Then came the interesting part of all, Lunch!!

I was dying to have deserts!! Here was a friend of mine who helped me out to get my plate filled simultaneously with her since I wanted to engage both the hands in just holding the plates :) huge tables were laid so that we could sit together and interact during the lunch. I found it to be one of the most efficient strategy that Google adopted to see that networking goes on between the GSAs endlessly.

The day seemed to be really hectic since the sessions were taking place endlessly. Many more speakers turned up in the afternoon and the topic they spoke about varied from addressing media as a GSA to legal consultations. However, there was this presentation by Shalini Prakash from Ink corporation which was again very inspiring and innovative. The fact that it is the only company to have tie up with TED woke up everyone from their deep slumber after lunch ( including me, hehe). All the talks finally ended at 6:00 p.m when Deepak Sridhar wrapped it all up with the summary.

This was a big time now. The night was cultural night and all were expected to wear traditional dresses representing their respective states. We could witness a very diverse mob eager to present themselves in the hall. The night demanded people from various parts of the country to display their respective traditions by means of skit and dance. 

Cultural night resumed at 8:30. First came the extraordinarily talented standup comedian Kenneth Sebastian (Kenny) who kept the mob rolling with laughter. He was amazing !!

He would just ask random words from the audience and make up a song on spot!! The best part was he imitating the singers. Cold play especially.. lol. it was awesome!! It was then followed by the cultural performance by the GSAs. Many different states depicted their culture by means of skit and dance. The toughest part preparing for the performance was online collaboration with GSAs from various places. GSAs had only one day to get together and practice before it was finally presented in front of all. However this did teach a lot things. GSAs used hangout to a large extent to collaborate and prepare for the same. Google does prove its understanding and intelligence at every step!!

Dinner took place simultaneously with the performance. Later was the planned DJ night which to a large extent failed to take place. Late night after a hectic day, all of us hanged out in the beach. Google makes sure we carry limitless memories back home. 

Quite tired after the long day, I happened to retire after again a long time on wifi :)

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