Excitement knew no bounds when our HR head Mr. Samir Nag announced that the entire day shift of Mike Sierra Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. would go on a weekend trip to the city of lakes – Udaipur. As Friday approached, all of us were chuffed to bits that we found it difficult to not ponder about the exciting weekend trip that lay ahead.
All of us, thirty-one individuals in total, were summoned to gather at the office premises by midnight. Our weekend trip was just getting started. Since we wanted to make maximum use of our time in Udaipur, the management and higher staff decided it would be best if we set forth for our journey at 00:00 hours. People who were residing 15-20kms away from our workplace (me included), opted to spend the evening in office itself while others decided otherwise for the weekend trip.
At about half-past twelve, all thirty-one of us managed to gather in office with our luggage. While we waited for our bus to arrive, Viraj and a few others began a mini photo session. After about a solid twenty minutes wait, our vehicle finally arrived. We quickly picked our seats and partners and at about half past one, we were on our way to Udaipur.
Utter jubilation grew on our faces as some of us began singing and dancing. While a major chunk of the people was engrossed in all the exultation, I lay on the second seat trying to catch a glimpse of sleep. It was a seven-hour-plus trip so it was obvious to charge your batteries and not feel drained out by the time we set foot on Udaipur. While a few others and I felt so, others preferred to utilize that time in singing, dancing and listening to soothing music.
It was quarter past eight when we finally managed to reach our destination, but unfortunately, due to hotel policies and rules, we were only allowed to check-in after eleven o’clock. A few disheartened faces started to uncover but our HR Head Mr. Samir Nag and Andy Sir eased the unsettling nerves by deciding to utilize the time in hand in having breakfast.
It was decided that we would do our breakfast near the picturesque Fateh Sagar Lake. While breakfast was being prepared, we happened to glance through nature’s beauty. As the cold winter breeze blew, we soaked in the fresh air with hot beverages. We also happened to capture a few moments as once again Viraj was behind the lens. It was at that moment that Andy Sir officially announced Viraj as our trip photographer.
Breakfast was ready as we took turns in savouring the delicious aloo parathas, curd and pickle. It took us a good ninety-odd minutes to finish up on our meal and lake sightseeing before walking back to our bus. We drove for about twenty more minutes before stopping at a liquor store as most of the people were relishing this moment (can’t blame them). Two cartons of liquor entered the vehicles as many faces began to wear a wide smile.
Off we went again, this time to the hotel (Mewargarh Palace) for our check-ins. At last, we were allotted our rooms. We were divided into three people per room as I was given room number 208 with Devendra and Lovelesh as my room partners. After our room allotments, we quickly freshened up (most of us, not all) and a majority of us marched towards room number 404 where a booze party beckoned us all.
The fiesta lasted for about roughly two hours or so before we were given the marching orders to gather at the ground floor for lunch. It was a buffet system where one could fill their plates umpteen number of times. There was a veg section as well as a non-veg one, but me being a non-veg holic, focussed on the mouth-watering chicken rather than the numerous veg dishes that lay nicely decorated at the centre of the dining room.
We filled our bellies with a sumptuous meal and headed to our respective rooms. After a while, we were notified that the entire congregation would be visiting the Moti Magri Hill which overlooks the Fateh Sagar Lake, City Palace and the scenic Lake Pichola. Unfortunately, me (sleepy, as always) and a few others like Devendra (drunk), Prerak (drunk) and Nakul (drunk) decided to give it a skip.
When the rest of the gang returned from their enthralling evening, a few of us comprising of Prerak, Nakul, Devendra, Balveer, Bhavika, Nirali, Jenisha and me (obviously) were thoroughly entertained by Prerak. He played the guitar and sang ‘Aa Bhi Ja, Mere Do Baccho Ki Maa’, the lyrics of which was written by him. Laughter erupted within the walls of room 216 as we cheered him on to sing it once again, which he graciously obliged to.
We had quite the evening thanks to Prerak, our entertainer. Soon it was dinner time and we were asked to assemble on the rooftop. It was a pretty setting with the table filled with veg food and only a single container that contained a non-veg item (how sad!). As I was engrossed in my non-veg mutton meal, I hardly got a chance to take a peek at the veg items.
Dinner was done and after a mini hiatus, the booze party in room 404 resumed. This time the crowd was much bigger as almost everyone was present. Few people including Andy Sir, Hiren, Mehul, Nakul, Prerak, Kislay Sir, Kishan and Chirag were engrossed in playing Teen Patti, whereas towards the other end of the room people comprising of Nirali, Boski ma’am, Jenisha, Amruta, Shruti, Meenakshi, Jalpa ma’am had their eyes glued on playing Housie.
The rest comprising of Samir Sir, Palkesh, Viraj, Sahil, Vaibhav, Dhaval and Ketan were joyfully sipping away at their hard drinks. Furthermore, the likes of Sneha, Jenisha, Balveer, Mehul, Amruta, Jalpa ma’am, Meenakshi and a few others danced like there was no tomorrow. Meanwhile, Lovelesh spent his time either talking on the phone or laying in bed. Devendra, Amisha ma’am, Roopak and a few others opted to skip the fiesta due to unavoidable reasons. And me, well, I was just being observant (which pretty much helped me a great deal in compiling this). The night was wrapped up with a singing session comprising of Prerak (guitar and vocal) and Viraj (vocal) while the rest who were present, joined in.
Sunday began with all of us gathered at the breakfast table, munching on our delicious meal. It was already quarter to ten by the time we wrapped up. With time against us and many places to visit, we decided to slash off a few places from our initial itinerary that included the beautiful Baahubali hills. After breakfast we all got ready, packed our luggage and were off to the Sajjangarh Palace and Wildlife Sanctuary (more famously known as the Monsoon Palace).
We weren’t allowed to take the bus so we were split into groups of four and drove in jeep-like vehicles to the hilltop. On reaching the top of the hill, we gazed at the picturesque view in awe. Photo sessions began and by that, I mean plenty of pictures. Snapping seemed to never cease until we knew we’d get late if we don’t make a move. We also had to visit the wildlife sanctuary that was situated beside it, so it was imperative that we get rolling.
Once we were done with the Monsoon Palace, I was not feeling too well so I preferred to walk back to our bus and take a nap instead of taking a stroll in the Wildlife Sanctuary. The others though, excluding Devendra, Kislay Sir and Ketan (all three skipped the visit and instead had a min booze party inside the bus) went and visited the Wildlife Sanctuary. Though I did not visit the sanctuary, I learnt that Meenakshi had a bad fall inside the sanctuary and in the process, badly sprained her leg.
By the time everyone reached the bus, it was almost 3 pm and were running late. At quarter past three we set sail to return to Ahmedabad (our weekend trip was nearing its end) and by the time we reached, it was well past midnight. And unfortunately for all of us, we had to report to work the following morning by 9 am, which we did. It was a memorable weekend trip for us all!