Fyle Offsite: Memorable and refreshing.

Although I had decided not to write work-related stuff here, this is an exception. Oh wait, this isn’t work-related either! Our company, Fyle, organized an offsite in Sakleshpur (Karnataka) last weekend. We met in Bengaluru and headed there in two buses on the morning of 25th November.

Disclaimer: This isn’t another travel blog about the itinerary to Sakleshpur. I thought I would write about one of the most memorable trips I had until now in my life. I’ll take the names of a couple of colleagues without adding context, let me know if you’ve lost track somewhere.

We booked the resort Tapovana in Sakleshpur from 25th-27th, and around 75 colleagues turned up for the offsite. I’ve been working at Fyle for about 14 months now and have met most of the folks in previous offsites. A couple of them came for the first time, and it was great to meet them in person and to get to know them beyond the Slack Profile picture and Google Meet!

While having lunch on the day we arrived, Yitzhak asked us whether we were interested in playing cricket there, and we said, “Bring it on!” We split into two teams and played two matches on the top of the hill, where we set tougher rules than indoor cricket. The balls went down the hill sometimes, though, and we brought them back! With Ashwin and Yitzhak’s amazing cricketing skills, we also got to witness the fielding skills of Nilesh Pant, our own Jadeja!

Captured just before I reached pavilion

There were a couple of events planned for the evening, and after playing two matches, most of us were either inside the pool with a scenic view (the ones we see in the movies) or went to the room to freshen up for the evening gathering.

In the offsite, I either partook in the activities conducted by the organizers or interacted with people. I spoke to people so much that my throat dried up many times, and I lost my voice temporarily!

In the evening, we had the Founders, Yash and Siva, addressing the team, followed by the cultural performances by the team with a bonfire.

Last week, Yitzhak mentioned that we would have the Monthly All Hands updates to the entire team during the offsite, where I have to present the slides from my work. The Product Team (Gayathiri, Bhavika, Kamalini, and me) presents the slides of the ongoing initiatives along with other teams presenting the status updates.

To make the slides interesting, I added a couple of GIFs and memes on my slides so that it’s not mundane for the audience. Cut to the time just before the Founders talk, Yash mentioned that we would have it soon after and asked whether I could present the whole team’s slides so we could finish it soon. I agreed to do so and looked into the other slides.

I was waiting for them to open the slideshow of the Monthly All Hands, checking the slides on my phone a couple of times so that I don’t panic. After the Founders’ talk, we dispersed for dinner, and then I got to know it was a prank! Nicely played on me 😂

The Founders’ talk was inspiring and reliving at the same time. With the gloom and doom in the tech industry, they assured us we are in a better place and mentioned not to worry about the news doing rounds in the media.

After dinner, we had Talent night with a bonfire, and our friends had great performances. Bhavika kickstarted with a Hindi Ghazal and set the bar high for the performances following it, and Nilesh, Chethan, and Gayathiri continued with their excellent performances. Priyansha recited a poem in Hindi, and I understood parts of it. Beautifully written (okay, I got to know the meaning of it later, though). Our audience-friendly celebrity, Shwetabh, sang two songs soulfully, and we were all vibing to it, with Vikram singing from the audience.

A couple of them went for the post-party, and we were there at the bonfire where Kulasekar came up with song requests to the singers, and they obliged. A dog went towards JC, and it was cute to witness the love and care both showered on each other. Kamalini, Gokul, Gayathiri, Kulasekar, Yitzhak, Arun, and JB sang the songs while Aastha, Bhavika, and I enjoyed them in the audience.

Gayathiri, Bhavika, and Kamalini — three out of four from our team have great singing and dancing abilities, while the fourth one wrote about it, and you are reading it now 😀

Team Product.

I went to the room at around 12 am and woke up my roommate Shreyas. We spoke for more than an hour and exchanged our stories and interests. My roommates, Shreyas and Hemanth — thanks to both of you for taking good care of me throughout the offsite! Shreyas and I thought of waking up early to walk through the resort the next day.

And we didn’t! We woke up late and had breakfast. We had team building activities by The Board Game Co. Every activity was fun, and they ensured they captured all the candid shots while we were engrossed. After the activities were completed, they showed the video, and we couldn’t appreciate them enough for quickly capturing, editing, and making it a lovely experience.

Ashwin made a paper plane that would’ve hit the real plane if the room doors weren’t shut, making their team win by a margin.

We went to have lunch then, and I was all ears to listen to our teammates talking during lunch. Yash, Bhavika, and Gayathiri discussed how difficult it is for women to be in a work environment that doesn’t have a good culture, where the managers abuse their power and harass women employees.

It was a long discussion, and they shared anecdotes of how they handled such toxic people in their careers.

Post lunch, Shreyas and I went to explore the resort, where he took a couple of pictures, and he explained his approach to photography and his trips to capture the moments in his camera in the past. It is lovely talking to him, and he’s fun while talking.

The Gala night was planned in the evening, where the employees who had completed three years, four years, and five years talked about their experiences at Fyle and expressed their love towards the company, the two leaders, and the people. Wholesome experience, with Irfan making his speech a laugh riot. He’s highly creative with a great sense of humour.

We tried flipping the water bottle on a table just before dinner, but we failed miserably. Funny thing — the bottle played with Vikram every time he tried demonstrating something! While people were dancing to the songs played by the DJ, I was sitting outside, tapping my foot to the songs, and talking to a couple of friends.

Sumit and I spoke about his stay in Manali for about two years and his recovery from the surgery, and he offered to help plan a successful North India trip. Although I met him for the first time, it felt like we had a good rapport and had known each other for some time!

Wait, how come a discussion ends without me bringing about movie stuff? Here it is. Puru, Tim boy, Shruti, Aastha, and I discussed the movies. They read a couple of my blogs, and I truly am grateful to them for reading, letting me know the feedback and encouraging me! It certainly gives you a high when someone talks to you about your passion project! ❤

We spoke for a long time, and I hope I didn’t bore them!

It was around midnight by then, and the mist had slowly covered the resort like a blanket. We spoke so much that the mist faded while we talked and reappeared to say good night at 2 am.

After a wholesome day, I slept at 2 am (I sincerely wish my parents don’t read this line).

The following day, we had to check out and start our journey to Bengaluru at 11 am. We had breakfast, where we discussed who loves to cook and what is their go-to breakfast. Rahul narrated a funny (okay, we found it funny) story about his worldly achievements (I don’t want to reveal too much of it, let it be vague).

Assembled at a place for a group picture, and the resort staff volunteered to take pictures. Yash got a drone. We waved and cheered at it. Waiting for the footage to be out soon.

And we returned to Bengaluru. Along the way, we played (okay, I didn’t play but enjoyed being an audience) Mafia, and it was crazy. Ashwin and I were catching glimpses of people acting in the game and laughing uninterruptedly.

While I had no idea to write about the offsite, my heart made me write so that it stays forever on the internet, and I could come back to it. I cherish the memories I had in those three days and laugh at the jokes cracked by friends.

Massive shoutout to our leaders, Yash and Siva, for ensuring we meet and celebrate the milestones together and walking the talk about taking good care of the employees. Sincere thanks to the organizing committee of the offsite: Sayonee, Dimple, Hari, Anand, Nilesh, JB, Saurav, and Yitzhak. Pure love and mad respect for ensuring we have seamless and fun offsite.

Before I wind this up, if you know me well, you’d know that I love photography aside from movies. Do check out JB’s unique photography here. He has got an eye for capturing the beauty of nature.

I spoke to several people this time and loved every bit of conversation with Neeraj, Irfan, Swapna, Siva, Shreyas, Aastha and everyone.

My love and gratitude to Yitzhak for always checking on everyone. He’s always been an elder brother to me. Looking forward to meeting everyone again, sooner than I imagine.

Team Fyle

Until next time…

The cherry on the top:

A couple of folks couldn’t make it offsite due to personal reasons. Bency and Adi made sure they met us at the office/hotel. Bency came with her family to meet us at the office with her two adorable & cute kids. A good climax to an already fantastic movie!

Achievement Unlocked

Last month, our team started a health challenge. We must complete 100k steps in 20 days, from 31st October to 20th November. Surprisingly I completed the challenge and was felicitated for accomplishing it! A minor achievement to be proud of 🙂

When I reached home after the offsite, I realized I had lost my water bottle. It’s the second one that I lost in the last three months. My mother hasn’t noticed it yet. Please pray to god on my behalf 😂.



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