After watching all corporate events at the company via webcast over the last year and half, I finally got to watch one event live at location last night. The Awards for Excellence were held here at the Bangalore campus (as always) last night and I had been looking forward to watching the event live for some time now. And what do you know, I was not one bit disappointed!
This year our special guests were a noted journalist and news show anchor from CNBC (SB) who was present here for the event and Sunita Williams via telecon! Now you can see why I was all excited! Of course one of my favorite personalities from the company, the proprietor of the flat world concept (FlatWorld), was here too and I always look forward to what he has to say.
The weather was as amazing as always. Chill, windy (coming from down south, this kind of weather tends to get me high!) and with a slight drizzle every now and then. Not everyone would agree with this being awesome weather but it didn’t dampen anybody’s enthusiasm and the crowd only increased as the event progressed. There were employees after a day of work, sitting with Coffee Day mobile coffees in hand, wrapped in their shawls and sweaters, or like me, zipped up in jackets. Since it was an awards ceremony, there were the customary men and women in ultra formals – these were the award winners, all decked up for the moment before the flash bulbs posing with SB and FlatWorld; these pictures will then sit smartly atop the glass shelves in their cabins at work, ensconced in weather proof frames. There were also the families of the award winners: young wives and toddlers, old parents, dressed in warm wear and clapping enthusiastically when their children went on stage to receive their awards.
I’ve never been too much of a fan of SB’s. I guess it’s because an ex-teamie of mine would go on and on about her – he is a big fan- and so I just got too sick of hearing about her to actually think about whether I was a fan or no. Of course, I like the way she does the news. But that’s it. But given my background, I have deep respect for women achievers, especially those in fields where there are many different levels of the glass ceiling that one has to breach before straddling a position of authority. And therefore, yesterday I realized that I would have to admire SB for her determination, if nothing else, that came through in her succinctly worded speech. She spoke about the lessons she had learnt as a journalist, in the industry for a decade. She was articulate, confident, humble and most of all, willing to share her experiences. Although her speech did remind me a bit about a business school essay, but that’s probably because I’m so saturated!
Sunita Williams was once again, not a disappointment. With all the newsprint and media attention she has been garnering in recent times, there is very little about her that we do not know. Yet the company had done a good job of picking the questions that would be posed for her to answer. These questions were submitted by employees on an internal forum and about ten questions were handpicked among those. Although we could not see Sunita, we could hear her smile and laughter as she graciously answered all the questions and participated in a little friendly banter with the hostess, a popular radio jockey from Bangalore.
Soon it was time for the event to wrap up. The guests would be whisked off to their hotels in the speedy and silent golf carts that will course through the many routes between the OAT and the main gate of the campus, and the OAT would wear its habitual deserted look once more. People all dispersed a little earlier to dig into the buffet that was arranged for them. I had to make do with paid dosas from the Terminal because I don’t belong to either centers so my name was not on the food coupon list! Ah, the travails of being a temp-transferee!
The only disappointment of the evening was FlatWorld. Despite the name and the connotation, I always enjoy his speeches. He has lots to say and he says it well. He’s got the stage presence too – yes I’m a fan! So what? Unfortunately he decided to introduce SB and remain a mute spectator for the most part. Too bad! The last time I watched FlatWorld live, during training at The Campus, I was completely bowled over by his presence there. I even got to take a picture with him!!!
But that couldn’t take away from the fact that I was watching yesterday’s event live at Bangalore! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!