It was the Cornucopia of achievement, of sprout and growth, of revelations and proclamations, Cornucopia 2010 for six years of auspicious existence. In office space every miniscule moment has been celebrated be it an employee’s birthday, completion of tenure or an Indian festival. Yet this occasion was the mother of all. It was an homage to those tireless warriors who have worked slog hours, day and night, within four walls to deliver a miracle. With a mollycoddled infancy they have witnessed its prodigious leap into a constantly evanescing corporate world, gazetted and extolled in its triumphant journey. It beats the old adage of the corporate bible that it takes so many years for a fledgling start up to break even let alone force standards under its tutelage or paint glossy tabloids labouring its many successes. It called for adroit leadership, painstakingly strategizing in corporate board rooms in the most unearthly hours and risking the very soil it stood for. It was the culmination of the war of principles that it envisaged and never say die spirit. Today it harbours the interest of its many employees who hold rich reverence and awe to its ever growing dimensions and stature. Each one with a space to learn, grow and play to the point of self indulgence have stoked unbridled passion to see them through the maze and leave behind happy trails of their conquests. It’s befitting to forebode where this organization is headed to given the initial spurt in its stride outshining many in its neighbourhood and its ever growing canopy housing the old and new aspirants. It has the underpinnings of an extended family where ideas are treasured with a thriving solidarity that binds its workforce. Preaching the dogma that its employees are the key for its foray into unchartered ground or for any kind of ethical or moral advancement, it’s a dream for a budding employee. A stalwart for peaceful existence and continuous self introspection to reach higher standards with room for personal growth through creative inputs, it poses an ideal work canvas. Few years ago it was a dream of five in limited office space, with a firm resolve to write history. Today it’s one of the most talked about, software testing company and its employee’s growing strength is a testament to its popularity as many embrace excellence in a fortuitous leap to a career bloom.
Tiresome, pressed for time when deadlines rent the air, yet not budging an inch to close matters before kicking their shoes off, it was like the precious dew of emerging dawn in tropical summer. The name was written on walls which sounded like Greek to most and declared the biggest celebration in the history of the organization. The destined day was declared as February 13, 2010 .The countdown melted into fingers as each one on his own felt its formation for an evening to remember and cherished and heart crying out ‘Till death do us part’. It was a time to address familial ties camping out for moments of pleasure and togetherness where every breath shared in office space had made the bonhomie stronger, tied in strings of camaraderie. The rendezvous was at the elite Stellar Gymkhana Club, a long hop from Noida in the folds of emerging city of Greater Noida. Mails were circulated on a daily basis in bold graphics extending heartfelt, warm invitation to all in a count backwards to launch into the august evening.
New faces joined the party enthused with new blood, adding a dash of latent jubilation to their first ever Annual Day communion. Hours dried to a trickle before prod3 assault into festivities. Hopes of lather and fine wine in the depths of a quiet night when hands raised a cheer crowded the mind of young rookies with a chance to mingle with seniors and management, standing as one. Many nursed the idea of joining the bash on their own wheels when the crowd had gathered and games begun. Couples joined hands hitching rides on four wheelers to join the fest. For the rest of the entourage there was a shuttle service pressed into service to roll into majestic Greater Noida. All in their Saturday best in stripes of bright hues with the winter sun a dazzle in their restless eyes gathered on song. They were eager to unburden all the hype and hoopla created by organizers over a period of months. It was the cornucopia of wishes and dreams of its founders that had seen the organization rise to glory. It was time for a huddle to decide on strategy for ensuing matters and bask in the heyday of the dreamboat made to succeed. The overwhelming success of the organization sounds almost scripted to many. There was light banter on board the shuttle with a small section breaking into song and dance. Eyes wandered through windows in expectation, building up exhilaration in pieces as the engine drew closer to the Stellar Gymkhana. By the time the shuttle entered Greater Noida, they were out of their seats and back wanting to alight in mid air. Their merriment of simple song and dance had given way to raucous shouting in a melee with discordant decibels each trying to scratch their way to the comfort zone. The crowd paraded into the Gymkhana gates and prod3ly the open ground decorated for festivities.
Chairs were draped with white linen placed under shady canopy of canvas for the crowd to hold centre stage. The professional Event Management group was at the helm of proceedings. The facilitator and his cronies scattered balloons on grass turf in circles and unearthed innovative contraptions for seasoned games to be deliberated effortlessly and with precision. The emerging crowd was on cloud nine watching the plot unfold with a burst of euphoria in every act and watching their steps. Juxtaposed with the round of refreshments was a volley ball match with a running commentary interchangeably by the referee and one of the team mates. Late crashers which included eminent faces helped themselves with pleasantries to prod3ly end up volleying and cheering in harsh decibels. The crowd went gaga with rhythmic exaltation to witness the fervour and unfathomable passion built in every player worth his ilk, all for a friendly tussle as a precursor to the good times ahead.
Soon the fusillade of peak celebrations was broken through without any notice with almost all gathered and pulled in to participate. The host prod3ly appeared with hands grappling with his daily bread, a sensitive microphone and let loose a barrage of checks and greetings, warming up the gathered crowd for the fun and games ahead. For an earnest competition teams were formed in red, green, white and blue. At the outset getting into games seemed rather ridiculous as all seemed to have grown out of such methods of recreation. However riding on the idea that there is no age to become a child again and taking pains to laugh out loud for apparently no strong reason was soon to make home in all participants.
First jig was the ribbon collector and formation of the longest string of ribbons. Ribbons were strewn all over the ground and all participants ran helter-skelter in mirth all over everything. The measurement of length of strings soon began with a voluble host declaring results with unmatched alacrity. A close call but somebody had to win. The party wore on, the atmosphere getting warmed up for ensuing attractions with loud music to dissipate into the festivities. The bubbly host did a good job of coalescing splinter groups that tended to break the rhythm of the proceedings unintentionally. All let loose in a magical guffaw captured in Eastman colour to celebrate a milestone. The heat had reached unbearable limits yet the spirits were on high to ride on the idiosyncrasies of a delightful host launching games from his sack of goodies. This was the yelling round and the team with the highest decibels would emerge the winner, judge’s discretion was prod3. All were encouraged to scream, applauded by honourable judge resounding the repetitive slogan with clarity. The Greens were the clear winners which surprisingly had the least number of members in its team. So much for intensity and passion. The facilitator rolled out one game after another from his conditioned bag of choicest games, enough to stir its participants in entirety with uncontrolled gaiety and feverish anticipation of the unknown. All participants were gung-ho, fighting for a cause to see their colours soar and emerge through intricate manoeuvring in impromptu sessions at the behest of their respective captains.
The next round was a test of suppleness in delivering a ring through a chain of participants in the least amount of time and without breaking the chain. Each team was given a ring to be carried deftly across to the very end of the chain. The ring was to pass through the body on its journey. Some folks misread the instructions and had to start all over again amid cheering and hooting. There was no waiting period between games and every time the coordinator shot a new one into the air, the plucky participants took no time to get into the groove. The game with a dash of rugby required skill and fortitude in trying circumstances involving a big team. A rugby ball was to be passed in a long chain of sitting participants with the last one to run up and hand over the ball to the first sitting contestant. The team to complete a cycle first were to emerge winners. It was a neck and neck battle with the winners home by a whisker. We had prod3ly arrived at a man’s game, the feet numbing, heart throbbing, octopus race. A light yet sturdy participant was to stand on a metal frame. It was to be carried forward to the finish line with the help of its tentacles in the form of strings tied to the frame and pulled by team members with all their might. It was hysterical in flashes as the frame sometimes would not budge making the octopus play a jig. The judge helped himself with water in between his instructions to nurse a parched throat. It was the penultimate ring game before lunch and this one asked for tall contestants. All participants were to hide in huge ring of supple plastic and propel that contraption forward, slapping the roof ahead. For some it came easy, while others were left behind.
Finally, the decider and it came as a second nature for most of the participants. Each team had to prepare a grocery list which was then shuffled among the four teams. Now four members had to stand in an alien huddle and read out the grocery list to the home team. The challenge was the noise and commotion created to distract the contestant. The raucous crowd wasted no time in demonstrating what they were capable of, screeching away to glory and tearing away at the bloke with a list of essentials in a grocery store. They pulled on participants trying to walk up to their home team and shouted even louder. A clever game devised and disclosed with the audience in mind, and great fun to play. It was a hard day under the sun for both the contestants and host but not without the adrenalin pumping, heart throbbing moments of excitement that made them all spellbound and coming for more. The show was half way through; the host took a back seat and pulled out a cardinal event from the itinerary, the timeout everyone had been looking forward to, lunch.
It was time to socialize, catch up with folks with a plate of delicacies meticulously prepared for the occasion to satiate and tease the taste buds. It was a unique occasion for young fledglings to blend with high rise corporate foghorns sharing the same space in a heartfelt camaraderie. Freshers had a unique opportunity to rediscover themselves, escalate their presence to the high brass, least of all elicit visibility. The food was a potpourri of assorted dishes, honed by seasoned chefs with the traditional and the neo modern. The dessert had everyone roll in for a dollops and streamers of coiled ‘jalebis’ and ice cream, scrumptious to the core. There was a picture parade for keen eyes behind the camera longing to make moments memorable for posterity. Volunteers pooled in with the latest line of lenses, battling the heat and dust to capture the occasion in the most bizarre angles and shades of light. The swarming crowd ambled across to a scaffolding featuring a puppet show hosted by a little lad, who spoke beyond his years. Audience was urged to applaud as each act transpired at the hands of the one man band. He lend vocals and music with artistic finesse and daring demeanour. The skit ended to a huge round of applause from all quarters.
The evening was getting warmed up for the couples, scattered and scarce, picked on by a laid back game show host for a bout of ‘couples only’. It was a sweet game of parting love where the contestant was tested on how well they could communicate with their partner when each parted ways. A soft water balloon was handed over to each player and asked to pass it on to their partner who then had to catch the load without damaging the balloon. Couples were asked to step back the distance after each round making it difficult to handle the soft jelly. Balloons burst at every step making couples bow their heads in a grin. The soft handed couple with a dextrous touch stood their ground with dry hands and seized the moment. The sun was setting low and the evening air with a whiff of fragrance; the spirited host pulled out a tight rope from his bag of dwindling goodies for a game of tug of war. Well built players took to the extremities with the captains to egg their teams in theatrical overtones with a call of the wild culling out words of brutal combat to push their team to the safety zone. The winning thrust saw the loosing team give up the battle and tumble on their heels. It all boiled down to the spirit of hosting such events, sportsmanship, strains of uncontrolled laughter and a time to party.
The customary round of games had prod3ly been called off and the night was ablaze with lights and music. It was that time of the evening when many bid adieu for a seat on the local shuttle homewards and some vying for shared mode of transport. The local DJ had been called in for the beats and rhythms of the times to a swell audience in a stamp of total immersion on the dance floor. Eyes cornered with vested interest on a young man’s journey to procure adulthood. It was times for fiendish foams of delight to caress tempestuous yearnings in a guzzle to knock about the head and unearth costly revelations. All hands blended in a perfect toast for a night to remember with friends.
The last attraction was the dinner and subsequently all dispersed to call it a day. Buses with revelous crowd darting in gaiety were on their way home.
Cornucopia, the event to reckon with came to a close. A day well spent in celebration of the brainchild of its founders and its triumphant emergence as a force to reckon with in the area of Software Testing and much more. A unique cornucopia of virtue, fortitude, equal opportunity and eternal family ties opening exciting vistas for the budding employee.
The organization has come a long way since its inception, with tomes of calibrated workmanship set to perfection going down in the annals as one of the quick turnarounds from a meagre beginning and for its many competitors.