November 25, 2013

One Set of Smiles, Per Day

Bonding with your colleagues outside the four walls of an office or a meeting room is a priceless experience. There is a whole new side to people, just waiting to be discovered – and the annual trip at Gozoop never fails to bring this side out. The expedition turned out to be even more special as the teams from Delhi and Dubai joined in the fun. This year, we refrained from the clichéd beach resorts and hill stations, and got in touch with the child inside us – thanks to the 160 wonderful, bright and massively talented children at the Navjeevan Centre in Murbad.

Our three hour journey to Murbad started bright and early in the morning, after our very own Anna got us kick started with a power breakfast. The adventure is as much in the ride as it is in the destination. The bus, filled with buoyant and rather caffeinated Gozoopers, steadily trudged along the Mumbai-Nashik expressway. Meanwhile a game of Dumb Charades got intense with some mockingly hilarious trash talk and questionable movie names (IMDB to the rescue).

The surprise in store for us was well worth the early start. A warm welcome at the Navjeevan centre with tea and refreshment was followed by some riveting testimonies from the brave and exceptional people behind this NGO. Equipped with residences and a fully functional school, the sprawling facility shows how people can do so much with so little at their disposal. The children charmed us with their laughter and their splendid talent – very evident from the lively cultural show they’d put together for us. We thumped to the peppiest Bollywood and South tracks as these kids grooved to the beats – a special mention for our CEO, who took to the floor in an unprecedented Avatar and joined in the ‘Lungi dance’. Other winning performances of the afternoon were by Gozoopers Neil and Godwin, assisted of course by the charming and self-effacing ‘Rani’ – our new puppet mascot.

The spread that was put out for the lunch had us licking our fingers. As we lounged in the warm winter afternoon, our Happiness Officers got us to our feet with another intense game of cricket. We played, we cheered and we screamed our lungs out at every wicket and every catch out.

Good times never seem to last too long. As the day turned to night, it was time to leave. We refueled on our regular dose of caffeine with the delicious tea, courtesy our hosts and got ready for the trip back home. The day brought us smiles and we hope we added smiles to someone else’s day too. We cannot change the whole world overnight, but we can inch towards it – one set of kids at a time, one set of smiles per day.

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