~ 98 weeks to my 'Tees' (30th) ~
The highlight of this week was the celebration of Happy Marketer's 10th year.
What started off as a one-person business, founded by Prantik's good friend, Rachit - had over the years become one, big happy family! Prantik had joined a few months prior to opening of it's Bangalore office in 2012. That also was when Prantik and I became friends and soon enough, started dating, while I was still studying in college, not too far away from their office space. So, I've sort of seen it grow exponentially over the years from then to now; and parallelly, so have we all personally... So, to actually take a step back and witness the gala celebrations was surreal, to say the least.
I joined them on the evening of day 1 (after my mock exam, headed straight for the airport, pretty much empty-handed) - I actually changed in the cab on the way to the beachside seafood restaurant :D Meeting everyone, was like flipping through pages of the past - quite some fun memories were refreshed, while enjoying the 'Ikan Bakar' and the sea breeze. I still remember, meeting Siljith to send some things over to Singapore; the #HMTribe dancing to super crazy fun songs like "Fevicol" and "Gandi baat" on our Sangeet evening; to hosting them over at our first, humble abode in Singapore, catching up over Pizza and some beer. The HM folks were overtly kind and thoughtful, when the first Happy Baby, ie Ayaan was born - they turned up at our place with amongst other things, a 'diaper cake' :D. Mela, has always been a sweetheart - when Ayaan turned 6 months old - she came over with home-baked cupcakes and a self-knitted woollen quilt; Terrence and his wife, had gone the length to create a DIY scrapbook of sorts, which I've been using to preserve Ayu's leaf collection over the last couple of years...
There were so many memories that sprung back, any direction I looked - and so, I decided to just take it all in and just enjoy the present, for now. We called it a night after the 'Beer by the Beach' party, under the gorgeous moonlight.
Day 2 started early, with all of us in our #HMX tees, all set for the Amazing Race Bali. We had been divided into groups, each in 2 vintage Volkswagen cars, driving and running across Ubud temples and museums, in search for answers to the clues provided. The last task actually saw us don sarongs in the picturesque setting of the Holy Spring temple. The race was thrilling and tiring at the same time - thanks to the overhead sun, so when we finally arrived, at the lunch restaurant - we all ate to our hearts' content - the special 'Sambal' and Bintang combo was to die for!
I had to leave early next morning, and the HM folks had workshops all day. What I terribly missed was the Gala dinner later that evening, at a beachfront restaurant, Moonlite overlooking the horizon. The set up was heart-warming & mind-blowing - the photobooth, floral arrangements etc. I had left them with my little gift too - a nostalgic video (link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Kv1Z1aqorhUMxf0soxpnnHCyOpR3d4R9/view?usp=drivesdk) showcasing their journey from when Rachit and Prantik were just friends back in college, to growing Happy Marketer together, to an award-winning company; also, showcasing some snaps from weddings, festivals and such fun times to more personal scenes, like commencing on the adventure of fatherhood. This, as well as another video montage of congratulatory messages, compiled from dear friends and family - left the boys all teary-eyed. I wish I was by their side, hugging them and telling them, how bloody proud I was of them - but for now, this will have to do.
Wishing you all the very best :)