Yes, ironically, the morning of May 29, 2013 was the best in Bangalore. I got up early at around 6:15 and I knew it would be difficult to sleep again for some reason. Usually I go for a jog after 7, but today, I set out early. No sooner I was out in the openness, I was greeted with a sublime weather: it was cloudy, breezy, chilled and the fact that it had rained last night, had made the place look more greener. I guess, even birds were having a gala time, for I saw/heard the most birds today ever in Bangalore. I started with the jog and today was my longest continuous one (4.5kms). Then I cycled for around 8kms on the banks of Bellandur lake. The greenery exhilarated my eyes, just like how my mouth feels good only if I stuff it completely with food, my eyes feel good when it is filled with lush green which is abundant near my home. The chants of mantras from the temple near the lake enticed a sense of spirituality. It was a perfect morning: jogging and cycling in ravishing weather amidst greenery. What more can I ask from a place in the mornings – it was like everything around me was trying to soothe me. This has brought peace and has invigorated me for the biggest adventure I will be undertaking soon. I love you Bangalore and always will.
Every year, across the country, tens of thousands of Deloitte employees offer their time and talent to help make an impact on their local communities. The IMPACT DAY in Deloitte, Bangalore was observed on 23rd November this year. I personally think this is the time wherein we can spend some time with people and the environment around who/which directly/indirectly affect our daily routines. There were a number of threads (initiatives) to choose from which spanned activities like lake rejuvenation, attending schools, sapling plantation, etc. I chose sapling plantation as it had some physical work to be done and for a few other reasons. For me (an IT professional), an opportunity for some physical activity sounds like some happy news for the body. I am so glad that I was a part of this activity; not only did I plant saplings, but also drove a tractor for the first time.
Our activity was named Go Green for which 35 colleagues of mine had volunteered to plant around 150 saplings at Lowry Memorial School near the K R Puram Bridge. The 35 of us were divided into 7 groups, each named after a fruit and I was placed in the ‘Grapes’ team. Previously, in a meeting I had claimed that “I would make sure that my team plants most saplings at the event” and my junior had challenged me. Coincidentally, both of us fell under the same team! 😛 We reached the venue around 9.30 AM, had breakfast and with our gloves on, started the work. The tractor’s engine (as termed by one of my seniors) had been missing so we had to carry the heavy saplings ourselves all the way to our respective planting areas as assigned. I managed to carry 4 at a time but my junior took up 6 (which he regretted later). The heavy stuff we carried made the place seem farther. The holes where already dug by the BBMP people and we had to uncover the saplings, place it in the hole, fill in the mud and water it. After a while, the tractor was sent towards the planting area to distribute saplings, which made our work easy and left lot of our calories unburned. I remember one instance wherein a kid from the school asked if only planting trees was our job (I wish our job was as simple), I explained to the kid what it was like and then asked him and his friends to look after the plants and not to litter the place. During the activity, I had to struggle for some time as I ended poking a plant into my eye, which caused a little irritation. Here ended the planned part and so the fun time began.
The tractor’s engine which carried saplings had to go back and bring the tanker to water the plants. I hopped onto the tractor and never got down for quite a time. I and few others really enjoyed the bumpy ride, ducking when the electric lines came to execute us and escaping the trees which threatened to bruise us. I then jumped onto the water tanker and roamed around doing stunts on top of the tanker. As there were many who volunteered to water the plants, I just relaxed on the tanker helping the driver with directions. As we started watering, the Rain God joined too. We continued watering when the rains subsided. I and two others got a chance to drive the engine. As my senior spotted me taking the driving seat of a tractor for the first time in life, he became skeptical to get off the tractor. It was not as tough as I thought, but I drove only on a straight path as I dint want to jeopardize people’s lives there. As the tanker couldn’t move to all the planting areas and also due to the absence of a bucket, me and some of the ISU team used our skills to water by just carrying the pipe filled with water, passing the water through a broken Football goal post, etc. It was really fun and people there were happy to see us work with whatever was available. I guess that’s why we are called Engineers. Everyone did their part well; as a result we ended up planting within 2.5 hours. The plants had had their food but our tummies were growling. It was lunch time and there I, my senior and a junior were named the star performers of the day for working even in rain (which I enjoyed thoroughly). Surprisingly, my neck that used to hurt while in office, that day spared me even though I was hopping around most of the time (that’s why I sense these were happy hours for my body).
We just cleaned the area after lunch and few of them called it a day and a few others went back to the office to attend the closing ceremony. It was a fantastic day wherein we tried our best making an impact on our environment by planting trees in Bangalore where pollution is always on a roll. And for me, I had a very physical day, drove a tractor, played hammer throw with the trash bag, made some new friends and more importantly satisfied with the fact that I am giving something back to the community which has looked after me for years.
The nature of our future depends on the future of our nature. Save and plant trees.