Sometime before that in the elevator: "We know what you'll are planning!!!!". I was caught off guard with those words on my way out of office. "We know everything.... EVERYTHING!!!!", another voice hit me from the left and pinned me to the wall of the elevator. "Errrrrr", thats all I managed to say as a lot of unknown faces from other floors turned around catching the conversation that was in progress. Eyes and silence is not a very nice situation to be in. "Errrrr", I managed in a different tone wondering if they would make out the difference. "You said that only five to six ppl would be going.", the voice then shifted to the other end, "But then we got a heart attack when we saw the second item on your list. 'FIND MORE PEOPLE'". "Errrrr", I tried yet another monotone. "How many are going". "Errrrr.... maaaaaaaaax ten. But how do you'll know". "Well", they smiled, "we were searching for a conference room and saw that one was booked with the subject line 'Trek prep' and then we checked out the agenda. You'll are planning big aren't you'll".... "Nooooooo... we haven't told many ppl". And then Meera and Shodhna who are part of HR smiled and said bye as they left the elevator.
Sometime before that as I was preparing to leave office Dipti who I know for the past 11 years looked at me and said, "How could you not ask me!!! Why did you not tell me. How could you!!!!" "Errrrr", I managed and then decided to get off with a tad bit of quirkiness..... I looked left and then looked right and then looked back at Dipti lifting one eyebrow in slow motion; just staring for a few seconds to let it sink in; and then I nudged my head telling her to follow me to a place where we could talk in confidence. "Well blah blah blah, 6-7 degrees Celcius at night, blah blah blah, coooooold winds, blah blah blah, leeches, blah blah blah, dense forest, blah blah blah, climb with torches, blah blah blah... and let me know by tomorrow for sure. Yeah we have place for you and your hubby but don't tell anyone else about the plan. And I told you cause I know you and all". I mean I had to apprise her of the risks, I just had to :-)
Sometime before that, people who had exchanged secret handshakes, funny smirks and silent hmmmms thru the week found themselves discussing about the big plan in a conference room. Children were measured in kgs. Notes were made; Roby's kid is 14 kgs and Raja's is 20 kgs; as contraptions were planned if their legs got weary. Temperature, clothing, tents, sleeping bags, rucksacks, food rations, leech removing techniques, transport, a forest guide and nostalgia were discussed. ARs were assigned with hard deadlines. Excel sheets were populated and some items were ticked; a project plan was being executed like clockwork. Starting times were discussed and then someone said, "Maybe we can climb the mountain with torch light.. we would almost have a full moon too", and he beamed. Then we got into the gory details. "Kerosene ?"... "Nah I used to carry Whisky... Its a multipurpose thing... No need of brushing your teeth... Just gargle and swallow... and regd the fire, just throw some into it...". "And oh yeah ask a few more people. We can increase our tribe a little".
Sometime before that; on monday to be exact; an email sent by Roby found its way to our HR's inbox, with a hope that they would give into our evil rogue breakaway plan. 'Don't give them time to think', I thought and went and spoke to Shodhna to quash any doubts she had, "We are a small group. As of now just 3 of us have confirmed. The number will go maaaaax to about 5 or 6. We'll leave friday afternoon and join the group again on saturday afternoon. No one will even know we are gone."
Wayanad, thats where we will be heading this weekend for a company outing, from friday to sunday. Considering the sedentary nature of the other attractions, Roby enlightened a few of us about this peak named Chembra which towers over Wayanad at 7000 odd feet, and right about then, the 'evil rogue breakaway plan' found its tribe. It started with, "We can go up and come down by friday evening". Then I added, "Why not stay overnight on the top". "There is a dense forest we can explore just behind it. I used to do a lot of mountain/rock climbing in the area in the 90s". "Lets plan this out well".
"And oh yeah lets keep this small, if too many ppl want to come with us then HR might raise objections. All the best guys".