7 Ways of Spreading Chaos: The Ibn Battuta Treasure Hunt

What do you get when you spread a bunch of knick-knacks across three floors and challenge 70 people to go hunt for them?

Pandemonium, that’s what.

That would be an apt word to describe the IB 300 Days Treasure Hunt, held on 25th June in MakeMyTrip’s Gurgaon office.

Now, we could launch into a long-winded description of the event, the frantic strategy meetings, the triumphant yells and desperate curses, the number of innocent passers-by flattened against the wall as one team after another raced from floor to floor, and the nail-biting fight to the finish…

But we won’t. Not today.

We’ll let the pictures do the talking instead.

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 Rule#1: Let your attention wander as they try to explain the rules

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  Rule#2: Find yourself in a spot since you didn’t listen to the rules

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 Rule#3: Turn meeting rooms upside-down. Feel free to trouble occupants in the process…

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 Rule#4: Be lost in thought as you decipher gibberish clues

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 Rule#5: Rush to the nearest Hunt Helper for hints

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 Rule#6: Honour hard-working Hunt Helpers for their handiness

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 Rule#7: Applaud gender diversity. Madam Battuta says ‘howdy’.

Tripper Represents India at Fencing World Championship 2014

These days Deepak Saini, Manager-Technology Department, has been extremely busy. No, it’s not the many projects that are taking up all his time. For those of you who aren’t already aware, Deepak has been selected to represent India at the Fencing World Championship 2014 at Kazan, Russia. The event which is scheduled to take place from July 15- July 23, 2014 will see participation from over 110 countries!

Deepak Saini, all geared up for the Fencing World Championship in Russia

Deepak Saini, all geared up for the Fencing World Championship in Russia

Deepak started fencing from the tender age of 10 and there has been no stopping him ever since. He has participated in events at the state and national level and has won several medals, including bronze medals at the 23rd and 24th Senior National Fencing Championship held in Rohtak and J & K, respectively.

“Fencing is my first love. I love this sport because of its unique combination of elegance, tactics, concentration and coordination.”

Deepak Saini in action during a Fencing tournament

Deepak Saini in action during a Fencing tournament

At MakeMyTrip we constantly encourage Trippers to pursue their passion, going beyond work life. We are proud to sponsor and support Deepak as he embarks on his mission for national pride.

Here’s wishing Deepak all the very best from the entire MMT Family! It’s your turn to show your support by sharing this post with your friends and family.

We shall be back with all the inside scoop once Deepak returns from Russia. Watch this space for more…

Mukteshwar Marathon 2014

“If you want to win something, run 100 metres. If you want to experience something, run a marathon” -three time Olympic gold medallist, Emil Zátopek

Running in the Mukteshwar Marathon 2014 that took place on 25th May was one such unforgettable experience. Besides running for a good cause (the marathon was organized to raise money for a school run by Chirag, a local charity), Aman, Deepak and I were looking forward to running a marathon in the mountains, at an altitude of 2,286 metres.

Mukteshwar marathon 2014-view

Mukteshwar’s picture-perfect beauty was breath taking

15 days before the D-day, Team Tripper, as we called ourselves got together to discuss travel arrangements, and of course, the prep for the race. There were three categories in this event- a 21 km Half Marathon, a 21 km Corporate Relay and a 5 km Dream Run. We were competing in the Corporate Relay Challenge, wherein three members per team would run 7 kms each.  As the much awaited weekend arrived, we caught a direct bus from New Delhi to Kathgodam, which took approximately 6.3 hours.

Upon reaching the small, scenic town of Mukteshwar, we were welcomed by chaiwallahs, all ready for business. The nippy morning was a welcome change from Delhi’s gruelling summer, and a piping hot cup of chai was all we needed to shake off any sign of tiredness.

The drive to Mukteshwar was full of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the three of us. For a moment we forgot we were there to participate in a marathon and behaved like tourists from the plains. Armed with DSLRs, Deepak and I took full advantage of this drive, and clicked pictures of beautiful, misty valleys along the way.

A two-and half hour ride and hundred photos later, we arrived at our hotel in Mukteshwar. After a quick check-in and a sumptuous breakfast, we decided to walk up to Brahmeswara Temple and Chauli Ki Jali, which are amongst the top tourist attractions here. The walk was very picturesque and we stopped at various lookout zones for photos, and sometimes just to soak in the beauty. It also gave us an opportunity to get to know each other better, sharing stories of our past adventures. We bonded as a team and became friends. And probably, it was the magical mountain air which made us unusually animated, specially since we had barely caught a wink the night before. Deepak enthusiastically chatted up a few locals and was delighted to know that the marathon was a big event which they were looking forward to. Aman and I made new friends too. I would like to give a special mention to Gambo, the German Shephard, who happily ditched his owner for a walk with us.

Mukteshwar marathon 2014-participants

Shipra, Deepak and Aman- Team Tripper

Before long we reached the temple, and settled down at the steps to take a break, snacking on Kafal, yummy berries peppered with a tangy masala. The vendors near the temple were a friendly lot and happily posed for photographs.

A few hundred meters ahead of the temple was the marathon registration desk. 401, 402 and 403- were our bib numbers. The geek in Aman was disappointed for not getting number 404, the common “File Not Found” error message online.

There was also a cultural programme organised by the school children and local women. They sang traditional Kumaon songs which echoed in our heart. It was very touching to see cards made by the school children, wishing luck to the marathon runners.

Mukteshwar marathon 2014-cultural programme

The cultural programme and greeting cards by the local women and children was indeed touching

We also made a quick visit to the beautiful ‘Chauli Ki Jali’. Massive rocks dangerously hanging over the cliff and the view of the valley was breathtaking. There were mountain peaks as far as the eye could see. One can also do rappelling here, but fatigue was slowly creeping in, and we decided to head back to the hotel to get some rest for the race next morning.

Finally, the D-Day arrived! We reached the start point at 6:30 in the morning. The arrangements were surprisingly good for a small town event like this. Glucose biscuits, bananas and energy drinks were available at the starting point and after every 2.5 kms on the route. There were about 200 odd people running with us that day- locals and outsiders included. The race started at 7:30 AM. We had decided a day before that I would run the first leg of the marathon as it was a mix of plains and relatively easy inclines. The boys took on the tougher routes with difficult climbs. It was absolutley amazing, running in the mountains amidst scenic views, with the locals cheering us on.

Mukteshwar marathon 2014- certificates and medals

The proud trio posing after the marathon

Our team clocked an overall time of 2 hrs 37 mins, and came in fourth. After the race, we were presented with medals and certificates in a small presentation ceremony. We returned home the same day, feeling very proud of having represented MakeMyTrip in this event.

You can also read about the highlights from last year’s Mukteshwar Marathon, by clicking here

The blog has been written by Shipra Yadav, with inputs from Aman Bansal and Deepak Panwar.

For The Love Of Animals

After the success of the Make A Difference Dream Camp, Trippers wanted to go one step ahead and do their bit for animal welfare. Talia and I were super excited to visit Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre in West Delhi for this purpose. A shelter cum hospital, this organization is home to countless animals including dogs, cats, monkeys, rabbits, horses, cattle and more. Here’s a snapshot of the beautiful time we spent there:

Upon arrival, we were greeted by the extremely friendly and welcoming dogs.
Time flew when we were with them!

Dogs-Welcoming

The animals slept wherever they could find a comfortable spot – on top of cartons, benches
or under the tables. This was a common (happy) sight we came across at the shelter
.

Dog-sleeping

A cooler, ceiling and pedestal fans, food for all animals and medicines
were some of the things we donated to the shelter.

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As we entered the cattle section, hundreds of cows were drooling, for the
delicious fodder which we’d got for them. This is how much they loved it…

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Next, we crossed a room which was full of colourful chicks. Yes coloured!
Have you ever seen anything like this before? We definitely hadn’t!

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 Just as we were about to leave, we saw two dogs sleeping luxuriously on the staircase,
the corners of which they used as pillows. Such a heart-warming sight it was.

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And here’s a something we all must remember always:

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In the words of Anatole France, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” Our visit to the shelter was one such experience. We became more aware of how much these innocent souls need our love and support.

Until next time, Adios furry creatures!

Photo Credits: Ragini Mehra and Talia Mei

The blog has been conceptualized and written by Ragini Mehra.

When The Walls Spoke At MakeMyTrip -The Re-deco Project

As Ishaan shrugged off his Monday blues and walked towards the elevator, thinking about the boring weekend he spent in his man cave (we cannot all be rockstars), his thoughts were oscillating from deadlines to planning a better weekend this time. As he punched in, he saw something that made him stop in his tracks and go wow!

On Monday 14th of April, the coming together of 17 people, 118 days, 1000+ hours and numerous phone calls produced what you see across MMT’s Gurgaon office. For those of you who missed the extravaganza, here’s a snapshot of the amazing artwork around.

Travel Periodic Table

This uber cool concept is derived from the periodic table of elements in Chemistry (you’ll remember this if you paid enough attention in high school). This arrangement of squares concentrates on one thing we all love, travel. Each square contains an airport code, time difference, famous attraction of the city and the currency.

Redeco-Travel-Periodic-Title

JFK – Airport Code, -10.5 hours – Time difference, Empire State Building – Famous Attraction, US $ – Currency, New York – City

The layout mirrors that of the earth with Santa Claus hovering over the North Pole and a Polar Bear skating near the South Pole.

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Travel Periodic Table – We added travel to science and made it fun

And that’s not all, if you’re a Harry Potter, Simpsons, LOTR, Superman or Flintstones fan, the bottom part of the table will transport you to the imaginary world of your favourite characters. Have a look!

Walk of Fame

The walkway near Hindustan is called artist vs. reality. Curious about the name? Every single pillar gives an artist’s interpretation of a famous quote on one side and the same quote creatively designed by the Re-deco team on the other! You’ll see many interesting paintings by the painter extraordinaire, Rohit Kumar and Bangalore based artist, The Bathroom Painter. Let’s take a look through a coloured lens:

Artist-vs-Reality

Artist vs Reality – The greater your storm, the brighter your rainbow

Wishing Tree(s)

Leaving an impression that lasts forever is everybody’s dream. The Wishing Tree is an epitome of that aspiration. These stunning canvases were created by Rohit Kumar to give Trippers a chance to leave their mark at MakeMyTrip.

Wishing-Tree

Wishing Tree – Leaving a lasting impression

Pillar Quotes

With 80 quotes  on display, across 122 pillars, the idea behind creating a visual appeal to famous sayings was to inspire, motivate, make you laugh and introspect. It was super fun to work with Angel Bedi from The Filmy Owl for this part of the project, who has added her characteristic Indian spin to popular quotes. And yes, with all the artwork created in-house, the team is indeed considering going professional!

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How often have you asked this question?

As we continue to get inspired by the artwork around us, let us not forget, “Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” And when you pack your bag towards the end of the day, tell us which quote appealed to you the most? We’ll be waiting to hear from you.

By Himansh Kumar