ICT Engineering – Gediminas

Practical placement in Kolkata, India

Annual picnic

Company picnic

“I beg your pardon.”

I don’t write about work, because I don’t want to bore anyone with the exciting details of Android development, but last weekend I attended an annual picnic held by my company and I my co-workers took me to the nearby Snake Park.

Since the picnic place was a bit outside of Kolkata, to pick up all the employees, two buses were arranged. It was a long ride and since I didn’t want to drain the battery of my phone for reading I chose to read a local newspaper, which had some interesting articles:

Bindi

“You would think that Indians would know about this.”

International news section

“No Death Star for America.”

Personal ads

“Honey, he has to have either an MBA or run his own business.”

When we arrived, I was delighted to see that the picnic was to be held at this pleasant garden:

The stage

The stage

The backstage

The backstage

The lounge

The lounge

The garden entrance

The garden entrance

The vegetable garden

The vegetable garden

The kitchen

The kitchen

The picnic started with a open buffet of Indian snacks and it was then that I chose to unveil the traditional Lithuanian cake (Tinginys) that I made for my co-workers to taste:

Indians eating Tinginys

“Om nom nom…”

And even though it was less dry then I wanted it to be (it’s hard to find the right biscuits), my co-workers praised it so much that I’ll have to make it again before I leave.

Before the main events started, a couple of my co-workers took me to the nearby Snake Park, because they knew that nobody will want to go anywhere after they’ll have lunch. The Snake Park had a range of snakes, birds (raw snake food), a crocodile and a man living with poisonous snakes, which was supposed to be the main attraction:

West Bengal Snake Park entrance

“Oh, the grammar!”

Snake slough

“Ma’am, I believe you dropped your… never mind.”

Cockatiels

“Raw snake food.”

Crocodile

“It’s almost as if he’s smiling.”

Cobra

“All of you who have seen a Cobra in real life, please raise your hand.”

The man living with poisonous snakes

“Such is life in India.”

I don’t know about the rest of the people, but for me, the guy showing the snakes in their enclosures was much more impressive. Only Chuck Norris or Buddha could be this calm in the given situation:

Snake charmer

“Are you getting this?”

Snake charmec

“They looked much bigger when I was a child.”

Snake charmer

“So, uh… this is a monitor lizard, right here.”

Also, the information on boards scattered around the park was intriguing:

Info-board at West Bengal Snake Park

“Snakes have poor seeing power.”

Info-board at West Bengal Snake Park

“There is no snake diamond.”

Info-board at West Bengal Snake Park

“Snakes rule. Inevitably.”

Since the Snake Park is pretty small, our visit didn’t take long and we were back at the party. In fact, just in time for the last traditional dance performances by the children of the employees:

Kathak at a picnic

♫ “Just Kathak, gonna be OK.” ♫

And after their show it was time for the band to rock the party::

Live music at a picnic

“Something, something, something, Bengali…”

I could tell that the songs that the band played were well-known, because everyone started dancing and singing after a couple of warm up songs:

Dancing at a picnic

“I don’t know what they’re singing about,but it must be good.”

And after the dancing it was lunch time. The only way I can describe how good was the food is that, while eating, I was thinking how much I will miss Indian cuisine after I leave:

Open buffet at picnic

“The good: you can eat all you want;
The bad: you can eat all you want;
The ugly: I overate.”

After everyone was full and the band had packed their stuff, a small lottery game was held. For 10 INR you get one ticket and the game is played in manner similar to BINGO. One person is taking out random numbers from a bag while the other calls it, and you mark it if it’s on your ticket. There were prizes for marking five numbers in a single line, marking the whole ticket and so on.  Beginners luck scored me a “second-full-house” prize and that day I went home with a 50 INR profit:

Lottery at a picnic

“Lakshmi must have smiled on me today.”

After the lottery there was a small coffee break and a long way home, which didn’t feel so long, because of one of my co-workers singing and jokes.

This was my first ever company picnic and I’m happy to have had it in India where dancing has no rules, the food is amazing and the people are always smiling.

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