SAP’s ‘Bandhan’ with their Employees
In today’s job market, its shocking to see companies that last long, and its even more shocking to see employees stick to a single company for over 10 years and when a company has that happen with more than 65 employees, you know its a good place to be!
Our discussion with SAP about this show started quite a while back! and the flow of events kept morphing around into various things but with the underlying message that at the end of it all, the audience should be picking up their jaws from the floor and going back saying “WOW!” – in capitals and with an exclamation!
This was going to be a show where we would collaborate with Nritarutya and create something that can only be described as ‘magical’. It was going to be a night that would be talked about for the next 10 years!
And it was.
If you followed the sequence of events on that day, you would never have imagined that the show would even happen. It was a brand new setup for the event co-ordinators, DeckBubble and though all of them had an idea what the outcome might be like, no one was really sure!
To top it all, sound check started at 11 AM and went on till 5 getting everything in place. Infact with 15 artistes on stage meeting and collaborating for the first time, it was quite surprising that we finished it all even! each of us had worked out our parts separately because of the last minute changes and it was beautiful to see it all come together on stage.
To put things in perspective, the event was affected by everything from artist schedules, to concept, to RSVPs to the Icelandic Volcano! Some key people who needed to be at the event were stuck in Europe with no way to get here in time.
Then the event started and what was supposed to be a long ceremony got over real quick and we were supposed to take stage an hour and a half in advance! but the only problem being, half the artistes were not even at the venue, each had gone out in the break between the sound check and were on their way back.
But then, all was well, because, to cut a long story short, atleast it started.
When you are told that you are playing to about 60 families, of people who have completed 10 years in a software company, you expect a certain kind of audience profile and an certain kind of response. But when we went on stage and were done with the first song, we were looking at a LOUD and fun party crowd that were hooting and whistling like it was their college graduation!
Raghu started Mysore se Aayi and the dolls entered the hall and took things a couple of notches higher and by now half the people were jumping around with us which only got us pumped up further. One more song and Nritarutya came and tore the place apart with their dance for Khidki and by now, things were at a fever pitch.
More of our songs followed and Raghu got the whole hall learning Kannada and the “African” bit of Lokada Kallaji when the Nritarutya boys came out with their masks adding a special touch to the song.
When it was time for ‘Har Saans Mein’, we got a bunch of people up on stage and the entire quawali feel of the song was realized with everyone clapping along and those whistles that improved over time :p The band and the entire chorus singers on stage took a bow and it was time to end proceedings with ‘Mahadeshwara’. But it was not to be!
A couple of encores that included ‘Kodagana Koli Nungiththa’ and ‘Mussanje Manjalli’ and we had finally managed to satisfy everyone. A session of autographs and photographs followed and that brought to an end one of the most fun corporate shows we’ve ever played!
Special thanks to Mr. Ferose, the MD of SAP Labs, Bangalore for the vision and for making this happen and congratulations for what you have achieved and for inspiring your colleagues to stay and consider it home!
Thanks to Jagadish, Kalyan and Beena from SAP who were instrumental in us playing that show and to Sunil and Akshay from DeckBubble, we must do this again sometime!
Much thanks to Ganesh Raghunathan for his awesome photography!