August 1

Bringing the Hype outside of work: The Hype way to unwind

Tithira Pathirana

How does a highly creative team of young, energetic, and extremely talented individuals gather to celebrate friendship and unwind after a few productive days of work? Well, I aim to tell you all about it (the extracurricular activities, so to say).

You would be mistaken if you thought the team at Hype only unwinds on Friday nights over some great food and drink, although Hype After Dark is a staple of our weekly routine—truly unwinding at Hype entails so much more.

While I can go on and on about all aspects work-related, I will be shelving those ideas as a topic for another blog (or ten) because I love the work I do here and can write so much about it. You can read some of our other blogs for a sneak peek on that front.

Instead, I will take you through some of the key moments that I was a part of when the Hype team got together outside of the office in a nearly once-a-month ritual to unwind and have fun the Hype way.

Racking up scores with the CEO

In my experience, most CEOs visiting a country office are intent on seeing the numbers (profits, revenues, and cost cash-flows) as a top priority—not Ari though, he flew from Sydney and landed in Colombo with an entirely different set of numbers on his mind.

He was looking forward to seeing the numbers we could put up on the scoreboard in a friendly game of cricket and all the preparations were made at Hype Sri Lanka to that end. 

Although I had missed a few previous get-togethers, I was really excited about this one as it was the first time engaging with my colleagues outside of work. As I can get a bit competitive with sports, I was curious about how fast-paced a friendly cricket game at Hype could be—and what a surprise I was in for.

Early on the day of the match, everyone (well, almost everyone because I ran a bit late) made their way to the venue and the first match of two was well on its way when I arrived. The matches were highly competitive and everyone was extremely energetic and had brought their A-game.

I’m by no means a great cricketer, but along with everyone there, I had loads of fun and worked up a good sweat. After the game, we showered off, put on a change of clothes, and in true Hype fashion, headed over to Cinnamon Grand for some amazing food and drink.

Heading out for a personal screening

Many of us are major Marvel fans here and when 2023’s Guardians Of The Galaxy movie (Vol. 3) hit the theatres, everyone was excited to see it as the initial reviews seemed to be pretty good.

As the buzz around the movie reached a fever pitch, I was pleasantly surprised to see a message on Hype’s intranet asking everyone if they were interested in going out to watch a movie on a Friday night. Having movie nights inside the office as part of Hype After Dark was not new to me but this time, we would actually be going to the cinema to watch it on the big screen.

I quickly opted in and this came to be my next Hype outing. Excitement was building as the plan steadily fell into place perfectly over the next week—the Gold-class cinema at Scope, CCC was booked out for Hype with what was going to be an exclusive Friday-night screening for the 45 attendees from Hype.  

Walking into the theatre on the night of the movie was truly momentous, being greeted by Hype merchandise and brand videos playing throughout the screens along the hallway as we headed into the Gold-class lobby. Soon, everyone was handed their choice of popcorn and beverage and off to our seats we went.

The movie started off with a bang and for me, it was one of the best viewing experiences—the seats were supremely comfortable, dinner and drinks were brought and served at our seats, and I also had a blanket in case it got too chilly; it was nearly a 3-hour movie after all. It was the best way to head into the weekend.

Shooting hoops…at a church?

I know that the title is confusing, but bear with me—it’s all going to make sense soon. So the initial plan was to go play basketball and go for our usual meal and drinks afterwards at Playtrix, CCC. The date was set and throughout the week, expectations were running high.

Basketball is Isuru’s—our Director of Delivery—game; he has the skill and easily the most number of years of experience shooting hoops among everyone at Hype, so he was in high spirits while planning out everything on behalf of us.

This time, though the day was off to a rocky start, the venue had messed up our reservation and the 8.00 am booking had been placed for 8.00 pm. However, since everyone was primed and ready for some basketball, the search for an alternative indoor court was on and with a bit of Hype resourcefulness, we booked the entire indoor court at the church grounds of St. Mary’s Church (Colombo 4) which was only a short walk away.

Proceedings were in full swing once we reached the court, I was to captain a team against Joel’s—the catch is, on any given workday, Joel and I would work in lockstep to co-manage the largest team of Hype, closely coordinating and working together on anything and everything—but that day was different as we were both in it to win. 

Standing 6 foot 3 inches, Joel already had the height advantage but I managed to even it out when picking teams by winning the chance to make the first pick, I went for the obvious choice (Isuru) and Joel countered by picking Zagh (a veteran of Hype basketball).

Once the teams were finalised, it was time to play, and I soon learned that Hype plays basketball rough (in my first game no less). The pace was intense, everyone on the court was fully invested, and the competition was fierce. Anyone who fell down got right back up, dusted themselves off and got right back into the game while a high level of camaraderie was displayed by all within and in between teams.

At the end of it all, every one of us had an amazing time on the court, showered, changed, and left to go to Playtrix for a well-deserved late lunch and chilled drinks (towers this time). I couldn’t think of a better way to wind down on a Saturday evening.

Coming up next …

It may have been a long read for you thus far, longer than I intended this to be when I started on this, so I’ll try to keep this section short.

So what am I looking forward to next? In short, August 12th is when we’ll be heading out for a day down South at Cinnamon Bey. After experiencing Hype outside of work and unwinding with my friends and colleagues just these handful of times, I’m excited to see what this outing brings.


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