We have often been asked about why our company is called Leopard Hill Global Learning. There’s an interesting story behind the name which we’d like to share with everyone here.

One bright afternoon, after completing a training program in the central district, a few of us decided to get away from bustling Bangalore for a few hours. Before we could talk each other out of the sudden impulse, we all jumped into the car and hit the nearest highway without a plan or destination in mind.

After an hour’s drive on the relatively free highway, little hills emerged on both sides of the road. They soon turned into larger ones, some made up of a thousand broken boulders miraculously hanging on to each other and others still in one gigantic piece daring the clouds to smash them with a few bolts of lightning. There is a powerful magic in the ripples of lakes and the summits of hills that lures stressed out souls towards it – be it Lake George or Lake Tahoe or the Poconos or the Rockies or Alps or the Himalayas, or the hills in the no man’s land that we were passing through. After a quick conferring, we all unanimously decided to climb one of the hills around us and exited the highway towards one that seemed tall enough to offer a good climb and view while not too daunting under the afternoon sun.

1Hill

We parked the car under a tree at the foot of the hill where there was a structure that seemed to be a reservoir under construction with a few laborers here and there in no real hurry. With the sun behind the hill, we bounded from one boulder to another for 30 minutes. We finally climbed onto a huge rock in the shadow of another above it, just below the top, It seemed a spot as good as any to settle on. It was close to 5pm and the shadows got longer as we sat on the hill and took in the breath taking panoramic view below – the little villages, grazing cattle, vehicles plying on the highway, the occasional train that chugged along in the distance, the other hills around and a few patches of greenery scattered amidst the dry rocky terrain.

2view from hill

With the cool evening breeze soothing our faces, we dug into the bread and jam, between gulps of cold water, chit chatting about nothing. Perhaps it was the freedom in the wilderness that possessed our spirit or just an idea, whose time had come, the conversation somehow steered into founding a training company of our own. The excitement of the prospect got into everyone and soon there were dozens of wonderful ideas flowing freely on what we could do, how we could go about it and who would else be a good fit to pull into the team. As we were engaged in this brainstorming on top of the world, well the world as we could see it at least, we heard shouts from down below. We did not pay much attention to it figuring that it must be the laborers at the foot having a heated impromptu argument and continued with our discussion.

Soon after, we spotted one of the laborers from the reservoir below making his way up the hill. We realized that the source of the yelling and screaming was from the figure climbing up towards us. After about 15 minutes, he was close enough for us to make out what he was shouting.

“THERE’S A LEOPARD ABOVE YOU! GET OFF THE HILL!” is what we finally understood the guy had been yelling at us for the past half hour. Panic and fear struck instantly and we scrambled off the rock in a mad dash downhill. As we were scurrying down, I could not resist turning back to spot the silhouette of the leopard perched on the rock just above the one we had been resting on. It stood up and silently peered down at us, scrambling to keep pace with the worker who had warned us in an attempt to put as much distance between us and the stealthy cat lurking above.

3leopard1

We made it to the foot of the hill in less than half the time it had taken us to climb it and we collapsed in exertion on the half built wall of the reservoir. The man who had climbed up to warn us was nowhere in sight. There was an old man, who came across as the supervisor of the crew, who was evidently quite annoyed with us, city slickers.

 

4leopard3“We have been yelling that there’s a leopard from a long time but you deaf people were just sitting there as if you owned the hill. Good for you that Govinda climbed all the way up and warned you. Else you would have been Leopard dinner. The Leopard has little cubs in a cave up there and she has been very aggressive the last few days. Last week, she attacked a shepherd and his flock!” he screeched, all animated and visibly worked up. We did not have much to say in our defense as we were all still reeling from the shock of our close encounter and lucky escape. We thanked the old man and also asked him to convey our thanks to the young man who had warned us and quickly left.

5from foot hill

As they say, an inconvenience rightly considered is an adventure- especially in the past tense! Once in the car, with a few kilometers between us and the hill, the fear and adrenaline subsided. We got excited and were able to laugh at our unusual experience. We reached the city by 8pm and headed towards our homes with a wonderful story to share at the dinner table.

A few days later, as we picked up on the plan of forming our training company, we were looking for a suitable name to incorporate under. One of the names we came up with and finally narrowed down on was “Leopard Hill Global Learning”. The idea first took shape on the hill under the watch of the unseen leopard. It is an appreciation of the agility and performance of a Leopard. It is a reference to the ‘Hills’ or obstacles we all endeavor to overcome in our daily lives. It is an awareness of a lurking ‘Leopard’ behind us that we are often unaware of, believing we know everything we need to. Last but not the least, it is a mark of respect and a token of gratitude to the young man, Govinda, who climbed all the way up the hill to save us from imminent danger. Hope we continue to draw from his inspiration and climb uphill to reach out to touch the lives of as many people as we can – just as he touched ours!

As much as we would have loved to, unfortunately, we had neither the nerve nor presence of mind to take pictures of the Leopard that evening. The photos above are from an inactive blog of someone who dared to take these awesome pics of the leopard on the same hill! Some of the photos may possibly belong to Incredible Kolar. Do check them out on Facebook. They have lovely pics of the region!