Alok Kejriwal, founder of Games2Win, shares his experience of his first visit to the tech mothership — the Apple Park — in California.

For many like Alok Kejriwal, who live and breathe technology, Apple’s annual developer conference is a “sacred pilgrimage”. And this year, the Games2Win founder made the holy trek to California as a VIP guest.

His one-on-one interaction with Apple chief Tim Cook wasn’t the only highlight of the trip. The entrepreneur-turned-investor says he was in complete awe of the $5-billion new headquarters, which he described as a spaceship. “I could imagine it at night twinkling and ready to fly off,” Kejriwal said in a phone interview.

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Apple Park, the company’s new 175-acre campus, was envisioned by Steve Jobs as a centre for creativity and collaboration. Located at Santa Clara Valley, the campus’s ring-shaped, 2.8 million sq ft building is dressed in the world’s largest panels of curved glass. With 17 megawatts of rooftop solar, Apple Park will run one of the largest on-site solar energy installations in the world. It is also the world’s largest naturally ventilated building.

In the green

For Kejriwal, the one thing that stood out was the greenery within the campus. “The whole Apple philosophy of nature, naturalness and the joy of being around that [greenery] is what makes creativity flourish,” he said.

While the pathway to the main campus building is flanked by fruit trees and boulders, once inside, one is transported into a sci-fi movie. “Except, people aren’t wearing white clothes and moving around in dronish fashion,” said Kejriwal with a laugh, adding that he spotted many Indians on the campus.

Kejriwal says what caught his interest the most was a dense, manicured mini-forest in the courtyard of the building, which also housed a meditation p ond. “ The pond made you feel as if you are near an ocean,” he said. “You can hear these wave sounds and wonder where it’s coming from. And you know, Apple isn’t going to be stupid enough to record the sound of waves and play that. I then figured that they were making the water crash inside that pond so deep that it sounded likes waves.”

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Apple’s massive new headquarters complex in Cupertino, California, is nicknamed the “spaceship”. Located on 175 acres, it houses more than 12,000 employees in one central four-storey circular building of approximately 2,800,000 square feet.

Going virtual

W hat came next su r passed Kejriwal’s expectations. While at the visitors’ centre, he was approached by an employee holding an iPad. “He asked me if I wanted to check out the campus using the tab. I laughed and said, ‘Do I need an iPad to see the campus? I can see it right here’. He asked me to just give it a try. He let the iPad frame the model and boom! It came alive. Now, I could see miniature cars running and moving around on the roads in and out of the campus. You could de-layer the campus and see the layout of different levels,” said Kejriwal. “It was like Minority Report meets Iron Man.”

Food for thought

After a long tour, Kejriwal and a few other guests were taken to the cafeteria for lunch. “It was another spaceship experience,” said Kejriwal. “Everything was white including the bays. The ordering part is one section, the food collection is another and where you sit down and eat is the third section. I don’t know whether they run a restaurant there or a company. There is so much choice in food.” And what did he order? “Laccha naan, paneer pasanda, pulav and raita,” he said.

“I am so ashamed to say that I was craving Indian food because I would laugh at others who said that while visiting the US,” he added.

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