Category Archives: thinkspace

I am a Hindu and I am not a lyncher

I was returning from Bangalore to Mumbai by flight. The flight got delayed and landed at Mumbai airport at 1. I got an Ola cab at about 1.30 and boarded it. I didn’t remember exact address of the flat as we had just shifted there so I had entered a nearby landmark in drop location. The cab arrived 10 minutes after booking; the driver was a Muslim guy. It was evident by his appearance of a long beard in typical shape and the taqiyah (Cap).
We had very good conversation and after driving for almost 15 minutes he even told me,“Most of the passengers these days act in a professional way and very few fall in category where you either connect to them or want them to get out of your cab as soon as possible”
I laughingly asked him,
“I hope you are not about to ask me to get down, are you?”
He replied immediately,
“Why are you pulling my leg, sir. I had this kind of conversation after long with someone, so you should know you belong to first category and not second one”
After some time while looking at map, I suddenly remembered that I had not entered exact address so I told him,
“Brother, I have entered a nearby landmark and the exact address will be about 300 to 400 meters away from it. Will that be a problem?”
He replied, “I am myself the owner of this car and I am not answerable to anyone. So that won’t be a problem.”
“……..But just a few days back after a trip, two guys took a Muslim driver to an empty road and hit him quite a lot”
And then there was some question or apprehension in that silence which was indicating a doubt, asking me to confirm that I am not going to do something wrong.
I asked him,“For how long have you been here in Mumbai and for how long have you been driving? How many Ola cars must be there in Mumbai?”
He replied, “My dad had shifted here when he was young. So, I was born here and I have been driving from the time Ola just came to the city. I don’t know how many Olas are there but must be in 1000s”
(In our earlier conversation he had told me that he drives every night and his driver drives the same cab in the morning.)
I replied to him,
“So let’s assume there must be at least 20000 rides in a day in Mumbai, why are you looking at one wrong example. Also, there must have been a case of misbehaving by Muslim passengers too, sometimes. There have been so many instances related to terrorism, did I doubt you?”
A lot of dialogues like this were exchanged between us for which he agreed that he is doubting unnecessarily and he has received a lot of love from Hindus. He told me how his daughter has a Hindu best friend and I told him how a Muslim kid in front of my house grew up at our home.
While getting down I told him,
“because there won’t be a movie which will tell, I am a Hindu and I am not lyncher.
Or a movie which turns around suddenly on a message – Hindu dhokha nahi dete.
Let me tell you, we too are good people, or even better and peace loving if you look at average; though represented exactly opposite by media”
…………………
There has been general tendency these days that if anything happens with minority they will highlight separately, like
-If a passenger had a fight over a seat they will name it as fight over beef
-The attack on pilgrims got less footage than an after incident where a cleric in Hisar had quarrel with local goons
-its important for media to highlight even a day-to-day quarrel if that involves a cast storyline than highlighting some real important issue
To my Hindu brothers, being more of pro-Hindu I agree there have been a lot of differentiation with you, just to get the vote bank. I agree to a point that if we are talking about Kabristan then we also shall talk about Shamshan. We shall get right treatment not inferior, given that there are only two countries which represent you in this world.  But as Mahatma Gandhi had said an eye for an eye will make works blind,  attacking someone isn’t a good idea. Also these acts will be highlighted by media, giving rise to do called “secular” parties again and then making things worse. So let’s focus on creating a country with equal opportunities for everyone including ourselves than losing a path and in long term losing behind.

Can you please share that…

I had to board a bus from Vashi to Pune. I was familiar with boarding point and hence chose to travel from there.However, during booking as I was choosing the boarding point, I noticed some change in the address. As I reached the boarding point, I realized it was less than a km away from the old address and a notice which was put up there explained me the scenario. A huge number of buses were blocking the road at previous boarding point and hence it was shifted to a place where there were no shops or houses around.

 

I had reached the place almost half an hour before the scheduled time, afraid of sudden traffic jams, which is a usual phenomenon in monsoon season in Mumbai. As I waited there for some time, I scanned through the people around me and noticed there were only two people who were passengers. The remaining crowd there included a beggar, two snack sellers and few porters to board parcels on the buses. Waiting there for an hour, naturally I didn’t make attempt to talk to the crowd around. Why would I, right? Only those passengers and I, we were exchanging gazes. After standing there for 15 min, bored of standing I just asked a fellow passenger, “VRL?” (The name of bus) and he nodded affirmatively.  

 

I tried checking the bus location on a link provided but it failed multiple times. So finally called the bus and found that it was running late by around 30 minutes. The bad news was accompanied by rain, which was making its presence felt by now. Rain and Mumbai are like bff’s in this season. Initially it was just drizzling. I looked at that fellow passenger and he too showed helplessness. In the meantime, the coolies put a plastic cover on boxes and hid under it.

We stood there like ‘dudes’, as if we chose to stand in the rain. But then rain had its own way to break that attitude. It started increasing its pace slowly. We looked at the tree behind and tried to adjust below the thickest branch it had. Now, the snack sellers also chose to get under plastic covers and the fellow passengers exchanged gaze and smiled at our incapabilities.

 

After few minutes, suddenly it started raining cats and dogs and we were finally frustrated. I was looking at my formal leather shoes and feeling sad about them. All I could do was put my mobile in the bag and try to protect the bag as I wasn’t sure about its capabilities to resist water. I had given up already and assumed I will go all wet to Pune. Already my mind was flooded with thoughts that the passenger next to me in the bus will be irritated and all. And my thought process broke as some voice fell on my ears. I looked in the direction of sound and there was this person who was shouting at us from below the cover,

 

“Jaldi se aajao, aajao,  aajao”

(come fast,  come,  come)

 

I thought for few seconds and then ran to that plastic sheet.

 

The guy asked me,  “why were you getting wet when you could have covered yourself here “

I said, ” just like that”

 

But I thought to myself.

I got wet as I had created an unnecessary constraint around me of what’s right and what’s not

 

I got wet because I was reluctant to associate with those people

 

I was reluctant because I had some self-image

 

 

N out of everything I realized I was hesitant to take the offer, whereas he was ready to share whatever resources he had. I won’t have expected that from someone having good resources like an umbrella.  

It’s not about what you have but how much you are really ready to share. 🙂

The photocopy guy

Corporate

As I enter into corporate world again, I and many of my friends, we know and sense the worry. The worry of not having some work that matches the expectation of young blood. On few days all we end up doing is photocopying some material for the seniors. Probably this is the reason that informally in few of the companies there is even a term for interns and freshers– photocopy guy.

The blog I am writing is more relevant to the people who have faced this situation or are facing this now. It is from the experience of one of the very senior leaders in my organization. Though the prior permission has been taken to write this experience lets name that person Ram- mainly because he was also like a common guy that we come across in our everyday life.

Ram’s career was growing at slow pace. In his career of around 15 years, now he was heading a small division of a firm which was part of one of the biggest and reputed conglomerates in India. The firm wanted to get some new projects and hence they decided to prepare a brochure of their own. All division heads were asked to highlight their work and some of their achievements. There was a lady coordinator Reena, who was leading this activity. From the inputs of all the divisions, Reena prepared a draft brochure and sent it to everyone to check it prior to printing it. The copy came to Ram after few other divisions gave their nod. As anyone else would have done Ram directly went to his division’s write up. He checked if there was any flaw, there wasn’t any. Everything was perfect, neither any grammatical error nor any aesthetics issue. Everything seemed good and so he gave his nod to Reena. Ram kept one copy for himself.

In the evening when Ram wasn’t occupied with any work, his eyes fell on the brochure again and he developed a desire to check out about other divisions. They had also written it well, but what ram noticed distinctively was that everyone started writing it in the same way. The first few lines were repetitive that – ‘we at this firm do this and that….’ He talked to Reena and conveyed that even though individual division’s work looks fine but looking at the overall brochure from reader’s point of view there are some changes that shall be made. In turn, Reena discussed this with everyone and they decided to redesign few of the things in it. This time she was taking help of Ram at every step. The brochure that came out was appreciated by everyone, mainly the customers.

After few months looking at previous experience, the company thought of publishing few results in a fashion the previous brochure was made. By this time Reena was working with some other firm. So, the printing guy was given some instruction by the central team to take inputs and design it on his own. But he felt need to get help and conveyed to the central team that ‘some guy named Ram was helping last time we were making it.’ The team asked Ram if he can help and Ram happily agreed to lend a hand even though he was pre-occupied himself. He worked on it with the printer. The result came out well again.

As we know, once you help someone, next time the person will come to you when he or she is in need. Now every time there was something to disclose outside or publish, it was going to Ram for review. The central team from conglomerate got to know about this and they started involving him in publication for the group before it gets published. To do all this, Ram had to know more and more about the group, the group companies and he made his genuine efforts in it so that none of his work is substandard. Over the period he got to know each and every nerve of the organization.

Now, this was the time when conglomerate was looking for opportunities of oversea expansion. In one such potential opportunity, high-level officials of other country invited the conglomerate to come and discuss the possibility of any synergy. The team that was supposed to go had no specific assignment, they had to represent the firm and explore the possible opportunities. Hence the team included: COO, CFO, head of two of the biggest firms in the conglomerate and a fifth person unknown to most of the people eying this meeting. This person was Ram. Ram was not in the team by luck, but because of the fact that he knew organization so well by then, that he could represent it well.

The meeting was successful. Ram’s career took flight after this meeting and he headed various big departments; he even reached to CEO level of few companies. All that he had to do was own some part of other’s work and help them. As we hear from many new joinees, that they mainly find themselves doing some work like photocopying documents or furnishing some document or ppt which is hardly adding any value. Maybe we never know, or can not foresee, which work is going to take that flight for our career.

PS: Even I am waiting for that one page which while photocopying gets me to the work I truly deserve and take flight for my career. 🙂