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. 🙂

the child that doesn’t age

Arush – my nephew was here at our place, his nana’s place and no doubt he was the king – everything that was going around was driven by him. Even the timetable of the home was adjusted according to his sleep cycles. Talking particularly about my parents, they shower love on him to an extent which they didn’t on us, may be because in our childhood they had to play the dual role of spreading love as well as being strict.

One day when he was fast asleep in the noon, his mother thought it was the right time for her to take out 15 minutes which she was trying to get for 3 days now. So, she left home for doing the work. However, at about same time some kids from neighborhood came to home and amidst this Arush was wide awake now. He started crying as soon as he got up. All of us were trying turn by turn to take him and pacify him, but he didn’t even allow us to go near him.

Soon after this his mother arrived. He let her take him in her arms and pacify. In between, he cried bit more and showed some aggression towards her. It was difficult for her to control him as he was no more an infant. But then she kept her hands on his chest, on his face, on his head and this act worked wonders, little boy found his peace in this small activity. Finally when his aggression was diminishing, she forcefully hugged him. Initially he resisted this too, but eventually he gave in and rested in his mother’s arms. After some time he slept with final traces of tears on his cheeks.

Two days after this, we went to a temple and Arush was in full energy mode that day. He was running here and there, laughing and playing. All of us were enjoying this sight, but his mother was asking him to stop running or his legs will pain at night. Unfortunately her prediction came true; the boy started crying at 11 and continued to do so for 2 hours. In these two hours he would not let anyone else come around him, he was being aggressive even to his mother, he even bit her twice and tried scratching her face. May be he was complaining that ‘I trusted you, you should have taken care of me…I am dependent on you’. Somehow his mother again forcefully took control of him and did some massage, which relieved his pain a bit. Finally she took him in her lap and tried to put him to sleep; he slept.

 

As a kid I had learnt that as humans progress even the stages of evolution do impact on the evolved being. If observed closely, the evolution can be seen in every  human being. The circumstances play a major role in what he has become.

 

May be we still have that part of kid left in us which has aggressive part of love stored. But as we grow up, we have to act mature and stay responsible for our acts. So we stay calm. When we have to choose that one person who has the importance of magnitude similar to a parent, we try to find that same peace in the person. We want to be dependent on him/her. We want to trust him/her so much that if we fall during our journey, he/she must pick us up. We want that person to absorb our aggression and even when we are stuck in a difficult situation and don’t find a way out, that person should come to us and say “I am with you’ with a big tight hug. Even when we grow up, we want to remain vulnerable in front of that person.

MT – RIL, PGPM – IIM Lucknow, Mech Engg – VNIT, Nagpur

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