Right, I’m trying one last time, from office, because nothing seems to be going right with either internet connection. (Excuses, excuses, I hear you say)
I know it’s been a while since I dared start this up again, but I’ve received a lot of positive feedback for my last post, so I’ve decided to go for it again. As you know, I’m no stranger to blowing my own trumpet. And this post will prove that, without a shadow of a doubt. Anyway, into the breach…
I attended an all-day brainstorming session in order to come up with a new five-year plan for my company. A fairly interesting thing, a good opportunity, perhaps.
Cue waking up at half past five and rushing to work with my fly open. No specific reason for that, of course… I just happened to be in a hurry. When I got there, the ever-friendly security guards told me that the first two vans had left (the brainstorming session was being held in a country club somewhere near Bangalore – this is supposed to stimulate creativity, by the way) and the third hadn’t turned up yet. So I waited, along with the other unfortunates who had managed to turn up 3 minutes late. Eventually, the van arrived, and we were off. The next half an hour or so was pure torture, as the music being played in the van was God awful. How standards have slipped since the heyday of A.R.Rahman back in the mid-nineties. The same could be said of pop/rock music today, of course, but that’s worth a whole new blog.
The session itself started pretty well – there were a few warm up games that had me in splits, primarily because it illustrated how unfit everyone else is compared to me (Oh, how I flatter myself). Then it was down to business, and for the next eight hours, I sang “Wish you were here” and “All shook up” in my head while pretending to be interested in what my team members were saying. (They kept asking why my feet were moving non-stop). I was taking notes for a presentation in the evening, but the process was purely mechanical. (The presentation actually turned out pretty well, in case you were wondering).
When I finally staggered out of the conference room and onto the lawn at half past nine, I was badly in need of a drink. These all-day sessions usually precede a massive booze-up in the evening, at the company’s expense. There were around thirty of us involved with the brainstorming, so imagine my surprise when I found the place teeming with company employees – apparently, they’d gone and combined our “party” with another one, for all the freshers in the company. Lots of kids just out of college, a fair few of them older than me, and the odd 35-year old. The chairs were arranged in a MASSIVE circle, instead of in groups of 4 and 5, and the bar had been open for a while. I’d say at least 2 hours, judging by the smile on Ramnath’s face. Ramnath is a good pal, in case any of you were wondering, and he’s usually the MC on occasions such as this.
All the newcomers were asked to introduce themselves to the senior management (the VP and the Head of the Division – my direct bosses, incidentally), over the mike. After the usual run around the circle, someone (I think it was Ramnath) decided that the old employees should introduce themselves to the freshers. Once again, cue several men telling us stories over the microphone, which was quite entertaining. I had my beer for company, and was rather enjoying just taking the atmosphere in. Until my boss (the div head) spotted me lurking on the edge of the circle.
Him: “You’re still relatively new here, come on!”
And he dragged to the centre of the circle, where the ever obliging Ramnath thrust the mike into my hand. I wasn’t particularly high, but I was feeling pleasant enough. Before I continue, a little bit of history (this seems to be becoming a habit).
When I was younger, a LOT younger, my aunt (bless her) was an assistant director for a well-known filmmaker. I had the good fortune to act in a couple of films, one of which was Bombay, which had Manisha Koirala in it. The role was just a bit part, but I did have a couple of lines of dialogue, one of which had me saying “I love you didi” or something to her. I haven’t told anyone at my company about this, but word got out (as it usually does), and I didn’t deny anything. Anyway, some people knew about it.
The place was pretty empty, as everyone had gone off to eat, so my nerves weren’t really on edge.
Me: “Why do you want me to introduce myself? There’s no one here…”
My VP (standing fifteen feet away): “I’m here, Vishnu!”
Me: “Oh, right… Anyway, My name is Vishnu, and I joined the company in June 2005…”
Anonymous Heckler 1 (from off to the right): “He studied in London!”
Me: “No, I was born and brought up here (note – age 1 to 5 is nothing, so people have no right to pretend that their British, and I don’t, all the real proper growing up was done here)… Anyway, I studied Mechanical Engineering in…”
AH2 (from the left, this time): “He acted in a film!”
Me: “That’s irrelevant, anyway…”
AH1: “Don’t call him Vishnu, call him Peter!”
Me: “…Erm, good luck everyone” (hand mike to Ramnath, try and hide behind a tree)
Ramnath: “Have any of you seen these two films…”… etc etc “…said ‘I love you’ to Manisha Koirala”… etc etc “…he looked, and still looks like an Amul baby…” and on and on.
I was, naturally, pretending to be embarrassed by all this, because that is supposed to be the modest thing to do. Secretly, of course, I was lapping up the attention. It’s nice to be the centre of attention from time to time, eh? And then my VP walked up to me.
The Boss: So, you’ve met Manisha Koirala?
Me: Yes sir.
The Boss: Have you… touched her?
Me: Er… um… what do you…?
The Boss: Tell me one thing… have you shaken her hand.
Me: (realization dawning) Of course, sir!
The Boss: (says nothing, shakes my hand… walks away… then turns back and starts to wax lyrical about how beautiful she was in Mudhalvan… which she was, mind)
It’s an old trick, but I thought it was a nice touch. Apart from being a fantastic boss, by the way, he’s also one of the nicest men I know. (Am I saying this to get out of trouble in case someone reads this at work? Do I have an ulterior motive?)
I eventually got home at around half past twelve. Lunch, by the way, was a nightmare… the food was bland (I mean, I’m used to low salt and spice at home, and the food’s delicious, but this was beyond tasteless) and I had to eat quite a bit (I was hungry!).
Although the butterscotch ice-cream was a nice touch. Served off a plate, which pissed me off no end. I love butterscotch ice cream...
That was one of the most pointless things I’ve ever written. Thanks for the patience.
I’ll finish with a quote:
“Things always seem better in people’s minds after they actually happen. The anticipation is the only thing to be worried about.” – Some big-headed philosopher