Sunday, May 31, 2009

Communication and Paranthas!

" ... which is okay, but what about the Mangalashtaka vidhi? We have to do that first.. "
"... Pradnya - where's the newspaper?.. wait wait I got it"
"... because if we begin at 8 in the morning, we will get only 2 hours before we can .."
"... hey how do you switch on the TV? "
"... do it in the middle hours, and they will get time for make up and all .. "
"... no no.. put on cartoon network naah... "
"... Karishma get one more chair for Kaku..."
"... yes yes.. what will you have? Kokum sharbat? Ok ok.. Priya? Beta, give her some sharbat.. Priya??? Ayyeee Priyaaaaaaaaa?????"

I snap out of the surreal state that I have been in ever since all these voices started flooded my living room today mornin. I mechanically walk to the kitchen to prepare some Kokum sharbat for someone - I am not yet sure who. I am just in awe of the many people who have gathered in my living room and are trying to finalize the proceedings of one of the most important days of my life. Yup - it's my marriage day that they are all discussing about, which is 6 months from now, but looking at the activity around me, it seems as if I am going to be sent packing from my house tomorrow itself!

As expected, it is a completely chaotic family meeting. All these people are talking in groups of two or three, each group having a completely different discussion. And I am wondering to myself- how the hell are these people ever going to reach ANY conclusion like this?!

"Priya? Get some water for Kaka.."

I get back to work. I'm thinking about me and Kunal and how things have been going between our families. Simple is the right word to describe the way things have gone between the two families. We were expecting some opposition and fireworks, but given the kind of intense fireworks both me and Kunal have had to face in our lives till now, I think God decided to give us a welcome break in this regard :)

Simple. At least till now.
I can sense some tension in the air today. There are some obvious differences in some pooja vidhis. But what is amazing is the dignity with which these differences are being handled and the way everyone is striving to reach some middle ground. I see that the chaotic discussion has reached a final conclusion in less than an hour, and all the management principles and communication rules that are taught in high profile institutes, suddenly seem so mundane and small. I mean - I look at these people sitting in front of me, deciding some important details in between laughter, tea and paranthas and yet excelling at what they are doing!

These folks are not MBAs or PHDs. These people have not taken any special classes in communication. These are simple people who want everyone to have their say and realize and accept the fact that each of them will need to adjust a bit. Which is why it's not surprising that they have managed to clear out all chaos and decide exactly what's to be done, without any hint of malice or hurt.

All this while, when I used to hear professionally experienced and highly educated people talk about "unique challenges in communication", I thought it truly must be a big deal. But today I saw our folks in action and saw these simple people come up with one solution after the other. That, my dear friends, was effortless communication. And no institute in this world can "teach" that.
I suppose some of my MBA friends, especially the ones who think that communication is a "big deal" and preach others, can get some tips in communication from our folks! Don't worry guys - you won't have to pay for it! In fact you will get paranthas when you come over.. :)

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Saturday, May 02, 2009

ये जो सिली सिली औंदी हैं हवा.. तेरी याद संग लांदी हैं हवा ....

"अच्छा Priyanka, एक बात बताओ.. अगर किसी के birthday के दिन holiday हो, तो chocolate कब लानी होती हैं?"
"उसके दूसरे दिन.."
"ऑर अगर उसके दूसरे दिन भी छुट्टी हो तो?"
"तो फिर उसके पिछले दिन"
"तेरी तो ... मैं तो आज chocolate लाया ही नहीं!! "
"तेरा birthday हैं?? कब हैं??"
"कल.. चलों कोई नहीं.. Monday को आ जायेंगे.. "

Monday आ गया हैं Sumit... अपना वादा पूरा कारों. हमारे लिए chocolates लेकर आओं... Sumit...? Sumit?? कहाँ हो तुम?? Cubicle में क्यों नहीं हो? कहाँ हो यार??

अरे यार देखो अब नाटक मत कारों.. कितने सारे काम पड़े हैं!! वोह Axis २ का कोड merge करना हैं - तुम्हें बोला था मैंने उस branch में मत checkin करना- पर बात तो माननी हैं नहीं तुमने!! Selenium के testcases review करवाने हैं तुमसे.. और वो तुमने Sonali के setup का organization delete कर दिया फिर से - डंडे पड़ने वाले हैं तुम्हें अब बस!! इतने दिनों पहले तुम्हें parties की list दी थी manage करने के लिए- वोह भी अधूरी पड़ी हैं!! डांट खाओं बस अब सबकी!!!

अरे!!! जवाब क्यों नहीं देते? कहाँ छुप गए हो?

Kunal कब से call कर रहां हैं तुम्हें - नीचे बुला रहां हैं.. तुम phone क्यों नहीं उठा रहे हो यार?? Eventwadi के coordinators next event की meeting के लिए कब से तुम्हें बुला रहे हैं.. आख़िर तुम उनके best volunteers में से एक हो!!

कहाँ चलें गए हो यार?? देखो.. अब बहुत तंग कर लिया हमें.. अच्छा chocolates को छोडो.. सब काम छोडो.. सिर्फ़ तुम आ जाओं.. अब आ जाओं बस..

तुम्हारें बिना मन नहीं लग रहां हैं.. हम सब तुम्हें miss कर रहे हैं.. "अच्छा एक बात बताओ" सुनने के लिए कान तरस गए हैं.. तुम्हें ढेर सारे सवाल लेकर Cubicle में आता हुआ देखना चाहते हैं हम.. तुम्हारी total Punjabi accent वाली बातें सुनना चाहते हैं हम.. "भूख लगी हैं.. कुछ खाने के लिए हैं क्या" कहने वाला कोई नहीं हैं अब. देखो तो.. Sonali तुम्हारें लिए डब्बा भर कर पराँठे लायी हैं तुम्हारें favorite वाले.. Niraj के डब्बे में नमकीन भी हैं.. आओं तो..

तुम हमसे रूठ तो नहीं गए हो किसी बात से?? तुमने उस दिन कहा था ना के घर जाना हैं और छुट्टी चाहिए तुम्हें? तुमने कहा था के "अगर इस बार छुट्टी नहीं दी तो मैंने नहीं आना वापस".. तुम्हें जितनी चाहिए उतनी छुट्टी दिलवा देंगे यार.. तुम बस वापस आ जाओं please..

please Sumit.. please वापस आ जाओं.. तुमने मुझे वादा किया था ना Sumit - के मेरी शादी की चूडियाँ तुम अमृतसर से लाओगे मेरे लिए.. तुम अपना वादा ऐसे नहीं तोड़ सकते.. तुम्हें वापस आना ही होगा.. हम सब के लिए.. क्यों तुम्हारें बिना ज़िन्दगी बेरंग हो गई हैं.. सब कुछ रुखा हो गया हैं..

जानती हूँ तुम इस वक्त मुस्कुरा कर कह रहे हो.. "ओये कोई नहीं - मैंने कभी दूर नहीं जाना - वहीं पर हूँ मैं.." जानती हूँ के तुम्हारी जिंदादिली तुम्हें कभी हमसे दूर नहीं होने देगी.. और तुम अगर चाहो भी तो हमसे दूर नहीं जा पाओगे.. क्योंकि तुम्हारें साथ बिताया हुआ हर एक पल इतना यादगार हैं के भूल पाना किसी के बस की बात नहीं.. तुम हमेशा हमारे दिलों में रहोगे .. जानती हूँ के जब भी हम तुम्हें याद करेंगे, तुम्हें हमारे पास ही पायेंगे.. सच

Sumit died in a freak road accident on 1st May 2009, his 23rd birthday. I have not known him for more than 8 months, and yet, he was and will remain one of my closest friends. Not only was he a beloved friend, he was one of the nicest human beings I have ever met. I never saw him frown even once in all of the 8 months I have known him. My ever smiling kiddo was the sharpest of the lot.

This is for you Sumit. We all will miss you, we have been crying like babies for the last two days you know, and while the tears have still not stopped, we know you would never want to see us crying.. We will always cherish the time that you spent with us.. And if we have been able to muster up the courage to smile today, it is just because of you.

Sumit Kumar Choudhary
1st May 1986 - 1st May 2009

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