Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Snippets

Life. In little slides.

A drawn-out fight for over-priced beer

A party in a little known corner in Haryana, by the company, for the company. It was thrown to welcome the new employees since July, 2007. The party was scheduled at 4 pm and we were told that the cabs would be arranged for us and we would be picked up from our homes. But we never knew when the cabs would come.

It was a chilly early afternoon that I woke up to at 11 am. The shower was a torture. It was at 12:30, the exact moment that I was completely covered in soap and shampoo, that the cab driver knocked on my door. Pleading with him to wait a few minutes was of no avail. Finally, as I hurried myself out of the shower and got some clothes on, I called up the driver and asked him to come by my place again. And so it was, that we finally arrived at the resort.

The entire event went well, I guess. I wasn't in the centre of things. Except for one tiny detail. No beer! We agreed that perhaps beer was off the menu, but we could buy it ourselves if we wanted to. Step in this little do-gooder fellow employee, who was supposed to be the "coordinator" who talked the resort guys into putting beer completely off the menu. And I mean completely. We saw our doubts turn to murderous intent as the barmen mentioned our dear coordinator. In the end, after much squabbling and negotiations, we finally had beer at Rs. 200 a pop. Expensive yes. But we convinced ourselves it was a moral victory.

Trash it. Treasure it

The concept of bay decoration was forced down my throat by my enthusiastic team. I admit to swallowing it willingly. We were to decorate our bays and parade them in front of touring judges. Enthusiasm was high (among my team, that is), but ideas were low. We saw people setting up beauty parlors, 'chor bazaars', and pan shops in their bays. But, we were stumped. At literally the last minute, we decided to do what was the only option. We decided to trash it.

We brought empty soft-drink bottles from the cafeteria, empty 25 litre water cans from various water dispensers. We dumped them in our bay. Next on the line were paper cups and empty tea-bag boxes. They too were dumped in our bay. Next in line were hand bags, jackets, shoes and various other articles of clothing. Chairs were brought from all the desks in our bay and dismantled and strewn around. Then came the phones from our desks. They too were dismantled and thrown about, albeit rather artfully. An old CRT monitor, various keyboards and mice were added to the growing pile of mess. A huge pile of used paper was lifted from the printer room to give the final touch. And as the judges came around, we put up a sign saying, "Rabdiwallah", i.e. the recycling mart with notices promoting recycling stuck everywhere. A pair of broken headphones, still very usable, artfully straddled the sign. If not for the judges arriving just then, we could have brought empty milk packets from the neighbourhood tea shop.

What took little less than half-an-hour to create, took us more than 2 hours to clean up. All of it hasn't been cleaned up yet, even though it has been close to a week. In the end, it was the pan shop that won. But, it did not matter. We decided to recycle this idea for the next time.