Walking through the aisles of my workplace, there was only one question on my family’s mind – How are things simply managed and Bobby answered it well – We are here to manage things! It was on 12th Level of my IB’s original building – earlier known as Winchester Mansion. The 6ft+ Bobby works in Multimedia Team – they assist in all events with the Audio-Video Equipment and Video Conferencing. Before Bobby, Momma, Dad, Didi n Jiju had met our eldest colleague Mukesh – more popular as Uncle at his current desk. It was my desk as well, once upon a time. Veer was pissed off enough as he didn’t get much space to run through aisles and usually bumped into chairs and partitions of the aisles. I had to finally keep him in my hands to avoid his bumping. It was all at about 8 pm. The first term that comes to my mind, when I hear IB is the Legal Matters. IBs are never a visitor’s place. IBs mean Confidentiality. And you must be wondering how come my Family was there? Our Fun Committee had planned for a Family Day on 23rd December 2011 and that was the occasion to help my family answer their endless questions about my work place. It has been lot of times when they ask me if it is raining at your workplace, and I reply back “am not aware of outside, but on my desk – it is raining loads of work.”
For the Family Day, there were 2 time slots decided on same day – 1.09:00 – 12:00 & 2.16:00 – 20:00. I had blocked myself for second slot assuming that there would be lots of them available to meet. But it went other way, office was almost with no employees – its a holiday season! But it is always my positive attitude that wins. With lesser people around, my family could interact more with them. I was already at workplace in my regular shift timings & thus had blocked a Radio Taxi for my family to reach my work place. I and Vikash were at office in normal shift, just to order Bipin to clean up the desks and dispose of all unwanted stuffs. Aakhir apna parivaar aa raha tha! And Bipin managed to do his task – without any delay!! Aakhir uski bhi gharwaali aanewaali thi na!! I was suspecting about the Radio Taxi being misguided and hence asked Rohan for his extra efforts. With his bike we kept waiting near Bayer House to catch the sight of Radio Tax, wave the hand and ask them to follow us to Kensington (Read my previous blog, to understand why am I such a pessimist about Kensington). We reached the Security Check Post, where one of our Corporate Security Officer was planted to help Employees and their Family in checking into Kensingtin SEZ (I can think of writing another blog about unintentional torture of SEZ Security). Normally, public transport (including Radio Taxis) isn’t allowed to enter the SEZ and zoom up the steep slope of SEZ. But a request to them about my Father’s disability to climb up, allowed the Radio Taxi to zoom up the steep slope. Rohan was still acting guide to them, and helped park the Taxi on Podium. Rohan’s statement flattered me a bit. In his words, “Tere maa-baap sochengey, vatt hai mere bete ka. Ek ishaare pe Taxi ko podium pe jaane diya.” Rohan had to leave from there with a quick intro as he had assured of a brief meet in another hour (after he was done with one of his calls.)
Walking through the Reception, they imagined it a Palatial Building. They don’t know how much shitty it was before when it was a home to hundreds of pigeons. With the new studs planted above, they no more dwell and drop their shit on the floor of palatial reception. Heading towards bank of elevators, I was looking out for one. And in a sec I asked them to enter in their right. Mom n Dad now thinking, their Kiddo has grown enough experienced to predict which elevator is gonna welcome them. They still haven’t understood the concept of how Technology has helped me predict things. Into the elevator now, we are to say Good Bye to elevator on 4th Level. Wanted to show them the Security Control where every visitor has to go through normal formalities of registering and getting visitor pass. Next point was the Reception, which keeps every one waiting for their host to receive them. Though Nadia was missing on her desk – dunnoe why? There were a couple of meeting rooms and a conference room on the same level. In one of the meeting room was an Employee, distributing Goodies to kiddos. Naah, it wasn’t for my mom’s Kiddo but, was for my Didi’s Kiddo – Veer. He was over excited to see goodie bag and wanted to check everything in it. And as a normal practice I had to take it off his hands and handover to his Momma.
Asking my family to move towards the elevator, and heading towards the 5th Level – from where I work. The Security Personal bowing a normal 30 Degree style to welcome the Employee and his Family, allowing the family to pass through security barring (where every employee has to swipe his access card). Next was the door to enter the floor, which is also accessible with Employee’s Access card only. At the start I had to wait my family for a quick view of entire floor, so they would never question me – How many of you work on 1 floor? The number of people & workstations were beyond their imagination. Gave a quick idea of how floor is divided among various Technological Divisions. Next pause was at Prashant’s Desk. Prashant commutes with me daily in bus and we talk occasionally. But with family around it was a pleasure exchanging introductions with Prashant, Pranjali & Shabeena. Everyone giving more importance to Veer rather than me (as one of their good colleague?).
A brief pause at Vikash’s Desk, on the left side of mine & right is Bipin’s Desk. Introduction with Vikash, and they all noticed his big belly which is always in discussion. Though momma felt his big-belly was full of affection. May be they haven’t seen him growing wild n grumpy! Next was Bipin and his Wife, Anu! While exchanging the introduction, Bipin in his original smiling attitude. May be momma realized how happy we are to work as a Team.
While we were busy with my teammates, Priyanka N. tried to take some attention of Veer by showing him another goodie bag. Veer followed her till the printer, may be just to grab the bag. My sis had to confirm her that he had received one. Next target of him was the Access Card with her identity, suspended from her trouser’s hem. He tried to yo-yo it like we do it at the doors. There was our own Home Minister-R.R.Patil look-a-like, Mr. Mohape – a shy earthling who stays in Kalyan. He is senior in everything and let me not mention in what aspects. Taking a right from that aisle was the Xmas crib decorated by The Desktop Support. Encountered the kukdoo of Desktop Support, Praveen Kumar – Veer again grabbed his attention, and Kukdoo coochi-e-cooing him on his cheeks, dragging him with that extra care towards the crib to show him the various miniatures placed there. And while Kukdoo was busy with him, my family managed to meet JJ (Jidnesh Javkar – whose ideologies take me think to another angle as well of any discussion we do) & Adnan – the very own Irrrfan Khan of Desktop Support.
Exchanging introductions, my family moved towards the same crib where Kukdoo and Veer were still there. They liked the hand-efforts done by the team. Next was the pause at GSD Team. Not being so brief since most of my known faces were missing except for Madhu. Madhu being on call, introductions happened only one sided – Madhu was introduced to my family. A quick sightseeing about various teams working in that quarter of floor – Information Security Team, Autosys Team, GDO Team and Change Management. A quick introduction with Amit – the Shahs or better known as “Mummy”. And Amit asking me one of his normal questions, “Shun bhai, Jalsa maa?” Next was Sujit Nair, leading the Incident Management kind of role. There we clicked to the first breakout room of 5th floor. I had to take my family inside to show them the reason why I enjoy my lunches, sometimes isolated from team. Me & CNBC alone. With some more facilities available for employees in breakout – Water Dispensers, Refrigerator, Coffee Vending Machines, Plates, Spoons, Tissues, a wash basin or a kitchen sink as well. The thing that grabbed their attention was the Bar – where no one can enjoy a cognac. Out of the break out room, a few steps ahead in a passage where rest rooms are. These are not my rest-rooms, as I use another one. Am loyal in that terms as well, to use the same one every time.
Coming back towards the Desktop Support’s crib we moved to another quarter, starting with Market Data & Middleware team with only one introduction there – Yawar Sayed (Prashant Mhatre had left for the day, probably). Dad recollecting the Petha-tic memories with Yawar. Next was Arnab Chatterjee (a known face to me since we last attended a training session together) – quick stepper, always energetic dude. Sanjeev Panda’s Desk was another pause, where he was missing. Praveen D’Costa (known as DCo or Diku sometimes) was replaced with Taj, who was busy testing some tech stuffs. These introductions were quick as everyone was busy with their European Jobs in the London Market hours. Next was Kamlesh Naik, leading the Application Packaging Team. His slowness and softness in speech was most discussed (while we were back on way to home). Rajesh Mane was the next attraction to Veer, since he got a bowl full of chocolates and allowing him to pick as many as he wants. Veer picking up a Melody, from the Bowl of Mango Bites, Melodies & Kachcha Aam. Holding a Melodie, looking at me, may be he was asking me – “Yeh Melodie itni choclatie kyun hai?”. Rajesh mistaken it for – “Can I take it one more?” and giving him 2 more. Next point was Kamal’s Desk – a busiest ever network engineer, who was still busy with a Change Management call. He managed to spare some time for an introduction session. His family tongue being Kutchi, he could easily mix up with my family. Stuffing up some more chocolates in Veer’s Trouser Pockets & tucking his Yo-Yo into Veer’s Trouser Pocket (Veer had even tried to Yo-Yo his Access Card). It was a no-word-introduction with Priti Arora, who was busy on a conference call. It is the heavenly energy that does the talking, and Priti moving the softie-puppie on her Desk for Veer to have access to it. A couple of touches more to the softie-puppie and Veer denied to touch it further – since he was black faced pug like that of Vodafone. Moving ahead was the Engineering man himself – Kapil Kathuria. In his pink shirt (on Family Day), and a soft-yet-professional voice. Next – our own Delhite-going-Mumbaite in a minute, Rajneesh Sharma – Packaging Lead. It was a quick minute introduction as Momma noticed a bunch of my colleagues waiting at my desk. May be it was my mistake that I sent an invite too early for Sweets @ My Desk & my happy souls were still waiting to be sugar-mallowed with Sukkha Gulab Jamun. As we were moving ahead, I could manage to show them the empty desks of UNIX Team & Database Team (There we some unknown faces on Database Team). It would have been good if Shailesh, Aruna & Sree Kumar would have been in their desks, to introduce to my family.
Returning to my desk, a pit-stop at Dhiraj Khanvilkar’s Desk – newest appointed lead for once-my-team i.e. Desktop Support. Introduction of Dhiraj to my family, & he managed to complain about my bad eating habits. Phiroze Vandrewaala & Kalpesh Mistry as well on his desk – may be discussing a strategy. It was nice introducing my leaders to my family. May be I managed well to ask Phiroze, as a well-mannered employee to help himself to sweets. He too moving ahead with us, confirming I haven’t done any wrong this time. But it was a big time opening the box and I got an angry-thought – Why did the bugger put cellophane tape packing on all three sides of the Box? It became a mini-project where me struggling to find a way out, calling for help from Vikash to find a Cutter & Phiroze making a clear statement to use the tooth-picks at my desk to open the box. We managed to open and everyone picking their own. Priyanka A. was missing from her desk and hence she was suddenly spotted entering from the door to floor. May be I managed to wave her good enough to stop at my desk or her far-sight did spot my family, making her legs turn to my desk. Our other Lunch buddies – Vertika Singh & Sonia Pinto were missing. While asking Sunil to join for sweets, noticed The Chacha – Pinkal Goyani, who is leading a European Support Team and Abhishek Rao (the so-called-calorimeter, ever since he is married). While everyone was busy enjoying sweets and striking conversations and statements, it was SMP Call (Save My Pants) from Veer. “Su Su, Su Su” were the 2 horrifying words from him. I had to hold his hands and asking him to run with me to Restroom. On the way, we struck into 2 ladies – Anjali Usnale & Soniya Nabar. Soniya, as usual (picking him up) coo-chi-cooing his cheeks & me looking at her. I didn’t want to disturb her by mentioning that he was on an Emergency Call. May be Veer bahut sharma gaya and she had to leave him on floor. The rush started again towards the Restroom > quick pulling down his trousers > to realize he still had his shoes on > taking off his shoes now > then his trousers > underpants and he was on the Hot Seat playing – Koi Nahi Banega Crorepati. While peeing, he managed to notice that there was no flushing cistern. Eager enough to flush and enjoy the gush of water, he asked me, “Mama, Flush naay?” And while blood still flowing through my brains, at 100 litres per second, I answered – “Sab kuch hai, tu bus chup chaap baith.” Done with peeing and flushing, I managed to get him out dressed again normal. On way back realized Rohan wasn’t here again. Call him on his cellie to listen he left from office and was at home, humbly mentioning that am already introduced to your family, instead of giving any reasons for his disappearance. One more quick call to JJ, to join for sweets. While his caller-tune “If tomorrow never comes…” was humming in my ears, he was holding his phone and looking around for my presence. I managed to disconnect call and wave him to come to my desk. While I was on desk, there comes another Senior Pillar of my Division – Mahesh Doshi with 2 kids and his Lady-of-Life. Quick introduction with my family. And he mentions his son, his niece & his wife. A quick sweetening and he moves with his family to show them his Workstation, surrounded by Glass Panes (he works from a cabin, often known as Office in IB Termin-o-logues) There comes the cutest baby with tallest father – Aryan with Ameya Gaje (another of my colleague). Followed by Madhu (his wife, where the introduction happened one-sided) and their family as well. While KNBC was on, may be Priyanka N. managed to slip out of office without having any sweets thus not adding more calories for the day. We waited for more 5 minutes, me rethinking if I have missed any more introductions on the floor. Realized my-book-friend, Prashant Shetty & Saquib Kazi. (We talk so less, but when we talk we discuss books – Books of Kwench).
Finally we moved towards the 4th Level as wanted to show my family the place with eternal peace – the Cafeteria. On 4th Level reception, while am showing ways, Veer still trying to ring the bells placed on Xmas Tree. I had to pick him up again to take him to cafeteria. After you enter there are 3 ways to reach cafeteria. 1. Pass through 3 doors 2. Pass through 2 doors 3. Pass through only 1 door. My devil mind picked the first one, just to show off to my momma that how much complicated are doors to success or foodie thing. She too questioning me about – How do you survive if you are lost somewhere in so many doors? And there is only 1 answer to her question – Our Access Card! It helps in many ways – It opens almost every door or it has Corporate Security Helpline numbers printed on it. Entering in cafeteria, Momma again questioned me about – How do they manage to serve so many employees at any given peak hours. And I answered that by asking her a question – Think Think!! As a normal practice of mousey-mind, I selected the table on the sides on cafeteria and arranged them to seat comfortably. Suddenly from somewhere a Hand catches my Hand and asking me, “Ho kahan, Sirji?” and it was Zaid. I had to pull him again towards my family for an introduction and he waved to his Wife as well. The usual introductions & Zaid acts like a father asking my momma about my next stage – Shaaadi kab karwaa rahe ho iski?… 😛 😛 A quick question about what they want to have for snacks and everyone thinks a Masala Dosa was fine with them. I and Jijaji were stuck to the Chinese Bhel. Paying and ordering for snacks > handing over the Work Orders to the cafeteria operators > wait for the plates > while they are here, delivering to my family > hunting for the right forks and spoons for my family was a quick set of tasks I did. In the meanwhile Bipin joining us with Anu, gets Veer another bar of Cadbury from Cafeteria counter. Wild for the violet-wrapped-thing, Veer was then friendly with him, may be for only a moment. From somewhere showed up another goodie-bag for Veer. It was Sailesh Pandey with Shweta Motwani calling over Veer. I realized he was eager to grab this one as well and me more eager to instruct Sailesh that he already had one. I was hunting for Sailesh on Floor as I wanted him to be introduced to my parents. But good things come with a wait and I got a chance to introduce Shweta as well to my Family. Sailesh and Shweta are a part of the Fun Committee – a Committee who has been putting in efforts since more than a year now, to make work-place a fun-place. I wanted my family to taste the newest sensation of our cafeteria – the Masala Chaai. Everyone ignored except my Jijaji and Dad, on a simple Milk Coffee. Now it was time to move out of Cafeteria or even out of Kensington to visit another one. A building which has been a significant part of everyone’s life. The earlier-known-Winchester Mansion. But the way is never easy to go back to the Times & not even the way to go the Building was easy.
When out of Elevators on Lobby, it was almost 7 pm. With Lamps lit everywhere, and breezes swaying over, momma asks me – How do you manage to hold your umbrellas right in rainy days? The answer is again a question – Think Think!! A quick view from Podium and I had to show her the Bus Parking Area, the newly developed green lawns etc. While moving down the slope, this time without a Radio Taxi, my family could experience this it is that part of City which (may be) never sleeps. An number of people moving down the slope and equal number of people walking up the slope. Walking out of Kensington Check Post, my family pauses for a moment to look at the heavenly structure. And they wonder how do people manage to walk up the steep slope every day? We were still walking ahead to show them our latest Evening Bus Pickup Place, and heading further to enter into another building. I had to pause to the Parking Lot entrance Security Guard to get some guidance about traversing through the Parking Lot to reach the Elevator, destined for Podium and a elevator-change to enter the ones which lead to my another branch. The Guard guided fine and we were soon on the Podium. Walking towards the Security Check-Desk of our firm > marking our attendance > and moving towards the Bank of Elevators. Passing the first Access Card enabled partitions, met one more of this friend-at-work, Jatinder Azad. She works with Meeting Services and still had the smile on her face, even after the works hours. Though she was hurrying to leave, I had to pull her back and stop her for a quick introduction. She managed to coo-chi-coo Veer again. She left with a short talk with momma and we moved towards Elevator. I had planned a different route this time, heading straight to the roof-top-cafeteria. I hadn’t visited this cafeteria after its makeover and liked the Dome shaped covering, newly invented there. There are some more renovations happening there and hence not much of sight seeing. Entered straight into the Fitness Centre of our Office where there were some employees, still shedding their calories and Trainers busy arranging the weights over the Bar, and the bar resting on chest of an employee. Nothing much of their interest, we moved out of fitness centre. Veer wasn’t ready to move out as his eyesight had caught the fantastic Treadmill. He thought may be the man running on it was moving the treadmill belt. But reality is always different. It is the belt making the man run on it. May be he would learn it & other philosophies of life, when he becomes an adolescent.
Next stop was the 12th Level, my once-upon-a-time desk. That’s where my family met Bobby & Mukesh. They even wanted to meet Jayna Shah (another of my colleague) but couldn’t manage to. The Pinky Gal’s Reddie i10 still stuck into traffic jams! A quick look at Breakout Room on 12h floor and we moved out towards the Elevators > to reach the Lobby > a sign-out procedure at Security Check-Desk > Few clicks of Veer with Xmas Tree planted there > a Radio Taxi to home. It was an amazing time on this Family Day for my Family, including me. I expected something of this sort, which would help answer a lot of their questions being shot at me – almost everyday. But it is always different. The Past is always the good. Now the set of questions have changed, since yesterday to me… 🙂 🙂 The 4 hours passed sway so quickly and I wonder how many more hours would be required if I would have made my family’s introductions to Jigna Thakker, VIshal Shinde, Jayna Shah, Sandeep Ghadge, Nilesh Sonvani, Amit Karia, Praveen DCosta, Sanjeev Panda, Aditi Mitra, Om Mulye, Anand Sane, Prakash Gurjar, Chinmay Sharma, Zenaida DSouza, Wilson Raj, Gopal Naredi, Vishal Shah, Mahendra Swamy, Manju Bhise, Ratheesh U, Sanket Salve, Bhupendra Saroj, Anand Shetti, Hemali Dedhia, Priya Pathare, Radha Sabne, Ashish Javiya, Ashish Kelkar, Prabha Malik, Maqsood Sheikha, Sushant Sawant, and maybe some more names that am not re-collecting at the moment.
*HINT* *HINT* to the Fun Committee to plan another round of Family Day for all the missed ones to be introduced to my Family.