Friday, November 21, 2014

Lessons from an unexpected quarter - 2

Date: Long long ago
Location: Signal at Jehangir Hospital, Pune
Teacher: Traffic police constable

Twas a balmy summer morning and I was perspiring under my helmet, my hair seems to have plastered 15 minutes into the ride to work yet I was feeling exhilerated riding my bike-Viru. I had just run over a mobile phone of a person suffering from obtuse phoneckitis and feeling as satisfied after a tot of oldmonk and black coffee. I was nearing the signal just beside my workplace; the signal was green, I increase speed and  making a mad rush(I know! sigh!). I reached a few meters from the junction, the light turns to amber when I throttled from ridiculous to ludicrous speed and crossed the signal just after the light turns red ( I still know, stupid right!?). Just outside my office gate, I get flagged by a portly, uniformed, tobacco crushing, head nodding to the right and yelling all the time "yae ikkde ikkde" traffic constable. At this point the universe was going "serves you right bugger". I manage to stop without hitting him, he gives me a look which deemed me lower than the lowest of life forms and pointed to the inspector standing by. He had already taken the  key from Viru. I get down, put the bike on the stand and walk to the inspector who gives me a 1/2 a millisecond look and issues me a challan. I don't even remember the amount written on it. All this was the context. Now for the learning.

I yell why did you let others pass by and only get hold of me. Yeah! I still know I was being a jerk. This time the inspector gives me a 1 second look and returned to whatever he was doing. Twas as if he thought of me as a WOT-waste of time. As if on cue, the portly, uniformed, tobacco crushing, head nodding to the right and yelling all the time "yae ikkde ikkde" traffic constable takes over smoothly. I had already pumped myself to my pretend irate best and was not ready for what transpired next. The conversation went thus-

Constable: तुम  हॉटेल में खाने जाते हो?
Do you go to a restaurant?
Me: बहुत बार( I was not married yet)
Lots of times.
Constable: मेनू में बहुत आइटम होंगेः नै ?
The menu must have listed a lot of items, isn't it?
Me: हाँ  (All confused, where was this conversation going, I get my guard up. I still wasn't ready for the boom to be lowered)

Constable: जितने आइटम है, सारे खाते हो की तुम चुन्नथे हो क्या खाना है?
Do you eat all the items listed or do you make a choice?

Now how does one beat that. I dropped all of my pretenses, calmly make my payment, get my keys, start my viru, get on it and go to work and my life.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Lessons from an unexpected quarter - 1

Date: Forgotten
Location: one of the many malls in Pune
Teacher: One of the security guards in a store in the mall.

We had made some purchases in one store in the mall and we went to this cloth store where we deposited the bags containing our earlier purchases at the baggage check counter. We went in, shopped some and came out to claim our checked baggage. I gave the guard manning the baggage depository my "reminder token" (which I got when I deposited my bags earlier). He went searching in the beehive which was the "depository" and time passed (not more than a minute) and I was getting pensive when he return with some bags. He handed me a couple of bags (huge ones at that). I told him that these are not mine. He took a look at the reminder token and picked these bags and went back into the beehive. Another minute passes and he comes with my bags. I remarked that "If I had not noticed, I would have taken the wrong bags, but what would happen when the rightful owner turns up. He would have berated him and the seven generations before him with a bunch of colourful abuses. He looks me in the eye (did I see a twinkle in his eye) with a calm smile. After  a long pause, he calmly and confidently say "Aisa nahi hoga saab" (Tis will not happen). I am now curious and ask him "aisa kyon nahi hoga"? Again he hypnotizes me with his gaze and the calm smile and replies.
हम ग्राहक को भगवान मानते हैं| और भगवान हमारे सात ऐसा भरताव नहीं करेंगे|

English Translation : I consider EACH Customer to be GOD and GOD will not ill treat or abuse me.

Lesson for me the customer/consumer: I consider EACH customer to be GOD and GOD will not ill-treat or abuse me.

Lesson learnt and more importantly I hope I remember it when I need to.