Friday we had a meet of our business Unit, An occasion organized by HR people once in a while.. Supposed to be quarterly but not necessarly so..
As usual the venue was in the western suburb of Mumbai.. Lower parel.. and for me meets spell as "T R A V E L" be it any kind of meet.. Not that I dont like travelling.. But the occasion should be worth the travel!
So after a lot of fuss with my PM and some kind of efforts from her side to provide me the returning transport, we all started off. My PM had talked to the transport co-ordinator, our ex-PM and had got an assurance for me that I will be taken to any railway station on the Central Railway. I was content with it.
The bus ride to the location from office took 2 hours. Put up on the last seat of the bus, the start was bumpy.. It took 1.5 hours from Mhape to Lower Parel. The road improved as we hit the express highway, till then had quite a few jumps!
As we neared Lower Parel, it dawned on us that the driver did not know the exact location of the destination. I overheard the guys next to me , lets name them A and B , saying "Ye galat directionme leke ja raha hai" One of the transport co-ordinators called up A, and the one side conversation was something as follows
A: "Ha Bol" "Mujhe nahi pata kahan hai.. Ruk B ko puchta hun"
A to B: tujhe pata hai na jagah?
B to A: haan pata hai
A: "Haan B ko pata hai, Hum pahunch jaate hai" "Haan me dekhta hun "
A to B: Ye driver sahi ja raha hai na
B to A: Abhi tak to aisa hi lag raha hai.. Are yahan left turn lena tha .. isne right le liya.. Aage se koi left hoga..
A to B: Dekhte hai.. Are ruk kyun gaya? wo banda gaya na dekhne .. usko pata hoga..
B to A : Nahi re usko bhi nahi pata, wo dekh niche utre puchne ke liye ..
Me (burst in cos I cant be a silent spectator) : Tumko raasta pata hai to jaake bolo Driver ko
B: (smiles) puch raha hai na wo
Me : (Speechless)
after some time on the wrong route
A to B : Chal jate hai
B to A :Haan chal
(Both are still not getting up on their feet)
Finally the driver found the right way and took to the place "High Phoenix"
A to B : aa gaye barabar jagah par
B to A: Haan sahi jagah par pahunch gaye.. Chal chalte hai.
And Mr B was the first to get down the Bus :-)
The meet was put up in Phoenix Mill compound, Bowling Arena. It was my First visit to any bowling arena so was a bit apprehensive about it. As soon as I entered I found few of my training friends and we started off with the pleasantries and discussion about whos still in the company and whos not! They took me towards the bowling alley and made me give a try.. And Lo!I hit all but two in my first throw.. The ball was heavy and somehow took me back to my schooldays when I played Shotput.. No similarities except the weight but probably that was the only thing I could relate to.. After trying my hand fr 2-3 times , I retreated to search more acquaintances..
Meeting up people with whom you have worked at a point of time is a nice experience!. You forget the arguments and grudges and meet with a fresh mind. At informal occasions as these, its changes your attitude towards people.. Also these occasions provide a conducive environment for cribbers, you can hear a lot of sensible and non sensible comments from co-workers and if you have extendable ears, from Top to bottom !
We had a small award distribution function. The awards were for Valuable contribution towards the Project and company and Letters of Appreciation. As per the citations read out, the Award winners had displayed a strong sense of commitment to work, good teamplay, proactive approach for the project, etc. Both A & B were in this list of awardees for Valuable contribution!!!
Later as the DJ started mixing songs, one by one all Project managers took their team for introduction with the SuperBoss , the head of the BU. I dont know how many names he heard or remembered in the din, but that might help him to know faces.
After some time, even My boss took us for th introduction.. The music was blasting in full volume.. hope he remembers atleast our faces :-)
My return travel had not been decided till then. Ex-PM and my PM had asked one of the Senior people , who incidentally stays at Dombivli to accompany me. This Senior came to me towards the end of the program and the conversation was as follows:
Senior : Aparna, its 7 oclock now, and the program will end at 7:30. Parel station is just a little distance away from here, You can get a taxi for it.. Or you can go by our bus to some station.
Me: Okay. We can leave now, if you are starting now.
Senior: Actually I am going to roam around a bit here.
Me: Okay I will be here till you are back. Or if I am leaving earlier willleave a message for you..
Senior: No, I might not come back to this place, might leave directly.
Me: Hmm, Okay I will go by myself. thanks for the directions! :-)
After he left, I felt like laughing aloud.
Anyways, the program ended in some time. Finally I left on my own.
And then I met the infamous taxidriveres of Mumbai. On hearing Parel railway station , each pointed to the other driver. I finally asked one , is it too near? He said yes go straight down this road. Unsure of the raod, I asked in a roadside shop. He said "Khup duur aahe madam, Taxi karun ja" Again the search of taxi. Finally the 9th taxi I asked said "Baith Jao"
And thus I reached Parel railway station!
Luck favored after that, No queue at ticket window, Whatever Change required was available with me. As soon as I got down on the platform, A Dombivli Local was indicated, I climbed into the train without any pushing. Got inside and found 2nd seat to sit. And then slowly moved to the Window seat!
At the end of the day, I had seen various forms of leadership quality!
Finally what I felt at the end was that "Alls well that ends well" :-)