What (the h) have I have been doing all these days

Have been really busy folks...

Have been really busy folks…

 

 

I looove blogging. Writing actually.

Even better if you know that there’s a dedicated audience for that. That’s why I took up blogging in the first place. However, I have been quite remiss in updating. Some people make it a habit to update their blog daily, but sometimes the inspiration is not there. I admire all those who can describe most mundane things in their lives lucidly… Anyhow, Long story short, I haven’t updated this blog in a while and thought it was time to do so.

Catching up from where I left, I haven’t forgotten about 30 days of creativity challenge. Coincidentally, worldwide, that is what is going on. Well, I don’t have 30 days remaining now, seeing as today is 24th and probably don’t even have that much time daily. However, I plan to complete 30 creative things as promised. In fact an on-going event in Jakarta actually gives me an opportunity to do one creative project that I had been thinking of for some time.  Mostly I will be ready to post it by end of next Sunday. So yes, I haven’t given up on the 30days of creativity.

So what have I been doing….

Well, I have been working. I got a job finally. I mean, I had got it long time back, but the regulations here are just too tedious and they took a long time to release the approval. I got the job in my own field, so even that is great. Work’s been hectic. Especially the last couple of months. Though I am not exactly complaining….

Other than that… well… I got a new phone (yesterday), because my old smartphone crashed and I was cut off from the network for almost 3 weeks. It was kind of living in exile. Especially with Swapnil traveling all the time. The only interaction I had was with my colleagues and sometimes when I called my family. So this phone was much needed. I spent long enough researching on the right kind and all and eventually bought Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini.

Didn’t travel much (at all actually). Given the work-schedule. Most of my local friends also went out of Jakarta / country due to their kids’ holidays and I was sort of ‘marooned’ to put it in right words . .when I wasn’t at work….

I tried my hand at losing weight. Looks like its not my cup of tea….after spending a month of tracking food and attempting some exercise, I have lost just 1 kg. Though something better came out of it. My Fitness Pal has almost become like my Facebook now, because I needed to keep a track of my protein intake . I began recording food and got hooked to it. Lots of support and motivation from the community. In real life nobody took me or my need to lose weight seriously 🙂 so I turned towards virtual support I guess… 

Stopped watching TV altogether. Instead shifted to the whole new genre of entertainment. They call it a new age media and blah blah blah. I call it you-tube series. I landed on one such series by accident. The YouTube series work in unique format. They are hardly 5-6 minute episodes. Sometimes they get interactive. Work a lot on improvisation. Other times, they are shot in real environment. Lot many unique ideas and characters. You can of course watch at your own leisure and there’s probably a series out there on a subject of your liking. Meaning, lot of variety. What’s even great, these things seem to be run by nerds… totally my kind of people 🙂  It was like a whole new world was opened before me 🙂 and I totally am loving it.

What else, no I haven’t been cooking a lot. Actually with husband travelling, there’s noone to impress (and when he’s here he’s anyways far from being impressed). Also with work, I don’t have any motivation in me left to do cook something new. The other day I tried my hand at Mushroom masala since my husband remarked that his colleague’s wife makes it very well. However, it was disastrous and I concluded that I’d rather admire someone cooking for me than myself cooking it… I mean, cooking and I… is a love-hate sort of very moody relationship. Its complicated.

Yeah… those were the highlights of last four months… not much, I know….

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Creativity project roundup – What I did between February 12 and February 15

Well, I have been super busy this week and was earlier unable to post details and relevant pictures. I am attempting to combine everything in a single post…

February 12 – I devised a new fitness plan for myself. I NEED to focus on gaining my muscle mass and build endurance. Given the changes in my schedule that I expect from coming week onwards, I thought I had to think up something like a fitness schedule. Weight loss if it happens will be incidental. I also need to add more proteins and fiber to my food.  I’ve set a goal of running/walking 500 kms over next 45 weeks (By end of 2013). A mix of running and walking simply because I want to slowly build my endurance, having known my capacity first. In fact, I HAD embarked on this plan on the same day, promptly felt sick the next day and spent couple days recuperating! So I have now made several changes, so that my strength and endurance develop gradually.

February 13 – This was Ganesh Jayanti day. The birthday of Hindu deity – Ganesha. I had an apt activity for the day. My husband believes in performing puja every day and while we do have a periwinkle plant which bears flowers regularly, many a times we don’t have flowers to offer to the deities. So I had thought of creating artificial embellishments which could be used in place of flowers. So I created little maalas of two types. For these, I went to the local mall and picked out standard items. It wasnt thrifted at all. These items are fairly standard and reasonably priced…

P1020275

P1020295

These maalas are quite tiny – so I kept a glue stick in the picture so that their size could be seen in perspective. Though these are tiny, they took quite a long time to make. Especially the one with beads. Because while I have used double thread to add in yellow beads, I have used single threads to add in red ones and added 2 red beads every time in each thread (I am not sure if I am explaining well – but anyone if at all interested can contact me for details) – plus these beads were tiny and it took forever to string them. I initially had used a needle, but then I thought of singling and doubling alternately and so it was relatively easier without needle…

February 14 – Continuing the earlier step of getting to know a few gals within the vicinity, I invited them for a function at my place. Menu was simple – pav bhaji and gajar ka halwa, but we spent good time chatting and getting to know each other more. I also arranged for small mementos – this was to be ‘haldi-kumkum’ function, a typical tradition amongst Hindu married women. So planning, inviting, shopping and then cooking and hosting took up the entire day…

February 15  – New? it was my anniversary. Wrote quite a few letters. To various important people in my family. One was hand delivered and others will be going through snail mails… Not intended to be shared here. Period.

All in all, apart from this, all these days kept me super busy with various guests dropping in at various times… busy, exhausting week.  But a fun week indeed.

Ciao

I haven’t given up

On the creativity project.

Just that I’ve had no time to blog about it for past couple of days due to unexpected engagements.

Will try and post tomorrow.

Bye for now

Crossword time

Creating a crossword puzzle was always on my list. In fact, I am not exactly new to it. During my MBA, I had created several such puzzles. But its been almost 7 years since MBA (WOW! That long already) and making such puzzles had always been something that I relished, especially theme based puzzles.

So I decided to pick up ‘places in Indonesia’ as my theme this time, to create this puzzle. For this, I wrote down all the places in Indonesia that I could remember and then looked up a bit on them. Some of these places, I have already been to so there was no need to check, but others, I came to know a lot about. I also thought this was a very interesting thing to do because I came to know many things, especially about the other major islands in this archipelago, such as Sumatra, Nussa Tenggara and Kalimantan of which I had almost no information, except for those place-names.

pradswordThe clues:

Across

3. Group of islands famous for their spices

5. Kalimantan’s major urbanized place

10. an important cultural center in central Java, going there alone would be too alone

11. here lies the eighth wonder of the world, the holy land of Buddha

12. home to universities and hindu temples in east Java

16. a politically dynamic part of northern Sumatra

17. Capital of Lombok

19. A group of three islands near Bali and Lombok famous for the underwater sports

20. A major cultural center located in south – central part of Java, still has a king and prefers horse drawn carts to taxis

21. A sonata was heard in a movie… host to reveral factory outlets of garment brands

Down

1. Indonesia’s third largest city and is based in Sumatra

2. Capital of Sulawesi

4. Capital of Indonesia

6. the house of dragons

7. Important place in south Kalimantan

8. an important international port on the eastern part of Java

9. the cultural go-to place in north Bali

13. Capital of Bali

14. famous for its Botanical gardens, a distant suburb to Jakarta

15. The huge part of island in eastern part, which is still inhabited by primitive tribes

18. Jungle where they still are discovering new species and forms of life

———–

I will be sharing this quiz with many of my expat friends here. Answers to be posted later.

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen…

Someone has said that….and how truthful is that statement! Having decided to pursue  this creativity project, my mind is on overdrive these days and everything that I see first subconsciously passes through a ‘can this be useful for creativity project’ scanner….

Yesterday, I was low and just to divert myself, I went for a stroll+ window-shopping trip to a mall near the house. My eyes got drawn to a shop with trinkets . These days, I have noticed, I seem to be subconsciously looking for DIY inspirations everywhere. At home, when I see even smallest throw-able things such as shiny silver chocolate wrappers, I start thinking whether they can be used in any way….I’m not sure that’s entirely good because hoarding trash cannot always be a good idea and there is a reason why people throw away trash… anyhow.

So I came across this trinkets shop and just went in there without consciously thinking anything – just to look at those colourful things. Maybe I expected to feel better. This shop was inside out (including its Neon Banner) pink, targeted mostly at teenage girls of course, and selling overpriced items. I took it in with a very critical eye (Than I ordinarily would have). Eventually, I decided to leave. Just as I was leaving, I saw this beautiful paper bag made out of a batik gift wrapping paper. Indonesia has a beautiful batik motif tradition and even gift wrapping papers come in a variety of batik designs, some of which are very beautiful. I just couldn’t resist checking its price tag. I was flabbergasted to know it was being sold at some 30,000 IDR. In Indian Rupees that would roughly translate into Rs. 150. My experience so far is, having converted into INR, everything is twice as costly here. Eg: Onions are IDR. 24000 a Kg, which is Rs.120 in INR and twice the cost of onions in India, viz Rs. 60 per Kg. Probably onions are selling at less than that currently, but I have seen this calculation work in many other instances. Therefore, if anything is costing more than twice the Indian price (when converted into INRs) is really a costly item for me. Anyhow, this logic apart, even if that bag would be sold for INR 75 in India, I would never have paid that much for it. Looking at the bag, I thought I could easily try to replicate it at home.

I came across a gift wrapping shop – yes, there are even gift wrapping shops here, something that probably doesn’t exist in India in  middle class or upper middle class areas and probably will take another 5-10 years to come up… Anyhow, I went to Carrefour  from there and bought supplies – namely a gift wrapping paper with batik design. This one is cheap at IDR 2300 viz Rs. 11.5 in INR terms. I wanted this to be a trial and hence I bought a very basic paper. The papers with better designs are obviously costly  – probably ranging between IDR. 5000 – IDR 10000 here – (in INR 25-50).

The only things that I used are – gift wrapping paper, 3 newspaper pages to add thickness to the paper, a little card paper at the bottom, and strings made out of white thick ‘nada’ thread. I even dipped the ‘nada’ into turmeric to make it yellow. The end result is the picture below. Probably angle is not right, but the bag doesn’t look broad at the top and tapering at the bottom as this picture shows. It is uniformly rectangular. My camera started showing write error so all the other shots I took cannot be read.

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Supplies: A gift wrapping paper, glue, small card-paper, two ‘nada’ threads, newspaper (I took 3 pages for the thickness)

In conclusion – A paper bag. Not bad when I consider how much of a big Z I am when it comes to all such things. If this project is improving my eye for all such things then I’d say it would be great….Also, total cost of this would be just IDR 2300+ whatever those two threads and 3 papers from newspaper would cost. So all inclusive,the price would be at most IDR 5000, which is one – sixth of the sale price that I saw… *happy* 🙂

Bis bald, Gute Nacht…

Creativity is a function of happiness…

I have to say that creativity in my case, is a function of happiness. The motivation to write anything now is very low. Past 3 days have not only been very busy, but the outcome that these days led to wasn’t the one that I was expecting. I am disappointed. Low. Some sort of inertia has now settled in. Which is why I did not carry out the activity that I actually had planned for the day. I did however end up tutoring a kid.

I started the day with Bahasa Indonesia lesson at Swapnil’s work place. It commenced today, and will go on for another ten days. We got to learn a variety of words, phrases, information about Indonesia in general, which was good. Also a new activity obviously…

 As I returned from there, a friend messeged to know if she can send her son over so that I can teach him few tricks that I know…I thought it was a better diversion from the constant self – criticism and analysis that I’ve been doing since yesterday. Anyhow, at least the kid was entertained.

I just made a new….

Remember that every good friend was once a str...

Remember that every good friend was once a stranger☺☻ (Photo credit: Vijay Bandari)

Friend. …yes, a new friend..

Before I delve into the details, a back story is in order:

2 nights earlier….

It was 10.0 pm and we were sitting in our drawing-room watching some TV program. There was a knock at the door. Half expecting to be the watchman and unable to guess why he would knock at such a late hour, I opened the door.  There stood a young Indian woman with a child of around 3 tagging behind her. As soon as I looked at her, she said in fluent Marathi, “मी तुमच्या वर राहते. माझ्या मुलाची pant तुमच्या gallery च्या कठड्यावर अडकली आहे. मला ती देता का?” – translated into English this means – “I live in the flat above yours. My son’s pair of pants is stuck in the railing of your balcony. Can you please retrieve it?”. I said, “Oh”, and went to check for the said item – barely registering the fact that she was speaking in Marathi, my mother tongue. It was there, the garment, nestled between the grill and the AC’s compressor. I handed it over to her. Before anything else could be said, she said thank you and turned back. I stood at the door, certain odd things about this encounter started registering:

  1. How in the world this lady knew we spoke Marathi?  – India has 26 national languages and we could have belonged to any of the other language groups.
  2. From her looks, she did not seem Maharashtrian (a Marathi speaking person). She looked more like a north Indian to me and in that case her request in Marathi would be extraordinary.
  3. She did not introduce herself at all apart from telling us that she lived on the next floor, in a flat above ours. She did not ask us our name either.
  4. So did we – we did not ask her name or tell ours. We did not invite her in.

We were perplexed for few moments but soon decided to kill the suspense. Being short of time (probably last time this fortnight), I chose to do it today. Those who know me would also know that I am not exactly an outgoing person and I don’t go out and make friends, my friendships happen gradually. So going out and knocking on a stanger’s door and introducing myself would be totally anti-me. But I decided to do exactly that today. Yes, I hesitated a bit earlier. But then I convinced myself that the maximum that can happen is the lady shutting the door on my face and that was okay because she did not know me personally or I, her and it should not matter. I wasnt exactly sure if she was staying in the flat above me or above my neighbor, because in either cases the garment could get stuck in my balcony…

With some curiosity I knocked the door. At first there was no answer. I knocked again second time, louder this time. There she was. I introduced myself. I said, I was sorry I forgot to introduce myself the other day and that is why I came. She called me in and the rest was history 🙂 We chatted. For almost two hours. Turns out, she knew we existed because of a common friend. That is how she also knew our mother tongue. She is not a Maharashtrian, as I correctly guessed, she is a Gujarati, born and brought up in Pune, a city in Maharashtra. She thanked me for having taken this chance to come, because she herself would have felt quite awkward doing such a thing and we never would have gotten to know each other. As I left, I invited her over for a smallish function that I am holding for my new friends soon.

It was fun getting out of comfort zone. It was bit awkward for sure, but definitely enjoyable, especially, because S, my new friend too responded in the manner that I wanted. All in all, happy outcome.

Anyhow, does this qualify as a creative project activity? I think it does. I got out of my comfort zone and made an attempt to make friends with a stranger. How many times do we do that regularly?

The idea behind creative challenge was to get out of my daily rut, my comfort zone and experience something new. Do some new things, create, think – different from my usual way. There was creative writing (and some more will come along), Objects..(DIY, banner) and I felt why should human relationships be left alone? What all these activities also do is create a unique experience every time. That’s what was my objective – to make my own life interesting. So today, I set out to make a new friend….and new friend, I did make!!

Gute Nacht, bis bald.

I am a closet DIY enthusiast…

I am saying that sarcastically. I am not too sure about ‘DIY’ as a subject in general.

Generally, mentioning in ‘craft’ and ‘Pradnya’ in same sentence can give many people seizure. So I avoid that risk. I am really BAD at it.

I have quite a many things to do through this creative project, so I wasnt short of ideas, but I was short of time. That is the only reason WHY I have attempted this. Please forgive me.

I have made a bookmark. ………

Now go ahead and laugh. I too laughed when I thought about it. The last time I had made a bookmark was in class 2 I think. In higher classes, we had complicated projects….

This was not meant to ‘suit my own purposes’ , ‘level of difficulty’ wise. The reader who commented on such lines on my previous post also knows very well, how I literally ‘suck’ at art and crafts… in fact I wanted to avoid this. I even toyed with idea of coming up with ‘Haiku’. 🙂 🙂 Trust me, Haiku  – coming up with three lines (relevant to each other and metaphorical / poetic) was never as difficult before….. 🙂 🙂 Well, given the time constraints obviously, I did not spend much time on it of course and moved on to this… bookmark … (I can see those readers who know me personally chuckling here 🙂 )

Of course, I made rules for this – I gave myself only 5 minutes to look up any thing that I would have normally thrown away – but now can use for ‘artistic’ purposes. I timed it.

A cardpaper from mobile phone box, 3-4 laces and a transparent pouch that earlier contained a shampoo sample.

A cardpaper from mobile phone box, 3-4 laces and a transparent pouch that earlier contained a shampoo sample.

I spent next 15 minutes making this. The pattern I thought up immediately. There were no multiple patterns in my mind. So this hardly took any time.

Without further ado, I present to you –

:)  it sure serves the purpose...

🙂 it sure serves the purpose…

My first ever craft project since probably class 6 or something (after which ‘crafts’ became an optional subject and obviously I gave it up… )

Please be kind to me….

In conclusion – DIY opened up a whole new avenue for me. While it might not be pretty / sleek and all, it definitely IS a bookmark, and usable at that. I was happy overall about the way I was able to come up with a pattern almost immediately. I have even used a sort of technique etc there, with which I modified one of the components… Makes me want to try something like this again. Indulge me if I do…Who knows, over the time, my ideas and skill of hands will improve… 🙂

Auf wiedersehen.

All new and improved

Camera

It is done! The creative activity for the day I mean…

My blog’s new header. Yes, making a header is not comparable with writing a skit I agree, it is something that requires you to think and create though. For my current creativity project, that is the only criteria. Also, its not a random image at all. It is a collage of handful of those images that I loved out of my ‘life and time’ in the east.

I expect to be busy for next 3 – 4 days and hence now must think about similar activities, which will consume lesser amount of time. Though they will be making me think nevertheless. Adios and good night…

The biggest cheater…

Exhausted. I am deeply exhausted. Today’s creative activity was really not easy. Creative writing again, but intended to be impactful and dialogue based, with underlying conclusion etc. Something of a short skit, a one – act play – more like a one – scene play. I racked my brains real hard. What’s come out took me probably an hour and a half of serious writing. Though the premise / deciding the premise took longest. Been thinking about ‘what’ should I write for last 24 hours I think…finally when it occurred to me, everything was a smooth ride. While it might not be oozing of talent, it certainly is interesting… I hope!

The biggest cheater….

Curtain lifts and an office is seen.

(A room with four desks, on one side a cabin door can be seen, on the other side some sort of corridor leading in / out of the room etc., typical office environment. Three individuals – two women and a man are working on their laptops. Everyone in business suits. The Man is standing and on phone)

Man: Yes Baby! …..I know my sweet muffin……I’m sorry my sugar pie…..my sweet pea…did I ever? No, no my sugar…..yes, I will always, forever my candy…

(two women look up from their own laptops at the same time. Smile conspiratorily at each other)

Woman 1: (winks at the other woman) Sugar addict….

(woman 2 nods patronizingly, both look back into their respective laptops)

Woman 2: Hey, is the Boss here yet? Some urgent email from London. (looks back at her screen)

W1: (without looking up) Is he like ever? Why do you think this parrot’s rattling off for almost an hour now?

Man (still on phone): So you’re not mad at me anymore? Promise my cupcake? My sweet….my errr….my sweet potato

W1: (looks up from the screen and at the audience, in incredulous voice) Sweet potato??

W2: (Looks up at her and smiles) He probably exhausted all his confectionery vocabulary (goes back to work….)

(man continues to talk and suddenly a third woman rushes into the room. Loud noise of her footsteps….woman is little dishevelled.)

W3: (Just as she enters, in loud voice) Finally! I am here. Oh my God! The traffic! The rush, the sweat, arrgh…

(passes by the man who gives her irritated look which she ignores).

W3: (continuing her monologue as she reaches her desk, takes her laptop out and switches it on etc) Just fought with that rickshaw driver. 50 Rs he was charging me. That tampered meter I say… (shakes her head) – oh, they are so dishonest. All of them. Cheaters…

(other two women look up, share a smile again and now turn sideways to look at her from their swivelling chairs as she sets up her desk)

Man: (looks up from his phone, addresses to W3) – Can you keep it low? Ronnie?

W3 (aka Ronnie): (glares at him, dramatically puts one palm on chest and then looks at the other two women) I am loud? am I ? (throws up hands dramatically again) As if…. I’m sure he must have been speaking for last half an hour at least, using those high calorie words that you must have heard. Well, what about that? Misuse of employer’s resources….really, that’s why he always comes early.

Man: (On phone) I will talk to you later. (Hangs up and about to walk up to Ronnie’s desk.)

Ronnie: (notices this and turns to other two women) – Did I say anything wrong? Reema?

W1 (a.k.a Reema): Good morning to you too Ronnie! Looks like you got stuck in traffic….(lowers voice, looks at W2 and says sarcastically) ….yet again!

W2: (rolls her eyes) So, what happened today?

(meanwhile, the man walks up to Ronnie, is standing just little away from her)

Man: Yes ma’am, I heard what you just said. You said I was wasting employer’s resources….didn’t you?

Ronnie: So?

Man: (visibly offended) And you said I come early to make personal calls?

Ronnie: (with emphasis) Spot the inconsistency,Gaurav.

Man (a.k.a Gaurav): I misuse resources? How so? Company allows you to make personal calls…

Ronnie: (starts with exaggerated tone) Oh yeah, hell yeah… but they didn’t expect employees to make daily hour-long personal calls abroad, now, did they? That IS misuse. Yes. It is the misuse of not only company’s telephone budget, but also of time, which is even more valuable. That’s cheating your employer…I lost the count of how many calls I had to take of your clients just because you were cootchie-cooing early morning on phone with your girl friend in Hong Kong.

Gaurav: Really? I doubt you took any of my calls at all…for that, you have to be here by 9 am isn’t it? But you never show up before 10.am…. How is that for misuse? Misusing the employer – given liberty of flexible hours to arrive late and leave early….that too is cheating on employer I say…Well, I don’t really care what you say Ronnie. Coming from you, this sounds so hypocritical, isn’t it Shubha?

W2 (a.k.a Shubha): (not wanting to be included) Hey!

Ronnie: Shubha? You agree with him? That I misuse resources? Yes, I do come late from time to time…but what do I do? I live so far..its an hour’s journey…I’m a married woman with kids…its so difficult…its not like I get late on purpose….isn’t he the one who’s more guilty Shubha?

Shubha: Umm…. Well…

Reema: There goes…. I’m out of this (turns back to her screen)

Gaurav: Shubha, Shubha, Shubha! just pause and think….how many of her calls have you taken because she was late? Yeah yeah, she stays an hour away, has kids and all that crap…but its not like the rest of us have nothing going in our life…. I stay an hour away too…. Reema has to commute for almost an hour and a half to reach office… What about that? Eh? You tell her Shubha, who’s more guilty?

Shubha: (relieved to have found her voice finally) Well Ronnie, I have taken a lot of your calls in the morning. That much is for sure…but Gaurav that doesn’t mean you are off the hook. I have taken equal amount of your calls too, though you were in office at that time…because you were otherwise occupied (gestures air-sign quote-unquote).

Ronnie: Well Gaurav, that settles it. You are more guilty, obviously, you are at office, still don’t take your calls.

Shubha: (more confidently) – In my eyes, you both are equally guilty… (both look at her with contempt).. Why should I take your calls when I have enough on my platter? I come here on time, many a times, even earlier, and all I have to start with is your calls? What am I? your PA?

Ronnie: Wow! That was nasty.

Gaurav: Miss goody two shoes…. Isn’t exactly that turns out… Makes me want to remind you how you’ve been a bad girl in your own way…

Shubha: I? Heh! I got the best new employee of the quarter across all the country offices. For my talent, commitment AND honesty, of course.

Gaurav: Sure, but nobody else knows the real truth that we do ma’am… Why you’re always in office, why you come early… Platter full my foot! You just came in like – 3 months back… You’re still being trained. You don’t have any clients of your own… So what if you attended our calls? Technically that’s your job if we are unavailable at that moment…. You know that…

Ronnie: But Gaurav, what’s her secret you mentioned? Spill it at once….you’re killing me.

Gaurav: Oh yes, the novel isn’t it? She’s been writing a novel at work! Doing all research about it, printing bundles and bundles of drafts, copies and what nots, forwarding to publishers using the office courier, misuse of stationery, misuse of couriers,and of course – misuse of time, electricity, internet…whoa whoa whoa… We have a competitor here…

Ronnie: Oh yes, it totally is… Never thought the meek Shubha can also be the mean Shubha….your own hands are soiled and you’re calling us dirty….

Shubha: (visibly shaken) Hmm… Well at least internet research for a novel is better than what you guys do in office when you are (again gestures quote unquote in air) available in office – the stalking of various females on Facebook that you do Gaurav, or the internet-dredging of recipes that Ronnie does…God knows if she ever cooks them though….never brings anything at work….

Ronnie: Hey, hey! You’re over-stepping your boundaries. You’re so new into the system, that if we don’t train you anymore, you’ll be wiped out in no time!

Shubha: (Turns to Reema, who has now and then been looking up at them and rolling her eyes or smiling to herself) Reema? …Reema (now walks up to Reema’s desk)

Reema: (Sighs with resignation) – Yes Shubha?

Shubha: Reema, help! Please help! These people are trying to eat me alive! All I’ve been doing is taking their calls and attending to their clients, but all I get in return is this! So what, if I am frustrated with doing their work? Don’t I even have the right to vent it out?

Reema: Who told you to poke into their business? You should have ignored them. More so since your own linen is dirty.

Shubha: You too think I misuse company resources? more than they do?

Reema: (patronizingly) You all do. Equally I’ll say. Its question of principle here. A misuse is a misuse is a misuse. No levels there. Who misuses more, who misuses less… After all, every one of you does something which is not intended to be done…all of you are guilty….

Ronnie and Gaurav have been listening to this and now walk up to Reema’s desk…

Ronnie: (Clapping hands) Well, well, well! Look who’s talking. All three of us are guilty eh? We misuse resources eh? Well we found the most guilty after all… We don’t take client’s contact numbers to later call them up and sell a spare – part not manufactured by the employer, but by our spouse’s own factory…. In fact our spouses don’t own a factory. We, all three of us, work here for money, to run our own houses… Not for the express purpose of time pass and implied purpose of stealing contacts….like you do…. Hows THAT an answer for your question of principles ma’am?

Gaurav: Oh yeah, and I don’t even have a spouse yet…

Shubha: and I don’t have clients yet…

Reema: (Looks stupid and apologetic) Well, I’ll say by far that principle of work – ethics is quite complicated on the face of it. Just too many sides and angles and viewpoints to it. Too many situations, scenarios…quite a delicate thing if you ask me…

Gaurav: We’re listening, go on, till you get to the point.

Ronnie: Yeah, the point explaining about how you’ve been cheating on the employer…

Reema: Er… Well…look! (takes a pause, looks here and there as if is racking her brains to come up with something. Meanwhile Ronnie, Gaurav and Shubha share a triumphant look) See, I feel we are quite junior to really cheat on the employer in such a way that it impacts them. Now someone at our Boss’s level, if he cheats, it probably would impact…. In fact, he already is and has…you know what, the raw materials that they source have been contracted out from Boss’s brother’s company and Boss’s brother gave a huge margin to the Boss.

Gaurav: (slightly skeptical)  Oh yeah?

Reema: Well, how do you think he bought that condo he bought? Is that even in his league?

Gaurav: Wow! You’re right! In fact, Ronnie, weren’t you telling me of one time when he took a cruise – vacation that a client sponsored and then gave the client a huge discount?

Ronnie: Oh, yes! He’s been cheating big time on the company…. Oh, by the way, that client called last week. I heard the discussion. Door was slightly ajar I guess. He was complaining…

Shubha: What? He was still unhappy after all the discount that he got?

Ronnie: No. Apparently, the product doesn’t match the quality that he ordered for. It looks the same, difficult to tell from appearance, but performs poorly. They suffered some losses because their clients in turn have been cancelling orders now.

Reema: Ah! The market news. That’s been discussed for some time now. Apparently, these substandard products have been produced to jack up margins…. profit by cheating customers. Really bad.

Shubha: Great! I began my career with a cheater company….

Ronnie: Really! Better that you sell of your novel and get a good publishing deal and get out of here…. Me too…I need a job now, before they brand me as an employee of a cheating company.

Gaurav: Oh Well, now time to look for a job too….in addition to a wife….

Reema: Hey, what about that girl-friend in Hong Kong you were just talking to…

Gaurav: Well, long distance relationship doesn’t really suit me. Been seeing others since a couple of months now…and if I know her well, she must be doing the same…

Shubha: Hey, but that’s cheating!!!

(Everyone shakes their head and walk back to their desks. The curtain falls)