Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Fading Humanity...

Yesterday morning, I was sitting in my balcony with Mishti for her natural Vitamin- D intake (sun-rays…!!), when I overheard two of my neighboring ladies conversation. One of them who stay just next to my house was narrating her ordeal because of absence of her maid.
I readily empathized with her as she is a lady in her late fifties and has been handling her 3 year old grandson while his parents are abroad for some work assignments. It must be so hard for that old couple to handle that li'l bundle of energy without a maid.The discussion of those two ladies drifted from how irresponsible these maids are, and how easily they do not turn up for work and also do not provide any backup ( yeah…few maids are generous enough to provide  backups also!!!). My neighboring lady was whining continuously and the other one advised her to deduct the salary for the absent days.
Later that day my maid informed me that a 14 year old girl who stays in her locality met with a bad accident last night while returning from work. A truck crushed her and she is battling for her life in some shoddy hospital. But when she told me that this girl used to work in my neighbors’ house then I related that this was the same maid about whom the lady was complaining. I told my maid that it seems nobody knows about it in our apartment. She instantly snapped and said “No, I personally informed all the houses where she worked last night and also requested them to give her month’s salary two days early to her family as a help. Your neighbors said money would only be given on 1st of every month, not before or after that!!!”  
I was SHOCKED!!!. I do not know my neighbors personally but how people can be so insensitive? I don’t think that their financial condition is a constraint in giving few bucks of money to a needy person. And also, not to forget the morning whining session. That time the lady was aware that the poor girl is in hospital and has not taken leave “just like that”, still she portrayed as if her maid has ran away without informing her. Might be, she is too irritated by handling a toddler all alone. I do not want to be judgmental but are we forgetting the term ‘humanity’? Why our mind is now always in a self-centric mode where we forget to think about anybody outside us & our family!!!!          

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Height of Addiction....

Mishti has developed special attraction for TV advertisements jingles. Every time any such tune is played a smile flashes on her face. Although still her favourites are some worthless songs like 'Dhinka Chika', 'Chammak Challo' & 'Oooohh La La'  but now it has been observed that few advertisements numbers are also obliged by her highness. One of them is Bingo Mad Angles ad where it shows a spoof of Alibaba who says "Khul ja simba...khul ja sim-sim".

Today Mishti was taking her afternoon nap on the couch in drawing room and TV was on. Suddenly this ad was aired and she immediately woke up from her sleep, turned around looked into the screen and gave a broad smile. I was cursing myself for not lowering the volume of TV and thought that now she would be super- cranky because waken up from half sleep.

But wait.... as soon the ad was over she turned around again and slept off....!!!!. She slept for next 2 hours heartily.!!!! Wonder why I rush to prepare milk or start singing any random song ( hypothetically consider it as lullaby) whenever she wakes up in middle of night.....!!

She looks real 'Badmash...Isn't it!!!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Just Like That........Prema- Gyan

My maid Prema asked me why I don’t apply ‘Kaajal’ in my baby’s eyes. Now a days, She has taken up the responsibility of showering her advisory tips as she finds me & hubby most of the times coping up with new parenthoodhood all alone.
So, I told her that it causes infection and to avoid more debate on the topic added that doctor has asked not to apply ‘Kaajal’. She put forward her counter logic and said that you guys were also grown up with Kaajal in your eyes, did you have infection? Eyes look big and beautiful with Kaajal (What beautiful….my childhood snaps shows how horrible I used to look with broad & smudged kaajal all over my face!!!!).
Then she shot her masterpiece: Apply Kaajal every day, but the days you have to visit doctor rub it off & clean the face of the simple.....:-) !!!!

Friday, 18 November 2011

State of mind???

This incident happened around 3 years ago in sept 2008. I still do not have any logical explanation for it. I do feel that it was all a state of mind.
Those days I was in night shifts (our shifts use to change after every 4 week) and that was the last week for night shift. One morning I saw a commotion in our generally deserted society compound. My maid told us that a 16 year mentally challenged girl had jumped off from her terrace and had fallen on the balcony of another flat. She died instantly. This all happened in our next door apartment and both the terrace and the balcony can be clearly seen from our balcony.
More information shared by my maid was that the girl was living with her step-mom and father was in Dubai. She had some altercations with her mom and she tried to run away from house in the night around 1 AM. The security guard didn’t allow her to go outside and asked her to go back as he sensed everything is not normal. She hid in the lawn and asked couple of people who were returning from their work to help her to go outside. Finally she crept back to her home and jumped off around 6 AM.
At first, when maid just informed about the suicide, I saw my sister’s face turned pale. She told that last night when she was coming back from office (evening shift ) around 2 AM a girl-not so well dressed – carrying a bag approached her near the lawn and asked for help in fluent English. Smelling it foul, my sister politely refused her to which she smiled and went away. Yes, you guessed it right, my sister was one the two persons who met that unfortunate girl that night. Initially we thought that sis saw some spirit (!!!) after the girl’s death but later when maid narrated the complete story then was able to relate the chain of events.
Anyways it was a Monday and that time I had a Sun-Mon week off. On Tuesday, when both my hubby and sis left for work I went to bed around 5 PM for a couple of hours sleep before night shift. Somehow, I was not able to sleep and thoughts about that girl constantly hovered on my mind. Anyways, went to office with sleepy eyes. On Wednesday, I came back around 9AM. Body was aching and eyes were half closed. Still I managed to cook something and ate it. With the thought that I would compensate the yesterday lack of sleep with more hours today, went to bed. Strangely, I was not able to sleep again. Believe me, it was horrible feeling that every inch of your body is dog-tired and want to sleep but somehow mind is fully awake & alert and not allowing you to sleep. Why my mind was so alert? Felt as if someone is constantly keeping a watch on me. Surprisingly, I didn’t felt it while cooking or watching T.V but only when I tried to sleep.
I discussed this with my hubby over phone and he counseled and tried to boost my morale. I was reluctant to discuss this with others as thought they might make fun of me!! So, I literally dragged myself to office on Wednesday night where my supervisor asked me to go back home as office sick room was under maintenance, but I was scared to go back home. Thursday, again the same thing happened, it was the third day when I had no proper sleep but just few minutes of nap in the office cab. Then in the evening, desperately I called one of my colleagues who stayed in the same society and requested him to let me sleep at his place. I slept for about 3-4 hours there and felt better. From Friday onwards my shift changed and it was quite similar to that of my hubby’s shift so I didn’t have to sleep alone in the house.
Gradually after some time, situation came back to normal. But still I woder what happened to me that time? I generally do not think much about those topics which my logical mind does not support, so cannot comment much about the reason. Might be possible that subconsciously I was thinking too much about that girl therefore while my conscious mind wanted to take rest but sub-conscious one was on thinking mode. Might be it was just a state of mind!! What do you say???

Lost It.....

Being branded as a real “spaced out” person who is always careless or rather forgetful about her belongings is the inspiration of this post. Till now throughout my life, I have lost so many things that now I don’t even remember the actual count. The list includes Tiffin boxes, water bottles, jackets, mufflers/scarf, hair clips/bands, wallet (!), specs, cellphone(s), footwear, pens and not to mention ‘n’ number of hankerchiefs.
Although I have my side of story as well attached to each of these loss but none of them qualify enough to prove me innocent or vigilant.
Tiffin boxes, water bottles: I do not remember anything specifically related to them as it happened in my initial years of school (But…errr you know that morning shows the day!!!).
Jackets, mufflers/scarf: All this kind of stuff I lost during my early school years but one incident I do remember when I lost my jacket. We used to tie the outer most winter wear to our waist in the afternoon as it used to be hot in comparison to morning when we were sent to school packed like a polar bear. While on my home in my rickshaw I slept off and woke up when I reached home. My jacket was not there around the waist…I still believe that somebody managed to pull it off while I was asleep (not my fault…you see!!!)
Hair clips/bands: Again all use less stuff which uses to itch & irk me so much. So it happens like…taking it off…..lies there unnoticed….somebody sneaks it away (again see…not my fault)
Wallet: This happened when I was in my college and I along with my sister went for buying some gifts & sweets for the occasion of Bhai-Duj. I was the pillion rider so all the bags were with me. We bought something at the first shop and then I remember keeping my wallet in my bag (alas…wallet liked the ground more than the bag!!).
Specs: This happened in train as I generally avoid wearing lenses in a train journey but this time as we were going for a wedding ceremony so I decided to be bit glamorous(:-o)by shedding my specs . I forgot my specs hanging from a loop near the berth which I kept there before sleeping and as I woke up late so got ready to deboard the train by quickly by brushing hair & wearing lenses.
Cellphones: I have lost two cell phones till now. Both of them are stolen so now you know what an easy prey I am for the pick -pocketers .First one was my hubby’s camera phone which I was using and victoriously clicking snaps during Durga Puja. Again I clearly remember keeping my phone inside a small pocket of my bag but later found it cut as if by a blade.
Second time I lost my phone on my last birthday when I went shopping to a busy market and was checking my phone often for answering birthday wishes. Somebody simply picked it away from my blazer’s pocket …..You see again, how I can be blamed for another person’s “haathsafai”.
Footwear: This happened when I was about 6-7 years of age. I wore my new shoes in Durga Puja which were obviously pinching thus I took it off while my parents were not noticing and was playing barefoot. Some street smart person took those away (What can I do in this case….??People are always so smarter than me).I was so scared that my mom-dad would scold me so informed my grand mom first. She was such a darling that she took me to the same shop (BATA) and got another pair of same shoes. We spilled the beans in house few days later when was fully convinced that no repercussions would happen.
Pens: After I lost few good ones, I stopped buying expensive ones…Reynolds & rotomac worked fine with me.
There are few items which I lost and also found luckily. Once I forgot my school bag (yes…you read it correct I forgot my school bag in the school….you can doubt my academic qualifications if you want to…I won’t blame you!!!) and then when I realized called the school office which was luckily open as some preparation for inspection was going on and got it secured. Then, I had lost my gold ring and found it later in my strolley bag. I forgot my cellphone twice in the ladies washroom and housekeeping staff returned it back.
Thus this above post clearly portrays how I am blamed for other’s smartness….Isn’t it!!!!!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Dus Bahane....

Handling a team of around 20-22 people was my core job during last 2 years as a team manager. These couple of years taught me lot of amusing things. Starting my role as a novice & confused team leader, I gradually evolved into an effective (..??) team manager who was even able to handle other teams (proxy supervising) along with her own.

I would like to give you a preview of various excuses or alibis I encountered for leave extension, unplanned leaves or in simple words not coming to office. Sometimes these leave request would be genuine one but with sheer experience I was able to bifurcate the fake ones. It used to be a tough call as denying any leaves had its own repercussions ranging from low motivation, emotional attyachar, negativity spread & non-performance.

Let’s have a look at them:

Sick or illness: It can be of self or any family members. The request should be understood as below:
one day off = upset tummy , high or low BP, giddiness             
3-4 days off = viral fever,
at least 15 days = jaundice, typhoid, measles, malaria
A guy of my team (Mr.M) informed me about his fever on phone and also dropped hint that doctor is suspecting typhoid. When I discussed this issue in my team meeting and asked everyone to trim their planned leave request as Mr.M might need bunch of leaves, I came to know that Mr.M was enquiring with many people about the symptoms of typhoid just a couple of days ago when he was perfectly fine (nice homework....)!!!!

Accidents or death: It sounds so heinous to fake this reason for a leave request. But, I even faced this also. One of my team members G had a bagful of imaginary uncles & aunts whom he used to take out of the bag for the sole purpose of their demise and thus asking leave to attend the funeral!!!

Conveyance: This was generally quoted when people were expected back from long leaves and the handy reason put forward that flight, train or bus cancelled or unable to get tickets in any the above mentioned means of transportation. Surprisingly, this crunch situation would arise only while coming back but never at that time when the person was going for the vacations!!!

Weird: All of these happened in reality to either me or my fellow team managers.
·         My room-mate locked the door from outside and left for his office with the keys. Also, friend cannot come back within next 10 hrs.
·         I am couple of pegs down, and would lose my job if I come to office in this state so you have to grant me the leave.
·         Watch out for this one...came from a girl. I have developed rashes all over my body; unable to wear clothes (…!!) She used to be a regular defaulter and similar amusing reasons erupted every alternate week.
Right now, I am not able to recollect more but can bet that there were many more completely whacky excuses which came across me in these 2 years.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Am I changing....???

Today we went to Lajpat Nagar market, Delhi for some winter shopping. Previously in these kind of shopping ventures I always followed 'shop till I drop' policy but this time it was quite different. First, after a long gap I went for shopping to these crowded markets ( had avoided them since I was expecting Mishti), second, I only shopped for a pair of footwear for myself.
This does not mean that I didn't shop, but the only shops which were grabbing my attention were those with kid stuffs. I bought so many stuffs for Mishti (woolen caps, leggings etc) and the thought of buying anything for self didn't even crossed my mind!!!

Belated festival update.

From a lazy bone like me this festival update is still quite early, I even planned to combine the Christmas n New Year updates and then publish!!!

This was the first Durga Puja & Diwali for Mishti although she won't remember anything but still we tried to involve her in all functions. Every morning starting from Panchami till Dashmi (5 days of Durga Puja) mishti's mom & masi had elaborate discussion about her dress and shoe selection for the day. Cotton balls were stuffed in her eras to save her from loud noise of loudspeakers & crackers. Mishti  duly cooperated with us and was never cranky while we took her to various puja pandals & cultural functions. She even rendered her voice while we were listening to musical nite by a famous singer. Hawk eyed watch has to be kept on her as she was making prompt use of her hands & legs to pull off those ear cottons & shoes.

Very happy as she knows this dress change means an outing

Her Rath was taken everywhere and it was a savoiur for us as we didn't had to carry her all the time.

Ohh..coming back home after midnite is so tiring!!!

 so Tried my hands on rangoli for the first time.....Not bad!!!

Mishti on Diwali nite.....who is scared of crackers?? me or mamma?

Friday, 4 November 2011

Life at a Call Centre….(Contd.)

Read the first part here.

Few myths & beliefs:

 Adultery and Infidelity is an eligibility criterion for a BPO employee: Again, a trash and rotten thought. Weak character people are everywhere. That day I saw in news that a professor was beaten up by his wife as he was involved with one of his student. Does that mean that a dignified profession like teaching in maligned. No, it is again a freak odd example which is specific to some person.
BPO is dimensionless industry: It is believed that the BPO work experience is a completely waste as it is not considered in any other sector. This is true as the work ex of BPO at the beginner level is not useful to any other sector but as you grow the management practices and quality tools adapted by the designation is global and same is followed in all other corporate offices. I have seen people growing from scratch to peak in this industry. But then, if any person has pharmaceutical experience he cannot utilize his domain knowledge in finance sector so why to blame BPO sector only that sector switching cannot be done after a BPO job.
Night Shifts = characterless people working: Why we think that if a person is out of his/her home at night then he/she must be indulged in something unethical? If something immoral has to be done then would anybody wait for night only…..;-)
The requirement of the BPO business is to cater the business round the world clock so it works 24x7. Nowadays, even media houses, IT sectors also work in same format so BPOs are not the only one to promote night shifts. Security concerns are there but it can be minimized by the people themselves. I don’t deny that female employee security is a major concern in 24x7 format but appropriate measure are there to avoid them.
I know that there are people in BPO who feel that they are doing nothing and wasting the degree and their life. This package of displaced people would always be there who would be generally the cribbing lot and I can bet that they would crib even if they had been in their so-called degree related domain.
Hard work and sincerity pays off in this sector as well. The see-saw between the hardworkers and smartworkers is same as it is in any other corporate sectors.
Had we thought what would it be like if there were no BPOs? So many jobless people hanging around and I am not specifying only about white collared professionals but cab vendors, drivers, housekeeping staffs, security guards, canteen vendors and even roadside dhaba owners or parantha –maggi wala as well. Even more jobs mean to any government as more income tax payers.
So, why not treat this industry with the same respect and dignity as any other corporate sector. Malicious image personals would be there everywhere …let’s not link them with their professions.

Life at a Call Centre….

This post is dedicated to the six important years of my professional life. Yes, as the title suggest I worked at a leading call centre prior to settling as a SAHM a month back. I thought of writing this post to clarify the various myths and “stories” we have heard about call centre.
More than a decade ago, when this industry landed in India, it was rightly known as call centre as that was the only odd job handled by that sector: handling outbound & inbound calls for any other country’s business, viz. banking, insurance, technology etc. With the progressing time, India started acquiring more variety of this outsourced business which did not limit itself to calls, thus the BPO term came into existence. For example, throughout my career I was with back-end process.
Before anyone starts raising eyebrows and say that “career in a BPO??? Are you serious??” I would like to mention that the ratio of career centric professionals in a BPO is more or less same as compared to any other industry. Moreover, I feel it is completely an attitude issue and any particular industry should not be blamed because of some lazy, confused aimless persons. There are people in government sectors, teaching/education sector, IT, banking as well who are worthless and lack the focus.
Few myths & beliefs:
BPO gives you easy money: This was true till few years back when this sector was trying to settle itself in developing countries and mouthful salary package was offered even at the entry level. Now the scenario has taken a 180 degree change. The clients (who outsource their business) have understood the Indian market well and which in turn has ended up in companies regularizing the package as per the industry standards. Easy money is not there as you have to slog like anything to make yourself eligible for lucrative incentives and bonus.
Only fun loving teenagers and losers land up in BPO: This is again a twisted fact. As many programs of this industry require excellent communication skills therefore sometimes young crowd just out of college do get hired irrespective of their marks and degree. But, nowadays even Chartered Accountants are hired for specific programs as per the requirement of the clients. In context to the term losers, yes I would say that people who are part of this sector are majorly, normal graduates or post graduates who has not specialized in other vocational courses like medical, engineering etc. Does that mean they are losers???
Drugs & alcohol in BPO is as common as coffee vending machines: In my opinion, these two monsters have cemented their claws in all strata of society where they found soft grounds without any discrimination. I do agree to the fact that sometimes the young crowd who lacks maturity and have access to money does fall into this pit easily but the odd cases would always be there. It is similar to brand people as Typical Bengali or Pakka Punjabi!!! If I know one person from BPO who has succumbed to this menace then I also know 100 people who have not and are perfectly normal as any other industry’s professionals.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Celebrating first morsel.......

On 9th october we had Mishti's Annaprashan (cermony to celebrate first morsel of solid food for infants). Although it is celebrated in much more grand way as per Bengali customs but due to some reasons it is followed as a low-key affair in my in-laws family.Ideally this fuction is done on odd months (5th,7th or 9th month) before first tooth comes out for a girl child. So, after much discussion it was slated on her 5th month as we already felt her gums bit hard (teething...!!!!) .

We went to Kalibari (Goddess Kali Temple) and her highness obliged us by not showing any bad mood and also not sleeping in between the rituals. She also liked the priest and flashed bigggg smiles at him.

Whoa....He is tying a new hair-band!!!

What is this...this is not my boring milk bottle??

Ohhh he is blessing me...I like this person!!!

No body told me what to do with this stuff??

Ohh simple...I can spit it out!!!!!