Sunday, August 26, 2007

Inspiration can come in from any direction...

My associates at Nashik, as a company, must seem to an outsider like me, a gangling teenager, full of itself and usually unable to learn much from the daily knocks that life deals us all regardless of our power, prestige and station in life. They are indeed at a delicious juncture in life.

I have often discussed the vital importance of HR -creative approaches, incentive, motivation and all tha jazz which generally fail to impress a small scale industry -regardless of its position, potenital and potency, if that is the word I seek. Hmmm, yes -that's it.

Frankly I had several friends in the corporate training world who may have shown a keener interest in doing to this company what I would have certainly loved doing, if I were not positioned as a technical wizard offering consultancy. No matter how creative I am, howsoever intuitive, insighful and even effective in 'prognosis' (ahem, a word I picked up from my friend Dr. Ram Chattopadhyay, one of the pioneers in advanced surface engineering, now teetering on the last phase in retirement... once a deadly foe with blind power who refused to help me -but then, what's the point. Past is relevant only if it brings a smile to your face. The rest is junk. Unless you are a masochistic junkie.)

So they gave me a pleasant surprise by showing me, along with 70+ other colleagues some with kids in tow, the new hit Chak De India! I whiled away the Saturday by doing odd jobs like getting my prepaid 'e-charged' and wearing my shoes out in the process. Yesterday was uncharacteristically hot and humid, with a fierce sun showing off its unmatched power. Today it is back to dark clouds and occasional showers, the sort of weather I have come to love very much.

I have a poor memory for faces, and of late my short term memory has been shot. Reaching the cinemahall Fame something like 45 minutes early was a 'faux pas' indeed. I got embarrassed umpteen times by strangers smiling, saluting, even offering a hand to shake... for they were all workers from the Precise group. Out of context, I didn't recognise a single face! Their dark green overalls and bright yellow helmets were missing, and they all looked 'scrubbed' free of oil and grease and worse, that their hands show me. Like Benazir Bhutto the ex-PM of our naughty neighbours, I generally hide my dainty hands behind my back to avoid getting greased. Wilson, came early too. He is a truly kind soul whose help to me in fabricating a complex piece of machinery has been precious. When the boss is away, it is this shy-ish middleaged man who drives to the Nasik Club, by now my second home, and picks me up on the dot. Once he found me a laundry too, when I had extended my stay and ran out of clothes.

Now he has a college going daughter whose name I didn't catch but she reminded me (again lets blame my short term memory having deserted me wholly) that she was a final year student in mechanical engineering. Thus we had a nice little tete-a-tete, I had to keep telling her to do some post graduation in CAD/CAM i.e. computer-aided design/manufacturing. She stressed her drawing is good, which on her third repetition, I had to dilute a bit by saying drawing is the language of engineering. I think she wasn't sensitive enough to take umbrage, indicating how simple a soul she must be. We had to chat for a long time, for the show seemed delayed. Well, in good time the show started.

I found this movie quite good -it's rare that I find a movie so good I don't sleep thru' it... I am banned by wife and daughter from snoring thru' movies, so they leave me tinkering with the computer and assault quite a number of movies. Chak de India, has been directed well, and Shahrukh Khan the current heart-throb about whose movies I have never been too encouraging, seemed to have executed a complex role well. One lives thru' the story, as it were, and that's saying a good deal indeed.

I was more astounded to find a serious meeting at the factory next day, and even another day after that. Six workers had to get up and speak for 90 seconds, too brief I thought, but many struggled after 30 seconds flat and had to give up. Public speaking does not come to most folks. Period.
More later... as this practice continues.
(c) Max Babi

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