A Humble CEO

The Digital Content Team, of which I am a part, of the company (one of the Tata companies) where I have recently joined, decided to break for lunch at 1:30 in the afternoon. We went to the cafeteria which was clean and well lighted, and full of people (employees). Some members of the team bring their lunch from their homes, while the rest of us have our lunch in the cafeteria and help in increasing its revenue, for which the south India cafeteria manager, who, I assume, is also the owner, is ever happy (as in all trade, the more the buyer, the merrier the trader).

While I was in the queue placing my order for the food and getting the plate in my hand, my team members had already found a place to sit and, having done so, had begun eating. They were surrounded by members of some other teams. At a glance round the table I saw an empty chair and was ready to sit on it, but a lady said, in a very serious manner, that someone from her team was going to come and sit on it. I moved from there and began looking for an empty chair around the tables (three or four tables connected so as to form one line), near my team members. One chair to the corner had not found an occupier yet, and I could have gone and sat there, but the problem was that a man, middle-aged, wearing spectacles (that made him look rather studious) and whose trimmed beard and moustache could tell their own stories (some being young and, therefore, black; some aged and, therefore, white), sat in between my team members and the corner seat. Two more people (a woman and a man) on the opposite side of the table seemed to be with him, having launch together. On the opposite side there was a chair but the presence of someone’s helmet on it was an indication that it was already reserved.

My movement did not go unnoticed. The man who was between my team members and the corner chair said, “Come, please, you sit here, and I will move to the corner.” He moved. I sat on the relinquished chair and it became easier for me to chitchat and have food with my team. Very soon, the man, who offered me his seat, and the two people who were having launch with him, rose from their chairs, picked up their plates to be taken near the wash basin, but no sooner did the man take a step ahead than two workers of the cafeteria hurriedly came and took the man’s plate and carried it to the wash basin (though the man insisted he would do it). I wondered who the man was. After he was gone, I asked one of my team members who the person was. I was told that the person’s name was Avijit Mitra, the CEO and the MD of the company! (And, oh, to think, because of me, while he was lunching, he had to get up and take a different chair!).

I have seen many CEOs but never have I seen a CEO as humble as he. If he wanted he could have had food brought to him in his cabin, he could have had spent as much money as he wanted and eat the most expensive and the most exotic food every day, but there he was, one among the others, taking delight in having the same food. As he talks to people (which I have seen him doing), he talks with a great deal of respect, and his voice is always low (clearly audible though) and sweet. He is a product of the Tata culture, and it shows. Though I wasn’t aware of who he was, but my first encounter with him made me believe that humility can surely make you rich (rich in many senses) and worthy of respect, from one and all.

Copyright © 2018 RAMU DAS

Advertisements

Beware, My Friends

I am living in the land of nothingness
To the very bottom I have sunk
Happily have I all the poison drunk
For it came from my sweetheart, my princess.

When loving was convenient how madly she loved me
And such rosy pictures painted that at once made me happy
But, unknown to me, alas, the loving had an expiry date
For now in agony I sigh and curse my damnable fate.

Beware, then, my friends
And be careful of those soft little hands
That once would wipe your tears away
Next in your heart with a dagger make way.

Copyright © 2018 RAMU DAS

Keep Your Voice Down!

“Keep your voice down!” a woman in my neighbourhood shouted. She was telling this to some of her family members – husband, son, daughter, or whoever – in her flat.

Once again she cried: “I said lower your voice, stupid!”

But maybe that did not work, for in the next thirty seconds she exclaimed at the top of her voice: “You, I said lower your voice, don’t you understand it, you!”

This went on for a while.  The woman’s voice resounded in the whole building. It was nighttime, around 11:30. Most people were quite. Another neighbour was playing some mournful Hindi song in his/her phone. But, because of the woman’s shouting the sound from the phone died down. The only thing that could be heard for a full ten minute was the woman’s voice asking someone to keep that someone’s voice down. But not even a faint sound came from that someone. All one could hear was “lower your voice” or “keep your voice down” from the woman.

Copyright © 2018 RAMU DAS

 

 

At The Third Instance

I shall be good to you as long as you are.
And once you do me a wrong,
Forgive you I shall and not a word I swear

Again, as if nothing has happened, we shall be jolly good.
And once more when you do me another wrong,
Sad and angry though I’ll be, yet a second time, forgive you, I would!

At the third instance, when another wrong to me is done, I shall know
I am but a magnet that would attract more instances for being wronged
Away then, far away, I shall go, and never again my face to you show.

Copyright © 2018 RAMU DAS

I Am My Own God

Henceforth, I declare myself to be an agnostic.

Many a people claim to know God, and they say that religion is a medium which brings a person closer to God. I accept with open heart all the morality that religion propagates, which helps one love and respect the other, and so on and so forth. But I reject all the mumbo-jumbo ritualistic affairs of religion and prefer to be pragmatic. And yet I would say nothing against any religion as long as the practitioner and believers of those religions mind their own business and abstain from telling me what according to them is right (because they are trying to do something they themselves have no idea of, which is no doubt a way by which they earn their living). No doubt religion can teach us a great deal, but an individual can be a very good person and do much good for others without the interference of religion, too.

Since I do not possess the knowledge to ascertain the existence of God, I shall, therefore, be my own God (as I have been for quite some time), because I am absolutely certain that I exist and I have the power to shape and direct my life the way I want to shape it and direct it.

Copyright © 2018 RAMU DAS

Being On Time

Being late for this or for that occasion had been something I could not help for the last few years. It is not that I did not have the intention to be on time, it is just that somehow I could not make it. People often remarked that my art of lateness was commendable (no doubt, their words were full of sarcasm), and I told them (giving it back in a similar manner) that I had mastered this art with a lot of practice and patience.

No matter how worse things got, I could not abstain from being late. Many a warning had come and many had gone, sometimes the warnings were severe in nature, but I still remained a late comer, a late doer, a late thinker.

The Mexican proverb “How sweet it is to do nothing, and afterwards to rest!” seemed really sweet but impractical in a world I inhabit. Going by the proverb, I would not be worried about being on time at all. But, alas, the world is a busy place which gives nothing for free (no bread, no butter).  In this busy world one cannot simply be lazy and defy what one must do.

But, lately, I have become somewhat sensitive, and I can sense that people are not quite happy when I keep them waiting for something or the other and turn up at my own sweet time.

When you are not on time you become unreliable. People would (even as you express your interest to do something) doubt you or dismiss you as though you are a non-entity. Being late only devalues a person’s status, and the best thing one can do is to shrug off this habit and learn to be on time. Here are a few ways which would help you (which I am also following) to be on time:

  • Sleep a little early so that you get up a little early (a cliche, no doubt; a helpful one, nevertheless).
  • Do not snooze the alarm of your phone every few minutes. Once your hear the sound, wake up and stop it.
  • Be smart, that is to say, stop being lazy, which is again to say, if you have to do something, do not think over it for too long, just do it.
  • Have some buffer time in hand. You might be an optimist and you might think that you have enough time and you can easily catch up, but it does not happen so easily. You would not even know where or how the ‘enough time’ which you thought you had, had gone, and you would start panicking and get frustrated (and kick your dog). It is always good to have some buffer time (15 to 20 minutes), and you will be a little early, not a little late. If you happen to be too early, have a book handy, and your extra time would become productive.

I hope that you, as much as I, gain by being on time what you and I have lost by being late.

Copyright © 2018 RAMU DAS