Nov 9, 2008

Episode 2 - My Mumbai Days

So, its Mumbai now!
If some one reads this post till the end, will probably think that I am making it sound almost like an achievement..but for me it was!

First things first.
It turned out to be a blend of many things. A different phase of 6 months where perspectives were created , shattered and rebuilt.

Professionalism, corporate culture, time management and many such multi farious phenomenons which I had garnered in MBA lectures came out on surface. Their application and implementation seemed to me a little paradoxical.

Yes, paradoxical because here no one talked about business ethics, in fact no one was primarily interested in talking about it and least doing anything about it. I gathered that corporate social responsibility and ethical issues are handled and mis-handled at the top level management.
Because at middle level and junior level everyone is interested in realising targets and more focused upon personal growth. Seriously, there is nothing wrong about it. Its happening everywhere.

Anyway, my journey was a short stint with big dream and I think I had my share of it.
1st March 2008, I landed in the city of dreams. I am using this phrase"city of dreams" because Mumbai is synonymous with such tags like "city that never sleeps" etc in the lines of New York.

I had come along with a strong wanting to move ahead, to see the big picture and how things happen over here.
Before I started to work for my organisation in Mumbai, it took me exactly 1 month to learn how the city functions. It is not just a fast moving is running and people run along with it and no one has the time to make a second look! These people whom am referring to are the working class and not the idle folk.
I went to media houses, advertising agencies, corporate houses and one thing that struck me immediately was the interiors...yes besides the Think tank, Executives and Professionals. Beautiful offices, beautiful views and very creatively designed...
My work involved meeting lots of people everyday, making presentations to our clients and training new recruits. Multi-Tasking as it was, I was enjoying every breath of it. It gave me a new sense of freedom to explore my capabilities in a city which was so unknown to me but my zeal was at zenith to see and feel anything new that approached me.
Corporate Presentations were enriching and exciting as I loved my job. It was dealing with all sorts of temperaments and convincing them to sign off the deal.....I met a few celebrities, big people in social circuit for my project....

Then... it was great to train people as I found it challenging and interesting. Challenging because these trainees came from amazing academic backgrounds and to make them understand the job was not so easy as they brought along with them their own fundas and philosophies..(I remembered my training days!).Interesting because some of them were really hardworking, smart and very focused with their assigned work.

When I was working on the project of Residential campaign I came across people of different religions and castes.
I was highly impressed by the Parsi community in Bandra Reclamation who were so knowledgeable and hospitable. Secondly, the Christians residing in Pali Village were really charity oriented ....To them it was not about the quantity of money they were offering but where and how it was channelised.

Then I met a large section of old and elderly people who were living alone whose children were settled abroad. So they were supporting themselves with a little financial help from their kids who drop in their homes on Christmas....Well personally, I felt bad to see them living alone and missing out the family joy and warmth. Still they were happy in their lives, so punctual about their habits..truly inspirational!

I made some great friends in my office...The official parties were great. I and my team had been to Bangalore for a training program which again was a fabulous experience.

One thing that initially troubled me was commuting....the local trains and buses, the crowd and the traffic....Once I was lost on the Dadar station and my colleague was searching and believe me cell phone did not help nor did the directions...Ultimately we located each other....what a nightmare it was!
Later I got acclimatised with trains...and managed pretty well with a few missing trains incidents..The auto drivers were mostly Biharis and hailing from UP..this I could make out from the way they spoke Hindi...

I enjoyed being in Mumbai for another reason as well and that was its dynamism which I failed to see in any other Indian city. Delhi was loud, Mumbai was loud too but in a subtle way!
Its all glitz and glamour, amalgamation of many aspects....Bollywood to Nariman Point, expanding boundaries but moving into interiors of Dharavi one can easily make out the difference between the rich and the poor.
But this city attracts me because of its diversity and there are other reasons as well....I don't live in Mumbai any longer so I miss certain things but as we say everything happens for the best....
Mumbai has taught me many things. Living here has made more independent, more gutsy and a little street smart.

There is much more to write about my varied experiences but I have to limit myself here, else it will go on and on and on!

No comments: