We had our business counterparts visiting us a couple of weeks back . They were two lovely women who were responsible for gathering the customer requirements and feedback and guiding us on what the market needs are. But I wont get into their professional expertise here. What I want to share are the inputs of the personal kind that I gathered from them.
But first, a little background. Lets call one of them L and the other M. They are both senior members in the team and with the client company for the last 11 years. Needless to say, they have an excellent professional record and an enviable standing in the company. Also, L must be nearing 50 and M must be between 35-40 years of age (I didn’t ask, for obvious reasons). B-U-T! They are both gorgeous !!
During their stay here, we had the opportunity to take them out for shopping and spending some time with them. These two women sure know how to keep their professional life separate from their personal. So, away from office, they can talk nineteen to a dozen about their kids and personal life, but once back in, they shed the casualness and become professional once again. It was amazing to see the transformation, because frankly, it was so effortless, I doubt they realized the change themselves! Lesson One learnt here.
For all the meetings scheduled with the two, it was embarrassing to note that they were always before time . I mean, we did try to make an effort to reach on time, but they beat us to it each time!! They didn’t mind letting us know that before coming here, they were coached on the IST and our interpretation of it. I felt a tad humiliated on that, but they were cheerful and didn’t mean it in spite, so I’ll just accept the fact that try as we might, tardiness is in our blood. So next time we have a meeting, it is best to leave a few minutes before time than to rush in at the last minute. Lesson Two learnt here.
L was recently married, a few months before she came to India. Even as we wondered at the decision of marrying so late (by Indian standards), we were humbled by her comments that she married the right man at the right time and in a manner that she always wanted to. That she could conduct the wedding on her own expenditure (it was extravagant, I tell you, them pictures don’t lie ) . We, the ones who chip in (marginally) as our parents first struggle to earn and then spend it all on our weddings , felt rotten. Somewhere along the line, I feel we are way too pampered. Why do our parents have to spend on our wedding? Why cant we do it ourselves?? Maybe then we can ask Dad to cross off that obnoxious relative from the guest list . Lesson Three learnt here.
L and M don’t have children of their own. L has opened up her arms for her husband’s children (from his first marriage). We wouldn’t have guessed they weren’t her’s, going by the way she gushed about the kids and the way her face glowed with pride when narrating their achievements . M adopted two kids from far-off Russia, a pair of siblings, both boys. And the way she gushed about them was heart-warming too. I mean, it takes a large heart to be so encompassing, to learn to accept and love. And both these women love the children in their lives, we could see that . Lesson Four learnt here.
These two women stayed here but a week, but their sheer exuberance and enthusiasm was infectious. They weren’t prissy and uptight and even agreed to eat everything we piled on their plates. It was a far-cry from some other visitors I’ve seen who wouldn’t touch our food or water unless it was pizza or coke! L, the elder of the two was so energetic, she would put a 20-year-old to shame ! They were frank, open, welcoming and I guess this was the reason we extended our hospitality far beyond what we do for other clients. And, the best part, they never commented negatively about our roads or the markets or the crowd . I think they accepted India as they saw it whereas we still struggle to come to terms with what we see. Lesson Five learnt here.
We felt really bad that these two had to leave so soon…..I think I’ve learned a lot from them . And maybe, just maybe, they had some more lessons up their sleeves
So here’s hoping L and M come back for a visit soon (at least L said she would ).