Wednesday, May 25, 2011

PEOPLES’s inspiration

“It’s not the load that breaks you down

 It’s the way you carry it “ -Lena Horne

While we started visiting the local site seeing places in Manali (old Manali to be specific) we got so tired due to the bumps, pot holes and high acclivity of the terrain. We needed some place for refreshing. To our surprise there were no restaurants in visible range. When we enquired with the local people, a finger was pointed towards a dilapidated, orderly arranged pile of asbestos sheets beyond the road’s curvature.

“PEOPLE” a multi colored board welcomed us. The hotel was special and that made me write this blog. It was so special not because of the food, taste or design. You need to read till the end to find out.

A few Students of a reputed institution in Himachal Pradesh (name not to mentioned as per their request) after their course completion found their own way of livelihood. After graduation these younger generation students decided to do something unusual instead of joining some nearby companies and getting a month end salary; something like the best selling novel ‘ 3 mistakes of my life’. They wanted to do some business in their locality (Manali). Tourism was the only option they were left with because of their location. They decided to start something that serves the tourists and attracts them in a better manner -Something where the input, problems and side effects are minimum and the output is maximum to make a better gain, Something that is season independent, so that their growth doesn’t rely on any external sources.


..was a good option that satisfied all the above conditions. One among the aspirants had a barren land cornered to the main road that led to all the local sightseeing places. FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BRAVE is rightly said. Luckily they had their own tools and it was enough to weed and level the ground. Nothing but a wooden skeleton with two central concrete pillars constituted the overall design resulting in an enlarged hut (you can imagine how a fourth standard student will draw his/her dream house if asked to). A local small scale industry was conducive enough to provide asbestos sheets for housing. Thus the dilapidated structure for the most wanted horror movie shooting was ready (the structure is not strong enough to withstand a 3 Richter quake). They somehow managed to cover the walls with color cloths covering fluorescent and incandescent bulbs in a palatable fashion.
A local SAW mill’s waste and other products were made into chairs and tables. Chart papers as bulb housing, empty coke bottles into flower vases, tiny mud pots for salt and pepper and apart from them a wifi router that gratified the aesthetic quotient of the hotel.

But the best part was that the customers were provided with crayons, color pencils and sketches along with chart papers. After ordering, they were free to sketch anything they wished, while waiting. Abstract images, scenic landscapes, textures..Whatever came to their mind. If you refused to draw you would loose the concession they provided while billing. So you would be forced to get entertained instead of lurking in your hunger with a blushed face possessing a sardonic smile till you get what you ordered.

All completed portraits will be given a place on their walls. Once the wall was filled, the best among the new ones replaced the worst among the existing one ( Luckily my Nikon portrait got a place).

They were amateur servers but they didn’t compromise the taste.
They were not destined to do catering. They started it to serve them their daily bread for the time being. But someday in life these young energetic gentlemen as a group or as individuals will definitely shine in life.


PS: Hope I got the right title.
PPS:Gourav (M)–the chef, Prikasan(M)- hotel bearer, Quili(F)-      cook, Alexander(M)-Accounts, Margerate(F)-hotel bearer

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

30 BEATS 30K

The value of money is realized only if you earn it without your identity. Set apart your degree, background, identity etc and try to earn 30 Rs. Then you will realize the value of that money.

It was fourth day of “Human Process Lab” – a 6 day training program conducted by our training centre. This training is meant to develop cordial relationship within us. An extensive introduction about the class was given. We were asked to play games like management games, team work, group co-ordination etc. Each day we were paid for playing games. That was the PS of first 3 days.

On Fourth day we were taken outside to the local market. We were instructed to produce all our cell phones, wallets and any identity of ours to the training guru. //I got stuck with my past remembrance in college days were our dean will be confiscating mobile phones. His eye balls are having inbuilt radio wave transceiver that helps him in identifying the source.// After packing all our mobile phones and other accessories in a bag he clocked his stop watch to 60 minutes and segregated us into teams of 3. “ my dear friends,.. all these days you were playing and having fun in your hostel. But today’s training is a bit different and will remain for rest of your life. All you have to do is earn 30 Rs. Do anything that doesn’t affects your personal integrity. You got one hour left. “


I have hardly been to a market. In my hometown the worst place I would ever suggest to make your enemy nauseate is Gandhi market. All three of us perplexed without knowing what to do. Am the only person of local region. Rest two were from Delhi(Abhay) and Viyayawada(Siva). How will I earn 30 Rs to win the game.
Shall I donate my blood. The rarest A1b –ve one would have hardly heard it, will surely earn me more than I expect.
We started walking in the road.

 We crossed a photo studio. “ excuse me sir… something something …….i know photo shop sir… something something … editing ..something morphing something ..“ the cost of a group photo cost 25 Rs. But my editing charge was 30 Rs. He gave me a huge sigh of get lost.

“ NERAM DA!! “ I said to myself.

We crossed a welding shop. I have done arc welding in my college first semester,as a part of our engineering courses.

“Ahem” with the tone of amiable intro” nanba vanakam.. something something .. vela yellam epdi poguthu… ? “
“ yaar sir neenga? , yenna venum….?”
“ something something…… welding something … Anna University workshop something.. one of the Asia’s largest workshops something…. “
“ Neenga saleman ah ??“
“ WHAT??? Athu illla boss… something something …welding…30 Rs… something something“
“ inga velai vaipu ippa illa. Neenga ITI welding padishtu vaanga …….paapom… “

Abased, blushed, disconcerted, fazed….. I was searching for the most appropriate word that suits my situation.

We crossed a local chit fund. Abhay is a Chartered Accountant, Siva ICWA….
I got no more strength to face and so I waited outside to see their blushed faces. Things happened as anticipated.

//We will feel relaxed when our friend faces the same situation//

Filled with fulsome frustration we finally reached THE VEGETABLE MARKET.
We were searching for a helping face. This time we introduced ourselves as students of VIT. We made everyone believe that it was a part of our final year project and emotionally black mailed that we will fail if we don’t get 30 Rs in 60 minutes and our whole life is gone. One gentleman came forward to help us. With a feel of ‘everything is going fine’ we were asked to load a mini door with bananas. But we didn’t expect a propaganda with the local laborers who are supposed to do the job for their daily bread.
After several discussions “ padikra pasanga….. paavam yaa…..” // at this time we were trying hard to remove that sardonic smile from our faces //
We meticulously loaded bananas and saved our clothes from getting smudged.
Finally 30 Rs. With the biggest smile of achievement we left that place thanking that gentleman.

We all pen down to sign on the 3 ten Rs note as a token of remembrance. Earning 30 k sitting under a fan, scrolling my mouse against MS excel didn’t gave me a feel of achievement or satisfaction. But this 30 Rs makes it all. I feel proud to have it for the rest of my life.