Palli had shifted his job again and his plans for joining a manufacturing company turned into reality when after juggling between joining and not joining for some 6 months. Previously, he had been associated with service based companies where the work culture was friendly. His colleagues in previous companies were quite receptive to his joining. They looked forward to interact with him as if to decipher what he carried inside his head that made him get selected in their company.
However, here in the manufacturing company the circumstances were quite different. No one was aware about his joining except a couple of them including the recruitment head and the MD of the company. The management of the company was busy engrossed in taking corrective action for some decisions taken in the past but were now un-sustainable financially. Financial urgency was prompting for severe cut-back on expenses. Sales team size was being trimmed as if the doomsday had arrived unexpectedly. Palli joining at a hefty salary- compared to the average pay scales already existing in the company- was something not everyone in the management could accept easily.
Ashima had been heading the recruitment of the company for sometime now and was a committed lady. She believed – without any inhibitions- the MD of the company and followed her instructions without qualifications. She very well knew the requirements as outlined by MD for any possible position. In fact she had mastered, over the years, the art of digging out from an ocean of resumes on Naukri, the profile that MD had in her mind. Palli on first day was welcomed by Ashima who accompanied him to his workstation. A new laptop with stationary was on desk ready, for him to get on with the work without wasting time.
Over the next few days Palli sensed the alienation in the work culture across different departments in the company. The operational team functioned in silos with multiple sub-units with the same function. Sensing the challenge, he started impacting the culture of the company in a positive way. He never showed his authority while interacting with his juniors and build a personal repo with most of them. He never hesitated to get up from his desk and walk to anyone in office to interact. Palli talked work but still got connected personally to his colleagues. His first impression on others was, “This man knows what to do and we have a lot of learn from him.”
Ashima, one day when Palli was about to leave introduced him to Danish who reported to Ashima. “Danish stays where you stay and if you do not mind can he accompany you in your car today.” Palli promptly replied to Ashima, “He can accompany me everyday since I come alone.” Danish, a young short-heighted guy was quite shy and but someone with a head above his shoulder. The only bottleneck he had was lack of confidence on his capabilities. Over the next few months, Danish started to open-up with Palli and started sharing his utopian thinking about the world. Palli had known that Danish will have to scale-up a lot to grow in his career. Danish had no one to guide and Palli by nature turned out to be someone who was open to help and guide. His teaching background usually brought out a preacher in him that influenced the thinking of Danish. “What will he take away from me?”, Palli usually reasoned to himself within, every time he realized that he gone overboard in narrating his personal life and experience to drive home a point.
Palli started to relate to Danish’s thoughts very well. Danish wanted to do social work and he often asked Palli about what he should do. One day when Danish shared his idea about doing MBA, Palli said, “No point in doing it from a B-grade college and that too part time. MBA has to be a full time course. Its a waste of money and other than owning a paper certificate, MBA will do him no good.” Later, he qualified saying, “It can do good if you study and learn more than what the MBA colleges taught.” Danish knew his constraints and finally had decided to pursue MBA as a part time course. In last two years, Danish had come to know Palli, his wife, kids and parents. He had started mentioning Palli while interacting with friends. Similarly, Danish never missed a mention in Palli’s life. Palli’s wife called up when he was late in office, “Is Danish with you? Why do you keep him waiting so long in office? Atleast take care of him. He is such a good boy.”
Palli’s dependence on Danish increased day-by-day. Whether it was home loan, buying or selling a DSLR, getting back to cycling as a sport or for that matter children’s occasional illness, Palli never missed to either share or seek Danish’s confirmation. He had got used to having Danish around as a silent trustworthy friend who was not demanding and always there to give his true feedback. Infact over the years, Palli did not want to move ahead with a decision without having Danish’s feedback.
Palli was scheduled to travel for work while his ageing grandmother- 95 years old- was visiting him for first time since he moved out of his home town. She was scheduled to leave to home town when Palli was on tour and she was too old to walk and had to be helped to reach the railway station, literally carrying her down the stairs before she could be seated on a wheel chair. Palli arranged for the cab and informed his parents even without checking with Danish, “Danish is there. He will be there, if required to help you reach railway station.” When Palli requested in person to Danish, he promptly confirmed that he will reach his place at 4:30 am in the morning and take care of everything.
With Palli occupied in his own work on travel forgot to re-check with Danish for any change of plans. When he realized in the night, he still did not call since somewhere he believed Danish will be there at the scheduled time. Danish not only helped Palli’s parents at station but decided to wait before the train left. Palli kept checking over phone since 5:00 am about his parents. Palli’s father finally called him when the train left, “Danish was waiting for us. He helped me with the luggage and was standing with us all the time. We thank him for being there as your replacement. Do invite him for a treat and also be good to him always.”
Palli on his routine morning walk at 5:15 am updates his Whats App status, “GM. Grateful to DANISH.”