Saturday, November 28, 2009

Head On Collision with Corporate India

Spent the last two days trapped in the belly of corporate India. Had to film a Citibank conference and take interviews of people who have finance coming out of their noses. Worse still, I had to pretend that I, don't just give a damn but, am actually enthused by the functioning of banks and treasuries across this great nation of ours.
Was saved by frequent trips to the free Hersheys stand and the sound of my cameraman exchanging choice hindi abuses with the lightboys.

Reasons why I'm glad I never did an MBA:
1. Drab clothing. I'd have to say goodbye to all colours except black, white and a sickly blue that for some reason reminds me of tetanus.
2. Pretentious vocabulary: I bumped into a college acquaintance at the conference. I remember her vaguely as this mousy, very inarticulate girl who never had much to say. Now she spoke of 'verticals' instead of departments and 'making assets sweat'. So I ask - why can't corporate India speak normal English? Is it a ploy to have us wound up in language, while they go about screwing with our economies?
3. Pre & Post alcohol personality switch: We all change once a few pegs warm the cockles of our bosoms. But corporate India undergoes a bizarre switch from being walking-talking insurance brochures to sounding like pre-pubescent punjabi boys from Rajinder Nagar. The girls? They don't drink at all but are on hand to laugh nervously at all the pre-pubescent jokes.
4. Contempt for all non-corporate forms of beings: Just because I have come with a camera crew to film your lame conference (that I'm sure you slept through) does not mean I'm a wedding videographer, does not mean you can interrupt when the camera's rolling to tell me to find a good 'seating arrangement' for your clients, does not mean I'll wait for hours on end for your white-boy CEO to finish his 5th beer just so he can give me 5 minutes of talktime, does not mean you can let me pass through your venue gates but stop my lightboys because they don't look rich enough.
5. The Asslicking: I never did like the taste of ass. And if I have to laugh at my boss' bland jokes even after I've become the India Head for Citi, then really, it's not worth it.
6. The Regret: I cannot tell you the number of really rich, 'successful' and upwardly mobile people I met who expressed a great longing to be 'artistic like you'. For a second, they almost looked human as their eyes grew wider and they told me about all the music/ theatre/ dance/ debating/ poetry they did in college and now had no time for. I felt like a friggin therapist.
I'm guessing they can't all be bad. Yes, they did cause a global meltdown that directly affected my livelihood, which forced me to take up the job of filming the conference. Yes, the posturing and the facade of constant coolness can get exceedingly annoying. But at the end of the day they're the same Chunnu's and Munnu's I grew up with. They've got to be just like regular folks right?
Perhaps...but only on weekends & Christmas

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