The Techies Don’t Close…
November 16, 2010 1 Comment
He summoned the peon and ordered tea for both of us.
I felt for the first time a little uneasy having no clue where I was being taken, though entirely foreseen by Anil. Anyway the wait wasn’t for long. Anil’s directions for traversing this unmapped terrain were: ‘Never get ahead of him. Just follow him behind at a safe distance, appearing somewhat vague and sufficiently clear. Don’t lose him either. ’ Put simply without those obscuring verbiage, I should get him to spell out and not make it easy for him.
‘You know, Vinod, in the last visit of Anil’s, we found out we share a common passion. Guess what? I’m also serious about photography! ’
This again didn’t surprise me. Anil’s passion to this date included but not limited to Ragas for Monsoon, Amorous Mudras in Bharata Natyam, Coins from the Mint in Surat of British era, stamps of Princely States, Recipes from Coorg, Rock-cut temples of early Pallavas, Ghalib’s poetry…
He continued with the verve of a hobbyist: ‘Anil has seen my albums – not all of them, only up to 2003 when he had to leave to catch the train to Mumbai. He particularly liked my shots in Shimla with the zoom and fish-eye. Before he left, he suggested I should now go for a digital camera – it’s much more convenient and cheaper too without the film-rolls. I’m beginning to like the suggestion, you know.’
I knew this much about it: ’Yes, Sir. You do get decent resolution and pictures could be stored, edited and distributed thru email.’
’Are you also into this?’
‘No, Sir. I’m just a point-and-shoot guy – my knowledge and skills stop right there. ’
‘Oh…Well, by a strange coincidence, I learnt your company is planning to buy these cameras at a good price and give away to select customers like us on the occasion of Diwali. A very nice gesture, I say. But not many days left for Diwali, you know. So when are you reaching them to the recipients? ’
‘Anil told you this?’ It was news, but not new to me. I’ve seen Anil instantaneously create highly imaginative shame-and-guilt-free planks for the recipients to accept complimentary gifts. Giving was graceful with him. Also the self-reference of ‘customers like us’ was not lost on me.
‘Yes. In fact after what Anil told me, I instructed my brother-in-law – he is returning from US in two weeks – get something else for me instead of a digital camera.’
I barged in where other techies would’ve feared to tread: ‘In fact I’m carrying a piece with me for someone else. It is in my bag in the hotel. Let me fetch it for you when I meet you after lunch on the revised offer.’ A worthy colleague to Anil, would you say?
‘Oh, that’ll be splendid. I’m sorry – now I’ve to prepare for an important meeting due in an hour that’ll stretch over lunch. Let us meet again at 2-00. That gives you enough time to check with your office on pricing and get the camera too.’
‘I understand, Sir. I’ll be back.’
I called the commercial officer from my cellphone, briefed him and got his approval for an additional 3% discount on the prices; also for the purchase of a digital camera from the market. He would’ve done much more to book an order such as this before closing the books for the half-year.
No time was lost in tying up all the loose ends satisfactorily. The revised proposal would be sent by my office to reach Mr. Dubey by Thursday. He was to ready and forward the final recommendation by this week-end and the purchase-order was expected in our hands before the end of the following week. The deal was more-or-less in the bag – not a cloud in the sky. There was nothing more to be done – I returned to my base.
(To be contd.)