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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Autograph Please !!

Men are not from Mars, nor are woman from Venus. But yes, men will be men always and woman will be .....................   feminine (read bashful!).

I am traveling to hallowed establishments, the typical central government organizations which are characterized by red bricked walls, neat gardens and people who are kind of different in their outlook.

Defense establishments have lots of proprietary issues when it comes to materials, and assembled parts coming in and out. Cutting end technology notwithstanding, administration is still manpower, paper/pencil dependent.

We had to rework some materials for yet another design change. These were duly packed, sealed and signed by the store manager, materials in-charge, and the project manager too. We took the box and made our way to the main gate. Here the security guard directed us to an inside office for getting the materials cleared.

Hooha, there was a crowd there. 

Seems lots of vendors had picked that day for coming and going out and sadly there was just one clearing table.

It was nearing evening, and most of the staff was in movement away from office mode. I did not want to waste another day for the same material to be carried off, but it was impossible to get to the clearing lady in that queue and I could see that she was also turning cranky.

Think Balak ! Think….

The devil in me lighted the flame of wit, or so I thought. 

It was a small box, unlike most of the others in the queue, so I could tuck it under my arm.

I navigated to the front. I plunked the box on the table, and flashed a Colgate smile and said “Autograph please madam!!” in what I thought was a balance between a kiddish and a mature uncle tone (read teenage)
There was silence.It seemed like I had committed an ultimate sin. The regular sales representative from my place, whom I had accompanied, was a diminutive girl who spoke very less, seemed scandalized at my outburst.

Another resignation…no no seems it was going to be firing this time, I thought slightly frightened.

Meanwhile aunty ji , looked up. Her eyes were droopy had some old fashioned spectacles with tags on the frame to dangle over the chest. She did a quick survey of me from top to bottom.

Then………… she smiled.

She appeared to be bashful at the purported compliment and coyly she replied in Tamil “What you want my autograph for ……. am I a star or what”.

Oh so aunty ji nursed showbiz ambitions at some time. I replied with all honesty in Tamil “Right now madam you are the star of this place, so I want your autograph”.

It is wonders, at what candidness can do. She moved her attention to the box and asked,”What is it?”

“Some small XYZ, we are taking to our place in Bangalore, we will get it back tomorrow after modifications, we have taken approval from ABC”, I replied.

ABC was good, very good. She gave a cursory look at the release forms and then signed on the gate pass.

“There you go, now you have an autograph! Happy now?” 

“ Kavita Ramanathan”,  the wordings were cursive and surprisingly the scribble decipherable.

A nod and a smile and then I mouthed “Thanks”.

So there you go ,  any woman no matter how old, still is a pretty woman in her heart .And it does no harm to remind her about that !! :) 

अजी सुनते हो................. चिन्टू के पापा ???

...... dong..... dong...... dong...  !