August 30, 2010

loo's talc: total quality management

Have you met an Indian of late? I am not talking about the H1B visa or green card holder, but one found in the land of native Indian. Again, though I’m talking of him, it applies to her in equal terms, no gender differentiation here.

An Indian’s sense of quality is enormous: he gets violently disturbed when his maid does not mop the floor well or the mason slants his new house’s wall. Look at an Indian lady buying bhindi [ladies’ finger] from a local vegetable shop; she will break each bhindi’s tail to see it is tender, never mind the shopkeeper perpetually pleading with her not to spoil his stuff.

You are invited to a seminar at ten in the morning and you reach there at 9:50. You will be sure of the venue if you find a few guys ordering an army of less formally dressed boys to place writing pads on the tables, put name plates and water bottles on the dais, arrange flowers in front of the podium and so on. It will be ten minutes past ten and the activity will continue. In between the light would have gone and the power-point presentation would have failed to open during testing. You will be prompted to ask one of the ordering guys when the event will start. ‘The chief guest is arriving shortly,’ he will tell you. ‘It will begin in less than thirty minutes.’ Rest assured, the seminar will start well before 11, right time by the Indian Standard Time.

If you reach an Indian wedding one hour after the given time, you had it. While loitering aimlessly or keeping yourself busy on your cellphone, you can see tent guys arranging their ware, even fixing a chandelier over your head. An hour further into the night, people will be coming in hordes, parking theri cars haphazardly on the road, and they won’t be guilty because the last-minute arrangements will still be in progress and the marriage party will not have arrived yet. The marriage party will then come, having ruled over the roads that it traversed, with a noisy band, boys with portable lights on their heads, a generator following them. Even if it is midnight and it is a residential colony, they will bust the loudest crackers they could lay their hands on. You must learn to enjoy an Indian marriage. The sense of adjustment is amazing: cars would maneuver their way through the marriage procession on the road just by scaring away revelers with their screeching honk, people would find their own ways to make way into crowd to have spicy chat or ice cream, gifts – mostly in the form of envelopes with currency notes – will be smilingly accepted and put into bags already arranged for that. If the thought of time or the chaos around you is bothering you, you are not an Indian.

You will find govenrmnet officials starting from home at ten if the office starts at ten and reaching home at five if the office closes at six [this is if the home is an hour away from office]. An official on an average spends two hours on lunch and coffee. But why should you visit a government office at all? If you are an Indian by heart, you have already inquired about the guy who gets the work done and on how much. Believe me, these guys whom you sometimes like to call touts get the things done at the speed of light and they would get things done even if you do not meet the qualifications. Getting a driving card in a dog’s or an infant’s name is no problem here.

If you ask a true Indian why he doesn’t protest, he will say, chalta hai [It goes] or something similar in his own dialect. If he is of the intelligentsia type, he will tell at length how he is trying his best but nobody listens. You will like to empathise with him. But beware, though he has un-Indianised his dialogues, when it comes to action, he behaves perfectly like an Indian.

Let me stop here. I have many more instances to share but I have already crossed the right limit for a blog post. To cut the story short, let me tell you the secret: a true Indian believes in zero tolerance to perfection. He is totally committed to his own standard of quality. Chalta hai, ji.

1 comment:

  1. hilarious dude i like it.
    vikranta

    ReplyDelete