Many years back, I was working with a company that belonged to an industry that was BOOMING. Come September and my team of two who had been around far longer than I had began to look very excited. There were far away gazes during meetings, many, many looks at the calendar, deep sighs. Err… I thought of the possibility of brand new boyfriends and being quite partial to this love thing, let the whole bad behaviour slide. Till one day one of them repeatedly ignored my question on what we were doing for lunch that day. I was very miffed and with boss like icyness said- Meeting room 2. Right now!
And in Meeting Room 2 the explanations tumbled out.
“It’s Diwali, Dipika”, they said in hushed tones. Seeing my non-comprehending look, they sighed, checked there were no eves droppers outside ( boss lashings are always the subject of much gossip and merriment) and explained.
“Gifts will come”
“You know the dealers, suppliers…they all bring gifts”.
Me : “Oh, those! Really, I see no reason to behave like this over a couple of boxes of chocolate.”
“Hee, hee”, they tittered. Realizing that it was useless to explain the colossal marching in of gifts that was expected, they let the matter be.
A week before Diwali, I was on the phone trying to sort out some billing issues with a printer. About 25 of us from Sales and Marketing sat together in one bay. And the door to this bay suddenly opened and a large man ably supported by a cast of about 5 marched in with large boxes and started depositing them on various desks. The receiver fell from my hand as I took in this scene of blatant show of diwali greetings. I watched mesmerized as the spectacle unfolded in front of me. And to my complete defense, I was too much in shock to refuse the large box deposited at my desk as well. And as suddenly this whole show had begun, it ended and the large man and supporting cast left, leaving behind a stupefied room.
Even my two lieutenants looked a bit shocked. “It’s never like this”, said one. “This was too blatant.” But then all was forgotten in the ensuing excitement as one overeager, young lad of 24 opened his gift to discover a FANCY tea set.
The next day all of us came in to discover a large sign at the reception.
“WE DO NOT ACCEPT DIWALI GIFTS. PLEASE LEAVE BEHIND ONLY YOUR VERBAL GREETINGS. HAPPY DIWALI TO YOU”