Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Bring a Friend to Work Day

One of the things I like about India, is how proud they are to show you their work places. Mr R in Delhi invited us round for coffee.  He had a magnificent office with plush leather and wooden furniture. Being a top official, the other workers would jump to attention as soon as he appeared. His male PA thought nothing of it when he was sent shoe shopping with us. Must happen regularly. 

So, I was very interested to see what Mr R's factory in K had to offer. It was a bit of a trek and I was a bit concerned at the slow speed we crossed the railway track but I needn't have worried. Nothing was coming. 

My vision of an Indian factory, before today, would have been a dirty sweatshop. Today opened my eyes as to  how things are moving and what an excellent employer our host is. 

On arrival, we were taken into a large office with high quality furniture and a large screen with CCTV showing the areas in the factory. On the wall were large photographs of his garlanded parents and smaller ones of official visitors. I expect to see mine in place shortly. 

A customer arrived and we found ourselves in the rather bizarre situation of being in the middle of an office meeting without being involved.  It was fascinating to see the plans of the customer's new home while R explained the energy-saving lighting his company would provide. Wish he had a shop in the UK. I rather liked the look of the lights and they were very powerful. I have his card if anyone is interested. 

Meeting over, we looked at some of the communication gadgets he supplies. The young man who brought them in looked familiar. He was the brother of C, the family's servant. The family employ three of the brothers at the factory. They have their own apartment along the top floor, with modern bathroom, kitchen, lounge and bedrooms. He does look after his employees. 

Drinks and delicious 'Delishus' biscuits were brought in. Our host's friend joined us. This was a bit of a set up. I had been asked to perform my 'party piece' (I shall have to start charging at this rate). The poor fellow nearly jumped out of his skin, while the rest of us rolled about laughing. 

Job done, we felt somewhat deprived of our new hobby -shopping. So we hot-footed into town for a few minor items. It was thirsty work so N introduced me to a local drink. On the side of the road, a man operated a sugar-cane mangle. He fed the cane through the mangle several times producing three glasses of a green liquid. In for a penny, in for a pound. Down it went. Hmmm not bad but it wouldn't make my top ten

I took a couple of photos with the IPod. This intrigued a passer-by. They mimed for me to take their picture. Ever obliging, I did. I waved them on their way. Thirty seconds later they were back with their own camera wanting more photos. My fame was spreading. 

I confess to becoming very weary so I had a 'blog' afternoon while my bedroom  buddies headed off on another shopping trip. On their return, we sat on the bed having a fun game of Corram. Mr R joined us and asked if we would like some food. Good question. He ordered a chicken takeaway with chips. 

I expected to go downstairs to eat it but Mr R had a better plan. A circular tablecloth covered in plastic was placed on the bed. We sat cross-legged and ate our indoor picnic.  We chatted about life in general and C in particular. He has been with the family for many years. They hope to make a flat for him on the top floor for his wife and baby son. At the moment she lives in Calcutta, looking after C's father. It takes C over a day to travel and see her. Just made me realise how lucky I was. 

A short while after, we were summoned downstairs for the evening meal. My tummy groaned in rebellion. Two meals in one night was just a step too far. I did go down and make token spoonfuls. I was tired and full and needed my bed. 

Night folks. Do not disturb!!

PS Can anyone explain the above sign?

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