Friday comedy - a drama

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , | Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009


[Sutradhar speaks, “This is a satirical take on the status meeting in my previous project. Addressing my team mates with their mother land or mother tongue is not meant to hurt any one’s feelings. It should be taken in the right sense. I prefer this way than addressing a person by a single alphabet. Not only it sounds weird to hear ‘P sat next to W who was speaking to J about D’, it is quite confusing also.
All the characters in the drama are my ex teammates made of flesh and blood, resemblance to any dead person is purely coincidental. Though I had written this script many months back, did not dared to post this script, otherwise my appraisal ratings would have got affected. So, here I start.. Hope you enjoy this one”. Curtain opens, audience applaud]

It was a practice in our team to have a status meeting every Friday exactly at 1:30 PM. This is the dais for us to confess our failures of the past week, to boast about our achievements in front of the whole team, to blame one another for each others’ failures. Hope you got the enough intro on this comedy drama.

Let me introduce you all the characters one by one.

EM : acronym for Engg Mangr. We have to plea to the same guy for our appraisals and sick leaves. Hence a very important person, With whom you can not take punga

PM : an obvious acronym. This guy is supposed to control the events of the Fri comedy. Has a docile voice which contradicts the purpose of his role

TL : obvious acronym. A knowledgeable guy, who feels he is the Atlas who carries the project on his shoulders [nevertheless to say, who feels PM doesn't know the head n tail of the on going project]

Supporting cast:

Bihari babu : He speaks English in Bhojpuri

Oriya guy : with long hair, always gives complex to the other 2 females in the team

Female-1 and Female-2: PM mellows down when he asks status to these gals

A Mallu - whose second name belongs to the world's toughest tongue twister's list

Tamailian-1 and Tamilian-2: Tamilian-1’s face always reflects the pain of losing the race to the post of TL to the existing TL, Tamilian-2 always bears an im-under-utilized-in-the-team-u-see look

A Geek :
who always makes sure his sentences contain at least 2-3 words which nobody understands in the team. And gives a wry smile after finishing every sentence

A guy from Nagpur : Has a very juvenile face. Some day I want to see this guy dressed up in a school uniform, with blue checkered shirt and plain blue shorts with a hankey pinned to his shirt

And then there is me, the SutradharSutradhar agrees with the saying, ‘team meeting is where we conclude that none of us is as worse than all of us together’

OK enough of introduction, its time to start the drama now.

It was already 1:40 and no clue of meeting still. OK at last every one started heading towards the meeting room. There was sudden tension in the air, the PM noticed that the meeting room booked by him is occupied by some other biggies from the higher management. But PM felt it is too ridiculous a reason to cancel the meeting. Soon he found another empty one and we all march towards that empty room as per his directions. We occupied the seats in hurry. By the time PM connected his laptop to the OHP [overhead projector - it has always lived up to its name by causing considerable overhead from connecting the laptop to zooming and focusing onto the screen] it was 10 to two. Tamilian-1, Geek and Oriya guy were yet to come. At the beginning of the meeting PM informed us that EM would not be able to attend that day's meeting as he was busy with some other work. Some of us sighed in relief. But there was a price we had to pay for his absence. That is a proloooooooonged meeting. EM has a good habit of talking and making us talk to the point. The team gets unruly in EM's absence. When I mean unruly, I never meant I liked the team to be ruled by some one like EM... ok.. Let me re-phrase it.. shall I say team mates behave self-managed in EM's presence... hey, but this became an oxymoron. How can you call some one self-managed when he behaves so only in some body else's vigilance... ha ha. Forget it hope you got what I wanted to say. Some things are better explained by what they are not than what they are. This was one such thing.

Ok..”, PM opened the Status tracker Excel sheet intending to start the meeting. He continued, “what is the status of this tagging work..”, turning to Mallu. If you are wondering what is this tagging thing, do not worry. No one in our team is clear about it, including our Mallu who is working on it.
Mallu just opened his mouth to speak.. Geek, Oriya guy and Tamilian-1 entered the meeting room disturbing the whole ambiance. Each one of them hunted for an empty chair.. but found none. They had to be content standing in the meeting room.

Geek had an apple in his hand. May be he wanted the PM to understand that he has skipped his lunch. His hair always remained tousled. The harder he works, the more tousled it gets. I feel there is a jaani dushmani between his hair and all the combs in the world. Geek said, “I was just replying to Johan’s mail”, sounding an explanation for his late entry for the meeting. Tamilian-1 and Oriya guy did not bother to give an explanation, neither did PM ask. If you are wondering who this Johan is, do not worry again. Think he is a gora sitting in London, our client guy. You can replace Johan with any English cricketer or footballer you know, no body would mind. Some day even I want to enter the meeting room saying, “sorry.. I was just having a chat with Kevin Pieterson about our team’s performance in the last quarter”.

Mallu found a Milli second of time interval and opened his mouth to throw up his updates… but geek had his own plans of interrupting the flow of the meeting. He said to PM, “can you just check my reply to Johan.. I have put you in the loop too”.

May be PM also felt it was more important to see what the Geek has replied to him. He opened his mail box. And I started glancing the subject lines of all his mails. I expected his mailbox to contain mails with subject lines like, ‘Katrina new photos - CRFL’ or ‘Mumbai girls playing Holi’ OR ‘sard jokes – new collection’. But I found none of that kind except all project related crappy mails. His life must be as colorless, spice less the way he looks. He opened the mail by Geek to Johan, read the first few lines and pretended as if he understood the idea proposed by Geek. And said “this should be fine..”, continued, “lets wait for his reply..”, in a diplomatic tone.

How could a TL keep quiet in such a situation, which demands his explanation and enlightening solution for the problem. He uttered the cause of this issue, even showed a glimpse of his foresightedness saying he had expected this to happen some 70 Yrs back. PM nodded in agreement to his solution. Oriya guy caught every one’s attention by saying “is issue ko mera code change merge karne se kuch pharak padega na..?”, combing his long hair with the tips of his fingers. He uses our Rashtra bhasha liberally even in the team meetings. Nobody has a problem with that, but we had a problem with where the hell was meeting going towards? What the hell was meeting for? Geek said, “No… ur code change addresses a totally different issue”. Oriya guy looked happy with that statement of the Geek.

At last Mallu guy stole a micro second of silence this time and started reporting his progress. He had a mission accomplished kinda expression on his face, once he finished speaking. Then it was the turn of the Female-1 to talk abt her achievements or misdemeanors in the last week. This female has a habit of jilebi-ying any given topic [which means beating around the bush]. I was following her till she spoke her third sentence, then I got lost in one of the sharp curves of the jilebi. I started looking blankly at the other blank faces in the room. Then that pretty girl from the other team happened to pass off our meeting room. I thanked the guy who designed the glass walls of our meeting rooms. What I like about that pretty girl is the way she walks, with letting her hair sway in the air. Unknowingly my head traversed an arch of 270 degrees, till she went out of sight. Soon I became conscious if any body had noticed my traverse, I looked around to see Bihari babu also following her walk. I smirked at Bihari babu. Knowing that he was caught leching, maintained his dignified posture continuing listening to Female-1’s status report.

Tamilian-2 controlled his burp, it could have sounded less louder if he had let his burp pass. He does this very often. May be the gastric problem u see.. I just thought, the day somebody invents that burp-gas is combustible and could be used as substitute for LPG, this guy would become millionaire, man. Female-2 was examining her nail polish closely. If she had given 10% of this attention while coding, she would have been the most productive person in our team after geek. TL was not finding the gap to poke his nose in between. He was fiddling his beard.

“We have borne a lot of pressure in the last release…”, PM’s words sailed in air and happened to enter my ears. I could see he had felt the word ‘pressure’. I really get pity when some one with meek voice uttering the word ‘pressure’ in the post lunch hour. I am damn sure the word ‘pressure’ originated directly from his bowels. Why are you laughing, after all he is also a human being, it can happen to any one after the heavy lunch on a week day. Nobody understood his expression except me. PM continued the status meeting with his constipated looks.

I don’t know whose bright idea was to put Team Outing as one of the action items in the excel sheet. When every one saw this as the next item to be discussed, every one of us waited like a tiger waiting for its prey near the stream. I know the moment PM utters team Outing, there would be an endless conversation. Every one in the team suggested all the tourist spots around Bangalore as if it is their birth right to visit that place. I even heard some one suggesting UK for team outing, may be some soul which was longing for an on site trip. But it was fun to hear that. Every one of us bursted into hearty laughter. Then guy from Nagpur suggested to take this topic off line. Every one nodded their heads. That Nagpur guy acknowledged as it was his best suggestion given to any one in his whole life.

It was already 3:40 and my turn had not come still to explain my inventions of the last week. My mind just thought posting this meeting comedy in my blog. My mind started thinking of a good title for my post. I thought of few titles, by then heard a voice calling my name. It kinda brought me back to the reality of the meeting room. PM was demanding me to give the status of last week. I told him convincingly that my coding of few lines was the next best invention after Edison’s bulb. Though every one did not agree to that, but every one agreed that I was successful in bamboozling the PM.

I even observed that Geek and Oriya guy had disappeared from the room, giving an excuse of handling some urgent submissions may be. But I bet both would be found in smoking zone. As I had finished giving my status, I just uttered a word ‘excuse me’ holding my cell in hand and walked out of the room. This is an additional feature of my phone called walk-out-of-unwanted-meeting. Nagpur guy was chaloo enough to understand that I had never got a call. But who cares.. I just walked out the drama.

This drama will be screened every FRI…