My Return To India – Part 5: Opening A New Office
Despite what you might think, I am actually in India to work and yesterday was my first chance to get down to work. Now I just happen to be here at an auspicious time as the company I am working for this week is opening a brand new office. And the opening of this office is a big event for them. Let me illustrate that via pictures that were taken with the Nikon D3300 that I have brought with me:
My ride to the office was in a Tata Nano. It’s a micro car that seats four comfortably and costs about $3000 CDN. This one had a CD player and an air conditioner. I sat in the front and I had more than enough room to work the pedals (it is a manual transmission) and feel comfortable. It also had a ton of headroom as well. Best of all, it didn’t feel like a $3000 car.
When we arrived at the office, we had to go through a security checkpoint where they searched the car for bombs and the like. When you enter the office, they search you and your bags for bombs as well. Needless to say, security is taken very seriously in India.
This building has underground parking and you park on a lift that does this:
It lifts your car up so that they can park another car underneath so that they can maximize the space in the parking garage. You have to hand over your car keys so that they can move the lower car out of the way if the guy on top has to leave.
Opening an office in India is a very ritualistic thing. What you’re seeing is a rangoli made of flowers with some tea lamps and it is thought to bring good luck. This is what greeted me at the main entrance to the office.
As part of the ceremonies to open the office, high ranking company officials lit a lamp. The purpose of this is that fire in the Hindu religion is thought to bring the fire god into whatever you are doing so that the fire god can help you to succeed. So this company lit a lamp and left it burning all day to help their enterprise succeed.
The company also brought in drummers who encouraged the employees to dance. After all, this is a big celebration and people are encouraged to have fun.
The drummers led the staff through the whole office and stopped ever 20 feet or so to encourage people to dance.
Finally it was time to eat. The company spared no expense to bring in a caterer who supplied food from almost every state in India. Food is important to this culture which is a good thing if you like Indian food.
I see myself as a guy who travels the world to help people with their computer issues. But this line of work has given me the opportunity to experience things that most people never get to see. And for that, I am very grateful for the opportunity to witness this first hand. But things are not over for me. Connected to the opening of this office is a reception at the home of the Canadian High Comissioner in New Delhi. I will post a report on that tomorrow as that is going to be another once in a lifetime experience that I’d like to share with you.