My First Professional Triumph

I was in love with almost everything in the office – the spiral stair case, the bright red and orange walls, creatively designed visiting cards, the messed-up table around which we sit and pretend that we work very hard, the caffeine corner and of course my work and interesting co-workers. Talking about my colleagues – each of them represented each district in Kerala! The ten of us hailed from different places in between Kasargod and Trivandrum. How much more cosmopolitan can it get???

One day, I was called to the Big Boss’s cabin for a discussion.

Sandeep – I have some really challenging work for you.
Me – Wow…I love challenges (In my mind – what the hell is it going to be?!)
Sandeep – Sheikh Khalid is visiting our office on Thursday.
Me – Oh, the cute guy, right?
Sandeep – Possibly cute; but he is a terror for sure!  
Me – Is it? (Guys are so jealous of other good looking guys!)
Sandeep – We have an art work getting ready. Study it well and you are going to present it to Khalid to get his approval for the project.
Me – Wow… Really? I don’t believe this! I am so excited…
Sandeep – Just a reminder, this dude is not good at English.
Me – What the hell…! You expect me to learn Arabic in two days to do the convincing, flattering, blabbering, etc and then magically get the approval?
Sandeep – Not exactly. He understands English; just that he doesn’t speak.
Me – Sounds so simple - I speak English, He listens, He replies in Arabic and I assume in Malayalam??!!
Sandeep – Come on; be a bravo; you can do it!  
Me – Alright; I shall give it a try, will give my best! (Has this guy gone out of his senses?!)

However, I was really thrilled, though I was surprised that he assigned the task to me in spite of me being the least experienced of the lot!

Fancy Thursday:

Like a enthusiastic first bencher, I keenly prepared for the presentation and waited for the Most Awaited Guy of the day. And there he comes - a tall, handsome young guy in a white nighty! Technically though a nighty, it is apparently called a ‘thoub’. He wore expensive sun glasses and a smart pair of sandals. Those were the only things to be seen, the rest were hidden inside his nighty. I thought, “What an innovative attire; these guys need not spend much on accessories like we do! All they need is a packet of Tide detergent!”

As we walked to the conference room, he looked around and asked, “Oh, pandu ee chomaru neela aayirunnille?! Eppo choppu aakki?” (Read in ‘Malappuram’ Malayalam – Weren’t these walls in blue before, when did you get them repainted to red?)

My eyes literally popped out! “Poor thing… what a fate!”, I thought… “With so many Malayalis in the gelf, he would have realized that the easiest thing to do to move on in Dubai is to learn Malayalam.”

Coming to our presentation; it went on very well in my mother tongue and… at the end of it, we won the deal…! In fact, it was my first big professional achievement!

Now, if you are wondering about Sheikh Khalid… this guy’s uppa and uppappa (dad and grand dad) belonged to Malappuram in Kerala; but worked for the Royal Family in Dubai for many years. But our smart Khalid decided to be a Roman while in Rome; hence he became a Sheikh in the gelf!!

Later, I realized that the creative industry in the world is dominated by men and women from God’s Own Country!


Swaram said...

Ha ha .. that ws a nice one :)

Haree said...

My problem is; you make me read ur posts at a stretch and I forget about the list of pending jobs! lol :-D

Thanks for the posts... :-)

Sigma said...

lol I loved it!!! kudos to our M allu Sheikh!!

Nona said...

My question about the cosmopolitan setup is answered in this post. :)

Is "thoub" the generic term for the "nighty" for guys and gals?

$$ said...

@ Swaram - Thanks! :)

@ Haree - Wow... that is really an appreciation and I am flattered, big time! :)
...n why do I not see new pics put on ur blog?

@ Sigma - Yes yes.. Jai Jai Malayalee! :)

@ Nona - A thoud is the gown/nighty that guys in the middle east wear, I think.

lostworld said...

Nice Shalini..enjoyed both parts!! So funny everytime you were proven wrong about the Sheikh..and how he finally turned out a Mallu in Gelf-land!! heheheeee:D

Anonymous said...

Oh, hilarious.. Shalini! :)Such interesting things always happen with u alone!!!!

And I totally agree with u on the last line! Every damn ad industry uses malayalees' creative brains!


Anonymous said...

lol..the tide was quite funny ;)so at last ..so malyali having co-workers and the boss ( Sheikh ) finally helped you ! I guess next time you wouldnt mind having your set of colleagues from Kerela !! :P

Shiva said...

I guess I was privileged to hear this from you before you posted this in the blog...especially on the remark about the color of the walls, I remember your description very well!

Of course, your posts always add a new dimension!

Loved "All they need is a packet of Tide!" - the quintessential example of the creative mallu brain at work :)

$$ said...

@ lostworld - Thanka a lot! :)

@ preeth - hehehe, Thanks! May be it is coincidence! ;)

@ adreamygal - I still wonder how they manage to keep their gown so clean and tidy.
For me, it is either on this extreme or on the other. Now, there is not even one soul from Mallu-land in my near vicinity at work.

@ Siva - Thanks! :) These days, u r flattering me big time! ;)

Diwakar Sinha said...

interesting~ :)
made for a good read..

R. Ramesh said...

hey tthanks ya:)

Janit said...

ROFL......Mallu Sheikh.....:-)

$$ said...

Diwakar, Ramesh & Janit - Thank You! :)

R. Ramesh said...


Anonymous said...

nicely written and funny :)... I like the simple style...

MissAnnThrope said...

me also me also me also :)

$$ said...

@ R. Ramesh - :)) I am smiling back at u! :))
@ remabh - Thank You! :)
@ MissAnnThrope - Of course u too, Dan! Dannie illathe namukkendu aaghosham! :)

Divya Rajiv said...

ur conversations with ur boss was the bestestestest part shalu....i just loved it,.....muhaaaaa....u just made me laugh.....ooooo...and it was a right read for me at the right time....:)

Sujay said...

OMG...ven I get little time to read, read dis of urs! am wonderin abt ur profile :) shud read abt ur int 4 tamil restaurants...

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