Blow My Mind, Ma’am…

Friday, June 17, 2016

“Do you have your mind between your legs or what…?”

When you are vertically challenged and anybody a few inches taller than you, cannot see your 5ft-2in frame from a distance of more than 5ft-2in… trust me… you are walking with a distinguished dominance…

And when you carry, on your squarish shoulders… a roundish head… in which is housed a wise and witty mind that is ever ready with repartees to such statements as the one about the mind and the legs here…

Now… if such a proclaimed reference to mind and legs were to come from a stunningly gorgeous leggy lass… whom you had accidentally brushed your arms with, while walking in an equally mind-blowing neighbourhood at Basant Lok in Delhi in the late 90’s… you would either be downright dumbfounded… or would come up with a repartee that Aaveg had… on that bright sunny winter afternoon… early 1998…

Aaveg Anand… my 5ft 2in friend and colleague from my life at American Express… had an incendiary mind about him… not because his mind was combustible or he himself was a supporter of combustion… but Aaveg’s upbringing in an all boys residential school in Dehradun with an excessive access to all that is prohibited and short supplied in an otherwise mortal world – like Playboy and Penthouse – helped develop a mind beyond human engineering…

As he would often say… he was designed for Indianapolis… but the stork dropped him in India…

Destiny… has its own design…

——————-

Like it normally has… with a good part of my Team members in the Learning and Training space who are destined to be a part of my team… but who often need reminding… of the demands that this space has…

For example… in all the 20 odd years that I have been in Training, I always made it a practice to reach the Training Rooms, at least a half hour before the program start… a Gen-X orientation – you would say… but I have often struggled to cement this behaviour in many of the younger people in my team… who would walk in just about when things are to start…

Some years ago… I had one of my Gen-Y team members lead a series of Training programs all packed into one busy week dedicated to learning…

For kicking off a particular program at an unearthly 0800 in the morning, I had half expected her to have reached the venue at 0730 and set the place up…

At just about 10 minutes to the start when I did not find her around in the Training Room, I called her at her home… only to discover she had a strong trace of sleepiness about her…

I asked her about this sleepy tone of hers… her repartee blew my mind away…

“The program is called “Why Sleep Matters”, Ravi… so, I thought I should start putting into play – what you might learn through the program…”

I clutched my belly… rolled on the floor… laughed my guts out… and let her be… for that day, though…

My mind raced back to one of the earliest repartees I had used on my Physics Professor in my senior school… well – in school we were normally used to TEACHERS… but here was a septuagenarian, Einsteinian look-alike, who would forget the simplest of the concepts mid-sentence and would remind us 11th graders of how he has been a Professor in college all his life… and now teaching in a senior school… and how Professors are often…

He had stalled himself mid-sentence… most obviously, he had forgotten what Professors are… often… and it took a young Kodukula, to complete the inevitable…

“… absent-minded, Sir…”

Much to the chagrin of the Professor… and to the much-awaited amusement of a 50-student class… young Kodukula spent the rest of the term, outside the classroom… as that was the only corporal reward Einstein could mete out to an 11th grader…

… To the more recent repartee earlier this week… when I was the Professor in my own class full of senior managers… discussing chaos and confusion in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world… and deliberating what causes this chaos…

I had asked… “so what do you think, causes this VUCA…?”

25 senior managers… aged an average 35 years… were unanimous in their repartee…

“Management…”, they said…

Oh-oh… how we universally love to hate our bosses…

——————–

And on that bright sunny winter afternoon… early 1998… Aaveg and I were out on a leisurely post lunch walk…

It looked like the entire Basant Lok offices were suddenly on a fire evacuation drill… almost everybody had come out to the central boulevard for a stroll… the newly opened TGIF was brimming with as many people waiting outside to get in… as many as those inside that had no plans to get out… Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet were lip-locked at the bow of the Titanic in a gigantic poster at the entrance of the Priya theatre… teeming cine-goers were rushing into the cinema hall… almost short of running into each other…

And that’s when… Aaveg brushed his arms into this stunningly gorgeous leggy lass… accidentally…

“Do you have your mind between your legs or what…?”

She had turned around and almost screamed… and she was red in her face – angry…

“Wow – you look MIND-BLOWING… would you want to BLOW MY MIND… Ma’am…?”

Aaveg had looked her straight in the eye… she was crimson in her face… embarrassed…

FREEZE… did Leo and Kate part their lips in that instant…?

Hmmm…

Happy Weekend…

Ravi Kodukula

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