Wednesday, June 18, 2008
An experience of a lifetime
There are certain experiences in life which we cherish our entire life, today was my day to have such an experience. It was the second day of our orientation program and as per our (class 1 D) schedule we were suppose to have a business exercise, I had no idea what a business exercise actually meant and simply assumed that my classmates and I would have to go through certain tasks, as in some group activity which would check our skills as a team member. I reported at sharp 08:15 as per schedule.
Professor Manohar Kamath was in charge of our class for this activity and before he actually told us the task which we were suppose to do, he said that we would realize ourselves after the task is done and truly after the task I am much more confident about myself and have discovered my potential in a better manner. The task was to go to a area called camp in pune and find a job there work for the entire day and earn at least Rs.150 and we were suppose At first the task looked prodigious, I am new to pune hence was skeptical about reaching the place on time and of course finding a job for a day and earning Rs 150/- seemed very difficult.
Swati Raheja was my buddy (we were supposed to be in pairs for this task), soon we headed towards the main gate of SIMS (Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies), and found ourselves asking for lifts to camp.
Four of us approached a car for a lift, the gentleman driving the vehicle gladly agreed to drop us at a place near camp. The gentleman owned a hand loom shop in pune , as soon as we heard that he had his own shop, we asked him for a job, he would have gladly agreed but soon we realized that we had to work only in the camp area and this wonderful opportunity slipped out of our hands. We had to take another lift from where he dropped us to camp, we were lucky enough to find another gentleman ready to drop us to camp . we were in camp by 10.40 am, and the first place we decided to go was SGS mall, we hurried to the main gate of the mall, bit only to find the mall closed it was suppose to open at 11:00 am. The first thing we saw next was a restaurant by the name of Coffee House. We walked in the restaurant and went to speak to the manager, he was skeptical at giving us a job at first but soon we convinced him by saying that we can do anything required from cleaning dishes to serving customers, he smiled and asked us to enter the kitchen there he asked us his chief chef to assign us jobs.
Then it all begin an experience which was completely new to me as the only thing I can cook is tea and coffee. Although I am a food lover I had really never tried my hands on cooking before . The first job I was asked to make was pera ( the thing which is made from the dough to make chapatti).
There I was standing with a huge plate of dough in front of me and the best part was I did not know to make peras :-), I approached one of the helpers for help and he gladly taught me the process to make peras, after a first few horrendous tries I finally managed to make things which at least looked like peras. Half an hour later I was on the top of the world as I had made around 35 peras for chappattis , lucha parothas, and naans.
The best part of coffee house was the amount of cleanliness they kept, every ten minutes one of the staff members would clean the tables and floor. My next task was peeling and chopping a basket full of onions. With the help of staff there I started my task but soon realized that it was not as simple a sit looked. I spent about one hour in this sophisticated task , and this one hour was one of the most uncomfortable hours of my life. I had tears in my eyes( no I was not crying it was the onion affect), it was very hot( after all it was a kitchen) and the worst part was I was in my formals. Half of my concentration was in making sure that my new shirt does not get spoiled. The picture was really very funny, Imagine a kitchen of a mediocre restaurant and a man wearing clean formal clothes( with tie) peeling and chopping onions .
After enquiring I realized that the restaurant actually opens only at 04:00 am, and the staff members come at that time to cut vegetables which are then kept in water, so that it is easier to cook food faster and also it keeps the vegetables fresh. My next task was to cut paneer into rhombus shapes mix them with the spices provided and then to fry them, this was something I was skeptical about, but with the encouragement of the staff there I actually managed to complete my task. Soon we were asked to report at the restaurant in the first floor .I thought we had to work as waiters , but as soon as I reached first floor I realized they had offered lunch to us, the best part was we were served the paneer dish which was partly made by me. The feeling of eating the food which was made by me (partly) was amazing , I felt confident as I realized I could accomplish any task the only thing I had to make sure was that I give my best to the task.
Post lunch there was not much work except for the snacks which they were preparing for the evening. The next hurdle was frying cutlets , I was asked to put them in a pan of boiling oil and keep turning them till they get red, yet another task which looked gigantic to me. The confidence which I had gained after mailing the paneer dish helped me sail through this task smoothly.
Finally the kitchen was closed and we were asked to leave, the manager paid us Rs 150/- each .
This was one day from which I have learnt a lot, right from travelling without money to chopping onions to frying cutlet each of the hurdles I overcame gave me a new sense of confidence.