Thursday, 16 December 2010

Diverse yet together

Diversity, the word itself may contain diverse meanings in itself for different individual. Looks like, this is the reason why the one who proposed this topic has framed it as "Diversity to you."
Having stayed in India, a person would not have to exercise his brain muscles too much to pen down few words on a topic like this. But when I think about the first time when I crossed Indian boundaries, it is altogether an extra-ordinary experience. For first time I stepped out of London Heathrow airport all alone-nervous-confused, like a sheep that had lost her herd. Like others I was excited to know about the new place, its culture, its people and their lifestyle. But it doesn’t come easily, so for all those sour experiences I thought to compose the Oops list for myself.
In my initial days, when I was still struggling to catch up on their accent, somebody asked me, “You alright?” Astonished I looked at him, totally unaware if this could be a polite way of greeting someone; I responded “Why did you ask that!” After few days, it was a part of my day-to-day greetings.
Few weeks later, when I started to believe that somehow I was successful in chopping by square pegs to fit in this round hole called ‘London’, here I did another goof up. We were having a good time in a drinks party with our client, where a lady was sharing some funny tales about her kids. All engrossed in her talks, I happened to ask her that, how long she had been married for. Politely, she replied “I am still not married.” My face turned red with embarrassment, but at the same time I found myself diving in ocean deep thoughts of how our culture, values and society differ from theirs. People may have different views on this and why not, every society has its own values and it gives right to an individual to lead his life on his own terms. So, fair enough! Perhaps, this is the reason why we Indians share so much emotional intimacy with our families and are so intricate when it comes to relationships. And, I take pride in it.
Despite of all the social and cultural diversities, at work we have to work in tandem. I may spend hours boasting about my culture but without a pinch of doubt I would say, the professionalism they display on work front is by far better than ours. No surprise, while our government is still striving hard to manage such a big population; they are developed, organized, technologically advanced and in a state to feed their citizens in worst of worst crises. It's amazing to see people of different ethnicities, sharing the same roof, contributing different ideas for the benefit of the same organization.
I believe the soul reason of organizations having employees from different nationalities and background is to kindle innovation and to target customers from different geographies. Because at the end of the day we are the AUDIENCE, diverse but yet unique in our diversities!
Hard to define this term, but if I try the best I can say  ..
It’s like breathing the same air, but perceiving the fragrance differently.

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