The Park Kolkata- Continued

The ‘Executive Office Celebration’ event :

There were 2 xerox machines – one at the Business centre and the other at the Executive Department. I could use any as I was working on a very important Project “Editing the HR manual”. So one such day I reached the Executive Office and they had this huge cake – the biggest I had seen during In-house celebration – which was being cut.

I had lot many photocopies to be made so I was standing there when everyone had a big piece – all of them knew me – as I had taught them Mail merge etc. and moreover I used to sit at Mr. Dewaan’s Secretary’s place in case she was absent – so I knew them all by name in fact – they all had the cake but not even a single one of them even offered me a piece – the cut the cake – a lot of it was left behind and they went ahead with their respective works – laughing that typical brainless bimbo kinda laughter – laughing for more or less zero reason !

The internal Waiter saw me and he also knew the joke of my uncanny presence in different departments during celebrations – so he came and offered me a big piece – I just looked at him and smiled – “No thank you – I don’t feel like having it” – he understood my hurt instantly and tried to make up for them saying so much is left why can’t you have it – well I just raised my eyebrows and looked directly in his eyes and said ‘NO”.  Poor thing must have felt very sad for me as even he knew what kind of farce life style these fools have !

Anyways, the people who sell hospitality to people are so hostile to their own comrades – how can they ever succeed  ?! They never succeed actually – meeting the monetary target for the month and achieving the same does not define success – this simple principle of life is not known to 95% of the people in the world !!

The Park Kolkata – My Reporting Heads were both Ladies :


Both my reporting heads were Ladies (Mrs. Malay Das & Mrs. Mahua Mukherjee) – the reason I probably did not get exploited ! well  I suppose so – there are so many sob stories / cases I hear about Hotel Industry and the connected exploitation – but I do not remember anyone even trying to act fresh with me !

 Mr. India Gladrags show at The Park Kolkata:

I think Gods have purposely kept me away from good looking men ! This I had come to know in my college life itself – when we girls (at college) used to hear about a particular fest or a zone like Park Street / Movie hall where good looking guys come – we used to take extra care to look good – who knows we might just find our Mr. Right there….but when we reached the venue – not a single good looking chap was seen anywhere in the vicinity ! – my friends used to say “ strange – the other day this place was full of tall, good looking men – whatever happened today ?” – to this I used to tell them jokingly – “I am the culprit—kinda jinx – When I am around, God purposely keeps away good looking men from me …probably they want me for themselves! ”

Anyways a similar incident happened at the Park as well – there was this show – Mr. India – where there were chances of good looking men coming to model etc. I thought – Okay this is the chance that I might see some live good lookers after all (since there is a derth of it in Kolkata)– but sadly we got a sheet to Xerox where the list of all the participants with photos and age were given – all of them were younger to me ! 22,23,24 ! I was already 26 then – so I let Marium see the list – anyways I thought of having some teasing time but suddenly I got a call from the HR Department saying I was immediately required downstairs at the HR Department.I had to edit the HR Manual to publish its second edition (see again the jinx effect). Since I was very famous for being a computer wizkid – I was the obvious choice.


God sent a Software Specialist and saved a lot of my effort !


The first edition of HR Manual was done in Word Star and Mrs. Das asked me whether there is a way to convert the format in MS-Word – which is more convenient . I did not know it so she said – well then you will have to type the entire manual (400 pages!) – she asked me my typing speed and all – but then mentioned that there is a person she knows who might be able to help.  I prayed hard that day I remember – gosh ! typing in 400 pages is too much!

God heard my prayers !!The next day a small looking S/W Professional came and gave me a simple solution – something like press Control B and this & that and the document will be converted to MS- Word. I did it – It worked – I personally wanted to go to US and kiss the forehead of the Software engineer who had the forethought of writing the code for the evident conversion requirements – actually the evident seldom happens……oh! well I don’t know what I am talking about !!


How I continuously gave incentives to myself in order to work :


When I had joined The HR Department, there had been a hard disc crash because of which some 800 records of employee database had been lost. I was given the responsibility of feeding back the database.

I was given 4-5 box files and was shown the software – the fields etc. that required to be filled in.

I entered one record – saw the time taken – based on which I calculated how many can I enter in one day – and concluded that I can easily manage 100 records per day.

I used to say to myself – after 50 records I will have “Fresh Lime Soda Sweet” – then I used to quickly finish up entering the records – include others to have a chit chat – short break – lime break – then resume working – breaking once again for Lunch – resume – breaking once again for evening Tea and light chit-chat session- continue – then retire homewards.

Sometimes when the chit chat used to get longer and somehow I could not complete the 100 per day target – the nest day I used to add it in my target and delay the ordering of the ‘Fresh Lime soda sweet’. SO this way I completed the lost data in 8 days.

This news came to both my mentor and HR Manager – as a big surprise. Actually they are not IT savvy and the way things moved at the Park – they could never imagine that such a thing could be done so fast.

Mrs. Das then told Mrs. Mukherjee to tell me to number the files and gave a new style of filing the HR Cabinate. As soon as Mukherjee explained me how it was to be done I immediately took up the job and since manual filing cannot be given a break as the place will be all littered so I finished doing it with single minded concentration in about 5-6 hours.

Later in the evening Mrs. Das came and saw me sitting idle but she had heard that I had completed entering the data so she patted my back and said – your next job will be to do a manual way of filing, I have told Mahua about ……before she could complete the sentence I said – Oh! I have already done it.

She looked at Mrs. Mukherjee and she nodded ! “She has already done it ! Oh! That’s very fast !! – That was the moment I think I won both their hearts! I was known as the ‘blue eyed girl’ of HR Manager.


Conclusion : Its better to win a woman’s heart than a man’s heart !


So ! did you see folks – how God sent me a Lady Boss – both my Reporting Heads were Ladies. The fact that I got out – unscratched- of the supposedly vile-y hotel industry (according to stories, movies and media) – was possibly because of the fact that I had access to the Regional Manager (Human Resourses ) herself ! So I suppose no one tried to act fresh with me ..thinking I would immediately go and report to madam…well I would have done exactly that ……   so the Hotel Industry people are not all that dumb as they seem to be.


Two of my true boy friends


By boy friends I mean – friends who happen to be boys – that’s all ! although I have heard that in the West – people say that this word points at the special One – but then the Special One should be addressed as a ‘Lover’ – why just a friend !

Anyways, they were Mark and Sarosh – of Credit Department. Both were very mischievous – always up to some joke or prank. In the morning we all had to go towards the Accounts Department as the Tea Kettle was kept there for us to pour the tea and have it – so every morning they used to give me compliments like ‘you are looking fresh as a daisy toady’ or ‘Baby , you are looking like a wild flower today’ etc. – they used to say all this very lightly and they also used to give me news tid – bits from all around The Park.

One day a new Lady joined us as Training Manager. She used to apply a lot of make-up very efficiently – from eye-shadow, to eyeliner to rose etc. and she looked very attractive as well – she was also a Libran. I told her about how I admire the way she puts make-up etc. so she said that she will teach me as well and suggested me to buy all the stuff. I did that – I have this sudden bouts of doing things I do not really like but still giving it a chance – like eye-shadow, mascara was nothing new to me – had used it earlier – but then I bought it all again with re-newed enthusiasm.

She did my make on that day and ..well I was looking very made up that day – I could see it myself – but then I thought ‘what the hell – everyone here is so well groomed with make-up etc. so why not me’  . After that I went towards the Credit Department for obvious reasons – to get complimented and hear their remarks. Surprisingly – both looked my way and then turned their heads and started sipping their Tea as if nothing had happened. I tapped Mark’s shoulder and said ‘Hello ! would you like to make some comments Mister?’

He said “ what do you want to hear ?”

I said – how I am looking today you dumbo – can you not see the efforts I have taken to look good ?

He said “ you are looking like a red monkey today, anything else? – Sarosh nodded with acknowledgement !

I said “ oh! Yeah ! when other girls make up – they look like ‘exquisite pieces’ but when I make up , people have so many problems ! I live in an amazing world I must say !!”

To this Mark said rather spontaneously “ you do not need make up mamma – you are as it is pretty – others who go for war – paint , need it badly – but know it – you do not belong to that category – and you are comparing yourself with those girls !? really? since when have you started doing that?!’

That came to me as the most welcome comment – I really dislike make – up – I eat up my lipstick by the time I reach office !!I invariably rub my eyes the day I wear Kajal !

Well that day I came to know that these 2 guys truly are my best of boy -friends at The Park.


I cleaned the store room with dust smitten HR files


One day , as I finish up my work very fast and was loitering around – Mrs. Das gave me the task of going inside the dingy-dusty store room to set the 10 -20 years old files in order. I did that with the help of the Time Keeper. I finished doing that in 3 hours or so and came out – Mrs. Das surprised to see me back – got up to check herself whether I had done it truly or not ! Well I had done it whole-heartedly and just as she had wanted it !

One day I heard her say (she said it in a manner that even I could hear) – quick Mahua (Mrs. Mukherjee) – tell me of some work before Aparna finishes what I have given her and starts peeping at my door for want of work !


I cleaned F & B Manager’s Cabin

While I was in Business Centre, Mr Bose asked me to help him clean his drawers and cupboards. While cleaning , I found 2 pieces of Camay soaps and a salted cashew packet – he just looked my way and said “oh! Keep it for yourself” – I suppose that was the accidental incentive that I got ! I was pretty happy to receive this unexpected gift. I actually hid it and put it in my purse lest someone might ask for the same !I don’t really think that I like to share my things !!

 I was not invited at the ‘Saffron’ inauguration :


One of the Restaurant space was demolished and made into an Indian Cuisine – and was named “Saffron” – when it was inaugurated – the Executives from different departments were being invited to taste the quality of food.

Guess what ? My name was not there ! I was amazed at it – the same F& B department – where I had introduced Mail Merge and taught them all simple Excel sheet tips and made their lives and Report generation so utterly simple (in fact this Excel Tips I learnt from Officers & Executives of different Organizations who used to use the Banquet  Halls for their Official meetings – sometimes they had to use the Computer to feed in data and generate reports – but they directly could not use the PC and one of us had to type it for them – since I knew very little of Excel and followed the long procedures for calculating – the Executive seated beside me obviously got irritated – but probably he knew how to behave with a Lady – so very courteously he used to offer me tips on how to work much faster with the same Excel Package)  – anyaways I told Sherry of how wicked Mr. Bose could be and failed to understand how he must have forgotten me – she was felt bad about it and even offered me her invitation – but obviously I declined – it was not the food that mattered to me – but the fact that how people forget so easily the good things that happened to them because of someone….anyways I doubt whether he ever came to know what I had done for him (F & B Department) – since Marium had said herself that he will never come to know how many cards she is throwing or sending……in fact no one was responsible or bothered about anything going around.


Paper saving orders from Ms Priya Paul and the reactions :


One day , in a meeting , Mrs Das told us that stationary are being used very recklessly so in order to Photocopy etc. reuse the old papers and try to save stationary. All of us, in the HR Dept. at least, started following it like Casablanca… but other Departments showed no signs of following the same.

When once I told ‘one of them’ to reuse the paper and why on earth was he /she wasting it – pat came the reply – Mrs. Paul will never come to know of your efforts and nor will she promote you for reusing the papers – so why bother ?

Some one else said: Oh! Yeah!! Very well, follow the rules—you will surely be given a cabin just beside Mr. Deewan for saving paper !!

Some of them were so foolish and reckless that they would blindly come and start photocopying—after some 20—30 prints, they would realize that there is a minor fault—and immediately tear apart the papers (sometimes even the Executive Bond Letter Heads)—lest the Department Head comes to know and give him/her a big scream !! – To this I used to tell –Why do you not check after one sheet—whether everything is alright—then proceed to photocopy the rest—to this some smartly reply back : this is not our job—this is something extra that we do—and everyone is not perfect !!


Conclusion :

– such utterly disgusting and wasteful & thanklessly  foolish ..we the Indian people are !!

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3 thoughts on “The Park Kolkata- Continued

  1. Sai Nellore

    Wow Aparna, your writing style is so smooth and flows naturally. I am not done with every page here, but I must ask you this: did you keep a daily diary from which you could recall past events and people’s names? If not, I must say I am stunned at your vivid long-term memory. So many episodes, so many little detours with a variety of characters! You also have a pure heart and it shows in your writing style here and in your comments on facebook. A little gem of a person you are! You should write a book with your life experiences and some fiction

  2. Sai Nellore

    And some fiction thrown in. You should also add more descriptive Bengali/Kolkata life. I have never been to Kolkata myself, but my father was posted in the forex department of SBI’s Kolkata head office during 1987-88. I was busy wrapping up my Masters program and subsequent job search in the US and couldn’t visit India during those two years.

    1. Cheers pal. I do appirceate the writing.

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