Dated: July 2019
If I have to describe my journey in Jaipur Rugs in one word I will say ‘thapede’. That is a hindi slang for getting slapped multiple times, in my case all over my face. That was the time I used to live in a fantasy land. I also think I am the most stupid of person. But then ever since i started this journey i have lways known how stupid i was. It is one thing to know one’s strength, it is another thing to accept and embrace with equal love the weaknesses.
I was contacted to be the food consultant in Jaipur Rugs. A noble cause I must say for Nk Choudhary the owner of jaipur rugs wants to bring healthy lifestyle habits in the company employees.
The first mistake I did was I accepted the offer even though I had no idea how to go around it. I didn’t clear the terms and conditions of my visit. The first ‘Thapeda’ I got in jaipur Rugs was when on the first day of my visit to the company I was told I will have to come everyday for nine hours each day. I was not ready for something like this. The learning I had is I am trying to make a better plan for my cafe.
The biggest mistake I made was not confronting NKC or Rutvi(his daughter in law and my immediate boss) regarding the same. Had I confronted them on that day a lot of things could have happened differently and so this was the biggest ‘thapeda’ and thus results in a journey I really feel blessed to be a part of. I learned to always be upfront in life and be totally honest about how you feel about things.
During those nine hours each day, I would have to move 4 floors each day, also there is just a tin shade located over the kitchen on the fourth floor in the summer heat. I was not used to that. I used to feel so tired especially after lunch. Usually I couldn’t even move. Also We can blame it on my bad lifestyle for there was a gap between my preaching and doing. ‘Thapeda’ I will have if I was useless post lunch. I would keep on watching my watch and when 6:30pm will ring and I can leave free from the space. I used to feel guilty as well for wasting so much time I could have used otherwise. My learning is that I am living a much more better life in terms of my integrity and I aim to not waste a moment and just live the life to the fullest
My next big mistake came in the form of food. Moving without a plan I thought of bringing different cuisines on request of Rutvi, the funny thing was I myself didn’t really try the things or even if I did I didn’t share it with my staff and my staff was left totally dependant on me on the final day when we would be serving those meals in 100s of quantity. A lot of time the things backfired. Those will be the days when I would move around the company afraid for wherever I go, I would hear someone complaining about the food being served. I learned to not serve experimental food this way.
I think my biggest mistake can be credited in an incident when there were ants in spinach kadhi(a curd based dish). In the company the food will be prepared on the top, packed in tiffin and sent to lower floors where the employees can eat it on the desk. On that day, tiffins had gone and it is then I saw something in the Kadi. Please note I was not in the kitchen earlier and none of my other team members really realised this mistake. Fact is I could have still stopped the crisis for tiffins were at the reception only. But I didn’t, for I was still a kid back then and I really didn’t know how to react. In my mind I thought no one would realise it. It is so funny how easily my brain accepted that fact. A disaster followed. I just took half a day and ran away from the office to avoid the anger from people. Next day I went to each and every person to apologize who had taken the tiffin. That was a good ‘Thapeda’ indeed. I learnt a lot of things that day.
Once I took the project to cook Baati for 100 people over Jagra i.e. over dried cow dung cake. Mind it I had never done it before. That day lunch got late by more than one hour. I was cooking it myself for that long. Also not a lot of people know it, I fainted once i reached home. Plus baati was not really tasty and the situation was pretty messy and a lot of people left empty stomachs. While I am pretty proud of what I did that day and a lot of people appreciated it, things could have happened differently. I learned to preplan more things.
This was also a time when I spent a lot of my days crying while on the way back thinking about the situation I was in. I had no idea why I continued in the company but I didn’t want to quit and wanted to keep fighting. My intution told me to do so.
Shruti enters the company. She is a health coach. Honestly, that time she was still learning. Now she is doing much better. But our ideologies around health were similar to what I believed and it was like I met my guardian angel. Plus she was pretty high in integrity and a much more mature person than me. She showed there was hope in the company.
This was also the time NKC and I became pretty close and he would personally take interest in my learnings. Also via me NKC hired a lot of people (and later fired that). He did tried his best to get me some business sense. Give me learnings. But his company has some real issues. Genuine people cannot really work there. No matter how strong you are, it weighs you down at some point for sure. For me I was pretty weak that time. I was gone immediately.
By the time Shruti came and NKC also showed his support six months had passed and I had been a lost case. I spent three more months in the false hope that with Shruti being here and I finally getting NKC support I will be saved. I will do something in the company. But the truth is I never had a plan. Finally for the last three months, I started to come just two times in a week to Jaipur Rugs. i think it was more so that i can continue getting some salary of which I had got used to. Then one day me and NKC talked at 4pm that things were not working and at 6pm I said bye to the company. It is funny how a year worth of memories and torture ended in two hours. Lateron I got to know while being on leave(of 15 days) a disaster had happened in the company for which I was blamed and I didn’t really had anything to do with it. But then things of the past. I think it happened for the best.
More than a year later as I look back to the situation and everything that happened, I regret so many things, but there have been so many beautiful things also that have happened. Rutvi showing me how even if there is a problem in the kitchen, it should not be shown in front of the guests. Playing table tennis(sometimes) after office. Especially with Pixxel and the JLi department. Abhishek sir and Mehul sir will always be inspiring. Only god knows how strong these people must be to create such a beautiful hospitable environment in their respective departments. I always got envious of them. Then making a few friends whom unfortunately i never really continued my friendship with. Maybe it has to do with the fact I already had a lot of friends I desired to meet after office and I never really was able to connect deeply with anyone in the company. I always wanted to run away from that space. Uff regrets! Off all the adventures I have been in last few years I think my experience at Jaipur rugs is quite unique in itself and was my toughest challenge.