Every morning, before leaving for office, I pack my survival kit for the corporate jungle – my thick pullover, one shawl and a pair of socks. I would have also added some mufflers and thermal wear if I had them.
Why this extreme bundling up one may ask – is the office on some glacier in some northern fjord? Well, not exactly. The postal address is very much in equatorial heartland of Pune.
But if one walks into it the office, one might be forgiven for thinking one has inadvertently traipsed into Siberia.
The cold that hits you like an electric jolt could be one such hint, not to mention the almost immediate loss of all feeling in all the body’s extremities.
Another could be the vision of people bundled up in mufflers and monkey caps trying to warm their blue-tinged hands on hot-water bottles.
Or the sound of teeth chattering in symphonic accompaniment to the keyboard.
The almost constant taste of the-apology-for-coffee as people swig in gallon-fulls in lieu of more congenial heat-inducing-liquids.
Of perhaps, you might notice the unique not-so-pleasant odour of a mixture of moth-balls and woollens.
Why is our office a prototype for sub-zero Antarctica one might wonder. Well, the very senior management has east –facing cabins with massive windows. They claim that the rooms (and consequently the office) are unbearably hot. Many of them also come to work in woollen suits and safaris.
Did I mention that they are very senior management?
So as people who sit on the west side of the office and don’t have east facing windows or heavy-duty designations and are very accommodating in nature ( I did say very senior management, didn’t I?) , we allow the air conditioner temperature to be set at ‘pleasantly cool’ temperatures.
Maybe lesser flunkies like us do not have the hot-blooded passion that differentiates the well, men from the boys. Hmmm.
Now if you will excuse me, I will go and thaw my frostbitten nose under the hand drier in the washroom.