By Sharmada Sivaram
The DPF team had an outsider at their meeting yesterday. No big shot official, neither was it someone from the sponsors or the media. It was someone scary. The volunteer blogger, me.
Alright alright, I’m not as intimidating as I sound. Or maybe I was. The silent, scary kid? I think you should ask the team for answers.
I was to meet Mansi and Hajra at the metro station closest to Karan’s home. Even that close turned out to be not so close. When I had been warned by Navneet that once I reach Karan’s place, I wouldn’t be able to commute back on my own if I had to, I wanted to tell her that the way she excels in spreadsheets, my family excels in studying EICHER maps. It’s totally handle-able. Maybe it was a good thing that I didn’t tell her that. Was I in for an expedition or what!
Wow. A convoy of 3 cars and a Royal Enfield [Prashant] navigating tons of lefts and rights and following the sign that said “Maahi” [which Hajra pointed out ] – we saw a dead end and knew that we had reached our final destination. I salute Karan who said that he sometimes has to take that trip thrice a day!
Once we got past the driveway, this huge picture of a gorilla stared at me. Slightly intimidating, yes. But soon enough I realised that it was part of the first item on the agenda. The team had to check out the different sort of stands for the photos, few of the photos that had been printed and whether there were any changes required. From talks of whether it was a “very male height” [which invited stares from the ladies present] to the excited electrician and whether at some point, Karan would have to hang suspended in mid air to fix a central light, the meeting was so on!
Navneet and I are scared of dogs, her more so than me. When I heard that there were 20 dogs in the same compound as me, I was tempted to run for my life, despite not knowing the way back. However, we hardly heard any barking, which was good by me and Dinesh commented saying that those must be the “quietest 20 dogs ever!”.
Ladies and Gentlemen, *drumrolls*. Presenting to you, the ‘water test’. To check whether the prints could stand the test of time, or um, moisture – the water-splashing-and-then-analysing-test took place on the life size Gorilla image. Was the splashing of water symbolic of venting out frustration? Was that Dilli ka dust? Was it Sainik Farms ka paani? Or was it symbolic of “wildlife extinction”? [Dinesh]
With our Nimbu Paanis in hand, we moved inside the house. More serious topics were brought up like the inaugural dinner, RSVPs, media – who to get in touch with, how to go about the catalogue, finance, the amateur photography competition, plan for the next ten days etc. The run through of the events calendar and suggesting changes wherever was mostly between Mansi and Prashant. It was … long.
But we did have some light moments or rather, distractions. One of the dogs came to meet us. And Navneet and I went through those moments peacefully. And survived. A few rounds of chai/nimbu paani/cold coffee and some yum snacks. Mansi’s fan club – the bugs. It was a long, long meeting. About 6 hours! But a lot of work did get done, at least I think so.
Some of the things heard :
“Cash is totally cool!”
“Dekha! Generation gap… “
“Are you recording what we’re saying or just noting it down?” [Sure I told you I don’t have a cool phone, but who’s to say it wasn’t cool enough to record voices!]
“Navneet is the queen of excel sheets.”