After my PGDBA way back in the late 90s, I failed to get a job. Reason being many. Firstly the finance market was down, I was staying in a small place in AP and applying for jobs in Mumbai ( which is a no-no in the Mumbai job market) and also because I was choosy. I had taken a time of one year from my parents to live life alone and I wanted to make the best of it.
After a long time of long distance applications, my sister got fed up and called me to stay with her, almost threatened me actually.
And with some contacts landed me into an internal audit firm which was going into consultancy.
And so I found myself with a group of five introverted men consulting a firm of PVC tiles. I was not doing much actually, just worked as an assistant to everybody until the Director asked me to do some market research which the others had failed to do.
And that’s how I started exploring Mumbai. With the file of questionnaires in my hand, bag on the shoulders running from one distributor/trader, cajoling/ bribing and sometimes even threatening to get answers, those days had been good.
It was my first experience of travelling by locals and I quite enjoyed it. Usually travelled at off peak hours, in first class ladies and even though the seats would be empty, would just stand near the door observing the sights.
And thinking that yes even though Mumbaikars thought otherwise a small town girl could survive in the big bad city.
Of course I was lucky that I met good people.
Not always though. In the course of the market survey, the traders were sometimes shocked, sometimes amused to see a female step into their male domain area and so once two shop keepers stopped my way when I was going out and said’ You asked about our business- tell us yours.’ I smiled took out my pocket knife placed near one guys wrist and …..he stepped aside to let me go.
Of course I had to report this to the Director and that was it, he took all my reports asked me for a synopsis and said that it was enough, I had done much more than what the five others had failed to do in the last two months and asked me to join the others on the action team. That too had been interesting, but I had missed my solitary days whizzing past Mumbai on a first class Ladies compartment.