18. Missing out on social chit chat in office
What are my colleagues laughing about?
After incorporating my company Courseloka, I waited for 20 long days to get the PAN card. As soon as the courier delivered it, I hurried to a bank to open a current account.
While the bank’s account manager was getting various clearances for the current account, I opened a line of conversation with him in Hindi.
I asked him where he is from? He said “Delhi”.
I said, “Do you know Kannada?”
He said, “No”
I asked, “Do you feel any difficulty not knowing Kannada?”
He said “Yes”.
I asked, “What problems do you face?”
He referred to the post-lunch animated chit-chat going on of a dozen colleagues “Language ki jaankaari rahegi to badhiya rahega madam. Aur log Kannada mein baatein kar rahe hain. Kya baat kar rahe hain, samajh mein nahin aata.” (It is better to have knowledge of the language. Other people talk in Kannada. I do not understand what they are talking.)
He was smiling but was missing out on all the social chit chat of his colleagues and customers, and was feeling left out of their jokes, light-hearted talks, and information sharing. It was afternoon, and at that very moment, a dozen colleagues were chatting across their desks and sharing something funny in Kannada.
I thought of converting him into Courseloka’s customer, but, when I next visited the bank, he said he has opted to be transferred out to a Hindi speaking city. He would not say where, but he had been in Bengaluru for 2 years and preferred to go back to his comfort zone. I felt sad that he had chosen to leave instead of learning Kannada.
Author: Rekha Chandulal