I don’t know where to start. I didn’t plan for it. But it happened.
I strongly believe in destiny, it takes us to places. For me, it was Antony Jackson. He took me in his arms, and gave me a lifetime opportunity. Who could dare to refuse? I never believed that I would get a job while still in college. After heading home, I told my dad , the one person who strongly believes in me that I got a job.
I joined Report Bee as an intern. Arvind from Partnerships received me with a warm smile. Yeshwanth granted me the Wi-Fi access. Daniel Doss, encouraged me with his strong words. Anant, I’d call him the coolest CEO on Earth. He handles everything with a smile. He came all the way to parking lot to wish us a safe journey. He never saw us as employee, but as a family, a bee hive. Sudha Ma’am has always been a sweetheart. She treats me like her son, and I get jealous when she calls Titus as “Titu”. Titus is real chilled out guy, deals everything lightly and solves it.
I learnt “How to grab information in a meeting” from Bala. That was my first meeting at Report Bee. Anjan gave me the confidence to learn new things. Anjan and Jack pushed me to take courses for my own growth and I grabbed the certificates with full marks. Directly or indirectly, I learnt something from everyone at Report Bee. There is a lot of positive energy everywhere. I used to be that one silent kid in the office but Manasa taught me to socialise with people.
My First job as a Designer has now become a memory for life. We had ‘Theme Thursdays’ where we followed themes and captured pictures and videos and participated in ‘Fresh Air Meets’ which happens early morning once in a month. When Jack decided to paint the office white, most of the bees jumped in to help. It was one memorable day.
We had a lot of conversations and life lessons that helped me grow within as a person. The last 10 months here has taught me lessons for life and i know its not going to be the same outside. I’ll miss each and every bee in Report Bee. I’ve wanted my designs all over RB, and I’ve been pretty vocal about it.
It took two years for us to bring people outside Reportbee to be a part of our non/Naan Creative meet. This time, We worked along with Team Everest (NGO) to bring kids from Kottur High School. The Team NC helped the kids to do some crazy art in the pots.
We decided to try Pot Painting and luckily the date stood on March 25th, The 25th NC meet/activity. The 3 hour session started at 10.00 in the morning and was over by lunch. Few kids were open and interactive while few took time to interact. Some preferred to remain calm and observant.
Praveen kumar, narrating a story of his Dragon pot and Samurai Lady.
We expected the event to be fun and engaging. Instead, the kids enthralled us with their creativity and perfection. We, as a team, tried our hands on some pot painting before experimenting it with the kids. When compared to what we did, the kids were way ahead of us.
To us, this activity brought much of joy as we got to interact with kids in our premises. They were free to take the pots they like and we have a couple of pots left with us. As a token of love, We will be gifting these pots of love hope and joy to our guests!
Jallikattu is the word of the month in Chennai. Before January 2017, this word just meant the sport played during Pongal in Tamil Nadu. But today, this word for many means Positivity, Strength, unity, Protest, Victory and Chaos. Personally, I do not know which word to associate myself with and I am nonchalant about this whole issue. I assumed the protests to end on Sunday (22nd Jan) as a fresh week was ahead and also the news articles were claiming that protesters were asked to leave that night! I am positive that the breed I belonged to, assumed the protests would end and planned their Monday just the way I did!
I had a school visit scheduled for Monday and I left the Report Bee office around 10:30 AM with Pallavi. We managed to reach our destination well before the expected time and had a successful visit. I love visiting schools just for their infrastructure and feel.
As we came out of our meeting from the school, we heard about the protests being continued in the city. The well-organized silent protests had suddenly become violent! We got news that the ice house police station vehicles was burnt and there was complete chaos in the city!
Obviously, reading news like this, Pallavi and I wanted to head back to office immediately! We booked a cab and left for office. The cab driver, was an active participant of the protests. He had an A4 Sheet of paper stuck in his car saying “I SUPPORT JALLIKATTU” with a picture of the bull. On reading the news and looking at his active participation, I started having a conversation about what was happening. Our conversations were constantly interrupted with calls coming in, giving us updates on what was happening in each area and families asking us to get home soon. With one of the calls the driver got, I overheard him saying he was heading straight back home! (I had to find out if he stayed near Kotturpuram. Just to make sure!)
Me: “Anna, where do you stay?”
Driver: “Ponneri! You guys get down here! I am going home.”
Me: (attempt of creating a sentimental dialogue) “Anna, 2 girls travelling alone. We do not know this area also. Only you can drop us safely. Please reconsider and drop us!”
Driver: “No Madam. I need to get home! I am sorry!”
Me: “Alright. Please drop us at the nearby bus stand atleast. Incase, we do not get another cab, we can take the bus back!”
We managed to book another cab and reach office safely. On our way, we spotted a lot of route diversions causing traffic. Protests were happening in all areas! I have never felt unsafe in Chennai. But, that day at 1:00 PM in the afternoon I did!
I decided to leave home as soon as I reached office. Manasa (a new joinee in Report Bee) and I decided to walk it back home.
Walking back home I noticed that 100’s of people were stuck on the road, waiting patiently, not knowing what to do. The exact same situation I faced few hours back while coming back from the school visit. Just as how I felt unsafe, I realised that all these people waiting will be feeling the same too! I decided to spread some cheer and positivity as I was passing by and do my bit to ease tension. Here are the things I did on my way:
Since I love to talk, I stopped and chatted with as many people as I could. My favourite of the lot was meeting an aunt and uncle waiting to go to Thiruvanmiyur. (Something told me they were on their way to see a potential bride/groom. Don’t ask me why! :)) Their car was stuck right in the middle. So, while I was talking to them, I told them to step out and get some tea from the nearby tea shop, in case they got hungry . They thought I was really sweet and cute suggesting that. I didn’t know how to tell them I was serious!
I met a lot of my friends on the way. Funny way to catch up with long lost people! 🙂 I met my very own class teacher who taught accounts in class 12. She used to be one of my favourites! The joy I had while meeting her on the way was such a happy moment for me!
We spotted so many vehicles still finding their way to Kotturpuram to head to various areas (Adyar, airport mainly). Manasa and I managed to get as many people as we could to reroute and find another way. They all thanked us and were grateful for the updates!
Yes, Chennai was chaotic on 23rd January. Yes, I did feel unsafe. But I learnt that given any situation there is always some positivity that can be created and I am happy my new friend taught me that.