Curious kids Or parents at test 😲 -Part 12 (Brassiere, Mamma’s banyaan!!)

By now my kiddo had started reading books. He was growing and he was very observant. That’s why he used to get so many questions. Encyclepedia used to give many answers. But Mamma was the ultimate solution when it came to little odd questions. 

One night I found my kiddo in little thoughtful mood. He called me, “Mammaaaa….” I immediately went into attentive mode. He seemed little hesitant to ask question. Mamma’s sixth sense had already sensed that something odd or awkward was coming. I said, “Fire away your querry”

Kiddo: Mamma why you are fat in chest? Look at me and Daddy. We have such flat chests.

For a moment I felt little awkward. In my mind the reflex action was wrapping my hands around my chest and thinking why my kid asks me such questions. But my experience had taught me that any reaction which would suggest that there is something abnormal/ odd/ awkward about the question would surely invite some drama or some kind of mention in public. Kids are very adept at sensing this. They read our body language much better than our words. So without betraying my true emotion I answered.

Me: That’s because the body of man is little different than the body of a woman. Woman’s body is supposed to perform few different functions. So the shape is also little different. You only tell me who carries the baby in womb??

Son: Of course a woman.

Me: Then in that case only a woman will have womb and not man, right?

Son: Right!!

Me: The nature has designed bodies very carefully. All types of living creatures are bestowed with the instinct to provide food to babies till they grow. Now look at birds. Normally the mother bird remains with babies and father bird brings the food and and feed babies. Though in some species it may be little different. You remember the cat at Nani’s place who had given birth to kittens??

Son: Yes. 

Me: You remember how the kittens used to drink their Mamma’s milk??

Son: Yesss

Me: Same is the case with puppies. Mamma dog feeds the babies with her milk. Cow feeds calves with her milk. Normally all these animals feed their babies with their milk till the babies grow and they are capable of finding their own food.

Same is the case with humans. The Mamma feeds her baby with her milk.

Son: what?? Mammas can produce milk??

Me: Yes. That’s why women have milk glands in their breasts. Men do not have milk glands. That’s the reason why her chest shape is different than man’s chest.

Son: Did you also feed me with your milk?

Me: Yes.

Son: But then how come we have a photo of me drinking milk from bottle?

(Gosh! This boy is so observant!!)

Me: That’s because my milk was not sufficient to feed you. So first you used to drink my milk then I used to give you milk formula or cow milk.

Son: Mamma, even now you have milk??

Me: Nope. The nature has done its own magic. The milk production starts after baby’s birth. As the baby grows we start giving babies other foods like rice, kheer, fruits etc. Automatically the baby starts drinking lesser milk. Slowly the milk production stops.

My son was listening carefully. After all this conversation all he remarked was “Oh! That’s why your banyaan’s shape is so wierd…”

Afterall boys will be boys!!

My last word to my son was “By the way this kind of ladies banyaan is called as brassiere or simply bra.” He rolled his eyes and turned his face.

Friends, why we feel awkward about such questions is may be due to our shyness or culturally we are not used to discuss such topics. We are not taught to talk freely about body. Curiosity about the anatomy is very natural. So let’s talk about our bodies freely at least when kids demand information. Discretion is definitely required while talking to kids. But try to open up with kids and keep their question bank going!! As I said in my earlier blogs reiterating again let the kids come and ask you rather than depend on friends or Internet for answers!!

To read my blogs log on to https://kinfolkclub.com or https://motherlab.blogspot.com

Curious kids or parents at test 😲 -Part 11 (When curious kid tells a story..)

In my last blog we read about how my kiddo started handling encyclepedia since the age of 2. Encyclopedia was his most favorite book. Just imagine a kind of story he would narrate.

Once we were going out with our kiddo in our car. One of our acquaintances joined us. My kiddo was very talkative. So he was very happy to have new company and insisted on sitting with this new aunty. They started chitchatting. Suddenly he said, “Aunty I will tell you a story” Aunty was very delighted. Normally small kids demand stories from elders. But here the kid was volunteering to narrate a story. She happily consented. My kiddo started, “I will tell you a story of carnivorous plant”

Aunty: Wh…what?

Kiddo: Carnivorous plant aunty. Carnivorous plant…

Aunty (exasperated): What is this carni… thing??

Kiddo: Carnivorous plant aunty. It means meat eating plant.

Aunty: Meat eating plant?? (Making disgusting face)

Kiddo: Yes aunty. But I am telling you full story. Please listen…

Aunty: Ok ok.. tell me.

Kiddo: There are carnivorous plants. They eat flies, insects. They have bright, nice colors. The insects get attracted by these colors. There is one plant called sundew plant. When insect sits on that plant it’s hair curl. The insect sticks and is not able to go away. Slowly the plant curls around insect and absorbs nutrients. The other parts of the insect just stay outside.

Aunty: Where do you find these horrible plants??

Kiddo: They are found where the soil is thin or it is poor in nutrients..

Kiddo had finished telling his story and he was now busy looking outside the car window.

The aunty was still quiet with shock. She had expected any story but this. Finally she said, “What kind of story is this? Can’t he talk normal?” I laughed my heart out. I told her that the kiddo keeps reading encyclopedia and this was one of his favorite stories. She just said something “umm..ok alright”

Now whenever my kiddo is around she goes in attention mode and proceeds cautiously!! Because if she is not cautious he has huge stock of stories ready ranging from nebula, tornadoes, volcanoes, dinosaurs, Titanic to penguins and Mangalyan!!

All this was there when he was a small kiddo. As the kids start growing the difficulty and awkwardness level of questions starts increasing. Their self body awareness starts developing. Let’s try to tackle one of such questions in the next blog.

To read my other blogs please click on the following links https://kinfolkclub.com or https://motherlab.blogspot.com

Curious kids or parents at test 😲 -Part 10 (Survival of reading habit in digital age)

In last blog we saw how reading habit was developed. But nothing is constant in this world. The reading journey which had begun so well faced rough waters. Now internet videos, mobile games were giving tough competition. There came a time when my kiddo had almost stopped reading and was not interested in doing anything apart from watching videos or playing mobile games.

My little kiddo was a big boy. And the big boy had a string of endless arguments in favour of games and videos. I had already realized that arguments and mere discussions are not going to be of much use. Nor complete ban on internet and mobile would work. It was time for direct action.

My son is a big fan of Harry Potter movies (like his mother 😜). I took advantage of this fact and told him that most of the movies had deviated from the books and they had changed couple of plots in each movie. So I set him a task of finding out these differences. This move met with some success. My son read first 3 books and that was something because he read the books in the first place and moreover he read fiction books which he had been refusing to do hitherto.My kid loves competition. And if that competition is with Mamma and he can beat his Mamma at it then he loves that competition even better!! Now I decided to have reading competition between mother and son. He readily agreed and  we started reading Harry Potter series again. This time he completed all 7 books and one play. The competition spirit had  haunted him. Every day his lead was increasing by more than 100 pages. At one point I started suspecting that he was skipping pages and cheating me. But how to find out??  Again I had simple idea. We started having Harry Potter quizzes. I was glad to know that my son had not skipped pages!! In fact he enjoyed these quizzes so much that even when our competition is over we continue to have these quizzes during dinner time, during traveling or even in restaurants waiting for food.  

Similarly, Enid Blyton’e riddle series was completed. I started keeping tab on newly published Gerenimo Stilton’s books and buy him latest book. 

My son is studying in IGCSC curriculum school where they don’t teach local history much. I wanted him to read about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his history. But it was not his favored topic. One day I got opportunity. My kid saw saffron flag gifted to his cousin and demanded similar big saffron flag. I agreed to buy the same with a precondition that he would read biography of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who established Maratha empire under saffron flag. And yes, he read.

That’s how the reading came back!! If we had not eliminated internet and mobile completely we had at least curtailed it to some extent. Now mostly we try to have reading hour before going to bed.

One needs to be really clever while dealing with such situations. Merely telling or scolding does not work. There is no one solution that fits all. Every kid is different. You need to understand your own kid and then plan activities. We knew that competition works well with my kiddo and I simply used this fact to my advantage. My last mantra is try to bring some challenges/ activities based on reading so that it becomes a game rather than purely boring activity. Happy Reading!!

As we have seen in the earlier blogs my kid was interested in stories where he could correlate rather than fiction and particularly in science. Follow my blog to know more about when the kiddo decides to tell a story!!

To read all the blogs click on  https://kinfolkclub.com or https://motherlab.blogspot.com

आमचा लाडका मुन्ना

बोंटडकर असे भारदस्त नाव घेऊन आला योगेश जन्मा ,

पण गोरा गोमटा बाळ झाला पप्पूचा भाऊ मुन्ना ।

लहानपणापासून आहे शांत सज्जन ,

कधीच आठवत नाही त्याचे छचोरपण ।

चोखली वेगळी शैक्षणिक वाट ,गेला कॉमर्सला ,

बघता बघता फडकावला सी .ए . चा झेंडा ।

घरघर करत असतो सारखा परदेशवारी ,

आम्हाला वाटतो अभिमान जेंव्हा चढतो नोकरीत पायरीवर पायरी ।

पुण्यात फिरते त्याची होंडा सिटी ,

कधीही सांगा हजर आहे वाजवत शिट्टी ।

कुठलेही असो गेट टुगेदर करतो सर्वांना गोळा ,

पण पार्टीची जान आहे याची नाचगाणी उखाणा ।

आहे बरोबर जीवनसाथी पूर्वा ,

एकापेक्षा एक सुंदर केक बनवता बनवता करते सर्वांवर ममता ।

त्यांची सई आहे लाडकी फुलराणी,

तिच्याबद्दल काय लिहू आईबाबांचे नाव चालवणार ही सर्वगुणी ।

दादा मामा होता घरात थोरला कर्ता करवता ,

हा चालवतो त्याची वाट कोणालाही जाणवू न देता ।

किनफोक वर लिहितो कविता सुंदर सर्वकाळी ,

आम्हाला नाही जमत पण समजून घे ही फुलाची पाकळी  ।।

Curious kids or parents at test 😲-Part 9 (Nurturing reading habit)

In my last blog we just saw how my kiddo started handling encyclepedia since the age of 2 years and how reading hour became our favorite pastime.

Slowly this picture watching game converted into question answer sessions. Now instead of merely reciting captions of the pictures my kiddo started asking “Mamma, what is nebula??” “What do you mean by tornado” “what does this train do?” 

Being a commerce student I didn’t know answers to many of his questions. But I would typically read the information from the encyclepedia and tell the same to my kiddo in easy language. If that was not sufficient I would google or would ask someone.

Gradually my kiddo started telling stories of nebulas, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, solar system, trains to all of us. 

Me and my kiddo were regular visitors to the books fairs and book shops. In one of such fairs I found one more trove of treasure – it was a set of books with names “From oil to petrol”, “From milk to cheese” “From shoot to apple” and “From wheat to bread”. They were very small books of around 25 pages consisting of good illustrations and short description in 1-2 sentences about the process. These books were the turning point. The teacher had just started teaching different types of words with phonetics in school. But my kiddo had enjoyed these books so much that he attempted to read these books on his own. From Oil to Petrol was the first ever book my kiddo read independently. Wherever he would stumble he would ask “how to read this word Mamma?” Eventually he started reading even complicated words. Soon he started reading all the books.

Considering his liking we amassed encyclopedia on various topics like Mighty machines, Space, Mother Earth, Oceans, Human Body, Explorers tales, Backyard Scientist over a period of time. He was crazy about Titanic. So we collected many books and stories on Titanic. 1001 days which changed the history of the world was his another favorite. In school he came across Gerenimo Stilton. This is the only fiction where my kiddo was attracted. So we had Gerenimo Stilton series books as well.

From our journey all I am trying to suggest is try to judge the inclination of your kid and try to collect books accordingly. Your kid may like fiction or fairy tales or comics or superheroes or adventures. Give them what they like. It is just possible that your kid may not like reading at all. But what’s the harm in trying??

In my previous blog we read the first mantra that was to start early and spend quality time with your kid. My second mantra is judge the inclination of your kid and try to collect books on topics your kid enjoys the most. Do not rely entirely on the typical books available books meant for kids. My third mantra is when we are starting the books from early age concentrate on attractiveness of illustrations rather than written content. Correctness of written content needs to be ensured. But little kids get attracted by attractive pictures rather than written content. Initially books with attractive illustrations and brief information are sufficient.

Today is a digital age and mobiles and internet videos are in vogue. Read my next blog to find out whether invasions by mobiles and internet on books were successful.

To read my other blogs visit www.kinfolkclub.com or

https://motherlab.blogspot.com

Know more about Japan

Till now we learned about working with Japanese, Japanese translation and interpretation techniques. Now the time has come to know about their country, the land where sun rises first.

When we speak a word JAPAN, our imagination restricts to short height, hardworking people, sumo wrestlers and one of the developed country, for seniors it might be movie “Love in Tokyo” … but it is not only that. NIPPON日本 known to world as “JAPAN” is land of rising sun. A beautiful country with warm people having a very high standard of living, highly developed country with all advanced technologies, everything which today’s gen is looking for.

Glimpses of Japan:

1)      Japanese language is written in 3 basic scripts; Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji. Native Japanese script Hiragana and Katakana are 46 characters each, while 2000 kanji simplified from Chinese characters are also in common use in Japan. Kanji can be read in two ways: The Chinese way, onyomi (音読み), and the Japanese way, kunyomi (訓読み).

Generally, in Japan newspaper, magazines, comics are written vertically from right to left.

2)      Yen is the currency of Japan. Our finance guys might be aware it is 3rd strongest currency in foreign exchange trade followed by Dollar and Euro.

3)      Earlier TOKYO TOWER (333m height) was tallest tower in Japan, but now it’s SKYTREE (634m height) tallest tower in world (I visited TOKYO TOWER in 2009 and SKYTREE in 2013 😃).

4)      Did you ever hear a highway passing from building? Yes, it’s in Osaka. 5th, 6th, 7th floor of 16F building are blocked as highway is passing from that building. Gate Tower Building, is the first building to have a highway pass through it (I once got chance to pass through this highway. Structure is out of imagination 😃).

5)      Kobe bridge is the longest bridge (it has the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the world…source Wikipedia)

6)      Sakura(桜) national flower of Japan blossom from March end till April end, period varies by region and weather. The blossom is only for 2-3 days and generally Japanese celebrate those 2-3 days as cherry blossom viewing party (hanami 花見). Japanese are especially fond of this flower. Hence, the Sakura tree is planted nationwide. Sakura flower is stamped on 100-yen coin. Also, Sakura is printed on traditional Japanese textile. Not only that but “Sakura-sakura” is the well-known Japanese song taught in elementary school.

7)      Mount Fuji 3,776m tall. Japanese believe that if you are lucky you climb mount Fuji at least once in your life. (I have been to Japan for several times; visited various places and monuments but still not got chance to climb mount FUJI 😞).

8)      Where can you see 7 wonders of the world at one place? It’s in Tobu World Square, Tochigi. Replica of 7 wonders and famous sculptures are displayed in this theme park. (I once visited Tobu World Square, but due to time constraint I could see only few of them).

9)      Premium Friday concept: As Japanese people are hard workers and due to tremendous work pressure suicide percentage is also high in Japan, so recently the Japanese Government has introduced a concept called “Premium Friday”, which is last Friday of every month. In this, companies encourage employees to end work by 3:00pm and start weekend early for enjoying with family and friends.

10)   National sport: Sumo, national flower: Cherry blossom (Sakura), national fruit: Kaki, two top-ranking universities in Japan: University of Tokyo and Kyoto University, famous Japanese food: sushi, tempura, ramen, udon, soba, miso soup, yakitori, okonomiyaki, kare raisu (curry with rice), onigiri, gyudon, katsudon, green tea.

Actually there is lot more to say 😃…

Types of software testing

Hola !! In today’s post we are going to have a look at types of testing

1.Compatibility testing

In today’s world , we have multiple devices , many flavours of operating systems and n number of dependent softwares to use one software. Behaviour of software application may differ depending on these factors. Compatability testing is crucial in understanding whether software functions well across different operating systems, web browsers, network, devices, hardware configurations, versions etc. Compatability also needs to be tested with respect to newer and older versions of related software applications

Some of the most common Compatibility testing defects for web applications are :

  • Differences in the user Interface with respect to look and feel
  • Changes with respect to font size, alignment issues, css styles, color, scrollbars
  • Broken Images
  • Information in tables is not displayed properly

To verify these kinds of issues , a website needs to be tested in different browsers (For Ex : Google chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox) on different operating systems(Windows, Linux,Android) in different devices(Desktop, Mobiles of different resolutions). We also need to consider different version of every operating system, web browser, devices in combination to ensure good user experience

2.Performance testing is part of performance engineering practices where system is examined for quality attributes like responsiveness, reliability, scalability etc. Performance testing validates system’s performance against predefined performance benchmarks for speed, memory, response time etc.

A performance bottleneck occurs when a single component’s failure results in slowdown or shutdown of an entire system. Identifying such an component requires quantitative and qualitative analysis of system under controlled conditions

Performance testing primarily includes stress testing and load testing Load testing checks system performance under specified load conditions while stress testing stimulates higher than expected load conditions to determine potential breakpoints. Stress testing includes soak testing and spike testing

A beautiful explanation of performance bottlenecks : https://www.apicasystems.com/blog/5-common-performance-bottlenecks/

3.Security testing

Security testing is an approach to identify vulnerabilities in information system to protect the system against incidents like data theft, functionality breach etc. A vulnerability is a weakness or a flaw in system that can be exploited by attacker to harm respective stakeholders or end users.Some common security threats are as follows :

1.Privilege Escalation : Most software applications have multiple user accounts. Each user has certain roles and permissions. Common permissions / privileges include viewing and editing files, install new programmes etc.Hacker creates an account on a system and uses it to increase his system privileges to a higher level which he/she was not suppose to have. These privileges can be used to delete files, view private information, or install viruses or malwares.

2.SQL injection : SQL injection is used to attack data-driven applications, in which malicious SQL statements are inserted into an entry field for execution (e.g. to dump the database contents to the attacker).For ex: Entering a single quote (‘) in any textbox should be rejected by the application. Instead, if a database error is displayed, it means that the user input is inserted in some query which is then executed by the application. In such a case, the application is vulnerable to SQL injection.SQL injection attacks are very critical as attackers can get vital information from the database.

3.URL Manipulation :URL refers to Uniform Resource Locator.URL is address of particular website on internet. For Ex : https://kinfolkclub.com/. URL manipulation, also called URL rewriting, is the method of altering the parameters in a URL and capturing important information. When the web application uses the HTTP GET method to pass information between the client and the server, data is passed in parameters in the URL An attacker can exploit this vulnerability by sending altered link to unsuspecting users via e-mail or by posting it on a website. When users click the link, they can be redirected to a malicious third-party site containing malware or inappropriate material.

4. Cross site scripting(XSS) : XSS enables attackers to inject client-side script into Web pages viewed by other users and trick a user into clicking on that URL. Once this script is executed by the other user’s browser, hacker can cause potential harm to user’s system.

XSS occurs when a web page displays user input — typically via JavaScript— that isn’t properly filtered.A simple test shows whether web application is vulnerable to XSS. Choose any field in the application that accept user input (such as on a login or search form), and enter the following JavaScript statement:

<script>alert('XSS')</script>

If a window pops up that displays XSS, the application is vulnerable.

5.Denial of service (DoS)attack : A denial-of-service (DoS) attack is accomplished by flooding the target system with excess requests to overload it and prevent some or all users to avail the services In a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack), the incoming traffic attacking the target system originates from many different sources. Hackers behind the DoS attacks often target sites such as banks, credit card payment gateways, retail stores

OWASP ( https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Main_Page ) is almighty reference for web information security concepts

4.Usability testing

Usability testing tests how easily users can use system. Usability is the measure of a product’s potential to accomplish the goals of the user. Goal of user refers to intention of user to complete a task. For Ex : Booking movie ticket or purchasing appliances online

In usability testing , users of a product are asked to perform certain tasks to analyze product’s ease-of-use, time to complete the task, and overall user experience. Participants are encouraged to share their every opinion. All feedback is noted and analyzed . The goal of Usability Testing is to create real world scenarios where the user will be actually using our product, then by observing their behavior we will be able to understand what could be done better.

5.Accessibility testing

Accessibility testing is a type of testing conducted to check if user with disabilities can use the software application with ease. Users with or without disabilities should have equal access to technology.People with disabilities use assistive technology which helps them in operating a software product. Example of assistive devices include Screen reader software that is used to read out the text that is displayed on the screen.

Accessibility testing tries to answer the questions like : Can screen reader identify all words? Do all images have alt descriptions? Are all page elements responding properly to keyboard keys?

W3C (World wide web consortium) provides Web content Accessibility Guidelines for a content to be presented on the web as below:

1.Information displayed should be perceivable

For ex : Every image, including icons, buttons, and graphics, video, charts, need to be properly tagged and described for a screen reader to show information properly.

2.User Interface and navigation of application should be operable

For Ex: A website needs to be navigable and interactive entirely through the the keyboard, which is essential for people who use a text browser or are unable to use a mouse for various reasons.

3. Consistent and effective organization of user interface elements can make use of application easier for users with different disabilities

For Ex : Forms can be confusing or difficult to use for many people, and, as a result, they may be more likely to make mistakes. To help users, we can include descriptive instructions, error messages, and suggestions for correction etc

4.Application should be compatible with newer and older versions of assistive technology

Adios for now….. In my next post, I will tell you more about how functional testing is conducted in a typical test cycle.

Till then , do like, share and subscribe to my blog 🙂

Curious kids or parents at test 😲-Part 8 (Inculcating reading habit in kids)

Many times we hear parents complaining to each other that their kids do not read books. They have got so many books but their kids are not ready to look at them. Here I have one question for parents – do you read books?? Do you read with your kid??

Today I will share with you how our journey of reading began. Our kiddo was around 1.5- 2 years old. We had typical picture books of animals, vehicles, vegetables etc. My kiddo used to enjoy vehicle pictures the most. 

One afternoon one salesman rang the bell. He was selling encyclepedia named “Ask Me Anything” The book had very nice, colorful and attractive illustrations and brief description. I liked the encyclepedia very much and purchased the same thinking that one day my kiddo would grow and read the same!

All my family members thought that the kiddo  was too young to read the book. Even I agreed with him. Anyways I kept the book on the center table in hall and went inside for my work. 

After some time my kiddo went into the hall. Something red and silver on the center table caught his attention. He tried to lift it but it was too heavy for him. He opened the red and silver book and started turning pages. Ohh!! There were lots of pictures in this book. When I came into the hall my little one was already engrossed in turning the pages and watching new pictures. When he saw me he came running to me and dragged me near the book. He told me to show the pictures in this new book.

I sat cross legged on the floor and he sat comfortably in my lap spreading the new picture book. We started flipping pages of encyclepedia. When he used to find something interesting he would simply ask “what is this?” I used to tell him the name of the object.

Slowly Helix nebula, cartwheel nebula, tornado, hurricane, volcanoes, maglev and fernicular trains, solar system, milky way and Andromeda galaxies became our favorite pictures. The ease with which other children could narrate names of various fruits, vegetables, animals my kiddo would recite the names of various nebulas, stars, planets, trains.

Every day when I used to come back from office first we would have our dinner and then he would sit in my lap and we would see various pictures in encyclepedia. My kiddo was immensely enjoying this new picture book. When I used to go to office kiddo would show various pictures to his Dada and Dadi. Even they were amazed by how easily the kiddo had grasped knowledge about so many things. 

You may wonder being a working mother how did I manage to spend so much of time with kiddo. Where there is will there is a way. I will share my secret with you. Firstly I appointed maids for cooking, cleaning etc. So very little was left for me to do. Plus my support system consisting of in laws was very strong.

Secondly for me it was strict “No No to TV” Others would watch TV. But me and kiddo would occupy our bedroom typically he sitting in my lap and having “Ask me anything” as our constant companion. I believe that this is the age when the kids require parents the most. Once they grow up the nest would be empty. Sometimes I used to be tired after busy day. But I rarely said “No” to our reading time. Spending this quality time had done all the wonders. It may not be possible for all to implement same ideas. Have it your own way.. but spending quality time with kids is very important.

The book which I had purchased with assumption that one day my kiddo will read this book had become hit on day one itself. My unintentional shopping had done wonders!!

Friends, “start early and spend quality time free from any kind of gadgets” is my mantra. We have seen the beginning of the reading hobby in this part. In next blog we will see how this hobby was further nurtured. Stay tuned!!

You can read all the blogs on https://kinfolkclub.com or

https://motherlab.blogspot.com

मी मंडई – अर्थात मंडईचे मनोगत

सुनील देशपांडे सायंकाळी ५ वाजता मोटरसायकल वरून बालाजी किराणा मालाच्या दुकानापाशी आला. नेहमी प्रमाणे गाडी लावली. इकडे तिकडे पहात माझ्या दिशेने यायला सुरुवात केली.
अरेच्या, नेहमी सकाळ सकाळ मंडई करणारा सुनील आज चक्क संध्याकाळी? क्या बात है? कुठ function ला गेला होता काय? कुणास ठाऊक.
पण आज एक एक वस्तु घेताना, त्याचा भाव विचारल्यावर सुनीलच्या चेहर्यावर काय भाव उमटणार आहेत, या कल्पनेने मला हसू आले.
नारळ सगळ्यात छोटा तीस रुपये झाला होता. पावगी वर्गमित्र. काय करणार? घेतला एक नारळ पडक्या चेहर्याने.
कोणतीच भाजी वीस रूपये पावपेक्षा कमी नाही. अपरीहार्यता व अगतिकता ठपकत होती त्याच्या चेहऱ्यावरून. पण स्वत: शीच पुटपुटला काय करता आडला नारायण….. व निघाला शेवटच्या item कडे. जड असतो ना तो item.
तेथे मात्र कळस झाला. जणू काही संयमाचा बांध फुटला. कांदा! एक किलो द्या. दुकानदाराने दिले, याने घेतले नेहमीप्रमाणे. १०० रूपये झाले. काय? सुनीलला अंगावर पाल पडल्यासारखे झाले. घ्यावे तर मन धजावेना, परत करावे तर मध्यमवर्गीय भिडस्त भित्रेपणा आडवा आला.
पण सुनीलचा तो चेहरा पाहून ठरवल चला अता याच्याशी थोड बोलल पाहिजे.
काय आज संध्याकाळी येणे केले?
नाही दुपारी जरा बाहेर जेवायला गेलो होतो Barbecue Nation मधे. सुनील उवाच.
काय? कस झाले मग दुपारचे Barbecue Nation मधील जेवण?
अरे वा, मस्तच झाले की. इति सुनील.
काय रेट आहेत रे सध्या? महाग आहे जरा. १००० रूपये पर पर्सन. पण Worth आहे. सुनीलने स्पष्टीकरण दिले.
अरे वा, एकवेळच्या जेवणाचे हजार रूपये Worth? व महिन्याची कुटुंबाची मंडई १००० रूपये महाग? कुछ हजम नहीं होता यार.
बहुतेक त्याचे डोळे चमकले.
थोडा विचारात पण पडला.
बहुतेक Thanks ही पुटपुटला.
मला सगळ्यांना सांगावस वाटल.
कारण मला ईथे खुप सुनील भेटतात.

Working with Japanese people – Part 2

11)   When going for a meeting, strictly adhere to timelines. You are expected to have taken a prior appointment. An agenda of meeting should be decided mutually beforehand. Required documents should have been shared. Concerned people should have been informed beforehand. There should be no room for surprises, chaos or mismanagement.

Statistical data if any should be kept handy. Wherever possible, create/share data in visual format (diagrams, graphs, pictures) which is easier to understand.

Mention the contents in emails or document in Bullet-points rather than writing an essay-like text.

12)   Always remember HouRenSou (Houkoku: Reporting, Renraku: Communicating, Soudan: Consulting)

13)   As mentioned in my earlier blog, the Japanese people do not like going ‘paperless’. You can see them carrying bunch of printouts for meeting. If you are hosting the meeting, you may be expected to carry important documents printed out in number enough for all participants.

14)   Anticipate the things in advance. If you see any problems/issues, bring them to notice of your Japanese counterpart. The Japanese don’t like surprises in work.

15)   The Japanese appreciate innovations. However, they may be slow in implementing changes.

16)   Check your understanding by asking questions. Many a times, the Japanese do not clearly state “Yes” or “No”. But, you may ask questions/ ask to repeat certain point and confirm that your understanding is correct. Politely apologize for asking repeatedly.

17)   Environment at work places or offices is formal. Informal talks / personal talks or chit-chatting / talking personal matters on phone is not done in offices.

For informal talks with colleagues/customers, there is a custom of after-work socialization (Nomikai飲み会-drinking party). This is not just for relaxing or entertainment, but important from business point of view as one can actually get to know the counterpart through such informal meetings. Even if you don’t drink, it is important that you participate in such meets.

18)   Directly coming to point of business right at the beginning of the informal meeting, or pin-pointing might sound stern. Initial warm-up talk like casual conversation should always be there. It helps in building relationship.

Don’t be surprised if you are asked personal questions (about your family, spouse, your age etc.) especially by older Japanese people.

19)   If you are invited for a lunch or dinner meeting or a get-together, be prepared to pay your contribution of bill, in most of the situations.

20)   Clean and neat appearance is important. Many Japanese people tend to judge a person by his/her appearance and dressing. Dressing formally is a part of Japanese Work Culture. Especially when meeting customers, wearing business suit is a must.

21)   Avoid sharp eye contact.

22)   If you speak English, speak slowly and without any specific accent. Slow and clear talk always enhances understanding of the Japanese counterpart.

Thus, this ‘Land of Rising Sun’ is definitely a likable place to work at, with warm people having a very high standard of living, highly developed country with all advanced technologies … everything one might want!

So, let’s go EAST 😃…