Thursday, February 14, 2008

Video of a Paanwallah at Work

Every once in a while, some of my staff led by Abhishek, would invite me to go to Bangashree's for lunch. The food is great, especially their chicken and they have fabulous fish. The first time we went, Abhishek started wolfing down his food like he was in prison. I told him to "Slow down, you're having lunch with the GL. You can be five minutes late." After that fine meal, he suggested paan. Now I remember that stuff from Mumbai and it is a nasty, vile, disgusting habit that includes spitting red juice all over the street. It stains your teeth red.

But paan is actually just a medium for enticing juicy bits of stuff folded up in a leaf. Different parts of the country specialize in different ingredients and styles, some sour, some sweet, some bitter, some salty, some intoxicating, some that are supposed to have properties to "make better the wedding night".

Abhishek did me a solid and took this video for me on his phone. I have no idea what all of the ingredients are, but there are many. Listen for the sound of the traffic behind us. That's just typical 2PM traffic on a main street in Kolkata...

It may take a while for this file to load as I have no idea what I'm doing. Enjoy.

:-) video

Thanks, Abhishek. Good luck in your new job. We miss you. :-)

12 comments:

Sharmishtha said...

Paan is great - once in a while and as a treat. But please don't get addicted to paan specially if you don't know what the ingredients are. Some ingredients - like betelnut - have been linked to oral cancer, if they are consumed every day.

Sujoy said...

Just stumbled across this site the other day. It is an entertaining read on your indoctrination in the crazy cosmos of Calcutta. But what is most striking to me is that you just seem to take our craziness in stride, unlike so many other westerners I have known! Just opposite of you, I am an ex-Caluttan, now in Detroit, US. Got your blog bookmarked. Keep it up. Thanks for your effforts.
Cheers...

Anonymous said...

Its Abhijit and not Abhisek.The exodus of the talented and the really gifted people from 123greetings.com has started quite some time now and now it seems to have reached a full circle.It saddens me to see state of intrasoft today..This company was once a great place to work From 400 employees on 2006 to 150 ..presently.

talking to any ex employees of 123 only gives you anger,outburst,negativism and an occasional praise..with this kind of an environment..Its ironic that this is a greeting card site that specialize in Human Feelings ..

Suchitra

Jeanne Heydecker said...

Sucharita: You are incorrect. Why would you think this is a person called Abhijit and why would you presume to know who took a video for me?

Intrasoft is a great place to work as long as you are professional, mature, and willing to work. Some great people have left, yes, and that happens everywhere. Most left because they were simply unwilling to work. The new systems made it very easy to see who produced and who slacked off. Most of the slackers have left. There are still a few to go...

Most staff are not privy to the long term plans of the company. I have the luxury of working directly with the Kajaria brothers and I love it. They are very different from each other and have different working styles. They have ten years of real dotcom experience, a Top 1000 web site out of Kolkata - NO other company in the world has been able to accomplish that. You have to give the Kajaria brothers major props for that. If you can't respect what they built, you shouldn't work here. All it takes is timing to go viral, but 10 years of solid and consistent on-line business takes planning, determination, flexibility and patience. I totally respect what they've built because I've worked at a number of dotcoms where I've seen what NOT to do.

Suchitra, if it were so easy, why aren't there 10 or 20 websites being run out of Kol that generate the kind of U.S. traffic and revenue that we do? It's very easy to talk about how a company is this or that, but try running your own game. You'll quickly see how people with poor attitudes, with all that ridiculous drama, waste a lot of time and not just their own. This is wasting my time and I don't intend to allow any more comments such as this on my blog. It is unprofessional and immature. Time to grow up.

Abhishek Sircar said...

Hi jeanne! Thanks for putting up the pan video online. I had a great time working under you and really enjoyed my work over there.
I wish you and the whole of marketing dept Good Luck.

Tarun said...

Hi Jeanne,

Thanks for reminding me of some wonderful days spent with you guyz in Kolkata.....though it was a short trip of about 3 n 1/2 months but things were really great specially you being there as my immediate manager.

I would love the opportunity to work with you again if circumstances permit. Hope 123greetings is doing fine.....and with the new merger would touch new heights as per Sharad's and Arvind's dreams and not to mention you being a very important part of their branding and promotion as well.

I would like to thank all you guyz from the bottom or my heart for making this short trip to Kolkata such a memorable one & a special thanks for such a wonderful team spirit & excellent co-ordination during my stay with the company.

I wish all the best to all individuals who are still a part of 123greetings are are striving to achieve success for the organization.

Tarun Vasudev

MITHU SARKAR said...

Hi Jeanne! After a long time I was going through your blog.
Thanks for reminding me the wonderful days that I spent with you all in 123greetings. I really miss the enviornment over there. I am fortunate enough to get you as my GL at the very beginning of my career.
I want to say something regarding the comment made by Sucharita. As per her comment "talking to any ex employees of 123 only gives you anger,outburst,negativism". But being an ex-employee I completely disagree with her.
I am rather thankful to Kajaria brothers to provide me this wonderful opportunity to work with a 10 year old dotcom company.

Mithu

thatbob said...

OMG I hope that d00d doesn't rub his eyes after making those foodthings! Owie ow ow !

Abhishek said...

Hi
I would like to contact you over email for some talk to students. The one in your blogger entry did not seem to work.
Rgds
abhishek. (not the one in your blog :-))

kolkata web design said...

I liked this blog its very nice!

seo-kolkata said...

Pan is often a regular thing after a lunch or dinner and besides the wonderful taste and flavor that you can experience if you can dare one, it also works as a fantastic digestive.

And yes while spitting the juices is a common practice among some people it is not necessarily a "must-do" for having a pan.

latimerlover said...

Hi Jeanne! Love your blog!Fascinating video--thank you! I had heard of it but couldn't really picture what that would look like to eat--must be an amazing exeperience--and you survived! (loved the little salute to good hygiene with a wipe on the old dishrag!:)

Christmas Tree Widget By 123greetings.com