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Work Masks Vs The Real You

A few years back, my eyes opened to an interesting theory. That of ‘work masks’. An external agency conducted a Thomas Profile test for our managers and there it was revealed that each person has a social conduct (which is how he behaves naturally in his house or social circle) and a work mask (it is called a mask for a reason). I was surprised to see that the graphs depicting each of them were different for the same individual. That means, a person is different in his natural self and different at work. Isn’t that iffy, a person having two identities? But that’s how it is for most people are work. There were hardly 3 people (including myself) in that group of 16 who had the same social and work graph. Such people are same everywhere; they have no work masks. And that’s why it is called a ‘mask’ because people put it on when they come to work. This is not how they are, rather, only pretend to be.

Most of our seniors interact with us only for work. At those rare times when the invisible, thick wall, separating a person’s office and person life, is broken and a person’s ‘personal’ side comes out, it is often awkward and hard to relate his that side with him. What movies does your Boss watch? How are your Boss’s children like? What does your Boss do on a holiday? Does your sub-ordinate love someone? What kind of upbringing has your subordinate had? Does your subordinate have a serious hobby? More often than not, we never know what our workstation partner is outside work. It is even difficult to imagine them as anything else.

I am lucky to have a kind of private work area. It is an isolated cubicle and one can’t easily spot me sitting there. I have been given a huge soft board area and because no one can see it, I did it up in my way. In fact, I put all these things up there becauseno one can see the board. Had it been visible to everyone, I wouldn’t have personalized my space so much because I obviously am expected to maintain some professionalism and norm.

This is how my work station looks like:

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I have projected in this space things I love: quotes, flowers, craft and personal memoirs. Because I have always loved craft, I used whatever I found artistic at work and recycled it to look pretty.

How do you keep yourself at work? Are you different or do you let people know the real you?

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Kites

Gujarat is my homeland. It hasn’t felt more so than it has since I have started living in Baroda. The people, the roads, the food, the culture – nothing is new to me. I can speak the local language, I can read it. Even though it is not my mother tongue, Gujarati feels very familiar and I like the sound of it. After my 12thstandard, I moved to Maharashtra. Even though I lived in Surat for 2 years, Baroda feels like home.

Festive season is back in Gujarat. Now, it’s Uttarayan. Kite flying is a huge craze here. It is impossible to go out on 14th of January because you are likely to be struck by entwined maanjhaall around the roads and buildings. Uttarayan has proved to be perilous for innocent birds. While Barodians will be flying kits with equal gusto this time, they have consciously widely shared bird helpline numbers where people can call to help injured birds.

Every evening I saw this patch of OP road, where lots of colourful kite stalls had been put up. I got driven there last evening just to have a look. One of my friends had told me that the whole area becomes madness as Uttarayan approaches. I wanted to see that for myself. Truly, it had turned into a fair of sorts. Hawkers sitting on the road sold glittery trumpets which made the sound of elephants and crying kids. They played that in my ear as I passed them. A seller jabbed an inflated guitar at me. A hawker launched a paper snake in front of me and scared me.

Some pics below:

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(My home entrance decorated with kites from one of the stalls. The beautiful toran has been purchased from a handloom exhibition)