But seriously... it is quite terrible. Vani had an accident two days back. To cut a long story short, here it is for you in bullet points. Imagine, if you will:
1. Vani travelling blissfully in Auto.
2. Auto driver deciding to turn into 'Auto-pilot'
3. Vani observing auto is now flying across the road.
4. Vani and Auto-pilot screaming 'yaaargghh' or similar
4. Auto meeting Sturdy Pole. Full stop for Auto.
5. Occupants suriving. Vani slightly better off than auto-pilot.
6. They both immediately rush to hospital ( for some reason, choosing to take another auto rather than a cab, but leave us not judge them- they have been through enough).
So the upshot of it all is that Vani has been advised bed rest and has been hobbling around at home. Fans of Vani, who have got to know and love her through this blog, will be glad to know that she is recovering well.
When her boss Tarun (who is based in Bangkok) heard about the accident, he was quite concerned, naturally. To show this concern through a simple gesture, he sent me a message to ask me to send her flowers on behalf of the entire team.
I told him, no problem, and passed this task on to our (Vani's and mine) secretary Raman.
Raman needs to be understood a bit more. He is around one hundred years old and due for retirement anyday now. A soft hearted old man with a gruff exterior, he is terribly underworked because Vani and I travel a lot and work out of a different office on most days. So he usually appreciates the one or two projects given to him, making a mountain out of every possible molehill.
Me ( breezing into office): Hi Raman
Raman (gruffly): Hi
Me: Raman, Vani's had an accident - did you know?
Raman (expression showing a strange mix of disgust and concern): Noh, I diddan knowh.
Me: Well, anyway, Tarun has asked that we send her some nice flowers at home. Can you please arrange them?
Raman ( steely determination entering watery eyes): Yah. I can sand it.
Me: Great. Make it out to say 'Vani, Get Well Soon - from the Team. Regards, Tarun'
Raman (having done with me, rudely turns his back): OK.
I proceed with my work, only interrupted once by Raman.
Raman (sneaking up behind me and booming in my ear): Sand it to harr homm?
Me: Yes, please. You know her address, right?
Raman (disgusted at the question): Hobviously I knowh Bhani's haddress.
Me: Ok. When will it reach her?
Raman: Bhy twalve.
Sure enough, by twelve thirty, I got a call from Tarun who had obviously been thanked by Vani for the flowers - he thanked me for the 'quick action' and insisted on finding out how much it cost so that he could reimburse me. I assured him it was done through Raman at the office and therefore, not an issue. I, in turn, thanked Raman for the 'quick action' who grumbled back at me, pleased.
The thought of having brought a smile to poor battered Vani's face brought a warm glow over all of us. I could imagine her delight and surprise at unexpectedly receiving a huge,lovely bunch of blooming flowers. I was personally touched by our collective thoughtfulness.
Now, the actual flower delivery as I discovered after conversation with Vani. Bullet point version:
1. Vani, having resolved to work from home, sleeping between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
2. 12 noon, calls on Vani's mobiles starting. Confused courier chap confounded by Raman's directions ( 'Haddress is A-5..mast be phipth phloor only')
3. Courier chap finally reaches Vani's house. Ringing bell.
4. Irritated Vani slams open door. Courier chap thrusts flowers into her face.
5. Flowers consist of approximately 4 dilapidated roses and 4 other unidentifiable flowers, dying in their tight plastic shroud. Vani recoils at stink and thrusts them back into courier chap's face.
6. Vani finally reluctantly accepts flowers are for her and takes them from man.
7. Vani discovers who is responsible for these pathetic posies- a dirty pink envelope contains (apart from wrong address) 'From Tarun and Team. Item: Mixed Flower bunch'
I went over to see her in the evening and discovered this horrifying Mixed Flower Bunch. Cursing Raman, I remembered that his constant endeavour, his personal life mission, is to save every possible rupee for the company - so he must have ferretted around for the cheapest option in town. (In fact, now I think I have seen similar flowers in the gardens near our office ... and he did disappear for half an hour that morning...). I shuddered at the thought of having to tell Tarun, 'Boss, you owe me Rs. 20 for the mixed flower bunch..'
Anyway, Vani and I did have a good laugh about it. And Raman and Tarun are probably still basking in that warm glow. So everybody's happy.
(Please admire the picture of the flowers, courtesy Vani. My first techno-savvy attempt at uploading pictures.)