Published in DNA Epaper on 16 June 2011  

Respected Sir,

A very good morning to you.

Please find attached the details of the minutes for today morning's team call. Since I am new to organisation, I am having difficulty in understanding the agendas of the meeting and would like to touch base with you for more clarity. Which office are you based out of? I can arrange a team F2F as needed.

At the start of meeting, I was waiting for Mr. Min Feng to join the call, he said he was sorry for late and thank you for patient. Mr. Fosters asked how I was going, I said I was going by bus. Regarding the project, Ms. Wolf asked me to marry the projects documents. Sensing my confusion, Ms. Pat said she would grease the mocked-up skids to make the process easier. She also mentioned about an alternate plan but I could not hear her well and wished she would speak a bit more louder.

We were briefed about managing stake-holders.

They will be giving us a roadmap to deploy the tools in other Geos. I was in agreement of this, as without a map of the road we can get lost easily in other Geos.

The PM also said something about becoming firefighters by pushing the backs of unreasonable clients. Before I could clarify what he meant, he said he had a hard stop and we wrapped up the meeting. We were also told to move up the other meetings in advance for a valid preponement.

Note: All action-items are to be actioned by the actioners by the end of the week.

I have tried to keep the minutes as-is as-much as-possible. I apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.

Thank you and very warm regards,
A terribly confused Indian speaker of Global English.

A common and rather cliched belief among many people is that Indians have "too many" holidays and festivals. Perhaps this notion stems from the fact that India celebrates Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Sikh festivals which might give one the feeling that India has "too many" festivals or holidays.

We have festivals to celebrate a new season, or a God's birthday, or to commemorate our country's freedom fighters. But what country does not celebrate festivals or have holidays for the same reasons? How different is St. Patrick's day from Guru Nanak Jayanthi? Or Memorial Day from Martyr's Day? We might take a week or two off for Dussera/Diwali, as would others for Christmas or Ramzan. We also have several non-holiday months in the year, just like other many countries. In fact, most countries have about 10-12 public holidays (source: wikipedia). Thus, if India has "too many" holidays - so does every other country in the world.

I sometimes wonder if the implication behind a statement such as "you have too many holidays" is "I work more than you do" - which is terribly rude or "I''m envious you have more holidays" which is a fallacy. I was shocked to chance upon an office blog that said "Indians have a problem of less productivity during Diwali" suggesting that taking the day/week/fortnight off for the most important festival for Hindus is a 'problem.' (In fact, several managers only give 2 days off to cope with heavy project requirements during Diwali.)

To people who make such statements, realise this, India does not have too many holidays, India has a diverse culture and ethnicity and we celebrate it through our holidays.

To Indians who hear such statements from others, share this blogpost with them :)