How do you want to design the future of today?

Management Funda By N. Raghuraman

Even today one can see a sign board in some select smart grocery store which screams in bold letters “no credit for today” or “once sold good can’t be returned.” The only difference between other sign boards and these ones is that it is never removed from there. Fundamentally the store owner has designed his future permanently as far as his business rules are concerned. Nothing wrong with this announcement if the store owner believes in such business principles. He has every right to behave in that manner. But the problem arises when the same store owner seeks 90 days credit from a wholesaler while supplying food items or he claims that he has the liberty to return items during that credit period. Because nobody returns any product without a reason after spending time, energy and money to procure it.

I remembered this “one-sided” principle behaviour of some store owners on this Tuesday while returning from my morning walk with my dogs. A lady from the neighbourhood was plucking “parijat” flowers and collecting it in her saree “pallu” standing outside my compound. Remember these flowers need not be plucked. If you slightly shake the branch they will fall off on their own. But this lady did not pick up fallen down flowers, which she might have thought that “it is not suitable to offer to her god” which is understandable. Hence it never bothered me. And besides being a Maharashtra resident from childhood I remember their old adage in Marathi which goes like this “बहरला पारिजात दारी फुले कां पड़ती शेजारी.” Which loosely translated means that “your tree of parijat will always give its flowers to the neighbour!”

It also never bothered me that she didn’t feel sorry for plucking it without my permission even once in the several years she has shifted. But what bothered me was it’s her family that ensured my gardener cut off all well-grown branches of the same tree that was leaning towards their house! Somehow the entire family has some animosity to gardens and greens, and they have no single plant, which is perfectly their choice.

This reminded me of one of our Bhaskar readers, Assistant Professor Sunita Khanna’s experience in Bhopal—Now ‘Wahal’ after marriage and staying in Indore. She used to be a neighbour of a very well known bureaucrat Rakesh Srivastav who had been collector to cities like Indore. Sunita’s house had lots of flowers in her garden and while returning from a walk Srivastav’s daughter, Kanupriya, expressed her desire to pluck some. The mother, Vandita strongly objected to her desire and said she is maximum permitted to pick up the fallen flowers but she can’t touch any from the plant! This is exactly what is called “designing the future of today”.

Then, my mind ruminated (Jugali) another incident from Monday’s IPL match between KKR and RCB. When Aaron Flinch of RCB hit a ball to the fence, Shubman Gill of KKR managed to stop it. But his hand slightly touched the fence which means it’s ‘4’ runs. But he pretended as if he didn’t know about it. But all the commentators said “his face says he is guilty of touching the fence.” The decision was sent to the TV umpire and it took a few minutes to take the decision in Flinch’s favour. It would have been a fair play if Gill would have signalled the umpire on ground that he touched the fence.

Funda is that to me such uprightness designs not only the future of today but an entire generation of tomorrow. History will always remember upright people.

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