Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stand up to Cancer: Stories of Courage.

At the start of the millenium, my visiting card had the JWT Mumbai address . This was at Lakshmi Building in Fort. As one got off the rickety elevator on the 5th Floor and entered the JWT office, the desk facing the corridor on the right wing from the reception foyer, used to be a work station which had a dusky, thin occupant. When I joined and was introduced around, I was told that she was with the films department and her name was Vandana Natu. As with introductions, one forgot it the moment the next face was introduced. Since I always saw her as I came to office and walked into my cabin, I followed a diurnal ritual of a Good morning and an official smile which was part of my office couture. With time, I started registering the people behind the names and I developed affiliations. Vandana Natu was not someone I need to build equations with, since film making was not part of the responsibilities of an AVP and Strategic Planning Director, but she did help me out when I need guidance on using a handycam for consumer interviews. The help was given promptly and without any airs or nakhras. This was unusual in advertising, where everyone from the lift operator, to the tea boy, to the Creative Director never miss an opportunity to emphasize his or her perceived importance and indispensability to your life and continued existence in the organization. The manner was sober and respectful and it left a very positive impression on me. In a sea of youngsters given to boisterous behaviour, often bordering on the licentious, this one was a welcome relief. In fact, she came across as a a nice young lady and struck me as the kind  you would always hope, would find some one nice, settle down and live happily ever after.

I was therefore shocked to read this piece about her tryst with cancer and am glad and relieved it is behind her. I would have lost all faith in “doing the right thing” if the script had been otherwise. Bad things should not happen to good people. I am glad she had the courage to fight it out. I am also glad that JWT for a moment showed character and considered the human aspect and not bureaucratic rules.

Here is to hoping that the worst is behind for this lady and her family.

1 comment:

Raindrop said...

Hi vinod, am touched. Thanks for remembering me those early days at JWT and sharing this. Regards. Vandana