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Leading the world: Part One

“Where the hell are you Roshni? the event will start in 10 minutes.”

“Yes Lead. I have reached. Just parking my bike.”

“I thought you would be on time at least today.”

“Oh please Lead, you cannot say that you have also checked my patience.”

“Alright, don’t start that again, I cannot wait to see you and where is..."

"Yes dear, coming in 15 minutes…till then miss me, Goodbye!” Roshni slammed the phone in her bag. Her level of excitement was obvious from the pace of the bike.

She kept murmuring and complaining about the traffic signal, “These signals always stand as a hurdle when I am late. I was sure I would be on time, how could I be late? Lead will kill me, fast fast. 20, 19, 15 and” she raced the bike and directly stopped it for parking. She hurriedly parked the bike in between the queue of two wheelers and briskly made her way to the hotel. She gave a sigh of relief while entering the grand entrance of the JW Marriott.

She murmurs to herself, Finally reached, the event must have started. I am sure Richa hasn’t reached before me. Let me call her.

“Ah, so much traffic here. I will come in 10 mins, at the signal only”, Richa tells Roshni on the call who was also late for the Lead's event. “Damn that signal! Lead is already irritated at us. The event has started, we just don’t have to miss Lead’s name. Now come fast, I am going inside the hall.”, Roshni instructed Richa and made her way to the hall room. She opened the grand door and stepped inside.

The hall was elegant with dim blue lights of the ceiling chandelier. The color of the dim lights was complementing to shiny table and chair covers. The entire place looked luxurious. The hall was already full with attendees seating around big round tables. While Roshni was looking around to find her way towards reserved table, her ears pointed to the lady making an announcement on the stage.

“This person was merely one-year-old when our company was founded. I am sure this person might not have the inkling that 25 years later, that person would change the fate of our company. In the fast pacing world, we are always challenged to provide security to the end users. This person within 2 years in the company has developed a remarkable product for providing secure access to the user. Engineers, no doubt work hard to make our company satisfy our customers. But this person is not just an engineer, but has strived to change the unhealthy work culture by a unique working style ‘Step-up 15’. Though this initiative is not yet a full-fledged standard. I am sure this concept will definitely be adopted by other IT industries. Well, the person itself should put light on this concept. Today’s event of awarding the best talents of the year will be incomplete without saying hats off to the dedication of this person. I can see you all have guessed who the game changer is. Without wasting a second, let me reveal the name and solve the mystery. Please welcome with a huge round of claps, Miss Meera.”

A big round of applause raised in the hall. Roshni also clapped in enthusiasm. “I am obliged to invite our CTO, Mr. Shrivastava to present the ‘Most Outstanding Performer of the Year’ award to Meera.”, the anchor continued. The entire hall gave a thundering applaud to welcome Mr. Shrivastava and Meera. Mr. Shrivastava chivalrously let Meera step ahead on the stage.

With each step on the stage, the focus light fell on Meera and followed her path. A short girl with black hair was heading towards the stage. The yellow shirt with buttoned cuffs, fashioned with navy blue trousers brought sophisticated appeal to her. She seemed a bit uncomfortable in climbing stairs because of heels, she wore them for the first time. She held an innocent smile on her face and stood still glaring at the audience. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes for 2 seconds. She wanted to inculcate the entire moment within her.

Mr. Shrivastava then presented the ‘Oustanding Performer of the Year’ award to Meera with her name engraved on it. They both posed boastfully for a picture. Flashlights fell on them. It was a celebrity moment for Meera.

“Did I miss something?”, Richa questioned Roshni panting. “Finally you reached. Look there, she is just accepting the award.” Roshni pointed towards the stage. The visibility was not clear so both moved their eyes on the nearest LCD screen. “She has eventually got what she deserves,” Richa accorded in cheer. Roshni too moved her head in affirmation.

When Mr. Shrivastava was about to leave the stage, the anchor requested him to express a few words. “Well, this is inevitably a moment of celebration for our company. It is the end result of diligent professional like Meera. I appreciate and wish all the luck to her. Now the stage is entirely yours, please enjoy your moment.” He congratulated Meera and left the stage handing over the mike to her. “Go Meera!!!”, Roshni clapped loudly. The people sitting around the table in front stared at her. “What, she is my best friend,” Roshni smugly looked at them.

“I am really…I don’t know what to say..” Meera began in nervousness. “Liar, she has prepared the speech,” Richa giggled.

Meera resumed, “Let me start with narrating the origin of ‘Step-up 15’. My teammates keep saying I am a health freak, this is the reason for it. So after every 2 hours, I would climb stairs up and down for twice, it hardly took 15 minutes. Even if I had a meeting, I would request for a break and follow my routine. As days passed my Manager discovered. His reaction was positive and he suggested the authorities to enforce this as an obligation on all the employees. Yes, I know rules are meant to be broken. So we then left on the colleagues to decide. Now, after 2 hours all my teammates including my Manager, do Step-up for 15minutes. Hence, the name ‘Step-up 15’. Many of you are curious to know how did this rejuvenating tip strike me. Well, honestly even I am curious because I don’t know about its emergence. It was just a random day step which became a routine. But I have the answer for Why so health conscious? As they say, you have bad times, but they will always wake you up to good times you did not pay attention to. Health is the good time of our life we rarely pay attention to. I too was reluctant about staying fine fettle. One fine day a harsh reality was revealed to me. An unseen event of my life that I am not fit enough. That I had to leave my career behind only because of my deteriorating health. After 2-3 months of sick leave, I had to resign. As hard it was to believe, it was more difficult to deal with such sudden change. I would go sleepless at nights thinking of my dangling job, my career, my dreams. Everything seemed to be like hanging on the cliff with a thin rope. I could not accept that I was unfit. Probably that held me in grief for a long time. Everybody around me motivated me, pushed me to read how athletes, sportsmen overcome their injuries. Though that helped a lot, I realized the reason for anger within me is the Acceptance. My mind had always been scared to face the fact that I am not fit enough. It was like any other sympathy talks my friends were throwing on me saying that I am lucky to spend time chilling at home and how they don’t get time live their life or do things they are interested in because of long working hours. This pity statement proved out to be an inspiring statement. I remarked to myself that I am actually lucky. I can sit at home and work on things I always wanted to do. I can invest the maximum time on researching about technologies that interest me and not follow any company goals. Since that day, the acceptance of my weakness was nothing but utilizing my vulnerability as my strength. I finally realized, that rope holding my dreams preventing them from falling was my confidence. And now I could see the rope getting thicker and thicker.

I regretted wasting 3 months in the grievance, but it is never too late. Now following the most tasteless healthy diet plan was not unamusing anymore. Daily I began waking up early, exercising, having heavy breakfast and then charging myself with knowledge and latest technology. It is during this time that I got fascinated by the Biometric Authentication. I researched a lot about it. I investigated it right from its evolution to its current advent. My first practical example was building a fingerprint recognition system. When it was successful, a notion of using a fingerprint as the primary password for the social network, financial transactions etc. strike my mind. Now my interest got a direction. I was aware that some work was already there in this field but it was not yet into the markets. That is when I decided to present this idea in a Hackathon. Mr. Shrivastava was judging the Hackathon. He was may be influenced by the conception and offered me to join his research and development team. The journey from there you all are aware of. My Hackathon project abstract has transformed into a whole new product ‘FingerSafe’ whose Beta version is already in the market. With the kind of customer reviews, I am sure it will make our lives much secure and fraudulent free. The remarkable market response of ‘FingerSafe’ has emerged a new fountain of positivity in me. When I look back at those times, I feel sad that I was ignorant about my body and well being. But it is also true that whatever I could achieve today is only an out-turn of it. One should face the darkness to appreciate the light. One should also never forget that even in light our shadow is dark. So true appreciation of good times and being humble to bad times is living life.

Enough of Philosophy, I can talk for hours on Life, probably this is the wrong podium for it. So coming back to ‘FingerSafe’. Not only the healthy mind/soul but healthy teamwork leads to the success of a product. Same applies to ‘FingerSafe’. The entire team has put efforts and have literally put their finger energy to make ‘FingerSafe’ a reality. Being grateful is really a small gesture. In fact, true gratitude to all the efforts can only be bestowed by continuing the great work, taking this project forward and making it the best product in its domain. Also, let me take this opportunity to acknowledge the support and belief my family and my besties always showed in me. As I said Thanks is a mere formality, being fruitful to all their expectations is the true gratitude. And…I should stop now.

So, all the people out there bring all your fingers together, step-up your feet and let’s celebrate our success. Thank you!”

The audience gave a great ovation to Meera as she began walking down the stage. “Cmon let’s meet her,” Roshni pulled Richa and they began making their way to Meera. They both followed her to the backstage. Meera was surrounded by her colleagues. She noticed Roshni and Richa the moment they entered. She urged them to wait with eyes and hand gestures. They acknowledged and stood near the mirror of the room. For almost 20 minutes Meera was talking to her colleagues. When one person would leave the other would come and Meera would take a step back. Roshni could not wait more. She advanced to Meera and hugged her. “I am so happy for you Lead…Congratulations my girl,” she wished loudly. Meera was kind of startled but hugged her back. “Thanks for being on time, ” she teased Roshni.

“Please excuse me, Nikita, we can talk on this later,” Meera politely excused her colleague. Nikita left saying, “Sure..enjoy your day.”

“Roshni has no manners Meera, she interrupted the conversation,” Richa playfully complained. “Thank God, you came she is the one who talks a lot, you rescued me, ” Meera laughed. “See I am her true friend not like you, late always,” Roshni and Meera gave a hi-fi teasing Richa. “You shut up, you arrived only 5 minutes before me,” Richa unamusingly answered back. “Congratulations sweetheart..well done!” Richa cheered Meera and hugged her. Looking at them, Roshni also spread her hands to embrace them. “Thanks for everything. You both have been really supportive.” Meera sounded emotional. “Just now you mentioned Thanks is a small word. We want a party now,” Richa broke the emotional silence. “Yeah, let’s get out of this boring function. I have planned everything.” Roshni made an enthusiastic dance move. “Yes, I am super-excited, I will be back in an hour, till then enjoy the food in Marriott. ” Meera suggested. “No ya, let her enjoy the food I will check out cool guys,” Roshni winked at Richa. “Introduce your cute teammate to Roshni, then the boring function will be interesting to her, ” Richa and Meera laughed at Roshni. “No, no, he is not fit for me. You know who my love is, ” Roshni blushed a bit. “By the way, the heels were complimenting you, I should be a stylist now, ” Roshni continued. “I chose the shirt, so she looked classy, ” Richa stated breaking her. “You both carry on, I will be back. Call me if you need something, ” Meera left them arguing.

“Look she can run only because of the heels and not the shirt, Haha…” “What a senseless argument it is!”

“You lose accept it…”

“With such nonsense arguments definitely I win!"

“Let Meera decide that I have won” “Accept the fact Roshni, I am the winner.”

Richa and Roshni too left the room with their sizzling silly battle on.

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