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Smile For Life

Smile For Life

8 mins 10.8K 8 mins 10.8K

Smile for Life

There she was sitting at a quiet bus station in an otherwise extremely busy city. Smita was deeply engrossed in searching for other job options in the city while waiting for Mr. Sharma, who was supposed to take her to his factory. She had had a chat with Mr. Sharma just the day before, over his cell phone, wherein she had told him about her background and work experience and he had suggested that they should visit his factory together and on the way the so-called interview would happen. Neither Mr. Sharma nor she knew each other. Generally speaking this was a crazy way for interview but Smita being an extremely positive person agreed to this.

After waiting for say 15 minutes, just a fleeting thought came up and a shiver ran through Smita’s spine. ‘What if, she was getting into an unnecessary trap?!’ She shrugged and pushed the negative thought away and waited.

Just then a white Maruti Van came and stopped in front of her. It was around 11 a.m. now, and just a couple of passersbys were around. The door of the Van opened and a person who looked to be around 42-43 years old peeped out from the back, who had also seemingly been reading a newspaper, which now was crumpled away in his hands.

“Ms. Smita?” the person asked. 

Smita nodded and he just said “Hi! I am Sharma. Please get into the Van and we shall go to my factory which is around 30 kilometers away.”

Somehow looking at the disinterested - preoccupied look Mr. Sharma had on his face, Smita fearlessly got into the Van and they started their journey to Mr. Sharma’s factory.

“We have been running this factory for the last 10 years now. We are into supplying stitched T-Shirts to various brands through contractual work.”  Mr. Sharma started the conversation. “My wife, Keerti, who is a fashion designer, and I own the business and we have been able to manage pretty well so far. We are now looking to expand our operations. Keerti manages her work from home now, since we have a 3 year old daughter.” he smiled and said. “What about you? Who all are there in your family?”

Smita had, by now, got quite comfortable and said, “My mother stays in Kanpur with my younger brother who is studying Engineering. We lost our father 3 months ago. I had been working in Kanpur and have come over here to look for better options so that we are able to take care of my brother’s fee.”

Mr. Sharma heard her story quietly and then started discussing about how the business had been setup and factory started after his wife and he came over from Delhi some 11 years ago. In about an hour they reached Mr. Sharm’a factory in Malur. He took Smita around the entire premise and showed various machines setup all around. He then left her there saying he would be back in a while.

Smita went around and spoke to the work - men and ladies, who were busy with cutting and sewing, spoke to them trying to understand the entire process. The innocent shy smiles on few of these young people’s face made Smita like the atmosphere instantly. Having worked herself for a manufacturing unit in Kanpur for around 6 years, Smita knew quite a detail about the factory culture. But somehow these simple people here seemed to have some attraction that pulled at her heart.

She had just finished talking to those workers when Mr. Sharma came and showed her some other sections of the factory and then they started back. They reached their residence cum office.  Keerti, Mr. Sharma’s wife seemed to be a sober lady and their daughter was really a sweet little soul.

She then met Sanjay who was taking care of their Accounts section. He kind of walked her through few of the documents on the system. Looking at the very small office and seeing hardly any other soul, Smita felt very disturbed.

Would this be the correct place to work? She kept thinking while returning to her rented room. She wanted a job badly as the previous contractual job which she had taken up to sustain her after coming to the new city had got over and this was the only option that had come her way after rigorous search of 15 days.

She was looking out from the window of the bus boarded and saw a car with elderly couple in it pass by. Smita was suddenly reminded of home and her parents and tiny tears rolled out of her eyes. She had had a protected life so far with extremely affectionate parents and a very loving brother. She remembered her father and suddenly felt extremely lonely and without support. She quickly pulled herself back, took a tight painful gulp and immediately shifted her focus onto the huge buildings that were around to push away these sad feelings. 

She had a mission that had to be accomplished. She had to make it big for her mother and brother. After her father’s sudden demise Smita had been reading various books and write ups and from everywhere she came to learn that life’s ultimate mission was to serve humanity and spread love.  This feeling suddenly gave clarity to Smita’s otherwise confused thoughts and she decided to join that small company.

Rashi, her friend in the paying guest accommodation, heard her plan of joining this small organization with not a very big paycheck and somewhat agreed that it might work out in the end. Smita had this strong positive belief that one day this company would be a big one as both Mrs and Mr Sharma were good people and so many workers’ lives were dependent on this company.

Next morning Smita went to the new office and tried to organize all the files and documents and in doing so got to understand the entire operations of the organization.  The company had been performing well with multiple orders delivered yearly and the balance sheet looking quite strong until the previous year when suddenly all key players of the company had been poached away by competitors. The orders were not delivered and thus the credit started mounting up. Slowly other staff left and the proprietors were clueless as to how to come out of this situation.

Mr. Sharma showed Smita an application which was half done for loan from a foreign bank and asked her to go and see the branch manager after completing the facts and figures. Smita took the challenge and completed the documentation within a day and went to the branch manager.

This was the first time she was meeting a Branch Manager on behalf of a company alone. She felt a bit nervous but then she had this mission for getting this company out of this bad situation burning inside her.

Smita explained the situation and also detailed out the possible plan of coming out of it. She had chalked out a detailed financial projection with logical strategies outlined. The Manager listened to her patiently and then asked her where the proprietor was. He wanted to meet Mr. Sharma and discuss details and asked her to leave the file with his personal secretary. Smita felt a bit disappointed but immediately pulled her positive frame and asked for an appointment for Mr. Sharma. They decided a date and time and she came back to office after submitting the file with Mr. Rajan, the personal secretary to the Branch Manager.

Although Simta’s work was to look after the finance section, she had taken it unto herself to pull this organization out of this bad shape. She would keep dreaming of seeing lots of work going on in the factory with many people working busily and orders getting delivered. She spoke to Keerti and shared her thoughts and plans with such conviction that Keerti agreed to accompany her to the factory the next day.

Mrs. and Mr. Sharma, their kid and Smita went to the factory the next day. Keerti and Smita together spoke to each of the workers pumping in enthusiasm and organizing a group lunch. Slowly the dull faces of the workers lit up and there was life back in the factory. Smita spoke to a few old and dedicated workers and asked them to bring good hand in as there was going to be lots of work flowing in.

Seeing all this Mr. Sharma, who had lost all hope and thus was on the verge of giving up, got his energy back. On the said day he went to the bank and spoke to the Branch Manager confidently stating all facts clearly and also convincingly showcasing his next plan.

Every morning Keerti and Smita would go to the factory, get the workers together and organize a prayer meeting before starting the machines. The workers got enthusiastic every day. They came to work happily although they knew that the organization was still not out of its bad patch, but their hope and good wishes made them work on.

Mr. Sharma was able to showcase the happily working group to a prospective customer, who was immediately convinced and placed a large order.

In order to fulfill the order again the finances were required, but there was no reply from the bank so far. In the office, the trio Mrs. and Mr. Sharma and Smita felt the pressure building up. Smita once again took her positivity plunge and made the others too think in the same direction of achieving the goal. After waiting for a week, holding tightly to the positive vision, Mr. Sharma went to the bank and got to know that his papers were being worked out, it was just that the Branch Manager had gone away on a business and on his return the finances would have been sanctioned.

As the days went by, the organization grew to its fame, went public in two years and Smita was now heading the Operations. She got a house built and got her mother with her. Her brother was performing extremely well in his studies. Smita was happily spreading her positivity around!!

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