I was afraid that if I came across as
someone helping Jeff, I would be the target of jokes and could
even be thrown out of the group. However, very soon I discovered that Jeff established rapport with the 'troublemakers'
and was able to get things done on his own. It was clear that he
was able to convince these people that if they were opposed to
the system, he is not the one to be blamed. The excellent results did not go unnoticed by the
vice president either. He would often meet with Jeff and I to get updates on our projects.
Bollywood actress Neha Dhupia)
I was myself approaching him more frequently now when I needed to convince him to call a politician
or a bureaucrat to push for subsidized land or ask a bureaucrat
to expedite an approval. And this meant that we often worked late into the
night to make all these
phone calls to India.
No wonder that the
vice president, Jeff, and I were spending a lot of time in the office as we tried to coordinate the projects.
The VP would often leave as soon as the calls were over but Jeff and I had to work extra hours to take care of the
follow-up items. I was enjoying all these exciting projects not
only because they were so fast-paced but also due to the exposure I was getting. I was talking to dozens of high-ranking
officials back home and my phone would constantly be ringing.
I had started to forward my office calls to my
cell phone so that
I could still take some urgent calls before I went to bed.
During all those after-hours, as the work pressure mounted,
some of the conventions broke. It was not rare to see Jeff making copies or sending out faxes while I worked the phones.
Jeff was not shy about doing all it took to getting things done.
Some of the other conventions broke - as we munched takeout food on our desks, we quietly sipped
wine from our coffee
mugs, against company policy banning alcohol consumption in the office. Additionally, Jeff and I increasingly
became more like friends rather than a boss and a subordinate.
American International Bank had decided to base their Asian
headquarters in India. When the news came, Jeff and I virtually kissed each other. This project was considered pivotal
since it would convince other banks and financial institutions
to feel more comfortable about recognizing Bangalore as the financial capital
in South Asia. Moreover, it meant creation of 3,000 jobs over three years. When the Trade
Minister wrote a personal letter to Jeff for his role in making it
happen, he made a copy of the letter, attached a card on top, and left it on my desk before leaving for a short trip to see his
family. "Anjali, I couldn't have done this without you. Love,
||I was rather surprised to read the 'love' part. If it were
someone else in the office, I might have even been offended since I was constantly
being hit on by my colleagues, who
despite my age and three kids, thought I was a dashing beauty.
I did not know how to thank Jeff since I would not have been able to do anything either without his help. I decided how
important it was that he knew it and he would continue to help
me so that I could grow professionally. Not knowing what would be the most appropriate, I simply added at the bottom of
the card, "Jeff, you are a boss that anyone would love and I am
delighted that I am that anyone. Anjali." I simply put the
envelope back in his inter-office mail so that he could see when
he got back. I was also very particular about using the word 'love' somewhere in my message too.
Jeff did not mention anything about the card
later and I did not think much about it either. I had not meant much either and
assumed that neither did Jeff. We were definitely motivated by
our success with American International Bank and were recognized by the
VP in a lavish breakfast that he organized in place of the dull Monday morning meetings. Jeff
and I were now the power team as we started to convince other companies to follow the lead of American International Bank.
Jeff was very
curious about India and I became his confidante when it came
to asking 'stupid' questions about India. As we opened up, we
started to talk about things that were probably not always
'politically correct' or 'human -resources department
approved.' He wanted to know why Indians disliked marrying people of other races
so much. He also noted that I tended to wear
sexier dresses than most outfits that businesswomen wore in the US. He
skintight blouses and navel-revealing
I wore to work sometimes) would be unacceptable if policies of American corporations were
rigidly applied. Like most other Indian women, my
blouses tended to be
too tight and small, often quite frilly, and with low necklines.
When I wore a
sheer blouse, it was difficult to hide my lacy bras and this is what Jeff commented about. Earlier on in our
relationship, I would wear cardigans all the time to hide what I
was wearing but as we become friendlier, I had often given him
a peek at what I was wearing inside after complaining about the air-conditioning not working properly. He commented that
he probably would not have reacted to a similar outfit on another
woman but because he and I had become so close he was comfortable sharing his views. He also liked the
Indian women. He expressed his frustration at seeing only black color in urban areas, particularly New York,
even though that used to be his favorite color when he was growing up in Cincinnati.
Dressing up stylishly for the American man
Indian festival Holi
My India trip
On the other side movie
Indian girl seeks American man
Dating Indian man
Fling with a colleague
have a crush on my boss
Should I date my boss
to hit on my boss
Station Baleeaire French Indian film
How to seduce a man on a business trip