It will be done...

The flash committers - a tribe usually found in the upper echelons of the corporate world. These people instantly commit timelines and deliverables with the earnestness of a quiz participant in a buzzer round, promptly assume that their task has been gallantly done and then recede into the background, leaving the innocent bystanders to battle the impossible odds of fulfilment.

"The act of commitment is all about reckless thought, as rarely if at all is the concerned opinion sought."

The hushed words of wisdom, the express delivery of the tea cup and Chai-La (the mystical Chinese canteen boy) had disintegrated into a graph of the falling sensex on the paper on conference room table.

Ram sipped the warm brew and once again pondered about the riddle that was residual with the tea cup. He glanced around the room. Vikas (his boss), PP (the creative director), Dharti (the strategic planning head) and Planimus (the gladiatorial media planning chief) were present from the agency team. There was the new client Ms. Taut n Firm, the visionary proprietor of the business that the agency had recently acquired. Her company was in the business of making products of a curious nature that no one quite knew enough about.

But that being said, there was more to Ms. Taut n Firm than met the eye, though what met the eye was certainly impressive. She was wondrously endowed with all the virtues that men of low moral fibre usually appreciate. But as philosophers would venture to eloquently espouse (if someone actually troubled them by asking) where her strength really was in what lay between her ears. Blessed with a razor sharp mind and a feisty animal-like cunning, she made news regularly on both the business and the socialite pages. Her company had a lot of suitors even though what it exactly did remained strangely elusive.

The meeting was about how the relationship between the new client and agency would function, what would be the deliverables involved, an allocation of responsibilities and an introduction to the people whose lives would generally be more miserable as a result of the additional burden being thrown their way.

Ms. Taut n Firm cast a condescending look across the room, like a great white shark indulging its prey a little bit before dinner. She knew that she needed this motley bunch to deliver whatever she wanted in double quick time with few questions asked. She moved a trained eye across her adversaries. PP would be difficult no doubt, so would Planimus and Dharti; she distinctly picked a "hostile vixen vibe" from the latter. The underling would be insignificant, though she was amazed how the tea cup had suddenly materialised in his hand.

Her eyes finally rested on the dapper and suave head of Vikas who was busy trying to adjust his tie in his reflection on the glass of water on the table. Her gaze caught his eyes and a "moment" happened. Dharti distinctly felt a pang of jealousy surge through her veins. Vikas beamed back at Ms. Taut n Firm with the eagerness of a school child eager to please his favourite teacher.

Ms. Taut n Firm smiled back with mesmeric charm. But her astute brain had already decoded Vikas‘s DNA and classified him as a species whose essential thought process emanated waist downwards.

"So Vikas, how do we begin this?" she enquired with an icy allure that walked the tightrope between dictatorial lenience and coquettish promise.

"You tell us. We usually over deliver on client expectations," quipped back Vikas, sporting a grin that he hoped was making his teeth have that trademark sparkle.

The groans that resounded across the room were almost "philharmonic." Many kicks were launched under the table but Vikas, having encountered much pain in the past from those quarters, adroitly swayed his legs and avoided them.

"Well, I need the agency to devise a business and marketing strategy in 3 days‘ time."

"Done," he said with such gusto that his momentum shocked his compatriots for a bit, just like how it sometimes takes the implication of a death sentence to sink in before the inevitable emotional outburst ensues.

"You must be joking." Began Dharti, her normally unflappable self clearly doing a lot of flapping right then.

"We don‘t even know what business Ms. Taut n Firm is in," boomed PP upsetting the tender equilibrium of the stationery on the table.

Ms. Taut n Firm sensed the rebellion, and knew she had to move through the gears.

"The risk of the account moving out gets the leaders‘ sweat glands working, no doubt."

Ram was grateful for the much-needed second cup but still was left stumped by Chai-La‘s pearl of wisdom as the latter departed committing a rather too tight a deadline for the third cup of warm brew.

"You know Vikas. My account is in much demand..." Ms. Taut n Firm knew she would not need to complete that sentence.

Planimus snorted a retort that sounded like a quasar trying to express itself amidst the cacophony of the cosmos, really harsh on the ear.

"No sweat, it will be done," Vikas quickly cut in, firmly tapping Dharti‘s hand.

"And I need the campaign to be shown to me the same day."

"Certainly, it will be done."

PP jumped out of seat like an arch nemesis would on discovering that his well-thought-out master plan to eliminate Bond had failed.

"I don‘t even know what the brand is about, we are clueless about the category, and we have absolutely no other information. How can you even commit such deadlines?"

"Isn‘t this agency smart enough to generate ideas with very little information? Just think of a generic campaign that could fit at least three categories that seem close in terms of values and consumer expectations and we should be there," Ms. Taut n Firm cooed back, her beautiful eyes locked on Vikas and no one else.

Apparently, some snakes have a hypnotic effect on their prey; Ram was witnessing the same phenomena though not on the same scale (pun intended)

"Yes it is. We will deliver in three days," shot back Vikas

PP stormed out of the room and exploded in a flurry of expletives that threatened to strain the very fabric of society, kicking everything that came his way as he left the room. Ram just briefly glanced behind in the window to see some young airborne trainees.

"And finally I need a complete media strategy and budget recommendation on that day as well," Ms. Taut n Firm ordered, toying with a little paperweight on the table.

"What choice do you have? You may as well commit without understanding the basics of what will be needed to do such an exercise. Actually knowing what we are doing all this for is not a bad thing you know; it does put a perspective on things." That was Planimus in his most vintage sarcastic tone.

"All fixed for the next meeting in three days‘ time," said Vikas still staring into Ms. Taut n Firm‘s eyes as though he could never look away. Dharti and Planimus exited the room shaking their heads, their morale and disposition obviously having seen better days.

"That‘s it then, see you," said Miss Taut n Firm.

She snapped her fingers in front of Vikas‘s face and then glided out of the room as if she were on skates.

Vikas blinked his eyes briefly and then puffed his chest out a bit.

"See chief and savour, how I prevented the account from moving out. How I controlled the situation and won back client respect and faith. See and learn, I hope you take notes about my performance at such forums; it will help you in the future. How can you ever thank me enough for such learning experiences?"

Ram stared hard at Vikas. There was no doubt that he actually believed what he had just said.

"How are we going to meet those deadlines?" he asked with typical focus.

"Don‘t bother me with these mundane things; I am flying out for three days on matters of a secret nature for the company. I could tell you but would have to kill you after that, so see you at the next meeting in three days and all the deliverables are your responsibility from here on. After all, how much more can I do?"

Vikas vanished with a dexterity (and a contented chuckle) that was honed over the years.

"Setting a deadline is not that tough, when it‘s not you who is going to face the rough."

The maniacal giggle, the express delivery of the tea cup (5 minutes later than promised) and Chai-La dissolved into the impending gloom of the day.

For once Ram fully understood what he meant.

The writer is Vice President, Rediffusion DY&R. He is also the patron saint of Juhu Beach United, a football club that celebrates the "unfit, out of breath media professional of today." You can write to him at (

(The views expressed here are those of the author and need not necessarily subscribe to the same)

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