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04 June 2008

Loudmouth

SEATED LAST night at the lobby of the Hyatt Regency in New Delhi, I completed a five-hour interview marathon with short-listed candidates for my north India team. What a delight to see how four young men, born in the same generation in the same region, shared different and rather pointed perspectives to my same set of questions! What remained constant was a dutiful devotion to family: one could not relocate to another city since his wife works in New Delhi, while another was taking care of his parents.

I'm always fascinated with the way creative youth speak their minds out, and India is one of the best places to enjoy this. Loud and articulate, with pointed affectations and lilting accents, young Indian men and women always need to get their voices heard. (Read my earlier post about their loudness.) Their convictions sometimes border on being opinionated, uninitiated (it still surprises me to find gender biases) and trivial (there is always something wrong with something—or someone). Call it hollow. I call it fun!

Last night's candidates showed up on time for their respective sessions. Impressed, I was ready to mark such timeliness as a regional trait . . . until the fifth guy failed to show up. Not wanting to spoil the interview momentum, I waited at the lobby. I left after an hour, seething: he never showed up and never even bothered to call with his regrets. The headhunter heard the fiercest blast of rebuke from me later on. Talk about speaking out and getting heard.

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