Coimbatore: We at Kovai.co had a fun end to the workweek, with nearly 100 of us coming together to paint our cafeteria wall with our favourite “Namma Coimbatore” slang. For some of us, it was a trip down memory lane, while for others it was a welcome distraction after a hectic work week and a special moment as they made their imprint on their office wall. We were guided by wall-artist Mamta Singh from Rajasthan, who drew the outline sketch of the wall and instructed us on drip-proof techniques. We were allowed to choose our favourite slang words and paint them in the colour we chose. Volunteers were split into batches of 10 and given 15 minutes each with the wall. Every batch also had to do a different flash dance after their painting gig.
Over the last couple of days, each of us had nominated five of our favourite Coimbatore slangs. While “Vanakkamunga”, “Hi-nga” and “Kovai na Gethu” turned out to be the most popular, we ended up with more than 150 words, phrases, and dialogues. After a lot of debate, we finally shortlisted 39 words and phrases which received the most votes. It included pleasantries like “Sowkiyamma”, “Eppadi Irrukinga”, Arasiparuppu, favourite relationships and endearments including “Kannu, Ammayi and Ammini” and movie dialogues including “Naattamai Theerpa Mathi Sollu”.
By 4 pm, Mamta had completed her detailed sketch and people began turning up to start filling in their favourite words. People were first told to pick a colour, a brush and an A4 sheet of paper. We were first taught to dip in our brushes, tap it out till no paint dripped and practice a few strokes on the A4 sheets, before proceeding to the wall. Once people got to the wall, they spent the next 15 minutes, emptying their minds of everything else except painting carefully between the letters and the wordings.
“While I have always participated and been involved in almost every activity in the office, this is the first time I have got a chance to paint,” said Senior support engineer, Sivaramakrishnan Arumugam. Varsha Ann, who is also a support engineer with our Document360 team, who was using a light sea green colour, said she found the activity so relaxing and a welcome break from dealing with technical issues. The colour is also so relaxing,”. Praveena Jayanarayanan, a lead support engineer, says she chose to paint the word “Molluma Vaa” because it’s the word she uses the most on her kids and every time she sees it she may remember their fun moments. Customer success specialist, Monika Mathew, said she was handling paints and brushes after her middle school days and what made it more special was that she got to use paints and brushes to put a small impression of hers on her office wall. “I think I will remember this evening every time I walk into the cafeteria for a coffee and feel special that I was part of making my office such a happy space.
Artist Mamta Singh, known for her wall art on popular brand stores and offices including Body Shop in Mumbai, Boat, and Larsen and Toubro, says she decided to convert her wall art project into an employee engagement activity because she wanted the cafeteria to be associated with happy memories. “I want this wall to be a conversation starter for existing and new employees, so whenever people see this wall, they will feel a sense of belonging because they contributed to the look. They will recollect the fun they had painting the wall and will feel better connected to the office space too,” she said. “Such activities also bring about social engagement, because people from different teams interact during the activity, share a few laughs, introduce themselves to each other and start staying in touch,” she added.