Khushboo is a fashion blogger and has worked as a stylist for Bollywood celebrities. She wanted to utilize the experience she gained by working as a stylist. Khushboo always aspired to design jewellery that would help women represent their personality. Hence, she kick-started BlingVilla to follow her dreams.
She sincerely heeds to the first-name culture in her daily life. Khushboo declares — I once read an article which talked about the word ‘SIR’ subtly meant ‘Slave I Remain’. I terminated clinging to any formal salutation ever since and have induced this habit into my employees.
“I believe, I should not have to refer someone as ‘Sir/Madam’ because of their age. If I am working with someone, for the same cause, I should be treated as equal. After all, I am there because of my talent and potential,” Khushboo adds.
She states — No Sir No Madam exercise helps in personally connecting with employees. People working under can talk about their issues when you remove any hierarchical order. Their personal problems will not affect their efficiency, if they can approach someone for help. Although, it is difficult to make them accept the first-name tradition, as they find it strange.
In addition, she opines, “It is pivotal that my employees are more opinionated about our projects. No Sir No Madam practice has enabled my team to communicate with me without any apprehension.”
On working with celebrities, she mentions the existence of ‘Sir/Madam’ culture among actors and actresses too. Many notable personalities expect others to address them as ‘Sir/Madam’ irrespective of their age. Some people even want to be referred with a salutation just because they have worked more than other artists. Contrary to this, there also exist many celebrities who propagate No Sir No Madam convention.
Khushboo also voices the dominance of salutation diktat in the government sector. Officials are still following the customs set under ‘British Raj’. She remarks — I am always uncomfortable and apprehensive when I have to visit a police station for some work. I am not used to addressing people as ’Sir/Madam’. Thus, when I visit such public offices, these edicts restrict me from being candid with them.
People should thrive towards making communication less formal and more amiable. She spontaneously utters, “I would prefer addressing the Prime Minister as Mr. Prime Minister or Mr. Modi rather than as ‘Sir’. This would ensure that I can converse openly about any problem and not worry about offending him.”
In Indian societies, it is noticeably seen that people are demeaning to laborers and house-help staff. Khushboo articulates — people doing such jobs are already deprived of respect. Furthermore, they would feel inferior if society imposes obligations on them. The least we can do is, liberate them from salutation order and educate them. No Sir No Madam will help them to feel respected and uplift their morals.
She suggests educating kids regarding first-name precedent in school. Additionally, Khushboo stresses, people themselves to practice and preach about No Sir No Madam movement. She quotes an example of a celebrity stylist, under whom Khushboo worked. The stylist has worked with Miss India, Deepika Padukone, and various other Bollywood actors; however, never imposed ‘Sir/Madam’ observance. “She let us refer her by her first-name, and it really helped in bonding with her,” Khushboo continues.
Hence, Khushboo was inspired by her mentor and has inculcated the same custom in her company. “I remember when I had to meet a certain person for my law-degree admission. Before our appointment, I kept referring to him as ‘Sir’. On noticing this, my mother interrupted and informed me to address him as ‘Uncle’. My mom advised me that I am putting myself in a position of submission by greeting him with a salutation.”
Similarly, everyone ought to teach about the benefits and importance of the first-name habit to less-fortunate people. Khushboo suggests, making people aware about the full-form of the word ‘SIR’. She ceases — I am also planning on putting a banner of No Sir No Madam in my office. This would let the new employees and people who come for an interview know about our casual office culture.
Therefore, as a society, we can definitely progress if we just initiate and adopt such simple measures.