How emotions can suffocate people?

Ever heard of the term “Affocation”? Don’t bother. You wouldn’t have neither has Google.

Affection + Suffocation = “Affocation. Mathematically, if partial Distributive law is applied on the given equation, it is Affocation.  In Tamil, there is a popular phrase for this word, “Anbu-thollai”. (Anbu means Affection, Thollai means Annoyance)

The 5 circles we’ve read in body language is not limited to physical proximity alone. Let me make this clear.  Well-wishers would debate how A/C at office has caused the common Cold after hearing you, cough while you know, that was the day there was no meeting at the Conference room and you had a hair wash the previous night and had 3 cocktails. Poor A/C ! The unsolicited advice – Learn to be adaptive. I know you don’t like it but, drink horsegram soup.

In India, it’s not just about friends and family but every random person you meet when you travel or jog in the park. If there is anything that is abundant and available for free, it is that unsolicited Advice masked by Care, Concern, Humanity, Hospitality, etc. Like we hear, “To each, his own.” Basically, it is about how close you venture into the inner circles of a person with minimal interactions.

If you’ve been to Chokni Dhani, a Rajastani restaurant on Domlur road in Bengaluru, you might know. This restaurant is well decorated and there are many parallel activities to keep the guests amused. Yes! They wouldn’t make you feel like a Customer but a Guest. Traditionally dressed staff sing, dance and serve food making you feel comfortable. The food is served in a larger than regular sized circular plate. Just when you know your heart and stomach is full, you’ll be asked to have little khichdi and 2 pieces of Jalebi. Your polite denial is denied consideration with great drama love followed by “Feel comfortable. You are our guests. Have at least this Jalebi.”  As a customer, I would give a 10/10 for the Ambience and Environment. Did you expect 12/10 for your overboard Hospitality ? I would think twice to give you 10. You injected me with “Affocation”. But, in our country, this song is sung at every home but maybe not at the same note.

Recently, my interaction with Indian Landlords helped me understand how important this intangible metric was, to be rationalized and captured on the Product for the “HomeStay” category to ensure a good Net Promoter Score. A few seasoned hosts who had Expat guests cite about the differential Hostmanship they had to inculcate to host guests from different geographies. There are a plethora of Intangible metrics like Affocation. This directly impacts the Ratings and Review of the Supplier. Rationalization and Derivation of  objective results on the discovered parameters is the game.

Mr.Ravi and his wife Sumathi host their home at Pondichery that has 8 artistic rooms with a shared living room and a shared kitchen. Alike the Logistics, Financial and Safety challenges, they say interesting one is in training the Housekeeping to pause and understand the guests. And to not inject them with “Affocation”.

Bachelors usually order for food and they are also welcome it, if the maid can cook or bring something for them. (Note: This interaction was before we knew Fasoos, Swiggy and TinyOwl). But, on the contrary, there have been guests from Europe, who are independent and find comfort in cooking their own food and they complete the routine by washing all vessels they have used. The latter category of guests are not comfortable if the maid / janitor stands in close proximity to kitchen when they are cooking and the maid is uncomfortable to see her guests wash the vessels. Well, this is India! The platform becomes incumbent to educate the Hosts along with Awareness about the challenges and opportunities about their Role extension from Landlords to Entrepreneurs.

Here, it is not about What is Right or  What is Wrong! But about the need to be empathetic. Flipkart now opens up to local Suppliers and cottage industries in India. A step further in understanding and educating the Supply side about Empathy is the need of the hour on all platforms, be it about Food, Travel, small-scale businesses like Weaving, Papad & Pickle, Painting, etc. There are plethora of nuances in every Business. If the product can do a grim Data analysis and Research about the Business and Customers, the funnel of Product Discovery gets narrower. And this is definitely, an ongoing process.

“A poison flavored chocolate may not kill you but just the essence will keep one away from it.”

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