What is the cost of money?

Firstly, I want to apologize to all the people who have been getting Instagram DMs from various accounts but indirectly related to the identity of a person named Subodh Pawankar. We would never want our friends, family, and artists who are part of the community to go through such unnecessary inconvenience where you have no context to this situation. We use social media not just for our community work but also for spending time to connect with friends or express our personal opinions, we would never want someone to harm our experience of social media for us and so we want to apologize that someone spoiled the social media experience for you because of us. Subodh was an employee at PFA who used to look after several projects during his employment at PFA. We knew his caliber and abilities to multitask which was the reason to bring him in the team. He is an outstanding person and we would be happy to write a recommendation for him. We might disagree with his certain opinions but nowhere we doubt his potential and skills. He joined us on 7th June 2019 and was trained for the first few weeks before starting out the work. His designation was 'Project Manager' and his responsibilities were clearly mentioned in his employment contract which was signed by him. Fast forward to three months, it wasn't working for us to have him in the team. We clearly communicated the reasons for this to him and it was mutually accepted at our studio. We understand that the work he was doing at PFA wasn't helping him much either to pursue his future career plans he had for himself. This way it was best for both the parties to discontinue working together, which I personally agree is totally fair. I have worked in corporates and it is a usual process for the company to take some time before they make the final financial settlement with an employee who has discontinued. But because we had a very collaborative and friendly work culture, Subodh started calling us and texting every day to ask for his payment where we were very responsive and conveyed the process to him. Initially, it was okay, just because we aren't working together anymore doesn't mean we aren't friends anymore and during his first few phone calls we were okay to communicate on calls, but after a certain limit we had to separate the personal and professional line for ourselves, so we asked him to keep it on email only. We clearly stated that this could take a few weeks but he was impatient and started talking about bringing lawyers into this conversation. We ideally thought of trying to get this done as soon as possible in order to avoid a legal battle for a small amount of money, but Subodh was persistent to take this matter legally. We had no choice but to share our company details with him in order for him to send a legal notice to us. His communication during this period with me and Kshitija was very rude for us and so we thought it is better to keep all the communication through lawyers from here onwards or on email, and it was our personal decision to not answer him on our whatsapp and call. We use our phone numbers for our personal use as well and it was just emotionally draining us to have this kind of conversation with him again and again while we might be at an event or having dinner with our family. This might sound unprofessional but we are very personally driven to run this community, and at that point in time it was best for us to take this decision so that we don't harm our own mental state for the sake of professionalism. It took him a month's time to get back to us. And when he returned with an answer, he said that "let's not make this a legal battle and try to solve this." He texted this to me on my Instagram DM, we had blocked him through our IG page as well because he was constantly commenting on every post that 'PFA pay me my money', I don't understand how this would help him but that is his personal choice how he want to deal with the situations. December was a pretty hectic month for us because our working structure had completely changed, we did not have our full team anymore. We were hiring new members and at the same time, I was on a month-long travel while Kshitija was focusing on UNREAD 2020 book publishing. Even while I was traveling I had a phone call with him trying to explain the process and why all of sudden this cannot be done just because he has changed his mind and not going ahead with a legal process. It was since January that our friends started telling us about these Instagram DMs from him. Not just friends but our clients, family and other artists with whom we not only work but also share a friendly bond. Kshitija attended a wedding and tagged her family in that, Subodh sent a DM about this to all the people tagged in that Instagram story. If you ask me personally, this is ridiculous, you are spoiling someone's family relationship because of a small amount of money. We know it's wrong but at the same time we understood that nothing can be done about this, it wasn't about paying Rs 5000 or whatever the settlement amount was, it was an anger driven action. To date, we haven't received any email from him or any legal notice or any attempt where he wants to solve this, but we see that he is constantly sending DMs to the people connected to us. I seriously don't know how this will help him solve the problem. But this whole situation has also made me question myself 'What is the cost of money?' Is Rs 5000 equivalent to spoiling someone's relationship with their friends/family? I want to thank all the people who got these DMs and still kept your faith in us. More importantly thank you for informing us about it, we know some of you wanted to take his case because he was bad-mouthing us but we said NO to you. That would put us in the same spot and we wouldn't want to be a Subodh in this world when we can be Pawan and Kshitija. All that aside, how do we put an end to this and what to do if any of you receive these DMs again? Please just ask him to write to us on contact@pfaindia.com We would be happy to resolve this as soon as possible for him. Thank you so much for being there with us, and we love you all for sticking with us even after reading that we arseholes. We are, but good ones. P.S I can't believe during a pandemic I have to write about this when we are working on how can we find an alternative to offline art gigs or entertainment in general. But this was important to address before it hurts more number of our friends and family.

Pawan Rochwani

Founder - Platform For Artists

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