37 miss calls!. “My God…”, Raman murmured. Shocked, he read the clock. The time was 4:46 PM. “How on earth could it be? Didn’t I get up in the morning? Have I been sleeping the whole night and the whole day? No..no..impossible…just impossible.” He had never made such a blunder in his office-life.
He tried to recollect how important the day was. All the formalities of launch of the new project were to be completed that day. Many more new assignments had to be handed over to the new recruits..and…and.. he could think no more. He tried to visualize the expressions on the face of Prakash, the boss, the person who was most important in his office-life. His office-life was almost his entire life. What would you call a life in which 13 to 14 out of 24 hours would be spent in office? In his mind’s eye he saw Prakash handing over pink slip to him and pushing him out of the office door.
Raman took at least 10 minutes to come out of the nightmarish hallucination he had created. He won’t go to the office or call the boss, come what may. He won’t rather dare.
He walked downstairs for a cup of tea. He sat in the cafétaria and sipped tea. He looked at people’s faces and observed expressions. They all seemed absorbed in their office-life but they didn’t look as bound as he was. He decided he won’t go to the office even the next day. And indeed he kept sleeping, sipping tea and speaking to his mother over phone who lived in a village near Coimbatore.
Shock, fear and worry are sometimes followed by desperation. Having spent 3 days away from office-life Raman thought what at most could happen? He would be fired. “No problem”, He said to himself. “If I can’t manage a salary of 55,000 I shall definitely get to work for 30,000 somewhere else. But I am going to meet Prakash.” He started for the office, though with shattered confidence. He knew how harsh and rude Prakash was at times. “But O.K., who cares for him if I have decided to quit”, he thought.
The next day, after 2 days of absence, when he started for the office it was drizzling. But by the time he reached the rain had stopped. There was a pin drop silence in the office. As he entered the office the steno at the reception stood up for him and wished him, quite bowing, he observed. He then moved towards the chamber of the boss. Meanwhile, whoever met him on the way greeted him and asked how he was doing. He felt surprised. He was beginning to feel that the office environment had perhaps been engineered for him. He was even more surprised when Prakash called him to his room and intimated that he was promoted to the rank of manager and that he would get a hike of about 12,000.He was given a new office chamber equipped with a PC and a phone. In the evening, the boss was saying to him, “I hope you’re not leaving us. Ain’t you?”. “ I mean….are you happy now?” “Le..mme know in case you need something else. By the way, you are accompanying me to Grandina Suites Hotel tomorrow for a discussion on our next project.”
***** ***** *****
As Raman started for home in the office car that evening, he said to himself,”O wow…I was sleeping all along..I see…Now is that I have got up.”
—-Based on a real life story—-