It was just another Monday. I got up. I got ready. I went to work. I sent some mails. I took some calls. I pretended to understand the jokes my colleagues cracked. I agreed with the boss. I ate lunch. I pinged whoever was online on G talk. I called my parents to talk about nothing, really. I had coffee. I visited the washroom at mid-day to see how bad the brand new pimple on my face looked. I slyly checked out random photographs on Facebook. I listened to some employees grumble. I smiled when certain colleagues (tried to) flirt. I updated on twitter every thought running through my mind. And if the update exceeded the max limit of words to be put on Twitter, I decided to put it on Facebook instead.
I had been carrying out the above for the past nine months, everyday for 244 days, now. There was no new learning at my job. Nothing that kept me interested in what I was doing. There was no man I liked enough to give me incentive to come to work. And there was an increasing need for change.
“Change, already?!” My alter ego exclaimed when I first thought the wayward thought. By the way, I’m still looking for a name for the voice in my head and any and all recommendations are welcome. I tried to calm the voice. “I am just weighing the options”, I said. “Like how nice it would be to finally get to stay in my room. Like how awesome it would be to travel incessantly. Like maybe I can get a chance to write… wait for it… *for a living*” There were Godly chimes in the background as I thought that last thought. Now if only I had the courage to give up my current state of affairs, and be the ‘go getter’ I had called myself in so many corporate interviews and introductions.
“But, what about the pay cheques?” Sigh. Darned this money minded mind of mine. I needed to be independent. I needed to not depend on dad as an ATM. I could hardly imagine life without materialistic pleasures. The background music now transformed into a heart-wrenching gloomy Shehnai, and in my mind’s eye, my life (without the current job) turned into a black and white screen with me looking at an Audi with ogles of ‘want’ rather than ogles of ‘will have’. I had just about five thousand rupees saved up even after 9 pay checks. I had one five hundred note in my wallet. Gloomy state of affairs, I tell you. I did not even have ten rupees besides that five hundred bill today. How was I supposed to buy the ticket to ride in the rickety Chennai train and get home. But no one would give me lesser denominations for the five hundred. Shopkeeper mentality reigns supreme. Bleh! Who cared? I was going to get out of here. I was too young and too fabulous to stay with my bum stuck to an un-ergonomic office chair.
“A bird in hand is worth two in the bush”, said the voice. Well, then I get to choose my own bushes, I retorted. There was a movie the next day. I needed to save about four hundred and fifty of that five hundred to watch the latest Twilight movie. (Yes I know. You can snigger at your own time.) See, I NEEDED to get out of this hardly paying job, and get into something more satisfying- emotionally, spiritually, artistically and financially. (I do believe in miracles, you know).I resolved to get the change that I needed.
While I was wondering about career change and while I was also still wondering where I could get a couple of tenners, Gulabo, a fellow team-mate bounded over to my cubicle super enthusiastically. “Simran”, he said. “Give me three fifty bucks, na.” “Um. Sure” I said, as I took that lone ranger out of my wallet. “What’s this for, though?” I asked. “Oh you know, Sara is leaving the company and his last working day was yesterday. So we got him a gift. It’s your contribution for the damages.”
Did they get him a baby elephant? Three fifty per head??!! And who is this Sara guy anyway?
“Who?” I asked, meekly. “Oh you know Sara… Saravananarayanan Gopalakrishnan Krishnamoorty Rajagoplan.” “There were… four people?” I was confused. Gulabo laughed and patted my head, messing up my hair. I hated it when he did that. “No, Simran. Don’t you know Sara? He sits on the fifth floor. He reports into P.K. Girpade in the finance department. Curly hair… hairy arms.” I shook my head to say no, my eyes wide with the knowledge of stuff I was supposed to notice about this Sara person. Gulabo returned a hundred and fifty rupees back to me. I accepted it.“Weren’t you there when we all went to Saravana Bhavan for dinner?” He asked. “No” I said. “Oh right. You weren’t there. Of course you don’t know Sara.” I gave a tolerant smile. “Well, thanks for the contribution, Simran. You’re a gem.” He patted my head once again.
I sat there, stunned. ‘I need to get out of this office and away from these strange people’, I thought. I looked at the one hundred and fifty rupees in my hand, and heard the voice say. “Well, you did say you wanted change.”