Preceded by whiff of fresh air, and followed by a stale smell resulting from an unwashed box of Thayir Sadam he had packed for lunch two days back Poor Little Chap (who shall henceforth be referred to as PLC) entered the office with a new found determination. He decided that he had had enough of being bullied around and taunted by almost everybody in the office. He had his group of his friends or so he wished. For he knew as well as they did that it was just a marriage of convenience.
The events of his first day at office was still so fresh in his mind. He had so looked forward to that day. The day he thought would change his life forever. He believed that this was destined to be the turning point in his life, a day which would start off the process of erasing all the forgettable memories he had accumulated through his rather "eventful" school and college life. The very thought of making new friends and acquaintances thrilled him. The first person he met was the guy who would later become his Tormentor-in-Chief ( and who will henceforth be called TIC) . Ah! There seemed to be such a natural bond. It was fate, he opined, that had delayed the introduction of such a character in his life. But, its better late than never. With all such thoughts randomly criss-crossing his mind he walked up cheerfully to TIC and what ensued was the typical first meeting. Handshakes and introductions later they were happily chatting about their respective pasts and how lucky they were to have managed a job in this company.
It was 830 in and the others started to trickle in to the office. Monday morning blues had suddenly seemed out of fashion for all around he could see so many cheerful faces. The previous night had played host to one of the most memorable moments in Indian sport. The first Olympic Gold from an independent event had finally arrived. And the fact that it came in wrestling, that oldest of Indian sports was a surprise and yet not as much a jolt as maybe if it had arrived in tennis, the latest fad amongst the dominant middle class. Not since Bhim had an Indian wrestled with so much energy and vigor, they exclaimed. One thing that never changes with us Indians is the hype which we manage to add to any notable achievement. He would get a reception that would rival that which the Indian cricket team got after they had won the T20 World Cup, beamed a television channel. A rival news channel quoted a "confidential yet reliable" source in stating that the Indian government would present a cheque of ten crores to the champion. An individual olympic gold medal is no mean achievement, but at some point we need to understand that a little bit of understated celebration would add much more value to a victory rather than frenzied reactions of euphoria.
PLC took one more look at the entrance hoping that his first day at the office would, cinema style, would also be the day when he would meet his lady love. Unfortunately in the harsh realities of the modern day world such fairy tale inspired thoughts do not bear fruit and it was with a concealed sense of disappointed that PLC trudged to his cubicle. Newly furnished and spacious to comfortably seat one person, a luxury in these times of cramped office spaces, his cubicle seemed to welcome him into a totally new world. He glanced at his watch, for maybe the 15th time in 5 minutes. Impatience was creeping in. He had to meet his boss, a unknown quantity to even those who had spent months with him in the office and to him he would remain an enigma, forever, at 9.
As he started to count each second down, his eyes fell on a guy who was glancing at him form time to time. Curiosity had gotten the better of him and it didn't seem likely to leave him anytime soon either. Desperate as PLC was to fast forward the ten minutes to his meeting, he decided to go up and speak to this curious co-worker(and as per tradition already established, this new character will also be henceforth be referred to by a shortened name reflecting his nature, CCW) of his.
to be continued....