Another mega serial from my friend Suresh :) Posting it on behalf of him.. as usual..ur valuable feedback always welcome.
The beginning of myself
Just another day in college and I was immersed in my story in the classroom. My OM (operations management) lecturer came from nowhere and grabbed the paper from my hand which I was trying to hide. Every student was laughing as she was reading out the story for all, she was happy for the reason that my story had woken up the sleepy students. I was waiting to get thrown out of the class so that i can happily continue writing my story sitting under the banyan tree near our college canteen. But she ordered me to stand out of the classroom and listen to her lecture. At the end of the session, she asked me to meet her in the staff room. I wondered why she was treating me like a school boy. I followed her to the staff room. She gave the paper back to me and said,
“Amit, the story is fantastic, keep it up”
I was confused about her behavior and as she read my mind and said “First I asked you to get out of the class as you are not supposed to do something personal in the classroom while the lecturer is taking a class. Secondly, I asked you to stand outside the room and not to leave the class as the topics were very important and you would not understand the following classes if you miss this. Finally, I called you separately and praised you for the story as I wanted to encourage you to hone your writing skills to better deliver your thoughts in your stories”.
I was thrilled, I consider her as a management guru, I in fact liked her classes as it would be always like an English movie for the whole session and that’s the way she presents the concepts with fluent English.
She continued and said “Amit, I know your next class is free so lets go to the canteen, I want to share a short story with you”.
We went to the canteen, ordered 2 cups of tea and sat facing each other in a corner table.
She said in a soothing tone “Paulo Coelho is a great writer, this little story is an extract from his book”.
I was completely focused, as I liked stories
“A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The lad wandered through the desert for 40 days and finally came upon a beautiful castle high a top of a mountain. It was there the wise man lived. “Rather than finding a saintly man , though our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of a activity : tradesmen came and went , people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world. The wise man conversed with everyone and the boy had to wait for 2 hours before it was his turn to be given the man’s attention.
“The wise man listened attentively to the boy’s explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn’t have time just to explain the secret of happiness. He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in 2 hours.
“Mean while I want to ask you to do something said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held 2 drops of oil. As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill”
“The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After 2 hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was.
“Well’ asked the wise man ‘did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”
The boy was embarrassed and confessed that he observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man entrusted to him.
“Then go back and observe the marvels of my world” said the wise man. ‘You cannot trust a man if you don’t know his house”
“Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen.”
“But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you “asked the wise man
“Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the old was gone.
“Well there is only one piece of advise I can give you said the wisest of the wise men. The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil in the spoon.
Before I could take my last sip of my tea, she walked off saying bye to me. It took few minutes for me to understand that she meant my passion (story writing/ dreams) as Palace and my social responsibility (Studies, Career, family etc..) as oil.
This story sealed in my heart there after.
My First job
Days passed by, I realized I am no more a college student as I ended up in a start up IT company called “First software solutions”. Probably that’s the natural choice after graduating with an Engineering Degree. The company had a great vision but a poor financial strategy.
I spent almost 2 years in the company, one reason I didn’t seek another opportunities outside was Sindhu, my colleague - an ambivert. Her sharpness, high energy levels got me attracted to her. Being Freshers, we had lot of free time which we religiously spent over many cups of coffee in the pantry, then in messenger and some times talk over phone even though we were cubicles away, like any true blooded IT people.
To celebrate Dasara, we had to come dressed in ethnic clothes to our office. On that day my colleague asked me
“Hi Amit, did you see Sindhu today ? she looks beautiful “
“No I haven’t as yet , ”
“You have to look at her” he insisted
"I just had a glimpse" I said. "She was wearing white saree with maroon border which by the way, blends in with her fair complexion. Loose hair after neat hair wash, with jasmine flowers on it, a small horizontal sandal wood paste on her forehead with her shyness mixed with naughtiness dancing in her face.”
My colleague gave a weird look and said “ I thought you just had a glimpse”
I was just pretending to work by looking in to the computer, just then arrived a mail from HR stating “Urgent organization communication”
We all assembled in the meeting room in the office. Many rumors were floating around the room “we got a new project”, “we are closing down”, “and we are going to have pay cuts”. Blah blah, I was admiring everybody’s imagination.
The HR manager walked in made the announcement, he walked off after answering few questions raised by our colleagues and it took some time for us to realize that the company in the verge of closing.
The market was very dull that companies outside were also not absorbing people, that was the first time I heard the word “Recession” in the year 2000.
(To be continued...)